Skip to main content

How to Have Relaxing Mind in Everyday Life

On Day 5 I’m sitting out on the terrace of my bungalow feeling unbelievably fortunate. Waves crash below, and the sea breeze tickles my face. And then my gorgeous partner looks up at me, the sun setting over the sea behind him, and announces an idea for a new article.

“How about you write one called ‘how to relax?'”

Ouch.

Where on earth could he have gotten this absurd idea?! I’ve taken to this island’s relaxation like an iguana takes to its favorite iguana thing. Could it be when I insisted we wake up at 7:45 a.m. to secure the optimal beach spot? Or later on, when I hoarded any and all available beach chairs surrounding our own so as to maintain shade throughout the day? Surely I exhibited incredible mindfulness when I budgeted to the second for our arrival to last night’s dinner, including taking a test route earlier on in the day.

Or…maybe he has a point. On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the world’s worst relaxer, I’m an 11. But our weeklong window into heaven has given me some much-needed insight. If you, too, are a high-strung bag of crazy with 10,000 ideas and not enough hours in the day to accomplish even five of them, you may relate. From my bungalow in paradise, I present: How to relax if you’re absolutely terrible at relaxing.

1. Don’t assume conventional methods are going to work.

I really, really don’t like baths, despite the world trying to convince me they’re god’s gift to relaxing. Like me, you might need to try options other than those commonly suggested (candles, baths, Enya, etc). Personally, I really like seeing movies by myself to calm down.

2. Learn to listen to your body’s cues.

Everyone has an inner voice. Mine sounds like a husky, angry and disturbingly witty old Jewish lady named Babs. Babs was the first one to say “You don’t even DESERVE a vacation, you worthless sack of herring!” (she’s tough). Despite this handicap, I try very hard to listen to Babs and my body’s overall reaction to her. I’ve learned to figure out my own warning signals before I reach absolute meltdown status. In fact, the mere presence of Babs’ voice is my first indicator.


3. Calm YOUR inner Babs.

While we’re talking about inner voices, try my new trick: “Listen, [insert name of your one or many inner voices here]: I hear and respect you, but lay off my friend.”

4. Have sex.
I know this sounds like the terrible stereotypical aid your partner suggests when you have a headache, but real talk, it works. Whether it’s with someone else or yourself, this is a surefire way to turn your brain’s volume down (as long as you/that someone else is good at the job).

5. Do something that has a clear, tangible outcome.

If you’re feeling like your life is spinning out of control, focus on a small task whose outcome you can control. Do laundry, fold it, put it away. Clean the house. Write a letter and mail it. These sort of rote assignments send the message to your brain that despite your feelings of complete worthlessness, you actually are capable of accomplishing things. Also, your house will be clean!

6. Reward yourself when you deserve it.

Once you’re done with that task, give yourself a present. If you train yourself to receive rewards that make sense (healthy rewards like a walk or a call to a friend are more ideal), you’ll induce a positive feedback loop and will be able to do more efficient work going forward. Personally, when I finish this article I am going to eat. A lot. This is basically just high-fiving my brain, and putting Babs temporarily in the mah jong room.

7. Exercise.

I wish this weren’t true, but it is: Exercise relieves stress. Even if you’re like me and the lady in this Jezebel article and don’t get that storied “runner’s high,” you can still benefit greatly from getting active. Also you’ll sleep and look better.


8. Use the same compassion with yourself as you would with a child.
I learned this from a dear friend who teaches elementary school when he’s stressed, he asks himself if he would ever treat a 5-year-old the way he’s treating himself. Real talk, I would never, ever treat any living thing the way I treat myself when I’m stressed. So ask yourself simple questions: Have I eaten? Have I slept? Am I hydrated? Have I showered? If not, take care of those things. No matter how professional you are, you were once an incontinent screaming baby! Try and remember that. You’re welcome.

9. Turn off the freakin’ Internet.

I could talk to you about the Internet for days, but odds are you already know and have read everything about it and how our brains are turning to mush and how we’ll never be good humans again and how it makes us write extremely long run-on sentences that our copyeditors will flag and then we’ll explain we were trying to be funny but maybe took it too far. Seriously though, this nonsense is an addiction. Curb it.

10. Take a break.

We’re all doing a LOT of things these days. Breaks are important, but they don’t have to be spent in Curaçao to be effective. Do a bit of research and see if there’s anything close to you that might qualify for a glorious and low-budget staycation. If you have a weekend, I recommend spending it hiding from the Internet and work (except for Netflix, which should be loaded up with ’90s classics like She’s All That). If you’ve only got half an hour, start reading that book you’ve had on the shelf for months. The important thing here is to maximize your free time and resist the urge to multitask/control everything. Look in the mirror every so often and pretend you’re a L’Oréal commercial. Tell yourself you’re worth it. You are! Cheers and happy relaxing.

Orginally posted on scarymommy.com


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

People with depression use language differently – here’s how to Find it

From the way you move and sleep, to how you interact with people around you, depression changes just about everything. It is even noticeable in the way you speak and express yourself in writing. Sometimes this “language of depression” can have a powerful effect on others. Just consider the impact of the poetry and song lyrics of Sylvia Plath and Kurt Cobain, who both killed themselves after suffering from depression.

Scientists have long tried to pin down the exact relationship between depression and language, and technology is helping us get closer to a full picture. Our new study, published in Clinical Psychological Science, has now unveiled a class of words that can help accurately predict whether someone is suffering from depression.

Traditionally, linguistic analyses in this field have been carried out by researchers reading and taking notes. Nowadays, computerised text analysis methods allow the processing of extremely large data banks in minutes. This can help spot linguistic fea…

The Moral Logic of Survivor Guilt

Nancy Sherman Ph.D.Stoic Warrior

The Moral Logic of Survivor Guilt

If there is one thing we have learned from returning war veterans

Posted Jul 20, 2011

Source:

If there is one thing we have learned from returning war veterans - especially those of the last decade - it's that the emotional reality of the soldier at home is often at odds with that of the civilian public they left behind. And while friends and families of returning service members may be experiencing gratefulness or relief this summer, many of those they've welcomed home are likely struggling with other emotions.

High on that list of emotions is guilt. Soldiers often carry this burden home-- survivor guiltbeing perhaps the kind most familiar to us. In war, standing here rather than there can save your life but cost a buddy his. It's flukish luck, but you feel responsible. The guilt begins an endless loop of counterfactuals-thoughts that you could have or should have done otherwise, though in fact you did nothing w…

5 Psychological Theories about Motivation to Improve Lifestyle & Productivities

We all want to be more productive but getting motivated enough to actually get things done can seem impossible.

Social scientists have been studying motivation for decades, trying to find out what motivates our behaviour, how and why.

Dozens of theories of motivation have been proposed over the years. Here are 5 popular theories of motivation that can help you increase workplace productivity…

1. Hertzberg’s Two-Factor Theory

The Two-Factor Theory of motivation(otherwise known as dual-factor theory or motivation-hygiene theory) was developed by psychologist Frederick Herzberg in the 1950s.

Analysing the responses of 200 accountants and engineers who were asked about their positive and negative feelings about their work, Herzberg found 2 factors that influence employee motivation and satisfaction…

1. Motivator factors – Simply put, these are factors that lead to satisfaction and motivate employees to work harder. Examples might include enjoying your work, feeling recognised and career progres…