Okay, clearly, troubles aren’t necessarily a great thing you want to celebrate about.
But it ain’t that bad either. No sense worrying about it anyway.
Worrying is not the lazy way at all. Worrying is extra mental and emotional effort. And extra effort, nah, not something you want to deal with as a procrastin8r.
I mean, I’ve said it before, clear cut: “Don’t worry.”
. I never said “Don’t have any trouble”, though. That would be impossible. You can’t avoid having any troubles in your life, but you can decide not to let it bother you. You can decide not to worry about it.
And what is worrying? Well, it’s ruminating over bad feelings over and over, it’s beating yourself up about how miserable of a situation you find yourself in, it’s,put plain n’ simple: making your troubles more troublesome.
And at the end of the day, getting worked up is nothing but creating more “work” for you to do, so don’t do that.
Alright so you know what you “don’t” want to do, but what do you actually DO about these troubles?
Well first of all, you must realize this. Realize that while troubles do come, they also go. This too shall pass. And there’s no sense in getting caught up in it perpetually, worrying yourself to death before whatever you’re worried about kills you.
That said, no matter what situation you find yourself in, the best course of action to take, or perhaps better stated the best course of “inaction” to take is to quite simply relax.
Relax. That’s all you have to do.
When you’re feeling stressed out, when you’re mad or upset, when shit hits the fan and you’re on the verge of a panic attack….relax.
Perhaps easier said than done though, right?. After all, it’s hard to ignore the agonizing pain you feel when something heavy hits ya.
But I want to clarify and say I’m not telling you to ignore the pain or write it off like it's nothing. It is something, but it’s not enough of something to rile you up and make you lose focus.
Relaxing is about staying Cool, Calm, and Laid Back at all times DESPITE whatever sort of shit hits the fan. It’s more of a mental framework and less of something you perform.
Today, we’re gonna take a look at how to relax and why you should relax, and without further ado, let’s dive...right into it!
“Relaxation” is a state of mind, not something you do
This is the first point we’ll cover right off the bat. You may think that in order to relax you must DO something.
And while there are things you can do to sort of “trigger” a state of relaxation, like breathing deeply or stretching, the very act of doing these things is not “relaxing” itself. You achieve relaxation, as a state of mind, by the deep breathing or the taking of the nap or whatever soothing type activity you choose, but “relaxing” itself is more about the thought process and feeling you get, rather than the activity that gets you to feel it.
Certainly, there are plenty of “relaxing” activities you can do, and they are relaxing in the sense that they hold the ability to allow you to relax.
You may play a hobby or lie on the hammock and feel ‘relaxed”, but doing these sorts of things is not the action of “relaxing.”
Relaxing is simply feeling at ease, it’s embracing an inner-peace. It’s a feeling that “It’s all good.”
To relax is not so much to do a blissful activity, but to feel bliss in the very moment, whatever the surroundings or circumstances are.
The reason why it’s important to understand that relaxing is a feeling instead of an action is because eventually you want to be able to achieve that sort of feeling, without relying on some sort of external cue to get there.
You can feel just as relaxed standing on stage in front of a large audience at a public speaking event as you do while lying on the beach sipping margaritas. You can feel just as relaxed in a stop dead traffic jam as you do lying in your couch at home in your PJs watching Netflix. You can feel just as relaxed going out on a date with someone new as you do sitting by the campfire roasting s’mores.
You get the gist. Basically, no matter what’s happening on the outside, even if things are frustrating, scary, or otherwise uncomfortable, you still feel relaxed on the inside.
You have to remember, you can’t control external events and happenings; you can only control what happens in your own head. Although the outside world may not be in the least bit “relaxing”, you can be relaxing on the inside world.
Now before you are able to “just relax” inside, despite how terrible things are on the outside, you have to become familiar with that feeling of relaxation. After all, you can’t achieve feeling a certain way if you’re not custom to what it's like to even feel it in the first place.
