Our thought of last week was all about the science behind detoxing from those digital devices every so often. This week, its all about the science behind what we could be doing instead.
Let’s face it – life is challenging! There are countless demands and pressures constantly pulling us in all different directions. Our limited waking hours are consumed with work deadlines, family duties, house errands, volunteer commitments & social arrangements, and it’s tough to prioritise ‘indulging’ in Me-Time, let alone simply finding the spare minutes to even consider it.
Well, consider this: your optimal health (which includes your mental and emotional wellbeing) is your NUMBER ONE priority. The reason? It literally marks the foundation of your entire existence. If you are not functioning at your optimal capacity, all the other obligations on that to-do list of yours will go out the window. You may believe you are superwoman/superman, but chances are you are just like the rest of us. And for the rest of us, when our body spends most of the day in a state of fight-or-flight, it takes a constant toll on our health and wellbeing, whether we notice it or not. When you choose to engage in Me-Time, you aren’t ‘indulging’, you aren’t being selfish, and it is by no means a ‘luxury’…It is a mere necessity. Every single day.
If you start giving yourself permission to engage in daily Me-Time, you will notice the effects it has on your capacity to function at your optimum. Slowly but surely, your friends, family, and colleagues will begin to notice it too and you might even inspire them to give themselves permission to engage in daily Me-Time aswell. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone was calmer and in turn had the ability to effectively adapt to ever-changing demands and pressures of our lives?
Here are some research backed options of how to spend your Me-Time:
- Take a Bath – it helps unwind and relieve stress from our physiology, detoxes our skin, lowers blood pressure, releases endorphins, increases blood circulation, and relieves painful muscles and joints.
- Get a Massage – it reduces stress, pain, and muscle tension, and can help with anxiety, headaches, digestive disorders and stress-related insomnia.
- Exercise – it stimulates the release of endorphins and dopamine in the brain, reduces stress, increases energy, improves mood, lowers symptoms of mild depression & anxiety, and improves sleep.
- Meditate – it reduces blood pressure, improves digestion, decreases stress hormones, improves immune system, heightens mental clarity, enhances memory, boosts productivity, improves concentration, and induces calm.
- Be in Nature – Attention Restoration Theory (ART) posits that peaceful settings give the brain a chance to relax, which helps restore or refresh our cognitive capacities (such as memory and attention).
- Listen to Music – quiet, calm music stimulates our brainwaves to resonate in sync with that particular beat, and this then triggers the relaxation response of the sympathetic nervous system which decreases our levels of stress hormones and lowers our blood pressure.
- Read a Book – it helps to reduce stress as those literary pages beckon us into a distant world, far far away from the present stressors of our daily life.
- Colour-In – with intricate patterns and complex templates to choose from, the only rules are to pick a design, choose a colour and stay between the lines, as our mind is gently lulled into a calm meditation-like state.