I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find it awfully difficult to unwind. I’m tired, cranky, and just not all that disposed to deal with a whole lot of stuff. My kids drive me nuts, and the grandkids aren’t much better sometimes. I guess the whole thing is that I really need to unwind, and sometimes it’s not easy.
I’ve learned a few techniques, though, so maybe what I’ve learned can benefit you as well.
Relax Your Muscles
One thing I’ve found is that if my muscles are tensed up, the rest of me just follows along. So I try to relax my muscles systematically. I flex my facial muscles – yes, I make faces! Then I move down through my neck and shoulders, flexing and releasing until the tension gets eased. I try to remember to breathe deeply the whole time, and really relax, and think about the parts of my body while I’m doing this. It’s like “Okay, face, relax… neck, relax… Shoulders, relax…” I know it sounds a little crazy, but believe me, it works. And it actually only takes about ten minutes to get down through your entire body.
It’s a progression. There are major muscle groups all through your body, and if you start from the top and work all the way down, you’re going to end up relaxing all of them.
I find it helps to use positive statements, too. I tell myself, “My face is relaxed.” “My neck is relaxed,” and so on. As I move down through my body, breathing deeply and using those affirming statements, I really and truly relax.
I think it’s almost a form of self-hypnosis. Whatever it is, I know for sure that it works. But for me, it took a bit of practice. I had to keep at it for a few days before I got really good at it. I also found, weird as this sounds, that it didn’t work all that well if I tried to do it after eating or exercising. So I really don’t recommend trying this relaxation technique if you’ve got a full stomach or if your energy level is high following vigorous exercise.
To get the best results from this relaxation technique, you should sit in a comfortable position, wearing loose clothing and with your legs uncrossed so that your blood is circulating properly. I do it lying down at times. Don’t worry about technique – the main thing is to relax. If you can avoid interruptions, that would be best, but if they do occur, don’t get upset. Just be calm and accepting, and know that even if it doesn’t work perfectly this time, you’ll have other opportunities.
Now, close your eyes, and don’t think about anything. Whatever thoughts flow into your head are fine. You don’t have to analyze them or act on them; just let them happen. Allow your mind to wander wherever it wants to go. Remain in this state for as long as you want to, and when you’re done, just get up, and stretch. Look around you and appreciate your surroundings, but stay still for a minute or two before going about your normal daily routine.
As you continue to work with this relaxation technique, you may find that you’re able to focus it on specific issues that you’re trying to deal with. But don’t try to force it. For right now, it’s enough to just relax and be calm.
Essentially, what you’re doing is meditating. It’s good for you. It’s calm and soothing, and it will help you to deal with the daily difficulties of life. I know it worked for me – made me feel a lot more relaxed and settled.
Give it a try.