Why can’t we relax?
Relaxing can bring about powerful healing responses in your body and mind. When you are consistently relaxed, injuries happen less frequently because you are able to concentrate and focus on your activities. Illnesses are fought off more efficiently because of your increased immunity. Equally, our vital organs including the brain require this vital downtime to re-energise. Clearly, removing stress can reduce blood pressure and eliminate a host of health problems.
The burning question to many is how to relax when life is just so busy?
Many people are holding onto feelings such as guilt, regrets, anger, resentment or fear--all of which can be emotionally and mentally draining and will eventually create physical stress in the body.
Practice forgiving yourself and others; holding on to stressful memories or negative feelings can really weigh you down and become an 'energetic' burden to carry around with you each day. Letting go of these negative 'energies' will lighten your load and free you from stress.
Fear is often the root cause of many negative emotions. Stop imagining the worst case scenario, find a solution to the problem and take action. Remember that usually, the only thing to fear is fear itself. We can completely immobilize our minds and bodies, if fear is permitted to take hold.
One of my most efficient ways of achieving that ‘good feeling’ that awakens your mental and physical senses is by indulging in aromatherapy. Using water that contains essential oils while having a bath or massage allows the oils to work on your sense of feeling as they can be absorbed through the skin.
A response in the brain is triggered in our chemical makeup as they act as a stimulus through the skin as well as the sense of smell. Some of most popular essential oils are lavender, peppermint oil and oils of anise. A portable way to carry oils can be achieved by mixing some rock salt with any of your favourite oils and then storing this in an airtight vial. This can be inhaled at times when you feel stressed.
Whilst vigorous exercise and physical activity can be very effective way of dealing with stress, is is not always possible to get to a gym or sports centre. Yoga can provide a simple solution, often achieving better results specifically for managing stress.
There is no doubt that yoga used to receive bad press in the past, however much more information is available to understand the benefits of this form of exercise. It is very popular with several celebrities to achieve a toned, athletic-looking body. Names like Jennifer Anniston, Reese Witherspoon, Madonna, and Sting are all said to practise yoga.
Yoga is based on an ancient set of mental and physical varied techniques and movements that include stretching, meditating, and breathing with its philosophy deeply connected with other religions aimed at giving practitioners a sense of healthiness and wellbeing.
The most commonly practiced type of yoga is called Hatha yoga, and this has been around for about 5,000 years. People practice yoga these days because it’s rhythmic movements serves them as a means of escape from the stress and tensions and it also brings people to a level of spirituality that’s socially acceptable without them appearing to be religious.
Stress can be a silent killer to both sexes, but is more prevalent in women. People will often feel that they are managing their stress levels, rather than thinking about eliminating them totally.
Time management is often a key factor in stress management, as better planning will often eliminate the pressured feeling that is a precursor to stressful feelings. Many people will feel overwhelmed by simple tasks that they have to carry out.
One simple way to overcome this, is by planning ahead for the coming day(s), so that the schedules for the forthcoming days feel lighter and lighter. Feeling organised can often make us feel less stressed at times. People experience major stress when they feel responsibilities and tasks have piled up over the course of any period.
Simply put - if something is causing you anxiety, then you need to remove yourself from the situation, person or place. Clearly, that is not always possible but recognise and manage the situation in a way where you are caused the minimal angst, if you cannot remove it completely.
Managing stress can be done by using a very effective tool – music. The power music has over people is incredible. Listening to music can be truly inspirational, as the mind is allowed often much needed downtime. There can be added benefit, by listening to your favourite genre of music whilst you zone out from the very day matters.
This may sound simplistic and too obvious, however we schedule dinner, meetings and doctor's appointments. Yet, we feel it strange to schedule time in the calendar to have time to ourselves, to escape to the park, or to indulge in something that brings a huge smile to our faces. I suggest that we have become conditioned this way, and need to view things differently, where we are kinder to our inner being, affording time for those simple pleasures without guilt.
During these times, we can resolve issues that are troubling us. Often, it is impossible to see a clear solution because our minds are cluttered with too many things. Even after the allotted time has passed, try to spend time doing something nice by way of reward. This will conjure pleasant feelings for the future, so that we associate only positivity with working on and solving our problems.
One of the things that blights us as adults, is that we forget or overlook the simple things that in the past made us feel good, or inspired us. Sometimes, a little treat like purchasing a new book, a spa treatment or a lovely scarf, will offer a euphoric feeling. Imagine receiving a compliment received after a facial, when your mind is lifted, that alone is worth its weight in gold, as it can carry us through a tough time should we later recall the event.
Sometimes it could be that a few lines of poetry that inspires you to handle the situation. Poetry is becoming popular, given people do not have much spare time, and then do not want to read a novel relentlessly.
Contemporary poetry can offer a different perspective on situations, in a way that you can immediately identify with. Poetry is often very inspirational, as it allows you to visualise which we often neglect this powerful form of escapism.
Remember the rule of thumb to be happy is that there are no rules.
Sleep is vital to the proper functioning of our bodies in literally all aspects. Unfortunately, sleep becomes problematic as we age with us being unable to achieve the precious dreamy, deep sleep that we need.
It is often a battle to get enough sleep, and especially quality sleep. Life dictates that we constantly push those limits to try to achieve more, however this may be a false economy as when we are fatigued the quality of our work deteriorates. Indeed, many of us do not truly recognize the sometimes subtle signs that we need to rest. This in itself is a challenge to overcome. Sleep reduces stress levels, as you may have noticed that when anxious you tend to be awake at nights.
Lack of sleep raises the deficiencies in our physical and mental abilities causing us to fail whilst undertaking complex and challenging tasks. This leads to an unpleasant cycle that again causes us to lose sleep. Obviously, the best way to deal with this situation is to get regular daily sleep. Even Linford Christie, the former Olympic gold medallist’s advice was to 'listen to your body when it speaks to you'.
Whilst this may not seem an obvious form of relaxation, helping others less fortunate or experiencing hardship does tend to make us reflect on the positive aspects of our own lives.
Charities often struggle to find expertise to assist them for free, given that people are busy and have multiple commitments. Offering your time to help, will actually offer you much more than you realise. You acquire a hobby where you feel great giving assistance to others, where you create a fresh circle of friends and colleagues quite separate from your day-to-day life.
You can commit to as much, or as little, as you feel comfortable with no guilt as any help is always appreciated. Some charities offer projects abroad, where you could potentially take a sabbatical from your regular job for a period of months. Of course, this may not be possible to everyone, however it offers a different concept for charitable work, if you seek a change of scenery which will provide lots of positivity.
Take a Deep Breath!
The modern ways of relaxing have superseded the traditional ways that humans used to relax. Modern methods of relaxation usually require a lot of time and energy to perform, or for us to be somewhere, or do something.
Do you have a favourite way you relax that doesn’t require medication, recreational drugs or intoxication?
Something naughty but nice and a lot of fun? I’d like to hear from you.
Elle Smith writes contemporary poetry and inspirational quotes, so please use the links below to start your relaxation therapy:
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