Life can be go go go far too often. The mind moving from one thing to the next, non-stop and habitually. My brain in particular cannot handle this type of activity for long. It has been immensely important for me to set aside time for Relaxation.
Balance Between Stress and Relaxation?
It is important to have a certain amount of stress in our lives to pump energy into our daily affairs. Though it is easy to go from a healthy amount to a territory of stress that will inhibit being productive.
According to the Yerkes-Dodson Law, “performance increases with physiological or mental arousal, but only up to a point. When levels of arousal become too high, performance decreases.” The law asserts that stress is only helpful when it is in a range that is not too low and not too high. Not too little stress because then there will not be enough energy to keep us engaged with an activity. And not too high of stress because then our nerves may get in the way of us being productive and successful.
There is a balancing act to be played with when it comes to how much we should relax and how much we should be amped up. This isn’t always easy with the world running at the speed it goes at today.
The World wants a lot of Us.
To be honest the world in general wants a lot out of each and every one of us. I am not saying that it seeks to keep us amped up, but does a damn good job of doing this. When it comes to finding the balance between stress and relaxation, the balance must come from our own efforts. The world wants our time and energy and we must decide how much of them it gets.
Relaxation is on me, people generally won’t let me know I need to relax until I am showing significant signs of fatigue. If I am getting too amped up with anger someone will say “maybe it is time to chill out man”! And when the bags under my eyes are hanging way low someone will ask, ” Hey, you look wrecked.”
This isn’t me complaining about how the world divvies out expectations, only saying I’m responsible to ensure I’m relaxing enough.
Relaxation Isn’t Always Easy.
Relaxing my mind after being busy can be like a full speed freight train putting on the breaks and stopping. It can take a mile or more for the train to come to a halt. The same goes for my mind when I am attempting relaxation. When too amped up and trying to relax, my mind has to go through a laundry list of items to process. The laundry list isn’t good or bad, my brain just needs to process it.
My biggest problem with relaxation is attachment to electronic devices. In my car the radio is on, I get home and Netflix gets turned on, and the cellphone is a formidable adversary to my mind taking a nice break. The problem is that when I have time designated for relaxation, the time is filled with a further flood of information from the devices. While my brain is supposed to be processing existing info and emotions, the new info being brought in is getting in the way of the process, creating even more to be processed!
I don’t know how many relaxation sessions have turned into scrolling through Facebook. A half hour into the scroll session I find myself angry and overwhelmed and don’t really know why! Well I know why, I just flooded my brain and it was counterproductive to my relaxation!
This isn’t even an argument against Facebook or other social media, I find them very useful for different purposes. But once again RELAXATION IS ON ME. The World is not set up to have me turn away from it. It wants attention!
Relaxation Requires Commitment.
Without a doubt our own relaxation is on ourselves. Once and awhile an angel of a person will come along and say “you need to rest my child”. But those encounters are few and far between, so I cannot wait around for them!
Relaxation requires commitment, and commitment to a plan nonetheless. Here are some tips to help plan out a successful relaxation session.
1. Set Aside Time for Relaxation.
Without Setting aside the time for relaxation we are doomed from the start. Write the time into the schedule, if possible make it a routine time every week. This can save the stress and complaining of not knowing when we will be able to relax. It is okay to set aside our time for ourselves.
2. Learn how to say NO!
The World around us has limitless responsibilities to offer us. If we don’t say No to the offers that would take our relaxation time away, we will give the time away. This means more stress and lost opportunity to relax! That is unless the opportunity gives more relaxation than what I was already going to be doing. It is okay to say NO!
3. Use the Devices Wisely.
A lot of the time, my devices get in the way of my relaxation and they need to disappear for me to relax. Though there are also ways in which my devices may enhance the amount of relaxation I feel. Sometimes I can find a good song that comforts me, or a good movie that invokes important emotion. Hell I even used an app called Insight Timer to help me meditate more regularly. So if devices can be used to enhance the relaxation process or help us feel an emotion, I say that is a good use of them.
4. People Find Relaxation in Different Sources.
What is relaxing to me may not be relaxing to you. Whether you find relaxation in fishing, meditating, napping, getting a manicure, taking a long drive or whatever else, then awesome. Find these sources of relaxation and put them in the routine as fast as possible, to find balance in a hectic world.
Relaxation Is on Ourselves.
If there is anything I wanted to It is that RELAXATION IS ON OURSELVES. I cannot relax for you and you cannot relax for me. Our families, our spouses, our friends may help in the process sometimes but they cannot force us to relax!
You are worth setting aside some time to chill out and process what is needed to be process and get in touch with the present. It is rewarding and crucial that you and I find time to do so.
Be busy when you need to be. Find relaxation when needed as well. When we find the balance between the two in this crazy busy world, life is a beautiful thing.
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Much Love, Travis Hagen