Unwind and Relax
Not long after I moved into my own place, I was sitting on the couch after a long day and I noticed something: my body was tense and my mind was racing a mile a minute. And you know what? It took me a good ten minutes to force myself to relax my body and clear my thoughts. I melted into my big, comfy couch, closed my eyes, and practiced some meditative breathing. After a while, I felt a peace and calm that I hadn't felt in forever. Better yet, my body was relaxed and my mind was quiet. It was an eye-opener.
I came out of that ten-minute experience with the realization that I just don't ever relax. Not that I can't, but rather that I won't. Most of my muscles, if I'm being honest, are always tensed up. It should come as no surprise that this isn't healthy. Not for me, nor for anyone else either.
But, how? How did I reach a state in my life where I was nothing but a ball of tense muscles at all times? I can only imagine that I had just kept myself busy, working, and moving for so long, in an attempt to not have time to stop and think about my unhappiness, that it was my "resting" state.
Well, not anymore. I've made it a point to spend a least a few minutes each day making my body relax. I've even learned a technique for whole-body relaxing, called Jacobson's Relaxation. I will do this once a week as I'm lying in bed before falling asleep and it works incredibly well if you find your whole body is tense and you're unable to relax. I'll combine it with some meditative music and, man, does it help me fall asleep afterward...and I sleep well!
That's not all though, for sure. I've been practicing some things to help me live a more stress-free life. For instance:
1. Talking quieter and slower
Talking more quietly and slowly feels more relaxing. A plus side is that I'm finding myself being more intentional with the things I say. I think it's that whole "slowing down" aspect that makes such a difference.
2. Letting go of little things
Being in a toxic relationship can really make someone hold onto the little things for dear life. Now that that isn't my reality every day, I find that the little things just aren't as important. Not that this is a general rule...there are exceptions, but my point is: don't hold anger time over something that, at the end of the day, just isn't that important.
3. Setting aside time each day to fully relax
I've gone over this already, but I've found that just a mere 10 minutes a day of pure relaxation does wonders for me, both mentally and physically.
4. Getting rid of toxic people
This should come as no surprise, but toxic people in your life cause stress. Over the past decade of my life, I've cut all toxic people out of my life and I'm a lot happier, and calmer, because of it!
5. Avoiding stressful situations if at all possible
Now, we can't avoid all stressful situations, but we do have control over many stressful situations that come our way. While some are self-imposed, others come from those around us. There's nothing wrong with removing yourself from these incidents, especially if they're only going to cause you a bunch of unnecessary stress.
It's amazing to see how much relaxing - and the stress-removing techniques I'm working on - has done for me. Instead of this perpetual state of stress and tension, I feel happier and calmer. This has a domino effect on my life, and I can see the long-term value of relaxing.
Have a great rest of your week...and, hey, try and relax.