Oh, some seek bread—no more—life’s mere subsistence.
And some seek wealth and ease—the common quest.
And some seek fame, that hovers in the distance;
But all are seeking rest.
— Frederick Langbridge
Start by breathing. Oxygenating the blood helps induce our body’s relaxation response. Suck air deeply, from the diaphragm. In through the nose, out from the mouth.
Keep breathing. Now, close your eyes. Visualize a calm place. How about a white beach on Tahiti?
Focus on the details in your calm place. The grains of white sand, the soothing beat of the ocean, the shade of palm fronds, the call of seabirds.
Start massaging yourself. Yes, yourself. Rub your hands together. Thumb in the palm of your hand is a common technique.
Feel more relaxed? Open your eyes again. Restore normal breathing. Stop the massage. Get back into the moment…
Dump out that cup of coffee. Drinking caffeine is like throwing kerosene on the fire of your stress. You don’t need an accelerant. You need something to relax.
Instead of coffee, make yourself an herbal tea. They come in many delightful flavors. Choose a couple of your favorites and have them handy.
Smile and joke with people around you. Smiling and laughter stimulates pleasure centers in our brain. You will feel more relaxed immediately.
Finally, look again at what is causing the stress. Look from a positive viewpoint— We began with a poem about the need to rest, by Frederick Langbridge. Let’s end with a quote of his, his most famous one:
Two men look out the same prison bars;
One sees the mud, and the other the stars.
You can do it.
This article was written by Campbell Venn. Comments and suggestions welcome at CampbellVenn@optonline.net