WOW Word-Of-the-Week #293: Relax

March 8, 2010 by  

Relax – what you need to do to reduce stress.

Do you feel stressed out a lot of the time? Do you take time to relax? Do you know how to relax? When you go on vacation how long does it take you to finally relax? You are taking vacations and time out from work, right?

Relaxing on Vacation

Relaxing on Vacation

This week I am cheating and rerunning a WOW from over two years ago. I have been spending time updating my FUN-travel blog instead. The internet has been very spotty and very, very slow.

Time Magazine featured an article titled, “Six Ways to Handle Stress.”  First, “There’s more than one way to relieve stress.” This week I will share with you the first three ways to relax.

1. Breathe Deeply. Regular, slow breathing – a common characteristic of meditation and prayer – alerts your brain that you are in a safe place far away from predators. It also relaxes your heart, decreases blood pressure and removes waste from the bloodstream.

This is something I do all the time. It‘s guaranteed to calm me down if I am feeling stressed out.

2. Take a Vacation. A change of scenery clears the head, recharges the batteries and, according to a recent study sponsored by Air New Zealand, improves reaction time 82% – provided that you ignore your e-mail and allow a couple of weeks to disengage and unwind.

My response to that is, checking my email and updating my blog is actually more relaxing to me than putting it off.  How about you?

3. Make Friends. Social isolation increases the physiological damage caused by stress. A 2006 survey found that Americans have only two close friends with whom they can confide their deepest concerns – down from three friends 20 years ago.

The good news is, I am on vacation with my best friend! We travel so well together as we have the same interests and energy level.

This week focus on relaxing. Are you able to relax comfortably? Or do you feel guilty? Do you take time to breathe deeply? Sometimes just getting up and taking a short walk helps reduce stress. Have you had a vacation of at least one week in the last year? Do you have friends with whom you can confide in?

Reader Responses

For me the best relaxation is reading. Whether it be a newspaper, magazine or a good book. I can take my time, I am not rushed and I enjoy learning about new people, places and things. Also, a good walk. When I need to get out of the house or relieve stress, a good walk really does my whole body good. Finally, watching a good television or movie comedy. The laughter gets rid of all the stress. I find The Three Stooges really gets my stress level down. When I do vacation, I usually forget about everything. I never check my e-mail or voice-mail messages on the phone. I get away from the structured life that I have five days a week. I also don’t call anyone on the phone. When we go to DisneyWorld with the girls, I will check out the televised NCAA Basketball Tournament games to see how my Marquette team is doing. That I will do because it is my favorite sporting event of the year. Other than that, I really don’t do anything to relax. Also on vacation I do the breathing while I am walking along the Gulf of Mexico. I walk very slowly and breathe in that Gulf air. It does me a world of good. Great advice, Susan. Thank you. “Warrior” Joe