Some say (my family mostly) that I tend to bite off more that I can chew. Perhaps at times this may be true, but filling my time during retirement, at first was very difficult. Too much time and not enough to do. However, I ‘ve figured it out and currently my days are filled with things that I enjoy, although I do have to admit that some days are TOO full of things to accomplish.
But that’s where relaxing makes that “to do list” manageable. Mark Black a Heart and Double-Lung Transplant Recipient – turned – 4-Time Marathon Runner, Author, Coach and Speaker – is quoted as saying “Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax”. This is such an inspiring yet simple quote. We all tend to get so caught up with our messy and complicated lives that we forget to relax. Yet the science of the day, points out that periodically stepping away from what is causing the stress, even for just five minutes, can give us the energy we need to revisit that to do list.
We are not always able to avoid stress but learning to manage stress is key. BUT SCIENCE SAYS…Practicing ‘relaxation’ is paramount to managing stress. When we relax, the flow of blood increases around our body giving us more energy. It helps us to have a calmer and clearer mind which aids positive thinking, concentration, memory and decision making. Relaxation slows our heart rate, reduces our blood pressure and relieves tension. It also aids digestion as we absorb essential nutrients more efficiently when relaxed, which helps to fight off disease and infection.
I have personally found several things that help me relax and watching all “my birds” is probably my favorite. Here’s another bit of science… The research suggests that the simple act of observing nature can lower the levels of depression, anxiety, and stress of an individual. Dr. Cox, a University of Exeter researcher, explains that “birds around the home, and nature in general, show great promise in preventative health care, making cities healthier happier places to live..” Anyone who spends time watching birds, just being apart of them in nature- pausing to sit and discover their magic, knows the sense of calm that follows, and now science with its research and data is revealing its benefits.
So, what do I do – I sit, sip, watch and relax. Those of you that have been following my blog for a while, know that birds and I are good friends, and this friendship ALWAYS involves tea. The combination of watching the birds and drinking my tea is not only relaxing, but it provides me with two ways that are restorative. Together, watching the birds and drinking my tea, is just what I need to smooth out the rough edges of my stress and after a while, I’m stress-free and ready to continue my day.
So, when you are stressed out and ready to find the nearest bridge – just sit, sip, watch and relax – it really does work!