For professional success as in all areas of life, taking a break to reset is crucial. You have probably seen friends or relatives experience some form of “burnout” – the colloquial term for exhaustion. Working all the time without personal moments set aside to relax isn’t beneficial for anyone. Ramifications include a drop in production, negative health effects, damaged relationships, and more unwanted consequences.
The Health Benefits of Relaxation
When a person is overworked, especially if he or she is not sleeping properly, the hormonal system (called the endocrine system in the medical profession) becomes unbalanced. Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline course through the body unchecked by the natural restoration act that sleep affords. This affects cognitive function, physical performance, emotional health, digestion, and virtually all of the body’s activities. Left unchecked for long periods, high-stress levels will cause a variety of serious conditions like a heart attack.
Therefore, finding time to relax and allow your body to restore itself to a state of equilibrium is vitally important.
Meditation to Relax
Meditation is a time-proven technique to calm the brain. Scientific research has proven that meditating has a wide range of health benefits, both mental and physical.
There are several disciplines of meditation. Some direct the practitioner to focus on the breath. Others use a Mantra – a spoken reiteration – as the object of focus. All disciplines attempt to train the mind to slow, creating a sense of calm focus with a steady flow of energy.
Activities such as running, lifting weights, or team sports like football boost the body’s performance in virtually every way – including inducing relaxation. For one thing, when you are engaged in a physically demanding activity you are likely not mulling over problems. This creates an “out” for your mind to get away temporarily from the everyday stresses of life. Additionally, exercise induces a vast array of physical changes including the release of “feel-good” hormones like serotonin and endorphins. This is known colloquially as “runner’s high”.
Ways to relax are nearly infinite. Find what works for you. Your work and every area of life will improve when you achieve a sustained state of relaxation.