Be 100% happy!

March 8, 2010, is International Women’s Day celebrating women of all creeds and colours all over the world. This year the theme is ‘equal rights, equal opportunities: progress for all’. We have come a long way since International Women’s Day started in the early 1900s. Today women do more and achieve more than ever before. They are wives, mothers, business owners, politicians, daughters, friends, pioneers, teaches, bosses, doctors and carers.

But while progress and achievement are great, there needs to be time for reflection, too. What do we mean by reflection? We mean time to relax, chill-out, take five, down tools. We mean setting aside half an hour a day to pamper yourself. We mean finding balance.

“Women have somehow managed to become so geared to compromise,” says Marina J, integrative coach and founder of Marina J Yogawear, “They often allow themselves to simply function rather than live. They rarely take the time to indulge themselves and pleasure is seen as a luxury.”

Marina explains that researchers have found that levels of nitric oxide (a gas) in the body are linked to the amount of pleasure we get each day. Pleasure can be derived from so many things such as watching your favourite film, volunteering at your child’s school, going for a walk on the beach, doing yoga, reading a book from beginning to end, having a champagne fuelled lunch with the girls and laughing until your face hurts, indulging in a hot bubble bath and having wild and exhilarating sex! Even the thought of pleasure gives you pleasure!

But back to the nitric oxide. Research has shown that the more pleasure in your day, the higher your levels of nitric oxide and in turn the higher your level of immunity to disease," says Marina. "This means by doing the things you love, you’ll feel healthier, less stressed, more energetic and generally happier which can only be a good thing for you and those around you!"

So this week why not celebrate International Women’s Day by taking some time out for yourself? We work so hard every day to make everyone else in our life happy that sometimes we just need to take a moment to say, "I'm fabulous and today I will bask in the things that give me pleasure!"
Matthew Atanian/Retna

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