Taking Time for You: 5 Remarkable Benefits of Practicing Self-Care
Self-care is more than a trendy buzzword, it is a practice that could transform your life.
By Sogo Adeleke
If you’re like the rest of the world right now, chances are you need some serious self-care. It’s clear that the state of many Americans’ well-being is currently being challenged. While we can’t change the current state of the world, we can do some introspection and take care of ourselves.
By now you’ve probably heard people talk non-stop about self-care. But what about the benefits? How can self-care transform your well-being? Is it really what it’s cracked up to be?
Today we delve deep into the benefits of self-care.
What Are the Benefits of Self-Care?
Many think that self-care only yields short-term benefits, but science proves otherwise. Check some of the long-lasting rewards of self-care:
1. Reduces Your Risk of Heart Attack
Practicing a little self-care every day can make an impact on your overall health. How? It triggers a relaxation response, which helps fight chronic stress. By now you already know the negative effects of stress, especially for Black men.
Studies show that 65 percent of Black men over age 40 are at higher risk of heart attack and stroke. What’s one of the contributing factors to this? Stress.
While self-care practices aren’t a cure for health conditions it can help reduce stress and the risk of heart attack or stroke.
2. Boosts Your Immune System
Self-care isn’t only about taking a day off or getting a haircut. It also includes feeding your body nutritious and healthy food.
Some immune-boosting foods contain essential nutrients like vitamin C, beta-carotene, and vitamin E. These foods are also high in antioxidants which help fight illnesses and keep your immune system strong.
3. Promotes Motivation and Productivity
Self-care helps boost your self-esteem and confidence, which releases a feel-good hormone called dopamine — also known as the “motivation molecule”. This chemical in your brain is associated with learning, memory, focus, and attention.
4. Builds Healthy Relationships
The more you take care of yourself, the more you take care of those around you. Self-care helps you foster a better relationship with yourself which helps improve the relationship with your friends and family.
5. Improves Mental Health
When you practice self-care and engage in relaxing activities, you give yourself a mental break. You’re also activating something called the parasympathetic nervous system.
What this does is signal your body to go into ‘rest and restore’ mode. This system plays a role in calming anxiety, easing emotional conflict, and improving mental clarity.
To see a change in your mental health, it’s best to have a regular self-care routine.
Self-Care is a Lifestyle
Self-care is more than a trendy buzzword, it is a practice that could transform your life. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complicated, it starts with making your physical and mental health a priority. Now that you know the benefits of self-care, we challenge you to implement it in your daily life.
For more tips on how you can practice self-care, visit our lifestyle section.
This story was previously published on The Good Men Project.