Today’s Power Tip: Savor your vacation and help your bones
I just came back from an extremely relaxing vacation in Vermont. Bike riding, canoeing, kayaking, and relaxing in a swimming hole filled my days. Like everyone else, a part of me wants to prolong the wonderful relaxed feeling that I experience from a vacation. The truth is, we can by using a technique called visualization or guided imagery.
The visualization technique: Close your eyes and imagine a scene or event from your vacation that makes you feel peaceful, relaxed, and happy. Picture it as vividly as you can and utilize as many senses as possible. From my trip, I am visualizing sitting in a kayak in the middle of a beautiful lake. I see the expanse of trees and mountains surrounding me and hear the rippling of the water. I feel the warmth of the sun’s rays on my skin and smell the wild flowers. In this moment, I am transported back to Vermont and my body releases any tension it is holding. When you try this technique, make sure to choose an image that resonates with you. Enjoy the feeling of deep relaxation that takes over as you explore your special place. When you are ready, open your eyes and feel a renewed sense of peace.
The effects: This seems like such a simple exercise that can be done anywhere and easily incorporated into a busy lifestyle. It may take only 30 seconds; however, the effects can be profound. Let’s face it, stress is detrimental to every aspect of our health including our bones. Stress causes the release of cortisol, a steroid that weakens the bones. Over time, sustained high cortisol levels are linked to high blood pressure, increased belly fat, depression, and many other negative health consequences. By practicing this visualization technique a few times daily, you are interrupting your routines to induce the therapeutic relaxation response.
How to start: I suggest practicing visualization when you are relaxed and have time to explore the scene you have created. You will then have this image to refer to and use as a tool during times of increased stress. It is best to perform the technique as soon as you start experiencing any signs of increased tension.
The majority of my osteoporosis clients initially come to me because they are interested in learning the best food and exercises to strengthen their bones. Rarely does anyone even think that stress plays a significant role in osteoporosis. I teach them that learning to relax and minimize the stress in their lives is just as important as everything else. Once you start practicing methods of relaxation, the quality of your life improves and you will never want to stop. So, savor your vacation memories while helping your bones and overall health.
Until the end of the summer, I am offering complimentary 30-minute phone breakthrough sessions to help you improve your bones and overall health. Please contact me to schedule your free session.