Growing number of people doing post-40s relaxation exercises to combat stress
Covid-19 is undoubtedly a constant roller coaster for our mental health and at this point when this situation is about to turn a year old, emotional exhaustion is more than evident. The constant concern for our health and that of our loved ones, added to the imminent arrival of Christmas always with many strangers, subjects us to this feeling of stress which makes us constantly overwhelmed, overwhelmed and with a very real feeling of to be tired. physically and mentally.
This causes us to experience headaches, sleep problems, anxiety, and irritability, among other negative health effects of stress. In fact, nine in ten Spaniards say they have suffered from stress in the past 12 months and 90.50% say that stress has a lot or something on their health, according to data from the III Aegon Health and Lifestyle Study.
However, an increase in the number of people taking steps to avoid stress was reported, which rose from 41.3% in 2019, where the main measure was using drugs or antidepressants (30.90% in 2019 vs 26.80% in 2020), to 46% of respondents in 2020, for whom sport is the main protagonist. So much so that more than half of the people questioned declared that they did physical exercise or sport to escape stress, among which it should be noted the increase in the number of people practicing relaxation and mindfulness exercises, which goes from 22% in 2019 to almost 39% in 2020.
But what is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a 2,500-year-old Buddhist meditation tradition that helps us better manage our emotions and gives us tools to disconnect from what causes us tension. “Performing relaxation exercises helps us improve our ability to control our minds and manage our emotions,” says Alvar Ocano, medical director of Aegon.
This practice not only relieves the effects of stress, but it also has many benefits for mental and physical health:
Improves the ability to concentrate: These days we are subjected to constant overstimulation, with the complexity that comes with focusing on one thing. This practice teaches us to keep distractions at bay, providing a higher level of awareness of what we are doing at that precise moment Combating Insomnia: This practice brings the body to a state of total relaxation, removing worry and decreasing l cortical activation, which promotes a favorable state to promote sleep and its quality Helps improve emotional intelligence: self-knowledge of emotions, one’s own and those of others, allows better management of interpersonal relationships Reinforces creativity: oneself focus on when the person feels more free and creative thanks to the state of calm achieved by the mind, in which new ideas have more space, displacing negative emotions such as worries
24% of respondents say that taking care of their mental health by doing relaxation and mindfulness exercises is the main reason for leading a healthy lifestyle and 19% indicate that this practice allows them to enjoy good health.
Technology can be a good ally
22% of Spaniards say they have used some type of device or application to treat or monitor their health, with use being higher among men (24%) than among women (20.4%).
Although the main use of these devices is related to physical activity and sport, mainly to control steps (65.1%), play sports (46.5%) and monitor vital signs (34.8 %), 14% of respondents say they use them to perform mindfulness and relaxation exercises, especially more men than women (15.2% vs. 14.3%).
It is important to note that long periods of stress can seriously complicate health, causing high blood pressure, heart problems, coronary heart disease, mood disorders, anxiety, etc. Having said that, it is vital to be vigilant to recognize these situations and remedy this problem in time, without slowing down the recovery process. At Aegon, they recommend taking care of our emotional well-being by performing relaxation exercises such as mindfulness, which helps us improve our ability to mentally control and manage our emotions.