HANG IN A HAMMOCK FOR BETTER MENTAL HEALTH

HOW THE GENTLE SWAY OF A HAMMOCK SUPPORTS MENTAL HEALTH AND HELPS REDUCE STRESS

Letting go of the stresses of the day can be challenging. Working a 9 to 5 job, commuting and trying to handle tasks and responsibilities at home adds up, there’s no question. That’s why it’s so important to develop good mental health habits, let go of stress when you get home. It’s easier said than done, though.

Thankfully, even if you’re having some trouble developing good habits, there are a few ways to get your body to unwind and relax. One of the best ways to do just that is to just hang out in a hammock.

The gentle swing and sway of a hammock is widely regarded as one of the best ways to unwind, relax and let the stresses of the day disappear. It all starts with your vestibular system.

Sleeping in a hammock
Relax in a Mayan Hammock

WHAT IS THE VESTIBULAR SYSTEM?

So, what exactly is the vestibular system? Simply, the vestibular system is your sense of balance. It’s how we determine spatial orientation and balance and it helps us to coordinate our movements. The vestibular system is comprised of semicircular canals and otoliths in your inner ear which work in conjunction with our vision and hearing systems to help our mind distinguish from up from down.

The vestibular system is what gives us our adrenaline rushes when we ride a roller coaster. This hints at its role in our mental health too. These movements can have a stimulating and soothing effect on our bodies and minds. When we swing on a hammock, it engages our vestibular system, which is believed to help slow bursts of activity in the brain, helping us to relax.

Studies have shown that rocking or swaying gently in a hammock can also help us to fall asleep faster, encouraging a deeper state of sleep when compared with a standard bed. This rocking motion can help to increase the duration of stage N2 sleep, during which we experience lots of rapid eye movement (REM).

Think about this….how do you get a baby to fall asleep or calm down? You rock them gently. Think of a hammock as a grown-up version of the same situation. They soothe and relax our minds with a comforting motion.

HANGING OUT AND SWAYING IN A HAMMOCK CAN HELP YOUR MOOD

Hammocks have been used for insomnia, and for centuries, people in South and Central America have used them as their primary bed night after night. Beyond improving blood circulation and blood pressure, not to mention potential benefits for things as diverse as congestion and toxin buildup, hammocks also offer a clear, obvious benefit for mental health.

According to an article in Psychology Today, research shows that getting naps and good sleep in a hammock can be beneficial. A swaying bed can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply. Perhaps, this is why many people who have had the experience of taking a nap in a hammock swear to a refreshing rest upon awakening. This research shows that there’s scientific support to the long-established belief that rocking soothes our sleep.

HAMMOCKS AS THERAPY FOR AUTISM IN CHILDREN

The vestibular system plays a significant role for a person with autism. This system balances us as we move and orientates us within our surroundings. Think about a time when you’ve woken up in an unfamiliar place (first morning on your vacation for example) – your vestibular system will use sensory perceptions to try and coordinate itself. This can often be stressful, especially for those who may have some form of vestibular dysfunction.

Hammocks are a special tool that help to soothe children and improves their balance. The natural swinging motion of a hammock is beneficial for those who have issues with their sensory system as it works to restore the vestibular system. Furthermore, the cocooning of the hammock around their body gives an added sense of security and comfort.

Hammock chairs – specifically Brazilian and Mayan hammock chairs – are ideal therapy tools for children with autism as the swinging motion is more prevalent than in a standard hammock.

Hammocks have also been used to treat symptoms in children who have ADD/ADHD and even Asperger’s.

TOP 5 MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF A HAMMOCK

It’s easy to prioritise other things over your mental health. People often put off protecting and promoting good mental health habits. If you’re struggling to make time for a bit of much-needed self care, though, the answer might not be too far off.

Here are 5 of the top benefits to your mental health hammocks have to offer.

1 – BETTER SLEEP

As we mentioned above, gently rocking or swaying in a hammock is highly conducive to a good night’s sleep. It’s a time-tested technique, with a hammock offering the logical next step. A well-designed hammock adjusts and moulds to your body perfectly while providing support, so you can relax and heal. After spending relaxed time in a hammock, you awake energised, refreshed, and ready to tackle the day.

2 – IMPROVES BLOOD CIRCULATION

Your upper body stays slightly elevated when you’re in a hammock. This allows for better blood circulation to your head, which can help clear frustrating congestion, improve blood pressure, and reduce toxin build-up in your body. You might even notice clearer skin!

3 – BETTER MENTAL FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION

This ties in closely with getting a better night’s sleep. When you’re well-rested, your brain has time to properly recharge and refocus itself. A good night’s sleep can do wonders for your productivity the next morning. But beyond that, the vestibular system’s processes help your mind focus itself, removing distractions.

4 – REDUCED PHYSICAL STRESS = IMPROVED MENTAL STATE

The aches and pains of the day can be quite literal. Have you ever had a particularly stressful day, culminate in getting sick, or having to deal with a suddenly stiff set back? Your mental state directly affects your physical state! Headaches, upset stomachs, and even muscles can be caused by too much stress. Get rid of it with a hammock, metaphorically and literally! Hammocks have no pressure points, letting you truly relax and let go of aches and pains.

5 – REDUCE STRESS

All this adds up to reduced stress. Hammocks aren’t a magical band-aid fix for your mental health woes, but they are a wonderful escape and a great way to detach and focus on the here and now, instead of everything weighing you down. Consider curling up in a hammock with a good book, or put Spotify on to gently relax to. Grab a coffee, tea, beer, or glass of wine, and give yourself a break—you deserve it.

OTHER WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

Better mental health makes it easier to cope with the stresses of the day. While we all have our own strategies to stay healthy, such as exercising and maintaining a good diet, maintaining good mental health is often neglected until things get way off balance.

Thankfully, there are several, smaller things you can focus daily to help maintain your mental well-being, including:

  • Value yourself and your time. Make time for the things you enjoy and the things that matter to you.
  • Look after yourself physically. Take care of yourself by following a healthy diet and work on getting regular physical activity.
  • Set up a good sleep schedule. Get enough sleep so the brain can repair and replenish brain cells.
  • Check in with friends. Surround yourself with a strong support network and stay in touch, whether to vent or to simply catch up. Good friends go a long way.
  • Develop your mental resiliency. How you respond to stress is just as important as your methods for mitigating it. If you find yourself getting anxious, focus on why, and develop strategies to help nip it in the bud.
  • Be goal-oriented, within reason. Set realistic goals and work to accomplish them.
  • Shake things up. Don’t be afraid to break out of your mould by trying new things.
  • Enjoy yourself—in moderation. Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum, and avoid drugs.
  • Don’t be embarrassed to reach out for help.
Hammock Outdoor Cotton Caribe
Relax and sway

HAMMOCK SHOP IS DEVOTED TO IMPROVING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

Even those who consider themselves to be successful know that self-care is essential to mental health and they know that it’s not a one-time fix. Self-care is an ongoing, never-ending process. It’s imperative to remember that only you can take preventive measures to ensure you maintain good mental health. Having your own personal hammock to relax in and escape everyday demands can provide a much-needed break anytime of day.

Not sure where to start? Our Mayan hammocks are our customers’ favourites. With comfortable threads woven by artisans in the traditional way, we guarantee a restful place for you to renew and refresh. It is available in both a single or double option, and both are sure to provide you with a place to relax and replenish.

Next time you’re feeling stressed, set aside an hour in your hammock. Trust us—you’ll appreciate it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *