How to Rest Your Mind, Body & Soul
Incorporating a regular health or fitness plan into your lifestyle can help you reach exciting goals. The better care we give to our bodies, the better they take care of us. The saying that a healthy body is a healthy mind has a lot of truth to it, but part of being healthy is learning how to rest and relax, too. Your mind needs to relax while you nurture your soul, and your body needs to relax and recuperate from workouts and build muscle. Here are some ways you can rest your body, mind, and soul to help you maintain your healthy lifestyle.
Eat a healthy diet. Food can be our friend or foe, and directly affects our mind and thinking. This is why terms like the sugar blues became popular, as people figure out how sugar affects the brain. For example, some foods can help your body make or release serotonin, the feel-good hormone, while alcohol or too much caffeine can interfere with these hormone levels.
Serotonin is found throughout the body, including the brain, blood, and intestinal tract. In fact, up to 90% of this hormone is made in the digestive tract and has many roles besides simply making you feel happy. It is also linked to regulating appetite, digestion, memory, and sleep, while low serotonin levels are linked to depression.
To keep your happy hormones in check, stick with a healthy diet of nutrient-dense foods. Include serotonin-boosting foods like salmon, eggs, spinach, and seeds. Focus on simpler meals that are easy to digest, which allows for better sleep and a healthier digestive tract to ensure your body produces serotonin it needs to keep your body and mind happy; and a happy mind can relax much easier.
Stretch and take a relaxing shower or bath after your workout. This highly beneficial practice helps your blood circulate after a hard workout to carry out metabolic waste while you feel more relaxed afterward. And muscles that are stretched and relaxed can recover easier and are less likely to experience cramping later on.
Stretching after a workout not only benefits your muscles but also stretches the ligaments and tendons. This improves your range of motion and can even improve posture. Stretching is recommended by doctors and sports professionals to heal or prevent back and hip pain, avoid injuries and can even help relieve pressure along the spine. Make stretching a part of your workout routine to ensure you wind down, but don’t over-stretch. Stretch until you feel a slight pull and relax at that point. Allow yourself to listen to music or enjoy the quiet as you use this time to calm your mind and feel the stress leave your body.
Jacuzzi's, steam rooms, and saunas are all excellent ways to calm and relax your entire body, soul, and mind. The warmth can alleviate joint and muscle pain and reduce stress at the same time. Adding essential oils like lavender can increase the stress-calming benefits, and help improve your mood. Using steam or sauna can also help your body detoxify, a practice that can benefit your entire body and improve digestion.
Yoga is a stretching, meditative and spiritual practice, and one of the most popular ways for fitness enthusiasts to rest and relax the body, mind, and soul. It may feel difficult at first, but don’t overdo it and you can quickly enjoy the benefits of this exercise. Often done in a quiet setting in a room with dim lights, yoga classes consist of achieving and holding poses, or Asanas. These are used to increase flexibility and strength while the practitioner attempts to focus only on the body and remaining present. With regular practice, one can learn to keep the mind quiet and let go of stress at any time of day.
Practice meditation, daily. If you have never meditated, begin with just five minutes of trying to keep your mind focused on your breathing and nothing else. If you find your mind drifts to other topics, gently bring it back to your breathing. If your mind needs to “talk,” try counting your breaths up to a count of four and repeat. Some people prefer to picture a river and count logs as they drift by while others might count clouds as they drift by in their mind’s eye. Use whatever works for you. Make the time more relaxing by going to your “happy place” in your mind.
Meditation has a myriad of benefits and is one of the most proven methods of stress relief and relaxation. The studies showing the positive effects of meditation are too numerous to mention here, so we’ll narrow it down to just a few.
· Meditation practice helps one focus on the task at hand and be less distracted. This can reduce stress on your brain as it learns to stop the chatter that can interfere with productivity or mood.
· One study of 50 patients with ADHD showed that a certain kind of meditation called Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) reduced hyperactivity and increased impulse control. This practice allowed the patient’s brain to relax more.
· Meditation practice lowers stress, elevates mood and increases psychological wellbeing.
· Practicing meditation helps one to better deal with stressful situations (1)
· Meditation reduces blood pressure.
· A study from Harvard Medical School showed meditation increases immunity while improving one’s ability to handle stress
Most studies prove that overall, meditation promotes emotional health, helps one control anxiety and manage stress. Regular practice will allow you to stay calm and rest your body, mind, and soul anytime you need to.
There are many ways to meditate, so anyone is sure to find a practice that will resonate with them. And for the more spiritual, an old saying says “prayer is talking to God while meditation is listening.” So, adding daily meditation to a daily prayer ritual can carry double the benefits.
Listen to your body it will tell you when it's time to rest.
Remember in your pursuit of health and happiness to take care of your entire being. Rest, relax and take care of yourself with exercise and a healthy diet. Your body, mind, and soul will all reap the benefits.
Don't forget to reward yourself. Being apart of Yes.fit does just that . we reward your progress no matter what it is.
Amit Mohan, Ratna Sharma, and Ramesh L. Bijlani.The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.Mar 2011.ahead of print, Published in Volume: 17 Issue 3: March 20, 2011