It might seem like a dumb question, but do you actually know how to relax? Do you truly know where to find that pure relaxation that brings tranquility, peace, and fulfillment? Or are you stuck in a habitual form of relaxation that just brings momentary happiness? Do you even know how to tell the difference? Those are some important questions and ones that I believe are very much overlooked.
For many in our modern society, relaxation is found through movies, TV, gaming, watching sports, or such media heavy things. Those can definitely bring you joy and a bit of time away from reality, but they aren’t very likely to bring any kind of actual fulfillment and inner peace.
We’ve forgotten that true relaxation requires being alone and not just burying one’s mind in a screen, which really is being lazy, not relaxing. Though sometimes we need to be lazy, but that’s not what we are discussing today.
Even as much as I love books, I’d say that they too can be a distraction from true peace. They allow us lost ourselves from the world, for a time, but aren’t always the right answer.
I also want to differentiate relaxation from natural highs, caused by endorphins. Both can feel equally great, but the natural highs are caused by doing something. Whether it be running, singing, extreme sports, sex, or many other things; you feel great, but you truly haven’t let go.
True relaxation is found in only a few places, and it’s generally found when we are alone and allowing ourselves to fully stop from doing anything. When we let our minds clear, not just be distracted. So where is this “true relaxation” that I speak of? There are three places that it can be found.
The first is the closest and easiest to accomplish, in modern society. Go take a bath or shower in the dark. Maybe with some classical or trance music, perhaps some nature sounds, or just in complete science. If you allow it to, your mind will focus and then clear until you get a few minutes of pure relaxation.
The second, and possibly most obvious option, is meditation. For some people it comes naturally, for others it is a real struggle. But once you find your way there you can find that contentment. Meditation’s main advantage is that you can do it pretty much anywhere, even for just a couple of minutes.
The third, and what I think might be the most potent, is nature. Go out on your own, into the mountains, the beach, a forest, or whatever makes you the happiest. Go find a quiet place, away from any other people, sit or lie down, and just enjoy the natural world. Listen to the water, the animals, the wind moving through the trees. Let your breath and heart beat match the pace of the natural pace of things.
A final thought, for this blog. Don’t just go seek relaxation when you feel stressed. Make it a regular part of your life and it will help you avoid feeling stressed. However, don’t make it something that’s the same time every day or week. Then it becomes either just part of the routine or a tedious thing you feel you have to do. Change it up, keep it real, and remember to take care of yourself.