Missing your joy of life? Knowing the importance of relaxation and knowing how to relax is vital for ensuring your ongoing health and well-being, as well as restoring the passion and joy in your life. Your health is your responsibility. Allowing life’s stressors to impact your health negatively will end up with you feeling under par in everyday activities and could eventually lead to illness.
The three areas to focus on are:
Relaxing your body
Relaxing your mind
Staying relaxed around non-relaxed people
This week we will be going over 3 steps to relax your body.
1. Recognize stress and don’t suppress your innate discomfort.
Obviously, some stress is good for us – it adds interest and excitement to your life, and motivates us, in the right balance. It is when the level of stressors in your life cause you to put up with things that are harming or distressing you constantly that you risk sliding into being too stressed. You might be too stressed if:
- All you do and think about is work, non-stop, be it your own business, a career, a salaried position, a stay-at-home mom or dad position, or anything else that is soaking up your time and life one hundred percent, and this over-concentration is leaving you passionless, disappointed, unhappy, and unfulfilled.
- You experience constant body tension, including headaches, neck aches, back aches, soreness all over, etc.
- You’re always irritable, short-tempered, and perhaps unable to focus on completing tasks. Trivial things set you off easily.
- You feel as if you have too much going on and that you can’t “get off” the merry-go-round.
- Your sleep is a battlefield and you wake up feeling less rested rather than refreshed. Insomnia has become your norm rather than an unusual event.
- You’re eating too much or too little. Or, you are choosing unhealthy food options.
- You can’t remember the last time you had a good laugh and your sense of humor is sadly lacking.
2. Prepare to relax.
Once you have accepted that there are negative stressors impacting your life, it’s important to make room for relaxation amid all those busy things you’re doing. Adding relaxation to your day will improve your productivity, not lessen it; while not adding relaxation into your life can lead to burn out, fatigue, stress-related illnesses, and constant insomnia. Ways to prepare for adding relaxation back into your routine include:
- Let go of guilt. Many religious and cultural beliefs instill the value of hard work very deeply. Over time, and increasingly so with the advent of smart technology that keeps us hyper-wired 24/7, many of us have come to believe that being “on-the-go” constantly is the only way to prove our value. Having an unrealistic interpretation of “hard work” will end up wearing you down – hard work is giving your tasks the attention they deserve at the time they deserve, not letting it bleed into all hours of your day!
- Accept that sleep is a very important part of life. During sleep, your mind continues learning in ways that are not possible during waking hours. Sleep restores and refreshes your body in myriad ways that do not occur when awake. Do not be tempted to devalue the worth of sleep. Moreover, the alleged ability of some people to thrive on four hours sleep per night is the exception, not the rule – most of us need the 6-8 hour sleep cycle for full restoration.
- Recognize that finding your own optimal ways to relax may take time, and some trial and error. Don’t give up – keep searching until you find the right combination of activities that relax you and rejuvenate your enthusiasm for living fully.
3. Make the time.
Make space for relaxation in your diary or daily schedule. The following sections of this article will help to guide you through many ways of relaxing your body and your mind. However, you still need to make the time available to take advantage of the benefits of relaxing!
- Block out times in your diary to relax.
- If you’re at home, mark time for relaxing in black ink on a calendar for everyone to see – that way, the whole family will appreciate the importance of making time to relax.
Make sure you join us next week as we talk about the first way you can relax, in body.