Would you just relax!

By: Alison Dunn Feb 16, 2010

In my younger days, nothing got me angrier than when someone told me to “relax.” You know what I mean – when you’re angry at someone and they turn to you and say, “Would you just relax?” I swear that had the exact opposite effect on me. My blood pressure would rise and I’d be even angrier than before.

But you know, even though the person telling me to relax was probably doing it to get my back up (older brother, I’m looking at you), there is a certain element of truth to that statement. When you’re angry, tense or stressed out, sometimes the best thing you can do is just take a deep breath and relax.

That, of course, is easier said than done, particularly when we live such busy, hectic lives. But if you read our article “Hyper about hypertension” this week on Primacy Life, you’ll see that high blood pressure – often caused by stress and tension – can have deadly side effects.

So this week on Primacy Life, we’re telling you to relax. No, we’re not trying to make you angry (I promise!). It’s just that by relaxing a little, you can help reduce your blood pressure and eliminate some stress from your life.

It doesn’t have to be too hard to relax, either. Sometimes, a little getaway is in order to help you chill out. (We have great winter vacation ideas coming out later this week as well – be sure to check back on Friday to see them all.) Or grab a nice glass of red wine or a small morsel of a delicious high-quality chocolate to take a moment for yourself.

You can also try a new exercise routine, take up yoga, go for a massage, or just take 15 minutes to sit in a quiet place and focus on your breathing. My mother always told me that people who sigh a lot live longer because they release that tension from their bodies. I have no idea if that’s true, but I’m pretty sure 15 minutes of relaxing never hurt anyone.

I know I’m going to take some time out this busy winter to take a break. While I wish I had the budget (and the time) to fly south for a week, it doesn’t mean I can’t take a break. We’ve already booked a short two-day vacation to a nearby indoor waterpark and hotel – and I can’t wait. It’s going to be two days of fun, activity and – yes – relaxation. I think it will go a long way to restoring me and keeping me healthy and sane.

That’s as long as my husband doesn’t tell me to relax, that is!

A journalist with more than 10 years experience, Alison’s work has appeared in a number of top Canadian publications, including glow, Oxygen, Canadian Running and more. She is the former editor of a number of well-respected Canadian and American trade journals and recipient of a Kenneth R. Wilson Gold Award of Excellence in feature article writing. She is a part-time faculty member at Sheridan College’s journalism department, as well as an avid runner and fitness enthusiast.