‘Chill out’ and relax

I touched on relaxation in last month’s article on stress, so what is relaxation and how can you really achieve some relaxing moments each day? Once you find ways of relaxing, you will feel motivated to manage your time to incorporate these moments.

Relaxation helps restore your energy; if you are constantly ‘giving’ and ‘doing’ you will drain your resources and put your body under stress.

True relaxation is “a state of refreshing tranquillity” and a “freedom from activity (work or strain or responsibility)”. People say they relax in front of the TV or while reading. This will allow the body to be free from activity, but neither really allows that state of tranquillity of body and mind that truly refreshes – both activities may in fact stimulate the brain’s energy. Sleep achieves true relaxation and if you can ‘power nap’ that’s great – in fact, latching onto this, MetroNaps in New York rents out sleep-pods for 20 minutes for $14!

It’s not always easy to find space or time for a power nap, so relaxation may be sprinkled throughout the day, rather than thinking ‘I’m going now to sit down and relax’ – this can become another ‘chore’ or a ‘must’ activity. While waiting in a queue, or for a meeting to start, try ‘tuning out’ of your surroundings and take conscious control of your breathing to slow it down and breathe more deeply. This can ‘kid’ the body to enter the balancing, healing mode. You won’t fall asleep, in fact you’ll probably feel energised for that meeting.

Finding those moments to relax may well be a challenge – I found that learning to say ‘no’ more often is a start – ‘those who matter won’t mind and those who mind don’t matter’.

….. and finally, I can recommend a massage as an ideal way of introducing your body to that feeling of deep, therapeutic relaxation.

‘Southwell Life’ – February 06

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