The Meaning & Definition Of Relaxation
The Psychology Dictionary describes relaxation as a “state of being relaxed”. It’s a process by which we experience a “refreshment of mind and body”, a “reduction in intensity of tension or vigor”, and is used to describe a process in which our “musculature return[s] to an inactive state after contraction”. (Nugent, 2013)
In layman terms, it means that relaxation helps rid the mind and body of tension, which can be accumulated over several days, weeks, months, and even years.
Today, stress can be found in all aspects of life, including: professional, personal, financial, environmental, and more. With the constant pace of change, it becomes difficult to adjust to this wave of stressors, which are always changing and transforming.
In fact, in a study done by Henry and Cassel (1969), in which the pair carried out an analysis of 18 epidemiological findings from around the world, it was concluded that “where the population did not show a rise in blood pressures with age, the culture had remained stable; traditional forms were honored and group members were secure in their roles and had adapted to them from an early age.” (Patel, 1977)
As our modern world has gone through drastic changes, in lieu of industrialization, urbanization, migration, as well as other social and cultural shifts, individuals are required to adopt more behavioral changes in a much shorter time. As one philosopher, Hippocrates, rightly observed about 25 centuries ago,
“… those things which one has been accustomed to for a long time, although worse than the things which one is not accustomed to, usually give less disturbance. “(Patel 2, 1977)
This means that, without the ability to relax, individuals will continue to be negatively influenced by this fast-paced world, and find themselves with increasing levels of stress and tension, which are known to lead to a number of illnesses.