Overexposure to stress, overstimulated senses and too much of digital information burden our mind and does not leave us enough time for (good and quality) rest.
Today, stress is the cause of 75% of diseases. Constantly activated sympathetic side of the autonomic nervous system, which is triggered by the constant production of stress hormones – adrenaline and cortisol, forces our body to work excessively and to be constantly tensed. Over the time this can lead to hypertension, headaches and insomnia, hypothalamic damage and memory loss, endocrine and circulatory disorders, depression, chronic fatigue, anxiety, muscle pain, digestion disorders, weight gaining and other problems.
It usually happens that we take a rest, but still we are not rested.
It is important to take a rest seriously, because today we are constantly losing that precious balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, that is, between work and rest. We often come back from vacation even more tired than before. And we have already mentioned where all that leads to.
Learn to slow down!
Spending time in nature help us to slow down to the life’s pace that is more natural to us. As experts say that people in the 21st century spend up to 87% of their lives inside, various studies confirm that contact with natural outdoor environment has significant benefits for our health. When you’re in nature, whether on a vacation or a weekend getaway, learn to observe nature around you, use all your senses to soak up the energy around you and be sure to unplug from technology. Digital detox should decrease all that intense information that bombards our mind and senses on a daily basis. Just like deep breathing, slowing down will be calming on our over-irritated nervous system.
Why is it important to have a quality rest?
The body and mind need a quality rest and by activating the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system, the body can have the opportunity to regenerate, revitalize and get rid of toxins. Blood flow is redirected through the digestive system and other non-muscular organs so only then relaxation can start. And when we are relaxed, our breathing is deep and calm (reverse direction works as well) which means that we can receive a larger amount of oxygen that is important for all body functions.
Experts say that walking in nature in a fresh air and in daylight (which stimulate hormone of happiness), and deep breathing with total lung’s capacity improve the parasympathetic nervous system by 56%. According to a study by the European Society of Cardiology, a daily walk for at least 25 minutes could add at least three years to your lives. Surely when we learn to slow down and start to relax, our immunity will increase and cognitive functions will improve, while the cortisol level, the sympathetic nervous system activity, blood pressure and heart rate will decrease.
Japanese method of rest
The Japanese philosophy of relaxation Shinrin Yoku, which means forest bathing, teaches about charging with the help of forest energy and nature environment. Apart from the fact that walking in woods improves immunity, it gives many benefits especially because of phytotonids that we inhale. They are antimicrobial plant compounds released by trees to protect themselves from bacteria, fungi and insects. The Camping Plitvice and the vicinity of the National Park “Plitvice Lakes” have such a natural environment and will provide you with relaxation, energization and forest bathing to you.
Therefore, take your vacation very seriously, try to relax not so seriously and come back from a vacation rested indeed.