One of the most important skills a person can develop in life is the art of relaxation. Everyone needs to relax. While sleep is certainly a necessity, so is relaxation. Our minds and bodies need time to rebuild and recharge as well as doing the mental housekeeping that leads to better judgment and a happier more productive life. If feel like you’re not getting enough relaxation or rest in life, you’re not alone. It’s one of the most common human complaints.
Time and worry are the two major culprits when it comes to being able to push troubles and cares aside and just unwind. While we are programmed from a very early age to work and be productive, very few of us get formal training in how to manage time well and how to take the time we need to rest and replenish our bodies and minds. For many people, relaxation never makes it to the short list and is far down on the “to do list” they carry in their hearts and minds.
How can you budget your time when you don’t even know how much of it you actually have?
One of the problems with time is that none of us know exactly how much of it we actually have. Our human lives are finite and we know, even if only subconsciously, that we will only have a limited number of days on earth before our time is up. The specter of our deaths is always lurking in the background and in our Western culture, death is seen almost as a form of failure. Time and failure, therefore, are always there.
Expectations are what really keep us from relaxing. If we expect ourselves to be successful and to meet obligations to others, how can we sit idly by and relax? Expectations were the number one problem I found that my clients who came to me for relaxation training had to deal with. They feared death because they felt it would be like failure and they didn’t feel they had enough time to do everything that they expected of themselves. “Rushing to the grave.” Was how I often thought of them.
So if you want to relax and relax quickly, before you sit and meditate or put on the relaxing cd or background music, you must deal with your expectations and how you view time, success, and failure. In my opinion that means coming to terms with your own human limitations. While many people make lists, whether physical or merely in their minds, of what they have to do, very few people make a list of what they can do. The “can do list” isn’t always popular, but it is a necessity.
First of all, you must say this to yourself and I would prefer it if you say it out loud at least three times every day. “I’m only human.” Say it now and let’s think about what that means. What is a human? A human is flawed. A human is always learning new life lessons. A human is a work in progress and humans learn by trying and failing. Death is inevitable, but death is not failure.
If you really believe that death is a form of failure then you can never succeed and you’re facing certain failure. Is that any way to live? Are we all doomed to fail? Of course not.
What are your true obligations?
Many of us find our true success in life by helping our loved ones to have successful and happier lives. Is your picture of success painted with the smiles of others? Is your to do list filled with the things you want to do for others? How important is it for you to help them to succeed and what is your true obligation for the success of another person?
What is success?
Is success achievement? How much achievement or success is enough? What is the purpose of life? Your whole philosophy of life determines whether or not you will ever find peace and whether you can relax. If you are unable to relax because your mind is filled with worry and you feel guilty taking time to relax when there is still so much to do, you will never relax. If you never relax you’ll become tired and worn out.
The people who I found could truly relax and who were actually more successful at reaching some of their goals in life had come to a realization. Some seemed to be born with this knowledge while others acquired it along the way, often after driving themselves to the point of a breakdown when they could not only not help other people, but needed to be helped themselves.
It’s not the destination, it’s the trip and the stops along the way.
The purpose of life isn’t to achieve goals unless the goal is to learn and grow as a human and to share love and experiences along the way. As soon as you achieve one goal another takes its place. The to do list will never be finished and there will always be another problem to be solved and more tasks to perform. Let’s not forget that it all ends with death and to do lists are buried with their owners.
The quickest and only way to relax is to admit your “humanness” to yourself and to accept the fact that some of those important things won’t get done. You can’t make another person’s life perfect. The greatest thing that you can do for the ones you love is to give them the gift of peace. Peace of mind comes from understanding that you’re human and being comfortable with that and therefore being able to enjoy life as it is.
What you can do for others, the greatest gift.
If you really love someone and want to make his or her life better you can show him or her how to live and enjoy life. Enjoyment that comes from experience rather than from attainment is much more genuine and also can be achieved. Setting an example by having realistic expectations of yourself and showing others how to be human is a great gift.
Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Look around yourself and see the world and your life for what they are. Life is temporary and how we live is remembered long after almost all the other things someone may remember about us. Do you want to be remembered as a tortured soul who was so caught up in worry and care that you couldn’t enjoy the only thing you truly had, time?
Whether you use a relaxing cd or some other form of music, whether you spend a day fishing or just going for a walk in the park, you will find it relaxing and enjoyable if you allow yourself to be human and accept life for what it is. If you want to help others, showing them how to relax and allow themselves to be human is the way to do it.
Therefore, the quickest and easiest way to relax is to accept your humanness, to accept yourself for who and what you truly are. You can only be you and trying to deny your true nature and limitations will never bring relaxation, peace, or happiness and it will never help another person.