Value of Relaxation
Learning how to relax is an important factor in maintaining our well-being and health. Relaxation is much more than reading a book, watching a television program or playing a video game. Although it may be comfortable and enjoyable, and be more relaxing than work, sitting around with friends talking is not the kind of relaxation needed to counter the stress and pressure, anxiety and frustrations, of everyday life. Deep relaxation is necessary to recharge and revitalize our energies. Such relaxation can be measured. Brain wave patterns depict whether or not we are awake or asleep, and various states in between, such as the dream state. Aside from the extensive research in sleep and dream, we know, from our own direct experience, that if we miss sleep, or dream, time, we suffer for it. We must have sleep, and dreams.
Sleep, of course, is very deep relaxation; but, we are not conscious. Learning to relax is about experiencing brain wave patterns which are less active than waking, though not as deep as sleeping, while remaining conscious. Relaxation is very pleasant and exceedingly comfortable. It is often considered one of the natural by products of meditation. It can be a very useful part of countering anxieties and depression, stress and anger and is just good for general mental and physical health and well-being. Ironically, practicing relaxation once or twice during the day for just a short time, can help us not only be more effective during the day, but may also help us sleep better, which then further improves our capacity to be high functioning during our wakeful hours of the day, and night.