The Power of Positivity

At Serenity Zen, we believe in not only offering quality services to our customers, but also offering a maximally relaxing experience and escape from everyday stressors. While massage therapy is extremely effective at relieving physical tension, much of our stress could be managed and even prevented simply by our thoughts and mentality.

Negative thinking. We all have negative thoughts from time to time, but how we move forward from them really has a significant effect on our health. Every negative thought is an opportunity to reframe things in a more positive way, and when not controlled, having negative thoughts can take you down a rabbit hole of unhealthy ways of thinking.

Negative thoughts can cause chronic states of depression and anxiety, decreased heart health and immunity, and even shorten your lifespan. The most common form of negative thinking is overthinking, which can feel like a coping method that allows us to control a situation. The fact is, however, most of life’s stressors are not controllable and having them constantly on our mind does more harm than good to us.

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Positive thinking has been proven to improve the way you cope with stressors, increase your immunity, limit your risk of heart disease and increase your lifespan. Positive thinking can also be a huge motivator, opening more opportunities to you and increasing your chances of success and happiness. Rather than falling apart during a crisis or high stress situation, positive thinking can provide resilience and make you more proactive in finding a solution and moving forward.

Here are some common negative thoughts and their positive alternatives:

I’ve never done it before → This is an opportunity to learn something new.

It’s too hard/it will never work → I can keep trying my best because it is not impossible.

I’m not cut out for this → I’m learning from my mistakes and can also see what I’m doing right.

Bad things keep happening to me → I will come out of this stronger and more prepared.

Today is going to be a bad day → There is so much potential for the day.

Having a consistent, positive mentality takes practice. In the beginning, it can be as simple as starting the day by saying, “today is going to be a good day.” Most importantly, by practicing overcoming negative thinking by switching them to positive thoughts, you’ll become better equipped for managing your stress and preventing unnecessary tension.

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Why and How to Establish a Sleep Schedule

Health is multidimensional, so it's important to have multiple healthy habits rather than just one. For example, you may exercise regularly, but not getting enough quality sleep can negatively affect your exercise performance and overall health (and vice versa). Too often do we sacrifice our sleep to make time for other things, not realizing that in doing so, we are sacrificing much more.

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Sleep deficiency is something we’ve all experienced, whether you’re going back to school, are working extended hours, or just consider yourself a night owl. Not only is creating a sleep schedule for yourself a great health habit, but it also promotes self discipline. Adults are recommended to get anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep, and while that may seem like wasted time to those with busy schedules, it is vital for our overall well-being as sleep deficiency is linked to:

  • Weight gain
  • Increased Appetite
  • Poor focus and concentration
  • Chronic diseases (e.g. heart disease and type II diabetes)
  • Stroke
  • Depression
  • Weakened immune system

Creating a consistent sleep schedule can be difficult, let alone getting enough sleep. However, it only takes 21 consecutive days for a behavior to become a habit. Our bodies crave consistency, and by committing to a sleep schedule, you’ll notice the many ways in which your body will thank you.

To create a sleep schedule and improve your sleep quality, you must:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday (even on the weekends)
  • Skip the snooze button
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and eating large meals before bed
  • Write down wandering thoughts so that they don’t distract you from falling asleep
  • Go to bed as soon as you’re feeling tired and get out of bed if you're not tired
  • Keep your room quiet, cool and dark
  • Exercise and expose yourself to natural light as much as possible during the day
  • Avoid artificial light in the evening (especially from computers, t.v., or your phone) so your body doesn’t think it’s time to be awake
  • Practice relaxation techniques before bed such as reading, taking a warm bath, or getting a massage
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Practicing relaxation techniques before bed is a great way to prepare your body for sleep. Massages, whether received during the day or at night, are especially helpful with improving sleep quality because they trigger the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps calm the body and relieve pain. Massages have also been proven to increase deep sleep by decreasing depression and anxiety, in both adults and children. We recommend making massages a part of your routine, at least once a month, to maintain tension and anxiety, and ensure good quality sleep at night.

The Importance of Staying Hydrated

Every cell, organ, and tissue in our body needs water to function properly. With our bodies being made up of 60% water, it is important that we meet our daily recommendations and avoid dehydration.

Studies show that on average, women should drink 91 ounces of water a day, and men should be drinking 125 ounces of water a day. While that may seem like a lot of water, it’s important to realize that multiple processes rely heavily on our water intake.

Water assists in:

  • Transporting nutrients to our muscles and cells
  • Getting rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements
  • Regulating your temperature
  • Cushioning your joints
  • Managing weight
  • Improving skin quality
  • Preventing headaches and improving brain function

Staying hydrated is also important in maintaining your energy levels, as dehydration can lead to fatigue, mood swings, and a loss of motivation. It’s important to make it a habit to drink water throughout the day, since we lose water as we breath, sweat, and urinate. Often times, many of us may think we’re drinking enough water, but statistics show that the average amount of water that people drink is just barely above 30 ounces a day.

If you think you may not be drinking enough water, here are some tips to increase your water consumption:

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  • Carry a water bottle with you at times, especially when running errands or at work. This is not only convenient, but it also helps set a constant reminder for you to drink water throughout the day. Labeled water bottles are a great way to keep track of your water intake.

  • Drink water before and after meals. Thirst is often times confused with hunger. Not only is this a great way to hydrate, but it also prevents overeating and reduces your calorie intake.

  • Infuse plain water with your favorite fruits. Aside from the added benefits, fruits such as lemon or strawberries can improve the flavor of your water. Not only will you be drinking more water, but it can also help reduce cravings.

With water being a vital component of many of our body’s processes, it is important to hydrate regularly and meet the daily recommendations. At Serenity, we do our part by offering water/hot tea after every service. This is to ensure that your muscles are well nourished and your body is able to thoroughly flush out the toxins that are being released during your service.

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Knots and How To Manage Them

We all have experienced the discomfort of having knots throughout our body, but what are they actually and how do we get rid of them?

Our bodies are comprised of hundreds of muscles, overlapping one another, and are prone to becoming hard and painful due to:

  • A sedentary lifestyle

  • Injury or overuse

  • Poor posture

Our muscles are constantly contracting whether we’re moving and even just sitting! Knots form when the muscles contract, tighten, and do not release on their own. This is what causes discomfort, sensitivity, and even pain.

Body massages increase circulation and improve blood flow, which makes massage therapy extremely effective at releasing tense muscles and relieving the pain. During your body massage, the therapist will manipulate and apply pressure to the muscles, encouraging them to release. Massages also cause our soothing hormones, known as endorphins, to release and reduce anxiety and stress.  

Although foot reflexology does not directly manipulate tight muscles, massaging the dozens of pressure points on the feet can result in a state of total body relaxation. This can help relax the muscles and bring ease to the discomfort, while also reducing stress.

Releasing stubborn knots can take multiple massage sessions. There are, however, a couple things you can do at home to treat your muscle tightness and prevent more from developing!

  • Stretch routinely. Stretching the locked muscle can help release the tension and prevent future knots from developing by increasing your flexibility.

  • Exercise regularly. Exercise improves mobility and increases blood supply to the muscles.

  • Rest as needed. Taking a break from activities that are causing the knots or increasing your pain can prevent them from becoming worse.

Stubborn knots are the inevitable product of our busy lifestyles. Knowing what causes them and how to treat them can improve your ability to perform and prevent unnecessary stress. For more information on how our services can help with your muscle tension, go to: https://serenityzen.com/service-overview/

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