I mean, maybe you’re so used to feeling stressed all the time that it’s almost like you completely dumped out any and all feelings of relaxation. Well, let’s take a look at how to get that feeling back next.
Do Things That Relax You
When shit happens, when you’re hit with stress, you may feel the constant pressure to go about and be busy - to participate in activities like work or household chores, which only induce even more stress.
Look man, don’t pressure yourself to do anything, especially when you’re undergoing stress.
If you’re feeling sick, with a high fever, sore throat, runny nose, and cough, you stay in bed to recover. You relax yourself physically to rejuvenate your body.
Well, the same theory applies to when you’re feeling stressed. You relax yourself mentally to rejuvenate your mind.
Leisure (the big L in L.A.Z.Y) is an important thing to add to your life. Contrary to popular belief, it’s 100% completely okay to take a break once in a while. It's acceptable to lie in bed not only when you’re physically exhausted but mentally and emotionally as well.
So if you want to remember the feeling of relaxing, stop trying to fuss about with a million things on your to-do list. Instead, find time to…relax (or better stated, do something that relaxes you). Call in “sick." You’re “sick” of work. Sick n’ tired of all the stress. You need a day off.
Heck, even God took a day off when he created the universe. I’m not religious, yet alone a supreme omnipotent being, but hey, if the supposed creator of everything can take a day off, so can you.
Take time to actually do something that soothes you, that creates an aura of tranquility, and a feeling of inner-peace.
Put aside your chores and “have-tos” and fully and completely embrace your laziness. That’s right, be lazy. Kick off your shoes and lie on the couch, break out the popcorn and turn on some old Saturday morning cartoons. That’s just a suggestion, but what I’m getting at here is to do something that removes the hassle, that removes the stress, do something that calms you down.
I mean in this productivity pushing society, you’re constantly hyping yourself up, moving from one task to another, in between unpredictable stressful events like lost keys, annoying sales calls, and a global pandemic.
You gotta take time to do something that doesn’t cause frustration or panic or any sort of discomfort. Maybe that’s fishing out on a boat, maybe that’s strumming your six string, maybe that’s heck I don’t know painting your nails or some shit.
Find a hobby or activity that makes you feel...okay, for once, as if outside worries seemingly dissipate.
You’ll find when you’re doing the thing you enjoy, that all your woes and sorrows disappear. You’ll find peace of mind. It is that feeling of peace you must seek after, that you must familiarize yourself with.
When I was a kid, at eleven years old, our dog died and needless to say, I along with my little sisters were completely devastated. I remember tears pouring out of our eyes as we mourned the loss of not just a pet, but a member of the family. My mom said to us “Why don’t you do something fun to take your mind off things?”
Take my mind off things? How could I ? My best friend was gone. She must have saw the lack of inspiration to do something else in my face, so in her attempts to comfort me further, my mother looked at me and said “Just for a little while.”
Something about the way she said it,take my mind off of it, just for a little while, I realized that I was putting my mind ON the thing that was upsetting me. I was so fixated on how terrible it was and how awful it made me feel to come home to a dead dog.
I needed to do something to take my mind off the bad and put it ON the good in life,. I needed to relax, not forget about my dog, not ignore the fact that she was gone, but move my mind, for a little while, temporarily, some place else.
And the best way to do that was to do something “fun”.
So...I grabbed my GameBoy Advanced and booted up a copy of Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, and as I was whipping monsters through Dracula’s catacombs, the woes and worries I was going through earlier that night, didn’t faze me at all.
I felt completely okay, despite what had just happened. I felt...fine. Certainly, I wasn’t the happiest and chipper eleven year old right after my dog died, but as I played my handheld, I wasn’t the saddest either.
I hope that little anecdote can illustrate that doing something you enjoy, even in the most traumatic of moments, can help you relax. And what you’ll find is that to relax is to find balance within yourself, it’s to bring yourself back to center.
