In the interests of full disclosure, I must admit that I am not a qualified medical professional. I have, however, made an important medical discovery that I am willing to share to further the interests of humankind.
In a nutshell: there are no health benefits to be had from stress-free relaxation and a general mindfulness approach to life. I have discovered this after a recent week where I was looking forward to no urgent deadlines, an empty house for a few days and a voucher for a spa treatment.
Oh, the anticipation. I was so looking forward to the post-detox me and had plans for long walks in the fresh air, time to read books and some quiet contemplation which would make me appear interesting and brainy.
Here’s what happened.
Day 1: woke with sore throat and thumping headache. Too sore to read, so lay in the dark, willing throat to stop hurting.
Day 2: disturbing gunk on pillow which seemed to be coming from ear. Naturally assumed my brain was leaking so went to doctor. Was given antibiotic spray and cream for ear infection.
Day 3: decided not to avail myself of lovely, relaxing facial treatment at swanky spa, as awoke with the sort of humongous cold sore that I have not suffered since teenage years. Stayed in the house with lights off so as not to frighten the general public.
Day 4: sprayed ear, put stuff on giant lip, sucked throat sweets and attempted to read book through weepy eyes. Waited for some manner of suppurating boil to appear on the end of my nose.
Day 5: flurry of emails and messages. Urgent deadline for mammoth piece of work. Unexpected visit from family members requiring special diets and much alcohol. Disturbing leak from shower. Realised had double-booked two evening events, both of which had accepted. Felt much better, head back to normal.
I realise this is a very small study but I think we can take from this the prognosis that stuff about “me time” and mindfulness is not good for us.
Embrace the stress if you want to stay healthy.