In today’s busy world relaxation is one of the most essential skills that you can have, with it comes the ability to switch off, unwind and recuperate, the strange thing about relaxation is that although it’s natural and easy to do people either ignore that they need to relax or they simply forget how to do it.
Perhaps then for some relaxation is one of the most important skills you will ever re-learn, because losing the ability to relax can be the first step to stress and eventually burnout.
Here are the 3 keys to relaxation and to help your mind relax.
1. Let go.
To relax means letting go, it could be small things like getting into the habit of leaving work at work, turning off your phone or checking your email less often, for some of us letting go could also mean letting go of the baggage of negative feelings and internal negativity that you may still be carrying around.
2. Live in the now.
We spend too long regretting the past and also too long worrying about the future, to relax effectively means you need to spend some time in the present moment, living in the present helps you turn off some of the mental noise in your head and how to learn to enjoy the small things in life again, an effective way to do this is to learn to be Mindful, the most effective way to do this for real lasting benefit is to practice Mindfulness meditation.
‘Realise deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life’ – Eckhart Tolle
3. Get into a flow state and ‘Zone out’.
Mihály Csíkszentmihályi a leading expert in positive psychology describes a state of mind called a ‘flow state’ which is one of completely focused motivation’ this state is also known as ‘being in the zone’, it happens when you can lose yourself in a semi-complex activity, it could be running ,reading, listening to music whatever this activity is for you by doing it you world becomes absorbed into the activity and your worries drop away.
‘loose yourself and let it flow’
The alternative to relaxation is stress, burnout and anxiety which will eventually lead to physical illness and possibly an early grave, I don’t disagree that a bit of stress is good for you yet to practice anything at a peak level of performance you need to be ready and there’s no point in being exhausted before you run the race.
Relaxation is one of the best defenses you have against stress and anxieties in your life you just need to learn how to do it again or more precisely unlearn how not to do it, and the 3 tips in this article are a good place to start.