Are You Feeling Anxious or Stressed? Take a Bath!

Sometimes, our lives feel like we never stop. You wake up, have a coffee and breakfast, shower, get to work, eat lunch (if you have time), get home, eat dinner, prepare things for the next day and go to sleep. The same thing again tomorrow and the day after. When the weekend comes, we run our errands and suddenly, it’s Sunday night. Where did the week go? Does it sound familiar? Our lives can be so hectic that we feel anxious and stressed out. I don’t want to talk about different ways how we can change our lives. I want to talk about a few minutes a day that you can use to distress and relax. I want to talk about taking a bath.

It has been proven that taking a bath has many health benefits. Although it’s not for everyone, people who take baths can experience a decrease in bad mood and pessimism. Neil Morris, a psychologist at the University of Wolverhampton in England, notes that taking a bath gives you “a wonderful combination of isolation, quiet and comfort." Additionally, Dr. John Harcup states that being in the water calms you down – “all the water around you - I think that gives us connotations of being in the womb, and it is very comforting.”

It is not just the feeling of comfort and safety that will make you feel good. You need to do your part too. Getting into the bathtub and starting to think about all the things that you still have to do is not going to help. From my personal experience I know how hard it is to clear your mind and stop thinking about everything that is just going on in your life. Not only these thoughts kept me awake at night, they also made me feel anxious. Luckily, every problem has its solution. For me it was a guided meditation app that I downloaded on my phone. I personally use Headspace but there are so many other options out there. Focusing on my breathing, rather than on what groceries I need buy tomorrow helped me with getting my thoughts under control. Meditation is not for everyone. Find your thing! Play your favorite music, read a book, listen to a podcast or … do nothing. If you are able to relax just by laying in the bathtub, that’s great. Everyone is different and everyone has their own tools to reach their calm state.

Find 10 – 15 minutes at least once a week to take a nice warm (not too hot!) bath. It’s an easy and pleasant way to give your mental health something it deserves. Give it a try!