Relaxation And Your Quality Of Life
How many times have you heard people say you’ve got to stop and smell the roses? And how many times have you thought that’s a great idea….I need to relax….I’ll get around to it….someday….?
The trouble is, “someday” never comes because the only time you actually LIVE is right now, TODAY!
What Does It Mean To Relax?
What does it mean to stop and smell the roses? It means to stand back from your particular task at hand and focus on your overall enjoyment of being alive. It means to bask in the wonder of your own existence and the beauty of the world around you. It means to take the pressure off yourself for a little while and RELAX.
When you relax, you ease the tension in your mind and your body by making some kind of change in your focus or your activity. Relaxation does not mean a total lack of energy, thought or effort. Do-nothing people can be some of the most anxious, tense people in the world, because they lack control over their own lives. In contrast, I once knew a super-productive man who was a doctor by day and a concert pianist by night. He told me that each profession relaxed him from the other!
When you relax, you allow yourself time between activities to digest what you just did and then give yourself some “down time” before you get ready for the next thing you want to do. Too many of us go through our days with activities back-to-back with no “time out” to re-group or relax in between. Because there are so many things we can choose to do, we busy businesswomen and working moms must actually discipline ourselves to take breaks. We need to actually schedule breaks on our calendars, if necessary! We need to realize that relaxation time is crucial to achieving and maintaining good health, as well as better focus and performance in all the things we want to do.
Knowing When To Relax
Both your mind and body do a great job of letting you know when you need to relax. All you have to do is pay attention to the signals:
- You are feeling overwhelmed or stressed out
- Your body is super tense
- You have a furrowed brow
- Your face is wrinkled into a knot
- You cannot smile
- Your hands are gripped
- You have a pain in the pit of your stomach
- Your breathing is shallow or irregular
- You cannot concentrate
- You feel exhausted
- You have a relentless itch
- You are frustrated or unhappy
- You have a headache
Some of these signals speak louder than others, but we human beings are capable of ignoring even the loudest. One of my best friends had daily headaches and in almost every case it was because he had worked non-stop throughout the day without taking a break or eating!
Know How To Relax
Relaxation comes about through making a change that will ease your immediate discomfort or tension — by altering your activity or immediate surroundings.
- Get up and walk around when you’ve been sitting a long while.
- Change chairs, alternate standing and sitting.
- When going on a long trip, stop often, change positions, wiggle, and squeeze.
- Close the curtain to shut out an uncomfortable glare.
- Install softer, more indirect lighting.
- Get rid of clutter.
- Go on a vacation of YOUR chosing.
- Read a book of YOUR chosing.
- Lie down and listen to music.
- Do something primarily physical after being engaged in something primarily intellectual.
- Do something outdoors after spending time indoors.
- Do something with another person after working alone for a time.
Relaxation also comes from making changes that will ease your long-term discomfort or tension — by becoming more at home with yourself, with the world, and with other people.
- Make Yourself More At Home With The WORLD
- Recognize that the world operates by understandable principles that you are capable of grasping.
- Respect yourself as a natural part of the world who must use nature’s resources to survive just like every other living organism — instead of seeing yourself as an “enemy” of the earth.
- Realize that you have what it takes to live in the world.
- Make Yourself More At Home With YOU
- Recognize that being a human being is a wonderful opportunity and adventure.
- Respect yourself as a human being and know that living your life fully is worth your effort.
- Realize that you are capable of making make healthy, fulfilling choices for your life.
- Make Yourself More At Home With OTHERS
- Respect others as individuals in their own right, just as you are.
- Never initiate force against another person or their property — only use force in self-defense against someone who initiates force against you.
- Honor other people’s right to be true to their own selves and their own self-chosen goals, just as you honor your own right to be true to yourself and your self-chosen goals.
Relaxation Minimizes Stress and Maximizes Happiness
Just like exercise, so many of us pooh-pooh relaxation because we think we don’t have time for it. But in fact you will BUY time if you take time to relax. You will feel better, work smarter, and enjoy yourself more fully. Be sure to put some yummy relaxing time on your schedule, starting today!