Learning to Relax

The effects of stress are, unfortunately, not recognized until the manifestation is shown in the body/mind through disease. This manifestation is usually shown in some type of pain, discomfort or disease. Now many of us can do many things to help maintain a certain level of relaxation. Of course, a proper diet, exercise and sleep are important and I cover that in some of the other articles that I’ve written but we should also understand stress and it’s impact on the body/mind.
We usually stress about three things in life. Health, relationships (with family, friends or significant other) and finances/work are usually the big stresses in our lives. Other times, we just put too much on our plate and we feel overwhelmed. Besides that, our psychological outlook plays an important role on our stress levels. You can give two people the same stimuli/stress and they’ll have two different reactions to it. One will handle stress in a calm manner and the other will handle stress in a stressed out manner. Many of us stress about things that are out of our control. We also stress about trivial things that we’ll have no memory of when we’re old looking back at our lives in our rocking chair. Acceptance and letting go will go a long ways to living a more peaceful life. We cannot control other peoples behavior. We can only control our reaction to people and events that happen around us.
Others of us are so used to moving quickly and living a fast paced life that stress seems like the norm. We create schedules that are overwhelming to our mental, emotional and physical bodies. Now having goals and getting things done are important, otherwise we would be stagnant. However, when life becomes all about trying to get somewhere and achieve some status then we can no longer stop and smell the roses. Then life is no longer fun and we are under constant stress. Often times this stress is on a subconscious level. So learn to create a schedule that is practical and attainable.
One of my teachers says that the turtle lives for a thousand years because it moves slow. So many people rush from one place to another. Learn to move at a pace which is comfortable and relaxing. Take the necessary steps to make your work environment one which is fulfilling and enjoyable. Make your family life one in which you make sacrifices for your family but still take care of yourself. Keeping yourself happy will mean a happier home. Of course many people say to me that, “its much easier said than done”. My reply is, “what is the alternative”. To stay under constant stress and be unhappy is the only alternative and no one will stop you from staying in that place except yourself. For me, the alternative is just not acceptable if I want to live the life I envision for myself. Ultimately, if you push your body/mind too hard for too long, it will break down and make you slow down so why not do it voluntarily. Learning to prioritize tasks is something we can all benefit from. We may have a “to do” list and it just seems so overwhelming. So prioritize this list and now you can clearly see what is important and what can wait for another day. This helps us pace ourselves in a manner so that things go more smoothly. Staying relaxed and getting things done at the same time is our goal.
Relationships can be especially stressful, yet we grow so much through relationships. Family can be the most difficult to deal with at times. Unlike friends or lovers, we don’t choose our family. Setting boundaries and limiting expectations help tremendously in all relationships but is especially helpful with family. The most important thing to remember is that people will treat you the way you allow them to. Loving yourself will allow you to create more profound relationships and let go of relationships that don’t serve you. Managing and maintaining healthy relationships is an important part of our health and well being.
In addition, you can do lots of things to relax more. Take a moment and just sit and be quiet. Have a cup of tea. Take a bath. Smiling and laughing are probably most important. Studies have already shown how smiling and laughing increase the feel good hormone serotonin. The list of relaxation techniques is so long and it can be different for different people. For some it may be painting and for others dancing or fishing. I like cooking. Make time for what you enjoy. The most amazing thing you’ll find is that the more you do things to relax the more you stay in that space of relaxation. Soon you will start carrying a more relaxed energy about you and you will feel good more of the time. The more we all do this, the happier we’ll all be. Happy and healthy people make good choices and create wonderful lives for themselves.

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