Using hydrotherapy to relieve stress and reap mental health benefits is wise, as mental and physiological health is closely connected, and soaking in a hot tub will address both!
Try soaking in your hot tub for 15-30 minutes daily for the following mental health benefits:
1) Relief from physical symptoms
Whether your ailment is post-workout muscle soreness or advanced arthritis, physical pain will undermine your mental energy. While your body is healing within the warmth of your hot tub, your mind will be freed from thoughts of pain. Use this opportunity to practice letting go of other mentally draining thoughts, such as work worries or routine responsibilities, and just focus on indulging in the solitude of your backyard oasis.
2) Balance in hormones
Studies have shown that soaking in hot water results in a combination of increased blood flow and relaxed breathing, which in turn causes an increase in levels of “happy” hormones like serotonin and dopamine, and a decrease in “stress” hormones like cortisol and epinephrine. This balance in hormones can help to treat the emotional and physical symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.
3) Deeper sleep
The heat of hot tub water naturally raises your core body temperature. As you exit, your body temperature will enter a cooling period. This process mimics the pattern of body temperature changes before and during sleep, which ultimately helps you achieve a deeper sleep. And improved sleep is one of the best weapons you can have to combat stress on an ongoing basis.
4) Meditation opportunities
If you’ve ever wished you could master clearing your mind and achieving perfect serenity, your hot tub is the perfect place to practice meditation. You can use aromatherapy candles (in soothing scents of lavender or vanilla), and play calming nature sounds to help distract you from racing thoughts. Practice taking slow deep belly breaths as you focus on the warm water enveloping your body, and the strains of the music, if you choose to use it. Begin with a goal of 4-5 minutes of consistent focus, and slowly work your way up to sessions of 15 minutes. Eventually, you’ll be able to harness the calmness and clarity that you can achieve here and call upon it to better manage your routine daily stressors.