It’s pretty well known that hot tubs are a great place for relaxation and stress relief. How could you not be relaxed while you’re being gently massaged by warm, bubbling water? But what about when the weight of our personal problems transform into uncontrollable worry? Can a hot tub help? Are hot tubs good for anxiety? In this article, we’ll explore the reasons for anxiety and how a hot tub can be used to help.
The Definition of Anxiety
Anxiety is characterized by excessive feelings of worry, fear, and uneasiness. It can be accompanied by physical manifestations such as raised blood pressure, increased heart rate, heart palpitations, dizziness, perspiration, and the shakes. Longer-term reactions can include mental and emotional problems, skin conditions, and susceptibility to disease. That said, anxiety is something that affects everyone to various extents, and in small amounts, can actually provide motivation to identify and alter its causes. But if anxiety becomes debilitating or uncontrollable something needs to be done.
Can A Hot Tub Be Used for Anxiety?
Hot tubs can definitely be used to provide temporary relief from anxiety. However, without dealing with the root causes, just like any so-called cure, a hot tub won’t provide a permanent solution. That said, there’s nothing like soaking in warm, massaging water to provide relaxation, relieve tension, and temporarily take your mind off your problems.
Physiological Effects of Soaking in A Hot Tub
The warm water of the hot tub raises your body temperature which allows for a whole range of positive physiological effects. Your body responds to the heat by trying to cool itself off by moving more blood to the surface of your skin. This results in an increased heart rate dilated blood vessels and ultimately a reduction in blood pressure. As one of the symptoms of anxiety and stress is increased blood pressure, the heat of a hot tub can help directly counteract that consequence.
The massaging sensation of water jets helps relieve muscle tension while reducing pain and increasing relaxation. Water’s buoyant properties can also reduce the burden of the weight of the body allowing one to feel lighter and less affected by gravity.
Hot tubs have also been found to help users fall asleep faster while encouraging a longer, more uninterrupted rest. The rise and fall in body temperature associated with getting in and out of a hot tub has been found to be a signal to the brain to prepare for sleep. As anxiety often alters regular sleeping patterns, a hot tub can act as a natural sedative.
Psychological Effects of Soaking in A Hot Tub
Not only do hot tubs have positive physiological effects for those suffering from anxiety, but they can also provide positive psychological effects. Meditation, mindfulness, and introspection are all conducive to mitigating the effects of anxiety and a hot tub provides the perfect venue for these types of contemplation. Not only does it provide a place of calm and solitude, but the warm water also allows for relaxation and relief from physical distractions.
On the flip side of the coin, hot tubs can act as the ultimate setting for social gatherings. Spending time with family and friends can naturally take our minds off the stresses and anxieties of our day to day lives. The emotional support provided by those we love can add meaning to our lives while enhancing our mental wellbeing. So, invite over your loved ones and share some time soaking in the hot tub. Not only will it bring you closer together and deepen your relationships it can help everyone shake off the stresses and anxieties that prevent us from leading the fullest life possible.
To learn more about the wellness benefits of hot tubs, download a hot tub buyer’s guide.