Our lives seem constantly stressed and difficult these days. No matter your profession, financial status, or relationships, it seems as though there is a constant pressure and frustration that accompanies each. True relaxation seems like an illusive dream, but it really isn’t. Relaxation involves some planning on our part, but mostly it is a controlled state of mind. Those who master relaxation techniques can calm and quiet their minds in the midst of any crisis or stressful event.
The Moment is Key
Remember that NOW is just as important as what has been and what will be. Too often we sacrifice the moment we are in by stressing about what has happened or what we think is to come. Learning to focus on the moment, embracing it wholly, and silencing the voices in our heads trying to distract us is an important part of learning to relax. Becoming more attuned to the now also helps us develop clarity and focus in our work, leading to greater success.
Environment Affects Everything
Our stress levels are directly related to our environment. The things we see, hear, smell, and touch have a direct effect on our state of mind. When we are constantly surrounded by clutter, laundry, work papers, etc., we cannot get our minds off of the tasks they represent long enough to relax properly. Designate a sanctuary for relaxation. Keep it free of any objects other than those that help you de-stress. Be sure to have a comfortable place to sit, lay down, or recline upon. If you use your bedroom, establish a habit of making your bed upon rising every morning so when you need to relax, you find the bed in a neat and comfortable state. Flowers, scented candles, or a small, quiet fan are wonderful sensory objects for stimulating a sense of peace. If the weather and your living space permits, an outdoor sanctuary is ideal for sensory relaxation as well.
Relaxation Doesn’t Equal Laziness
The phrase “productive relaxation” seems like an oxymoron, but it is possible. Learning to relax while in the midst of our daily activities requires a certain amount of pre-planning however. Writing a to-do list and prioritizing the contents will help you move from task to task efficiently and with less stress. Always plan to do the most dreaded task first. This technique, called swallowing the frog, helps avoid procrastination and get you moving. With the worst over, you can focus on your other tasks without the distraction of a dreaded chore waiting for you.
Make Up Your Own Mind
Often we depend on the opinions of others to determined our thoughts and feelings on a multitude of subjects, including our own self-worth. Letting go of this practice is an important step in learning to relax as we must come to form our own opinions without outside influence and become confident in our own deductions. Confidence in oneself is a very important part of relaxation. When you have confidence in your decisions and actions, you are less prone to fuss and fret about what you have already done so that you can focus completely on the task at hand.
Change is Good
Change can either invite further stress or negate it. When making changes in your life, big or small, always focus on the positive aspects this change will bring. Some changes can seem difficult or painful, especially when you have little or no direct control over it, but there is no change that you cannot turn to your benefit in some way. Learning to accentuate the positive in all situations will help you avoid unnecessary stress.
Little changes in your routine from time to time can help you relax. If your usual Monday night consists of dinner, a tv binge, and bed, it may not be as relaxing as it once was. Shake things up with a walk, a game, a long phone call with a friend or family member, or some other activity that will dispel the monotony.
Relaxation does not just mean laying on a beach in Maui or a hot tub in Switzerland (though that is certainly nice too). You can relax anytime and anywhere with the proper preparation and mindset. We are here to help you relax and enjoy your rest, please contact us for more information.