A recent study shows there are many benefits associated with taking a vacation, including feeling better, managing stress more effectively, improving sleep patterns, reducing blood pressure, strengthening relationships, living longer and increasing libido. The same study determined that most people deem themselves too busy to take a vacation and, as you can imagine, economic concerns enter into this decision as well. In fact, you might say, "I don't have time" to avoid admitting the more embarrassing truth — "I can't afford it." Unfortunately, this cover-up takes a toll on our mental health and is stressful in itself.
Although commercials, websites and brochures show peaceful, relaxing pictures, there are many details that go into a successful vacation. If just one of those is out of whack, like a flight delay or a mistake in hotel reservation, the fun, stress-relieving experience you planned and looked forward to could become more stressful than staying home. Fortunately, it is possible to have a more relaxing, peaceful life every day.
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You see, the subconscious mind does not know the difference between what is imagined and what is real. So the imagination is fertile ground for creating a daily vacation and the subconscious mind will accept it as real, which is why, with practice, you will begin to reap the same benefits of a physical vacation. However, using your imagination in this way requires practice. Here's how:
1. Set aside time for two, five-minute breaks per day.
2. Find a quiet place, sit with arms and legs uncrossed and close your eyes.
3. Take slow, deep breaths — in through your nose, out through your mouth.
4. Think about what you are grateful for (e.g. a loved one, sunny day, great career, healthy body, this peaceful time you're taking to relax).
5. Focus on your breath; feel it enter and exit your body.
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6. Focus on your heartbeat; feel it first in your chest and then in your fingertips. Keep reading ...
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