Stress Kills!

5 Tips To Relax Your Way to Good Health

Contributed by Mark Gibson

Stress has been directly linked to over 95% of all physical dis-ease; as reported by a growing number of doctors and health professionals.

Most of us are not even aware we are functioning in the stress mode. Any sign of nervousness or anxiety is interpreted by the amygdala as “danger” and immediately the brain signals our body to what is known as the “fight or flight response”.

While we are in this mode, the body shuts down vital functions in order to increase blood supply to the muscles. The first system it shuts down is our immune system.

Hopefully, armed with this knowledge you can easily understand relaxation is vital to both your physical and mental health.

Reducing stress will also help you strengthen relationships, boost productivity, calm your restless mind, and bring balance into your life.

Relaxation needs to become a daily ritual and not something you do just every once in a while by accident.

Five Essential Relaxation Tips to Significantly Improve Your Health and Happiness:

Essential Relaxation Tip #1: You are in charge of your life.

As a thinking and feeling human being, you are always empowered to control your life. Although we all have challenges, many may wonder, “Am I really in charge here?”

Please understand that you make all of the critical choices that affect your life’s experiences. Your time management - or lack of it - has a profound effect on what evolves in your future. Is there too much work and clutter or too many demands in your life for you to get away and relax?

Are you spending enough quality time with your family and friends?

Don’t waste your time blaming others for how your time is spent. You will choose where your trade-offs are, and if you really value relaxing, you can adjust your schedule to allow for your planned relaxation time every day, week, month, and year

Essential Relaxation Tip #2: Know what relaxation is.

Has your mind been jammed up with so many personal and professional tug-of-wars that you’ve forgotten how to relax?

Here’s a practical definition of relaxation: Remission from attention and effort, and indulgence in recreation, diversion, or amusement.

More important, however, is that relaxation is more a state of what you are thinking and feeling than what you are doing.

You need to do a personal inventory of what you enjoy doing so that you can behave, think and feel as a relaxed person. Make a list of what you enjoy doing, and what you would like to try that you have never done before.

Essential Relaxation Tip #3: Know what you need.

What do you need to be happy?

It’s a question that few people have taken the time to answer completely. Without this knowledge you can expect to enjoy life’s fulfillment only on a random chance basis.

Most people need to feel loved; they need to create and be productive; they need to belong to a social fabric, and they need to sustain their health.

Once you have carefully identified your specific personal fulfillment needs and cleared your mind of nagging issues (to get rid of guilt that compromises peace of mind) you are freer to enjoy the full bliss in any type of relaxation you choose.

Essential Relaxation Tip #4: Practice HOW.

H-O-W is a wonderful acronym for Honesty, Openness and Willingness. These values work great to increase your pleasures from relaxation because they will encourage your spirit of adventure.

If you are honest, open, and willing, you will find yourself saying “yes!” to creating more time for exploring a tremendously wider range of new opportunities for recreation and relaxation.

Essential Relaxation Tip #5: Go with your flow.

In my late twenties, when I hit the lowest point in my life from a clash between my values and my current reality, I decided that I was going to end my emotional pain and take charge of creating my foreseeable future.

So, after tallying up what I really valued, I reorganized my life and peddled off on a 14 month, 7,000-mile solo bicycle camping trip around the United States.

In many ways I’ve never come completely back.

I mention now because I believe it is essential for you to find and blend yourself into your natural flow of spirit and energy if you want to create more relaxation in your life.

Resisting your flow will only create more friction and stress, which preclude relaxation. Search for and find your life purpose, identify and prioritize your highest values, create and adhere to your Personal Values Framework, and then strive to not compromise your values for anything or any person.

When you achieve this, you will have the motivation and time to keep relaxation as one of your top priorities. Believe me, your body and mind will be healthier for it!

You can learn more about the negative effects of stress and how to counteract it through proper Relaxation & Stress Relief Techniques from Certified Life Coach Mark E. Gibson. Visit Mark's website and sign up for a complimentary coaching consultation at