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Relaxation is not just for the lazy, turns out it has incredible health benefits


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(NaturalNews) In today's fast-paced, deadline-driven times, relaxation seems more of a fantasy or unnecessary luxury that only the lazy covet. However, research shows that relaxation is far from a way to put off work or disengage from society forever; it's necessary for maintaining physical and mental health. Not relaxing enough has been linked to health complications ranging from increased dementia risks to heart problems. (1)

"There are studies to show that stress is comparable to other risk factors that we traditionally think of as major, like hypertension, poor diet and lack of exercise," said Kathi Heffner, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the Rochester Center for Mind-Body Research at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. (1)

Relaxing fights stress and works to help people manage situations better, yet it's often put off in order to engage in more pressing activities, which, ironically, typically leads to more stress.

How relaxing improves health

Relaxing, whether reading a book, meditating or enjoying a hobby, has several health benefits.

Boosts heart health

Stress-reduction techniques help improve immune function and, in some cases, has been shown to decrease the body's inflammatory responses, which helps reduce heart disease. (2)

Fights cancer

Stress has been found to double the risk of a woman getting breast cancer in the future, and relaxing has been shown to delay the onset or progression of the disease. (1)

Improves brain function

Chronic stress impedes the ability to remember events and engage in the appropriate behavior in given situations. Too much stress and not enough relaxation has also been found to cause a spike in the amount of proteins in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer's disease. (1)

Reduces depression

Constantly going full tilt when it comes to work, errands and activities not always linked to happy feelings get in the way of the ability to derive feelings of pleasure which can lead to sadness and depression. (1) Relaxing can help diminish stress hormones like cortisol and serotonin. In fact, relaxation has been found to make people happier, less jealous and have an overall sense of well-being. (3)

Increases energy

While it may sound strange that relaxation, which typically involves using little energy and may involve closing eyes to rest, can actually boost energy. It's true; relaxing recharges the body, promoting more blood flow to muscles and making a person more energetic, creative and efficient in daily activities. (3)

Sources:

(1) http://www.huffingtonpost.com

(2) http://www.huffingtonpost.com

(3) http://goodrelaxation.com

About the author:
A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well. >>> Click here to see more by Antonia

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