Re•lax (verb). Make or become less tense or anxious.
Today I needed a reminder to relax. I thought that perhaps some of you might need the reminder as well. One of my favorite places to relax, to become less tense or anxious, is along the shoreline of the ocean.
According to stress.org, to effectively combat stress we need to activate the body’s natural relaxation response. When we activate this response our metabolism decreases, our heart beats slower and our muscles relax, our breathing becomes slower, our blood pressure decreases, and our levels of nitric oxide are increased.
Abdominal breathing for 20-30 minutes a day reduces anxiety and stress. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness.
The website lists a variety of techniques. Personally, I typically practice deep breathing during my meditation time.
While many of the studies are still relatively new, the results of the studies show that living close to blue spaces (lakes, rivers, and the sea) report higher levels of physical activity, and that interaction with blue spaces can have a positive effect on mental health-especially in the areas of stress reduction and perceived well being.
According to this article, staring at the ocean actually changes our brain waves’ frequency and puts us in a mild meditative state.
Sound of Waves.
According to the same article, the ebbing and flowing that you hear destimulates the brain. The noises along with the visual activate your parasympathetic nervous system.
Remember that system from the deep breathing information?
Yeah, the one that is responsible for slowing us down and helping us to relax.
It’s also thought that the negative ions that are found in the air at the ocean and around waterfalls may also contribute to our sense of calm.
It does state that along with these scientific facts, there may be a level of placebo effect that takes place since we are conditioned to find the ocean calming.
I know that it isn’t as wonderful as actually walking along the shoreline, but are you feeling more relaxed?
I sure hope so!
Let your light shine!