Global Lessons In The Art of Relaxation
Here are some lessons from other parts of the world
People in the UK relax by spending their time outdoors, especially when it’s sunny (which is rare). By walking and getting some fresh air you should soon start relaxing. It also gets the heart pumping and encourages the release of serotonin (your happy hormone) which is why you feel like you’re “on a high” after a session at the gym. So learn from the Brits and take advantage of our many sunny days to get out of the house and relax outdoors.
In Scandinavia (all those icy countries like Sweden, Norway and Denmark), they love a good sweat in a sauna. Saunas are wooden structures in which steam is created and trapped. It is considered a social venue, and sitting half naked in a steamy room with friends is very much a part of the Scandinavian relaxation ritual.
Which is why so many gyms offer steam rooms. This ritual not only opens up blocked pores and soothes the skin, but promotes better circulation too. It's a bit of a foreign concept to South Africans, but trust us, you need only to try it once and you’ll be hooked.
In Japan, people go to hot natural spring baths to soak their stresses away. These baths are full of muscle soothing minerals and are also great boosters of circulation and can help solve skin problems like acne.
Now, if you don’t have money to go to Japan (just yet) you can recreate a hot spring bath in your own home with just a cup full of Epsom Salt tossed in while you’re running a hot bath. And, of course, just add any of your favourite Lux products. We should stress that you should consult a doctor before using Epsom Salt if you have cardiovascular problems or are pregnant. We also know South Africa is a water scarce country, so have a bath at your discretion.
Our Asian counterparts de-stress by practicing meditation. The best part? It’s FREE. All you need is a bit of time and a quietish spot and you too can attain some Zen in this demanding world. Just download an app or look for a video online. It's actually really easy once you get over the “I can’t do it” block in your mind. Just give it a try. With consistent practice, you will become unflappably calm and unstoppably strong.
Which relaxation technique are you going to try today?