You’re not so far gone in misery nor are you lost in bliss; you’re balanced in a way that keeps you calm and able to cope with the current set of circumstances.
Try it for yourself. The next time something traumatic or stressful happens, instead of getting upset or making a huge fuss about it “take your mind off of it” and “do something fun.”
You’ll find that you had it in you not to worry all along. You just needed a fun activity to lead you there. Eventually, the activity will be optional and you’ll be able to pull up that relaxed state of balance and peace on cue.
Now that you understand how important it is to adopt the habit of doing an activity you enjoy in order to familiarize yourself with the feeling of relaxation, let’s take a look at some more subtle ways to bring relaxation to surface.
Breathe Deep and Yawn
If you’re stuck in traffic and the activity that relaxes you is jetskiing, for example, you can’t exactly pull over and walk to the nearest ocean.
There may be situations where you simply can’t do that relaxing activity that brings you inner-peace. So, what you can do though is something a bit more subtle.
This way, you can trigger your brain into a relaxed state, without relying on performing any sort of elaborate hobby or activity.
It’s quite simple too:
Breathe deeply and let out a big Yawn (the “Y” in L.A.Z.Y.]
Yawning cools your head, literally. It decreases the temperature in your brain. It’s basically a natural way to calm down, to relax yourself and feel at ease.
Now of course the ultimate goal is to just sort of “think” yourself into feeling relaxed, but breathing deeply and yawning is an effective yet subtle way to trigger yourself into the habit of doing that.
Just in case it’s winter and you can’t pull out the jetski or the Internet’s down and you can’t play online games, EFT tapping can be a great way to activate your brain’s “relaxation mode” when doing your relaxing hobby isn’t available.
Now, EFT tapping is probably a whole other topic for a whole other day, but briefly here, you basically “tap” several nerve points on your body and give yourself positive affirmations like “I feel calm and relaxed” as you’re tapping away.
So far we’ve dived into what relaxing is and how to go about achieving this relaxing state of mind, so before we wrap up, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of relaxing, which can hopefully encourage you to, ya know, relax, man.
Think more clearly
There’s a lot of shit in your head. We’ll call it “fog”. When there’s fog outside, you can’t see clearly. Your vision is limited. You can only see within a certain distance.
Likewise, this “fog” in your head prevents you from seeing things clearly. You can only focus on what’s right in front of you and not see out in the distance. Your entire perspective is skewed.
Relaxing clears away this fog and gets you to see the big picture. It allows you to perceive more than the shit right in front of you and look beyond it.
Worrying too much, that is, giving into stress, can have some serious side effects, like heart failure, high blood pressure, and insomnia -- to name just a few. Likewise, under stress, you’re constantly tensing up your muscles and this leads to chronic pain.
People with high stress levels are more likely to have some sort of mental illness, including depression and dementia.
The symptoms only get worse over time, because you begin to worry about having this major physical and/or mental health issue, which only further increases your stress levels. You’ll die to stress before whatever health problem you have would kill you.
Stress is also linked to forgetfulness and irritability. So unless you want to grow up to be a grouchy curmudgeon that can’t remember a damn thing, you gotta relax, man.
It’s amazing how much the mind effects the body. If you feel okay inside, then you’ll be okay on the outside. If you feel bad on the inside, by worrying all the time, then your body will follow suit and begin to break down.
Breaking down on the inside will break you down on the outside too. On the contrary, if your outside world breaks down, if there’s a total collapse, you can remain strong, stoic, and relaxed on the inside.
The world can’t break you, but you can break yourself.
Realize the power you have in being able to reach a relaxed state of mind.
Think about it, if ruminating over bad thoughts and feelings, stressing out, can have such a negative impact on your body and lead to a slew of illnesses, imagine what positive thoughts can do.
They can make you stronger, build you up.
I mean either way, I suppose the end is the same.
Death is inevitable. But in your last moments, you can either think to yourself “I was worried the whole time” or “I enjoyed the ride while it lasted.”
Take it easy,