Learn to Relax and Take a Load Off Your Mind

For many people, that’s probably easier said than done.  Why?  Because of something that almost everyone experiences at least once in their lives, stress.  Stress is often silent and goes unnoticed, yet, it is still harmful, in fact, deadly if left untreated.  Stress can drag a body down, interfere with internal organs, play havoc on our emotions and control our minds.  That’s why stress can often be referred to as the silent killer.

Have you ever heard that stress is the curse for living in modern times?  If that’s the case, what was the curse for living before modern times?  Ah, it was probably something like plague, pestilence, small pox and so on.

Some people who encounter stress on a daily basis will often be dragging at the end of each day.  They often feel worn out simply due to fatigue.

If this is something that you deal with constantly, take time out and relax.  As for me, watching a favorite show or classic movie always helps with relaxation.  However, many experts suggest that watching something like local TV is not a good form of relaxation due to the advertising and news that is frequently shown.  I guess they have a point, especially when it involves watching the news.  Depending on the stories being presented it’s easy to understand how some events can cause an increase with a person’s stress levels.

Of course, I’m old school and watching a classic movie takes my mind to a place of total relaxation, a place where my mind is at peace.  If my mind is at peace, my body will follow.  Why do you think the phrase “feel good movie” is used so often.  Think about it, when was the last time you watched one of your favorite features and set yourself up as one of the characters?  I don’t know if it works for everyone, but even for a brief moment the idea of placing myself in another location and time helps me to relax.  (No, I’m not referring to the Twilight Zone)

That brings up the thought of meditation as relaxation therapy.  I’m not talking about all the humming and buzzing that is often associated with most forms of meditation.  I’m basically referring to something more like thought processes.  Not so much as dreaming, but more on the ability of transforming yourself into another time, place and reality.  (No, I’m still not referring to anything like the Twilight Zone)  Let me relate a good example that was actually introduced by our family physician before he retired.  For many years I suffered from the anxiety of being around doctors and hospitals.  Because of that, every time I required a check up my blood pressure would always rise 20-30 points or more while the nurse was taking it.  My doctor understood the problem and explained that many people also have a similar type of anxiety.

However, on one of my last visits to see him before his retirement, he suggested that I meditate for several minutes before the nurse checks my blood pressure.  He pointed to several pictures on the wall  and said to choose one that I liked, one that would make me feel good.  The picture that I chose was an aerial view of the ocean and several small islands.  He said to relax and think about the picture, then close my eyes, visualize the settings of the picture, breathe slowly, but deep and concentrate on happy feelings about that picture.  Less than five minutes later the nurse took my blood pressure and it came back down to normal.  Of course, this simple technique isn’t going to work for everyone, but it’s something I still do today years after my doctor suggested it.

I often wonder why it’s so difficult for many of us to relax?  This is especially true for many people who live hectic lifestyles.  What if people focused on taking a moment during each day to let their mind and body totally relax.  Wouldn’t that be helpful to reduce the amount of stress in our daily lives?

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