Tags: Health Topics | relaxation | mental health

The Health Benefits of Doing Nothing

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By    |   Monday, 07 October 2019 10:51 AM

Bruno Mars has a hit song that says, "Today I feel like doing nothing, I just wanna lay in my bed; Don't feel like picking up my phone, so leave a message at the tone." The singer-songwriter may have tapped into a prescription for good health. According to the Mayo Clinic, relaxing slows the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and helps maintain normal blood sugar levels.

Dr. Lois Mueller, a noted psychologist from Tampa, Florida, tells Newsmax that the art of doing nothing, or more positively phrased, relaxation, is crucial to our mental and emotional health as well.

"Doing nothing gives you a chance to reboot yourself. It creates an inner calm that has been absent for too long," she explains. "It also gives you a feeling of total autonomy in your life if only for a day and allows you to reacquaint you to yourself."

According to Rachelle Williams, a certified teacher at the Chopra Center in Carlsbad, California, the Italians are well versed in the concept of "dolce far niente," or the "sweetness of doing nothing."

"It does not mean being lazy," Williams explains. "Instead, it is the idea of finding pleasure in idleness or relaxation. It offers the opportunity to be in the moment in whatever you choose and, in the process, improve your life in surprising ways."

Here are a few benefits your may experience from incorporating more relaxing or pleasurable "doing nothing" moments during your day:

  • A feeling of restorative health, both mentally and physically.
  • Improved relationships and the ability to connect more sincerely with others.
  • Stress reduction.
  • Improved productivity.
  • More creativity and intuition.

Williams and Mueller offer some suggestions on how to engage in the art of doing nothing during your day:

  • Disconnect from technology and take a long walk in nature. It erases the pressure of time, says Mueller. "The sense of freedom that emerges to your mental health is like breathing fresh air to your physical self. It is oxygen for your mind."
  • Schedule a day of rest and relaxation free of chores and commitments. "There are no beeps and buzzers, no penalties for getting lost in thought or not thinking at all," says the expert.
  • Read a good book. Get thoroughly engrossed in someone else's story.
  • Take a long, hot Epsom salt bath. The magnesium helps relax all your muscles.
  • Go to a park and watch children at play.

"The options are endless," Williams says. "You don't need to go to Italy to experience dolce far niente. It's time to relax and reclaim that part of yourself. What can you do today to start re-discovering the sweetness of doing nothing?"

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According to the Mayo Clinic, relaxing slows the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and helps maintain normal blood sugar levels.
relaxation, mental health
Monday, 07 October 2019 10:51 AM
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