By Suzie Daggett
During a typical day by either dedication or design and without conscious thought, you rush about fixing, creating, resolving, reacting, attending, deciding and accomplishing a long list of seemingly important to-do’s. You remain intense, focused and stressed as your day unfolds. You feel the need to be at the top of your game as a shining star in your company or a dedicated parent attending to your child’s needs or a helpful caregiver attending others, or a struggling student learning the ropes of life. Even your gym workouts, yoga classes and power walks are filled with thoughts of what do I need to do? Your cell rings, dings and chimes constantly, alerting you to something new to attend to. Every moment is given to forward motion in a frenzied way. Your thoughts revolve around: what is next, what is most important to do, what can be done in the next hour, how to solve this urgent issue, what have I forgotten? Whoa! That is entirely too much for your precious body, mind and spirit!
When you find yourself in a pattern of doing and overdoing, understanding why and how to change this pattern is in order. It is time for a reset, a break, and a moment of Zen.
WHY is it important to relax? That’s an easy one – for one thing, it is proven that your body and mind needs relaxation and rest to counter the daily go, go, go stresses of the constant flight or fight syndrome. When you do not give your body the needed breaks you are prone to a wide array of health issues from heart disease to stroke to the common cold or flu. Your immune system starts breaking down when your stress level climb, creating havoc and dis-ease of many kinds. However, if you give yourself the opportunity to eat the best fresh food you can, sleep deeply with few interruptions, exercise your body regularly, say no when appropriate, pay attention to your specific inner needs rather than external pressures, nurture and love yourself with a relaxed attitude, life will change for the better.
Are you ready for a change? Take a moment to survey your body with the intent to address WHY I need to relax. Close your eyes and with your imagination, scan your body and mind. Are you tense, is your jaw tight, are your muscles like rigid steel, is your mind whirling with unnecessary weedy thoughts? If you found one or more of the above, you need a break. It is possible to interrupt your habits and introduce a conscious desire to relax and rest – even for five minutes. When you change your too busy to relax attitude, you will begin to operate in a more optimum physical, mental and soulful manner.
HOW does one relax? Here’s your homework – take five minutes and make list #1 by jotting down what brings you to a point of relaxing – is it reading a novel, watching Netflix, attending a sporting event or a live concert, taking a long meandering walk, playing a musical instrument (one you played in your youth but forgot about), creating your art (photography, sculpture, oil or pencil drawing) writing a novel or poetry, meditating, chanting, gardening, rearranging your house, walking the dog or taking a hammock nap – the options are endless.
Make list #2 of what jobs or commitments you can change to move from a stressed life to a relaxed one. Can you share a meal so you don’t need to cook every night, or give your eager co-worker that project which puts you off, or create a car pool for the kiddies or find a study-buddy to help your grade, or turn off the negative news which puts you in a decided funk (many times not allowing a good sleep) or put all your devices in another room for at least one hour a day, or gracefully say no when you get the feeling you are being pressured into doing a project which does not suit you? Again, the list is endless.
Be honest as you jot down your first thoughts. Put your lists side by side and sit with what you wrote. Reread as you absorb the differences from the lists. You might be surprised by your doing (or overdoing leading to stress) or being (how you choose to relax). Focus on what makes your life relaxing and what makes you uptight. When you are ready – take action! Delete at least one item on List #2 (stresses) as you up your game on List #1 (relaxing). Go slow and steady and remember, you are changing an old unconscious habit of doing into a conscious habit of being present to your needs. Do yourself a favor and relax, really, truly relax. Your whole being will be grateful and thank you with renewed energy and a zest for a life filled with what you desire rather than one imposed on you.
About the Author: Suzie Daggett spins real life advice with ageless wisdom. The result? Life flows, your soul & ego balance, your intuition amps up. Suzie is a speaker, workshop leader, writer and intuitive business consultant. She is the author of From Ego to Soul and PEARLS ~ 52 Contemplative Insights. suziedaggett.com
Header image from freewallpaper.com