Someone said relaxation is a feeling of refreshing tranquility and an absence of tension or worry. I find this explanation fascinating because it’s a compound effect requiring both tranquility and the absence of tension or worry. Therefore, even if we’re sitting at home with our feet up if we’re still worrying about junior’s grades or how to pay the car insurance next month, we’re not technically relaxing. And neither are we relaxing if we have nothing to worry about but cannot reach a state of tranquility which is common with those suffering from caffeine or drug addictions.
Stress might be the single most written about and googled word in the world but we still seem to really suck at understanding it, avoiding it, and managing our contact with it. We live in a go, go, go world. We get the kids off to school, run errands before work, do the banking at lunch, work a full day and then there’s still homework, dinner and laundry and perhaps more. Are we organized enough? Probably. Are we strong enough, certainly but these are not optimal condition based on how our bodies function. We’re designed for occasional short bursts of stress followed by periods of rest with less movement and activity. Modern man has not evolved to the point that 5 o’clock traffic doesn’t take a toll on his health. Our bodies work best when we can be active with short periods of rest in between along with a good night’s sleep. When we follow this recipe several things are happening.
Our immune system functions and completes most of its work while we are asleep or resting. This is pretty important because we are being assailed by killer assassin germs at all hours. The fewer hours the body gets to spend fighting of these germs and other infections, the more likely we are to succumb and suffer a cold, flu or worse.
Our risks for temporary and permanent memory impairment go way up without proper rest. So does our risk of stroke. Of course these happen more often in older people, but the statistics show that younger people are becoming more susceptible than before to these conditions. Much of the blame for this stems from an increase in stress and our more lax attitude toward the need for sleep and rest.
Relaxation produces more serotonin and dopamine levels so our brain chemistry stays more balanced making t is less likely we will suffer from chronic depression and our decision-making abilities are enhanced so it’s less likely we will make the poor life choices that can also make one depressed.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks to sexual intercourse for men and women are feelings of being tired, overworked and stressed out. Since we live in a culture that is very focused on our sexual appetites, you would think we would make rest a top priority on this issue alone.
Hypnosis is one of the biggest tools that we can use to help us reach these necessary levels of tranquility and learn to control our thoughts and fears so that worry and tension cannot take root in our lives.
Seeing a professional for this type of work is always optimal but there is much that you can do for yourself at home. In times of stress, take a moment and really think about what types of places and situations you find most restful such as a beach, a hiking trail even the hammock in the backyard. Pick the place you want to focus on. If you choose the hammock in the backyard, imagine what the cushions feel like under your body. Feel the sway of the hammock, feel the breeze blowing your hair. Notice the scent of the grass and flowers around you. Hear the birds, the neighbor’s dog, the kids playing down the street. Focus on your breathing, imagining each breath is as full and deep as you need at the moment. As the breath calms, notice the heart rate is slowing, becoming soft and rhythmic. Your body feels comfortable and supported. The muscles of your face, hands, neck and shoulders are all complete limp and still.
This scene can be accessed, instantly any time you need it. I’ve had clients standing on their own private beach while the boss is yelling at them and you can do it too. All it takes is a little practice, imagination and waa-la you are there!