How often do you encounter a friend or family member who tells you to “just relax?”
And how often does that recommendation work?
Telling someone to “just relax” is akin to saying to someone having an allergic reaction to, "just stop being allergic."
Some of us are naturally more nervous and it may just be a part of our genetic makeup. However, we do not have to be stuck in that way of being; we can learn how to change our focus & perception and truly begin to relax.
For some, finding ease is natural, and for others it is a learned behavior.
That is the beauty of the oft-commanded state of "relax”—if you don't yet know how, you can learn. It may take trial and effort; however, like with any behavior, practice makes (almost) perfect.
Incorporate Relaxation Tools & Techniques
Once you have decided to incorporate (more) relaxation into your life, the next step is to take action.
A great way to experience calm and relaxation is to practice mindful meditation.
If you are new to this concept, there is an endless supply of information and apps available to help you find what is right for you. We suggest you start simply by focusing on your breathing.
Apps like Calm and Headspace (plus countless more) provide beginners' guides to being “mindful” or aware of your breath, slowing down and allowing for a few moments a day where you're not allowing the external world to dictate how you feel.
Another way of relaxing is stretching and moving your body, such as by practicing yoga.
If yoga is your choice of relaxation, you may want to increase your knowledge and awareness with online tools or videos on YouTube to help you immediately feel the benefits of an at home practice of movement. Here’s a good 10 minute at home practice to start with.
One of the most important (and perhaps most overlooked) tools is your time.
Schedule your relaxation session and commit to yourself. Let everyone know that this time is sacred and you'll be unavailable at that time. If your family, or colleagues want the happiest and most productive version of you, then you and they will learn to respect that time.
At AVVI, we work with, and offer support for planned silence. In which, you make a commitment and then establish an appointment on your calendar to relax, be alone and utilize your chosen tools to practice calmness, centeredness, and relaxation.
Grab a Friend and Go
A tried-and-true tip for learning to relax is one that is also applicable in any situation; accountability. When you engage a friend and incorporate them into the equation, you offer yourself an extra layer of resolve along with the benefit of shared practice.
Having someone to answer to is a golden nugget. When you only have yourself to answer to, it is too easy to make excuses. A good friend, however, won't let you get away with that for long.
Pick a Time, Space, and Place
It's important to create a time, a space, and a place for intentional relaxation practice. Choose a designated spot, where you can close the rest of the world out—for many people it might be a bath. Alternatively, you might find a small corner of a room available for a mat, cushion, something serene to look at on the wall, and maybe even some candles. This action will speak volumes to you, as it will allow you to commit to the art and act of relaxation.
Just like everything you've ever learned—the road to relaxation can begin a bit bumpy, and you may feel like you're not getting it. But this is something that you can master. Feel free to connect with us for more tips, tricks, points of connection, and accountability along your way on this journey.