There is no better way to soak up the daily stress than in your bathtub
on Aug 29, 2019
Human cultures have always associated bathing with relaxing; it’s an opportunity to literally take the weight off and to forget about the rest of the world. But did you know that taking regular baths potentially has a whole range of health benefits far beyond stress-relief?
Let’s take a look at why the bathtub is such a good place to relax and at how you can get the most benefits, mentally and physically, out of bath-time.
Why is the bathtub such a relaxing spot?
When you draw yourself a warm bath and slide in, perhaps with some bubbles or a book, you are essentially giving yourself a form of heat therapy. When we apply heat to our body, our blood vessels dilate, improving circulation. Our muscles also relax, helping to relieve soreness. Plus heat just generally makes us feel good psychologically – it’s a comforting sensation.
Bath-time can be relaxing for another reason too, it’s a chance for ‘you time’. If you’re a parent or carer or have an otherwise demanding lifestyle you’ll be painfully aware how hard it is to fit in time to nurture and care for yourself. A twenty minute bath can feel like a legitimate way to escape the demands of a sticky-fingered toddler or the ever-present dinging of new messages.
But are you getting the full relaxing benefits out of your bath-time?
Simple things you can do to achieve bath-tub bliss
Some people swear by meditating in the bathtub, you’re already relaxed so if you’re just getting into meditation, it makes sense to practice at that time. You could try a scripted mediation or simply focus on your breathing and the sensations of your body.
If meditation is not your thing you could focus on cultivating a relaxing atmosphere. This might include any of the following:
- Creating relaxing lighting – if you’ve got 100 watt fluorescent light tubes beaming down on your bathtub you’ll feel like you’re lying in hospital, not your own home. Creating mood lighting can be as simple as plugging a small lamp in and/or lighting a handful of candles. If you’re keen to take it seriously, consider installing gentle pendant lighting or even red lighting! (Studies have found it helps you feel sleepy).
- Using scented oils - either on your skin or added directly to the tub. While scents like lavender are recommended for their soothing properties, we suggest you opt for whatever most tickles your fancy.
- Letting other household members know you’d like an uninterrupted bath time - the last thing you want is to be on tenterhooks your entire bath, waiting for the dreaded knock at the door.
- Removing clutter from around your bathtub - bring a book, glass of wine (or even snacks!) into your bath space. Set out your most lush and decadent towel and lie back and relax.
Want to install a large bathtub? Consider it an investment in your health!
When you bathe in warm water your skin actually releases endorphins, just the way it does when you feel winter sun on your skin. This is one of the reasons why baths can feel so relaxing and good – they give your mental health a boost in the gentlest way possible.
Baths may go way beyond the mental health benefits though. Studies in recent years have linked regular bathing in warm water to reductions in inflammation and better blood sugar readings.
It’s well known too that hot baths can lower our blood pressure – just don’t make the bath too hot or you could end up feeling dizzy! One study even found that lying in a hot tub could burn calories. This is believed to be because hot water makes your heart beat faster, giving you a low-key, zero effort work out. Don’t give up your exercise regime just yet though – exercise offers a whole host of benefits beyond burning calories. But isn’t it nice to know something you enjoy is actually good for you, for a change?