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Relax: Techniques to help you achieve tranquility

From MayoClinic.com


You may think that taking a few minutes to unwind at the end of the day is all the relaxation you need. Unfortunately, a few minutes won't provide the stress-reducing benefits of deep relaxation.


When you truly relax, you eliminate tension from your body and your mind. And if you're experiencing a lot of stress in your life, you need to make time to relax. Otherwise, the negative effects of your body's stress response — which may include headaches, insomnia or increased risk of heart disease — can harm your health.


Learning to relax doesn't have to be difficult. Try some simple techniques to get started on your way to tranquility and the health benefits it provides.


Why relax?

With so many things to do, it's easy to put off taking time to relax each day. But in doing so, you miss out on the health benefits of relaxation. Relaxation can improve how your body responds to stress by:


Slowing your heart rate, meaning less work for your heart

Reducing blood pressure

Slowing your breathing rate

Reducing the need for oxygen

Increasing blood flow to the major muscles

Lessening muscle tension


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Taken on June 14, 2008