Relaxation isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity. It’s the most significant investment you can make in your own wellbeing, and the benefits are almost too many to list. Regular, proper relaxation allows us to think more clearly, reduces stress, raises energy levels, speeds up healing and boosts our immune system.
If you feel you don’t have time to relax, that’s when you need to relax the most. The following tips will help you put the foundations in place for a more relaxed life.
1 – Attend To The Physical Basics
Are you eating healthily? Are you keeping artificial stimulants – sugar, caffeine, alcohol – firmly under control? Are you getting good quality sleep? Are you exercising regularly?
All the relaxation techniques in the world won’t help if the physical basics aren’t in place.
2 – Attend To The Emotional Basics
Psychologists Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell have identified the emotional needs that all human beings share – security; control; attention (giving and receiving); connection to others; status; achievement; purpose. The key to a relaxed life is to ensure that these are all being met appropriately. Audit your life to check that this is so, and think of ways to address any areas that are being neglected.
3 – It’s Your Thing
Find something that absorbs your attention and stimulates you in a healthy way – yoga; sports; walking, or gentler pursuits such as painting or reading fiction. Anything that lets the everyday world take a backseat for a while.
4 – Switch Off
TV, alas, is not a particularly good way to relax, since it’s wholly passive and it physically exhausts our attention mechanisms. That’s why you feel tired after an evening spent slumped on the couch.
No need to be puritanical, a bit of TV now and then isn’t going to hurt. But it’s probably best not to make it your main leisure activity.
5 – The Relaxed Person’s Mantra
Whatever situation you find yourself in – This Too Will Pass.