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Baths for Stress Relief
wellness / mental health
Baths for Stress Relief
by BetterSleep
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Imagine this. You come home from a long day at work or school, and the only thing on your mind is a soothing hot bath.

All you can think about is that relaxing, blissful feeling you experience when you finally get in, kick your feet up, pour in some relaxing bath salts, and the worries of your day disappear.

For thousands of years, people have used baths for stress relief. In fact,ancient civilizations such as Rome used baths to unwind and relax.

But how do baths relieve stress? Is there any science that backs up these claims? And, what are the best types of baths you can have that bring you into that state of deep relaxation?

In today's article, we'll break all of this down and share some of the best types of baths you can use to find your bliss. Keep reading to learn more!

How do Baths Relieve Stress?

Other than the actual experiences people have, is there any scientific evidence that proves the calming effects of baths?

They're said to improve mental and emotional health. And there'sevidence that a 30-minute warm bath could help with depression. It's also shown to decrease stress hormones and balance serotonin levels—serotonin is a brain chemical that helps to regulate your mood.

It's also said that similar to how the sun's warmth helps release endorphins, your skin does the same in response to the warm water against your skin.Endorphins can help improve mood, reduce stress, and relieve pain.

Awarm bath may relieve the pain and discomfort of stiff muscles, strains, sprains, and even osteoarthritis.

Different Types of Baths for Stress Relief

Baths in and of themselves help relieve stress, but there are ways you can make them even more powerful.

Certain ingredients you can use may help reduce stress further and, overall, create a more calming atmosphere and rejuvenating experience.

From Epsom salt for anxiety to using a bath salt recipe with dead sea salt, there are endless amounts of combinations and recipes to help you relax and unwind.

Some of these ingredients include:

Epsom Salt

This is a naturally occurring mineral salt. Someexperts believe Epsom salts can help with stress, depression, and anxiety. They may even help to soothe tired muscles and relieve pain in certain body areas.

Essential Oils

There's a large variety of differentessential oils to choose from. All with their unique strengths. Certain oils like eucalyptus may help clear your sinuses, and others like lavender may help promote relaxation.

Dead Sea Salts

This type of salt comes from the evaporation of seawater; it'ssaid to help people to relax, ease sore muscles, and even provide relief for certain skin conditions.

Whether you want an Epsom salt bath for anxiety or try out some bath salt recipes with essential oils, you're bound to find a solution that best suits your needs.

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How do you take a Meditative Bath?

We talked about the more common forms of stress-relieving baths like Epsom salts and dead sea salts. But what if you could relax with a meditation bath? You might be wondering what bathtub meditation is and whether it's safe.

The thing about meditation and its different methods is that it can be done anywhere, even in your bathtub.

And what better way to relax and unwind? A bath meditation combines the many benefits of a warm water bath with the additional benefits of meditation. Meditation can help you focus on the present moment, reduce negative emotions, and help build skills to manage stress.

So how do you do it in the bathtub? Just like meditating outside the bathtub, you must focus on breathing and breathing deeply.

Firstly, when you first enter the bathtub, allow yourself to relax. Feel the sensations that the warmth of the bath brings. You can begin your bath meditation when you are finally settled in the bathtub.

Make sure to sit upright and start taking long, deep breaths in the nose and out the mouth. You can follow a natural pattern or do a meditation/breathing exercise such as the 4-7-8 exercise.

If you choose the 4-7-8 exercise, make sure to empty your lungs of air, then breathe in for 4 seconds through your nose. Hold your breath for a count of 7. Then exhale for a count of 8. You can do this for as long as you'd like.

Use your breath as an anchor point. When your mind begins to wander, simply bring your awareness back to your breath and the present moment.

If you're going to do a bathtub meditation, make sure to do it safely.

Sit in an upright position, and make sure you're fully aware of your surroundings.

How do you Bathe Mindfully?

Mindfulness and meditation are often commonly associated. However, they are different. Meditation focuses on becoming aware of "nothing," while mindfulness is the awareness of "something."

To take a mindful bath, you have to set the right environment for your senses by using your:

  • Sight
  • Smell
  • Sound
  • Touch
  • Taste

You can create a mindful environment through each of the following steps:

Step One: Prepare the bathroom for a relaxing evening. You can dim the bathroom lighting, burn some scented candles, or slightly crack a window open for a little natural glow. From there, you can put some essential oils or other salts in the tub. Then, put on some of your favorite relaxing music or your go-to guided meditation, make a tea for yourself, and get a warm cozy towel ready when you're done. The goal is to touch your senses: sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste.

Step Two: Once your environment is prepared, you can enjoy it! As you get into the bathtub, pay attention to each of your senses. What do you smell? What do you see? What do you hear, feel, and taste? Doing this will allow you to become completely present at the moment, which creates a much more relaxing experience.

Step Three: When you're finally done with your bath, you can drain the tub, catch a few more deep relaxing breaths and tidy up to clear your mind and stress.

From combining bathtub ingredients to enjoying a warm cup of tea, there are limitless ways you can combine some of the most relaxing activities to create a bath that relieves stress, clears your mind, and puts you into a state of leisure.

Do Baths Help Mental Health?

Baths may be an incredible way to help mental health. Because of their stress-relieving effects, they could reduce the risk of certain mental health conditions. Long-term stress is associated with an increased risk of anxiety, depression, and substance use problems.

And according to Cleveland Clinic, warm baths improve emotional and mental health.

They are a great way to escape everyday life's hustle and bustle. This gives you time to relax, unwind, and find time for yourself.

In general, relaxing is essential for your well-being. It keeps your heart healthier, reduces stress and muscle tension, and improves brain function. And that's just touching the surface.

Can you Practice Mindfulness in the Shower?

Although baths are a great way to relieve stress, you might be more attracted to the idea of finding relaxation in your showers.

So, you might wonder if you can even practice mindfulness in the shower. The shower is a great place to become aware of your surroundings and environment using your senses. It's one of the most perfect opportunities for it.

You're alone and in a warm, quiet, relaxing environment. Use your senses and feel the warmth, smell the scents, and see the water trickle down from the faucet.

Use this alone time and silence to focus on your breath and take your time to enjoy the present moment thoroughly.

This can be a great daily exercise if you're just getting into mindfulness, but it's also something you can practice even if you're experienced and already have years under your belt.

Conclusion

Overall, having a relaxing bath can be a great way to end your day and create an unwinding routine before bed. You may benefit from practicing specific mindful and relaxation techniques such as bathtub meditation or breathing exercises.

You can cozy up your environment with candles, scents, and music to help put you into an even more coolheaded state. This allows you to get in touch with your senses and creates a more mindful experience.

If you're not a fan of baths, you could even try practicing mindfulness in your shower daily.

Whether you decide to take a few deep breaths, put on some music, or just solely focus on being present during the entirety of your shower, it's a great place to do it!

You might be new to the whole idea of mindfulness, meditation, and being present. And it can feel confusing when you're first learning and starting, not to mention a tad overwhelming.

But, there are ways to make it easier on yourself. You can find relaxation, peace, and mindfulness without overwhelming yourself.

Here at BetterSleep we can teach you how to relax and unwind with guided meditations and breathing techniques. Whether you're completely new, fell off an old habit, or you're just looking to learn more and grow. You can create a relaxing sleep routine withBetterSleep today!

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