March 21, 2011

Taking Time For You Is Good Medicine

In the past I experienced a lot of anxiety and so I love to help others overcome theirs. 

 I find things such as regular massage, quiet time and paying attention to what I fuel my body with makes a world of a difference. Most importantly, I make the habit of scheduling in quiet down time a high priority. 

Do To Yourself That you Do Unto Others! 

Anxiety happens to a lot of us, particularly those who love to care for others but often forget to care for themselves.  It can be extremely overwhelming and get in the way of living a healthy and happy life. Over the years I have found that certain foods are often a causing factor.  

On a more topical level, I have found recognizing you deserve time to relax is a skill and can be the first step on the road to easy living. 

Believe me, I's much easier said than done.  Though, I have to say,  since I have taken the time to relax on a regular basis,  my quality of life has increased by multitudes.  I have much more strength and smiles to face even the toughest of days and more energy overall. Proper rest and relaxation is key to a truly happy and successful life, no matter what "success" means to you.  To me,  success is happiness,  having time to do what I love, spend time with people I love and living responsibly.

Take Three.

Taking time to relax is one of the number one ways to help relieve anxiety. When stressed out, sometimes thinking of relaxing can feel like a burden. "There's no time. If I relax now, I will never get things finished. I can relax later." OR...once you find time to relax....well the mind just keeps poking around at those things to dwell upon until you have finally finished  your task of relaxing and then are off to the next. 

This isn't relaxing and it's not necessarily  healthy either. Again, you deserve time to have a clear mind. A clear mind balances a busy mind. This can help pave the way for a balanced body and vice versa.

I was recently interviewed in an article by pharmacist and author, Jared Combs. You can read more about how to calm anxiety through massage by visiting the following this link. Anxiety: Think Massage Not Valium

Unproductively Productive 

Massage is a very effective, enjoyable & a simple way to take time for yourself.  

1. Once you make your appointment, you have a commitment to relax.   
2.  All you really have to do is remember to breath! You can focus on getting the massage, which calms the mind and you literally feel the stress leave your body. How productive! If you schedule it in as a weekly monthly or weekly routine,  you know in advance that you will have time to yourself no matter what. Therefore, you will have more energy and smiles to share during work hours.

Serenity Now 
This is a time to focus only on you: peaceful music, pleasant aromas to help you to relax and warming hot stones to soothe your tired muscles.  A lot more goes on within our body during a massage than we realize. Our biochemistry is actually effected while receiving a massage and with lasting effects! 

Massage increases our bodies levels of dopamine and serotonin as well as decreases our levels of cortisol, thus helping us to sleep, think, focus, and relax more efficiently. 

Dopamine.... The Happy Factor

Those with a low level of dopamine can feel fatigued, depressed, unmotivated and overall lack feelings of enjoyment.  Getting a massage really can help revive the joy factor in your life! 

Seratonin, Self Confidence and Sleep. 
Serotonin affects our sleep, appetite and self confidence.  Many people day that they "had not slept so well in years!" after their first massage. For some, this is what keeps them coming back. I have had other clients say they began to feel better about themselves since they started taking time for themselves with a monthly or bi-weekly massage.

Cortisol and Stress 
Cortisol is one of the hormones that is released in hopes to manage stress.  Ideally, it is released to balance our bodies. Though,  just like anything else, it's all in moderation. We tend to live incredibly stressful lives nowadays and it's not because we are running from tigers...most of the time it is in our heads.  So often, the release of cortisol can be triggered from traffic, phones calls, co-workers or a string of  stressful emails that make you want to run from your jobs and to the nearest chocolaty goodness. (or beer, wine, cake, sweet tea etc.)

Relaxation can curb an extra curvy belly!

A tell tale sign of an overabundance of cortisol is a "pot belly". or in Homer's case, a Buddha belly.  This  is a whole other article to get into...but just something to think about...yes, stress really can be causing a major factor in your bodies shape or state of health! 

Cortisol increases blood sugar, decreases our immune system, decreases bone formation and effects our body's metabolism!

If You Remember Anything From This...
Remember It is  healthy to take time to not be productive! Massage isn't the only way to accomplish this, it is just a really easy place to start.  Relaxation is a hard lesson to pull out of our society. Go against the grain on this one, you will be much happier for it.  Oh, and don't feel guilty if others secretly or passively let you know they can't stand that you take time for yourself. They could take time for themselves too, they maybe haven't allowed themselves to believe it yet. Be loving and accepting of their response and encourage them to do something loving for themselves too!

 Massage isn't the only way to treat yourself, a daily relaxing bath, taking time to read a book you love, getting your hands dirty in the garden, listening to music, eating and savoring a delicious meal, watching a favorite movie with a nice cup of tea, taking a short walk, writing down your thoughts, etc.  These are all little things that can change your world and the world at large. Treat yourself the way you like to treat others for once!

I hope that this article was helpful to you. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to send me a message! 

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