Physical benefits of deep relaxation
A deep state of relaxation helps you body restore, regenerate, and regulate itself more effectively. Learning to engage, and often engaging the relaxation response, helps us better deal with potentially stressful situations, feelings, thoughts, and therefore come into a clearer and more calm way of thinking. When relaxed, we can focus on what matters.
10 reasons why DEEP RELAXATION
matters in the body
1. The body slows down. EVERYTHING about it slows down which means many of it's functions will be done more carefully and completely.
2. Your breathing rate slows down. Your body demands less oxygen. Instead of using up oxygen when you're thinking, stressing out, or moving around and doing things, you give your body a full and fair chance to use oxygen more efficiently for the body's processes. This includes supplying the brain with more blood which will serve you when it's time to put your thinking cap on!
3. Your heart rate slows down. When your heart rate is lowered it beats more efficiently.
4. Your blood pressure is reduced. A slower and controlled heart rate circulates the blood much better and transports more oxygenated blood to your cells. It also is more efficient in returning deoxygenated blood to the lungs.
5. Your circulatory system, of which the heart is a major part, functions better. The circulatory system is vital to your health. It passes nutrients, like amino acids, electrolytes, and lymph, to and from your cells. It also passes gases, hormones and blood cells to and from the cells in your body. This is required in order to your body's temperature, pH, and help protect the body from disease. All of this is to maintain your body's homeostasis, which is the body's ability to regulate itself physiologically.
6. Your organs receive more nutrient rich blood, such as in the muscular, digestive, and reproductive systems. Relaxation is key for digestion, excretion, and sexual arousal.
7. Digestive secretions are increased which aide digestion. "Rest and digest" is a common phrase to describe this effect of relaxation.
8. Your blood sugar levels return to a normal range and are more easily controlled and maintained in relaxed states.
9. You activate your relaxation response to achieve this deep state of relaxation. This is one of the most important skills you will ever learn. While sleep is the way we can rest and relax daily, it does not take us as deep as this active mental process. This is a skill worth strengthening. In this state you can reach an unwavering state of relaxation, calm, and mental focus.
Think about a nightmare, for instance. When we sleep we have dream cycles in which the heart and breath fluctuate according to the dream's events, and in disturbing dreams our bodies can easily react with a stress response. You've arisen from a nightmare before in a panic. You won't do that in conscious deep relaxation during yoga nidra, also known as yogic sleep. Engaging the relaxation response gets us into the deep state which we maintain in the process.
10. The parasympethic nervous system is engaged, rather than its counterpart the sympathetic nervous system, which is used in stressful situations. When we are feeling stress, the body responds with a stress response, which is useful in the short term when absolutely necessary. If the constrictions all through the body, namely constricted muscles and blood vessels paired with increased stress hormones are constant, however, there are definitive problems that occur. Stress is the number one cause of death for this reason. A chronic stress response is detrimental to the body and can exacerbate and create health issues. Deep relaxation helps with health issues that worsen with ongoing stress, and can alleviate health concerns like gastrointestinal ailments, insomnia, fibromyalgia, hypertension, anxiety, and much more.