How do you relax? Do you have a relaxation routine? Is it with a massage? Reading books or taking naps? Maybe it is sitting and watching television every evening? Perhaps you are one of the many people who don’t feel they have time to relax so this whole line of questioning makes you laugh a little. The challenge we face in our fast paced world is that we view relaxation as something we have to make time for and essentially it is a luxury. We don’t necessarily think we have time for it or need it until we are ill or have our bodies twisted up with knots from stress and overuse.
The key thing to realize however is that while all of these activities could be part of your overall self care routine, they don’t create true relaxation. They are temporary fixes before we get released back into our chaotic life. While finding time for these things is important to recharge in some ways, true relaxation comes from a state of living in peace. It is more about the mindset we are living from rather than what activity we are doing. Our need to create time to relax is a signal that we can use to identify when we have stepped away from living a peaceful life.
In order to achieve such a state of blissful relaxation, we first have to realize that stress isn’t real. Yup, you heard me. Stress isn’t real. It is simply us thinking about the past with regret. Perhaps we are worried about something in the future. Sometimes it is because we take on more than we could handle in one moment and don’t give ourselves permission to say no. Whenever we feel overwhelmed, anxious or stressed it is simply because we are not living from a peaceful and calm mindset. Achieving this takes an awareness of your thoughts and your body.
Here are some simple things you can do to start creating true relaxation in your life:
- Listen to your mind – We let our thoughts easily wander from the past to the future. It could be listing out things we need to do or all the things we have done wrong. It takes a conscious effort to keep our thoughts in the present moment, the only place that really has the potential to be stress-free. Be aware of your thoughts and lovingly redirect them back to the present moment whenever you can.
- Listen to your body – Our bodies are amazing teachers. Muscles tightening up, shoulders hurting or the onset of a headache can all be signs that we have stepped out of a place of peace and we need to get back. Taking deep breaths whenever you feel these things and bringing yourself back to the present can let stress melt away. Your body will tell you when you aren’t thinking, eating or treating it right. You just have to do the work of listening.
- Say no – We want to please everyone and do everything. Sometimes it is a lack of courage, other times it is a fear of guilt but always it leads us to a place where we take on much more than we can really handle. The stress and guilt about potentially missing commitments can be far worse than the simple act of saying no kindly.
- Forgive yourself – A lot of stress we carry is from pain we have caused ourselves. We are our own worst critics and it easily causes stress that keeps us from feeling relaxed and free. Loving and forgiving yourself are the most critical pieces of living a relaxed and happy life.
Happy relaxing everyone! 🙂