When it comes to learning how to relax there are a few things one must do to achieve a peaceful relaxed state. If there is one thing that can mess with our minds when we’re trying to relax its guilt. To feel guilty because we are taking a break can absolutely ruin our efforts in relaxing. Why? Because “busy” is the norm in this day and age. “Busy” is acceptable and at times “busy” is how we measure our days. Let’s give permission for our mind and body to let go and loosen the tension.
What does busy mean anyway?
Why would we need a definition of busy? Because it helps us understand if we really are busy. Merriam-Webster Dictionary says ‘busy’ is: engaged in action, occupied. My definition of ‘busy’ is this: ‘Busy’ is yearning to do things you want to do without having the time to do them. The difference between the two definitions is this: when I’m ‘engaged in action’ with an activity I want to do, I’m not ‘busy’, but when I want to do something I can’t because of running errands, etc, then I am ‘busy’. You might need to read that again to let it sink in. Where do you lay right now with ‘busy’?
How to relax?
How do we relax so we have the freedom to work on the things that bring purpose into our lives? Or on the flip-side, how do we not think about anything and just be?
Men are pretty good at being able to turn their minds off. My husband and I will be having coffee, talking right along then five minutes of silence go by. I ask my husband what he’s thinking; and he says, “Nothing”. Seriously? Mark Gungor, author, and motivational speaker has an excellent and hilarious way of describing the differences between men’s and women’s minds. For instance, men have this thing called the ‘Nothing Box’. I mean, what the heck is that? You can watch it here; so funny yet true.
5 essential tips for us ladies to learn how to relax
But how do we ladies go about finding relaxation when so much pressure is put on us daily and even socially?
1. Change environments
Escape from the environment that is causing you to constantly think of your to-do list, or the problem you’re facing. For instance; for me, I need to step away from the house. Because I’m a stay-at-home-mom I live in my work. So when I’m at my house it’s natural for me to always have a project. For short-term results, I’ll go to my favorite store and wonder. I didn’t say buy stuff, just window shop. For long-term effects, we get out of town; and for my family that means camping.
If you’re stuck inside there are a few things you can do to escape. You can find a space that is only yours; a closet works, the laundry room, even a corner space that says you. Make this space a place for your soul to regenerate. Get some amazing wall art and lose yourself in the picture, find inspirational quotes or scripture and post them on the wall, decorate with string lights, put splashes of your favorite colors throughout, and be sure to have something cozy. Make this a space you can’t wait to escape to.
2. Write things out, this is how.
Writing all the crud or to-do list down on paper can lessen the power it has in your mind. When it’s on paper, it makes something that was a big deal in our minds, easier to digest. We, humans, tend to let our minds get away from us. I personally enjoy taking a clean sheet of copy paper, grabbing a pencil, and drawing a circle. From the circle, I create branches of all the things I’m thinking about, then I break those branches into smaller do-able bites. A journal works too.
Speaking of journaling. Writing freely helps too. Ask yourself thought-provoking questions that can get to the meat of the busyness. Here are some great questions to get you started.
3. Converse with God
Talking with God helps to release the chains and give them to Him. Did you catch what I said? “Talking with God, not at Him or to Him, but with, like a friend talks with a friend. He wants a relationship with you, he wants to hear your side of the story, and he wants to help you. All you need to do is talk with Him.
For instance, I escape to my favorite walking place and pray while I’m walking. For me, hearing my voice speak rather than trying to sort it all out in my mind helps me focus on the conversation. Then I stop talking and just listen; this gives me a breather and a chance for God to breathe into me. I enjoy Jesus Calling as a nice devotional to help hear His voice.
4. Watch a good show, read a book, or listen to instrumental music
When we are entertained it gives us time to relax and just be. It’s a chance we get to wander out of our reality and into a story. Whether it’s a good movie or book, get the comfy clothes on and kindly alert the family to not interrupt your time.
Here’s a tip, be picky of what you put in your brain. If you’re looking to just feel good and float on a cloud, don’t choose The Silence of the Lambs; maybe try La La Land, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, or Steel Magnolias. Ask yourself what you want to get out of a show before you start channel flipping. And yes, it’s true, what you put in your mind affects how you think, and how you think affects how you act. Be careful of what you put in your mind, you could be inviting darkness in.
Instrumental music is an extremely effective way to relax. Find a track you enjoy. When I get stressed I turn to Soaking in His Presence by William Augusto. He does such a great job of putting me in the right frame of mind. This music is also amazing to pray with. Love it!
Creativity gets your mind off the stress and into a relaxed state of being. Entrepreneur.com has a great article on the benefits of putting our creativity to use. There are scientific studies on how it can reduce stress. Psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, says that when you “lose yourself” in the composition of a song (creating)…, you are essentially entering a healthy flow state. No wonder I feel so great after I create something. Try experimenting in the kitchen, rearrange your furniture, color, sew a baby quilt, and create a playlist…we all have creative abilities. Tap into your creativity and make it a hobby.
There are other obvious tips to relax like taking a hot bath, getting a massage, taking your time in sipping a fancy coffee, or watching the birds, my last bonus tip is to set boundaries for yourself and those around you. Don’t let others steel your relax time, protect it with all your might. If you’re at the coffee shop and there is an annoying person by you, get up and move.
I challenge you to tap into at least two of the above suggestions this week to relax. Ask yourself what do I need to let go of to give myself the time I need? Know how to slowdown and be less busy so you can be your best!
By CT Copyright © 2019 More Than Existence, All Rights Reserved.