No really… I know the title sounds silly but I mean it. How to REALLY relax. It doesn’t have to look like an exclusive trip to a beach (although that IS lovely). It doesn’t mean a professional masseuse (another lovely thing). For most of us, taking oodles of time to relax isn’t practical or achievable, so what to do? And is it really that important???
Relaxation is a must for me, the girls have both left school, Morggan drives, Kamarane starts driving lessons in November so my part time cabbie job is done, on one hand I’m loving a little freedom as they enjoy their independence, on the other hand I’m not sure what to do with myself.
I could use that freed up time to dash around like a mad woman and start doing all manner of things that don’t need doing, I could use that freed up head space to start worrying about how Kammie’s gonna cope when she starts driving but I thought you know what, “Create some days of relaxation and think about how to use and enjoy that free time.” (Yes sometimes I have to tell myself these things) Take time out… Unwind… Relax… we all need relaxation!
Benefits of Relaxation
Helps eliminate unnecessary energy drain.
Maintains stored resiliency.
Impatience, irritability, anger decrease.
Improves physical and mental health.
Greater access to intuition.
Memory, focus, other brain functions improve.
More energy in daytime, restful sleep at night.
The sad fact about stress is that most people who can’t relax have their priorities all twisted around.
Many times we may think that perfection is the most important thing in life or that responsibility is the most important thing in life. What they fail to recognize is the very reason for which they seek out perfection or responsibility. And the reason is this… they think they will feel better when they produce something which is perfect or when they are responsible than they would in the absence of perfection or responsibility.
It is therefore important for those suffering from the inability to relax to realize that the sole reason for doing those things they “have to do” comes from the motivation of feeling better… in other words… happiness. This means that all people most especially those who just can’t relax would do very well to cut to the chase and make the priority of their lives (their true motivation) how they feel.
It is important for the highest priority in a person’s life to be none other than… happiness. The things which each specific person finds enjoyable and relaxing varies but some ideas for healthy ways to relax and recharge include:
• Call a good friend
• Spend time outside
• Take a bath
• Sweat out tension with a good workout
• Write in a journal
• Savor a warm cup of tea
• Make yourself one of your comfort foods
• Spend time with a pet (pets have been shown to dramatically reduce stress)
• Get a massage.
• Play a game
• Read a book
• Drive to a place with an amazing view
• Listen to music
• Watch a comedy movie
• Connect with others. Spending time with positive people who enhance your life.
We currently live in a society that does not understand the value and role of emotions. We live in a society which also tends to promote repression instead of expression. But unexpressed emotions affect your life. Start to label your emotions.
This will help you to identify them when they come up. Emotions are transient. They will dissipate as they are expressed. The only type of emotion that lingers is repressed emotion. If something or someone is bothering you, voice your concerns in an open and respectful way. If you don’t voice your feelings, not only will resentment will build but the situation will likely remain the same. You may want to use physical expression as a route to releasing emotions.
Make sure you chose a physical activity that will not harm another person or yourself. Some good ways to express anger and stress include punching pillows, screaming into pillows, taking out a pen and paper and writing what you feel, painting or drawing what you feel, hitting the ground with a stick, popping balloons, taking a kickboxing class, going for a run or trying to get yourself to cry. It will feel good to get the tears flowing. It will surprise you how much better this will make you feel. The emotions will no longer be like a wall preventing you from moving forward if you express them in a healthy way.