It seems like we are always running, rushing to and fro trying to accomplish a million things every day. Some wear their busyness as a badge of honor, thinking that if they are busy 24/7 they must be getting a lot done. Unfortunately, packing your day too full, without taking time to unwind, can have some serious health risks. Increased blood pressure, increased risk of stroke, higher cholesterol levels, and a weakened immune system are only a few of the many health issues that have been linked directly to stress.
Relaxation has shown some great results according to a recent study. Being stress free increases your memory and learning capabilities, helps clear up acne, aids in decision making, and wards off depression. Worried about a mid-term or a board room presentation? Even 15 minutes of relaxation - instead of last-minute cramming or rehearsing - may actually pay bigger dividends.
In addition to the mental and emotional benefits listed above, keeping your stress levels in check can actually help you lose weight. When we are stressed, our body produces a hormone known as Cortisol that, in moderation, helps you deal with the added stress more efficiently. In excess, however, Cortisol sends signals to the body to store fat around the abdominal area, and leads to a greater sugar and fat craving. (Pro-tip: regularly get the urge to reach for the junk food at the office? Plan ahead by packing a few healthy-yet-satisfying snacks to work in your GoStak portable containers, and save a trip to the vending machine.)
Relaxation means different things to different people. To some, it's a cat nap during the middle of a busy day, and to others it's a quick jog. If you're feeling the weight of the day, try focusing on activities that help slow your heart rate or move you to a clearer state of mind. Taking anywhere from 5-30 minutes to meditate when you're feeling stressed can do wonders for your health and productivity.