Exploration of relaxation

I am a tense person. I have been since I was born. My mom always said I was born straight as a board, barely moved, but surely cried…loud. Coaches always told me to relax and let my shoulders down and athletic trainers begged me to trust them and relax so they could help stretch my muscles. Yet here I am, at 23 years old, still unable to relax my shoulders (seriously, I’ve reminded myself at least 7 times to relax since starting this post).

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There are a lot of ways to get your body to loosen up, unwind, and relax a little. I’ve done my research and have been attempting to practice relaxation methods, all of which have not been going well. My brain doesn’t slow down enough to find that mode of relaxation. I begin to unwind and then my brain thinks of something else I could be doing. I think of tomorrow, the next day, the next few months, or even ten years out. My shoulders begin to rise up to my earlobes and, what do you know, there I am, tense again.

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I blame a lot of my tension on my anxiety. If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you’re no stranger to the anxiety I can experience on a fairly normal basis. With an anxiety attack comes added tension, which in turn makes it all the more challenging to relax.

And although I haven’t technically figured out how to lessen the tension and relax, I can give you the low down on what I am trying out. If you’re like me, you’ll take any suggestion you can get.

  1. First and foremost, I open up my bible and read whatever happens to be on the page. This is something I’ve been practicing for a while and it’s working well. Before opening my bible, I place my hands on top and pray for God to show me what He wants me to read. Every. Single. Time. it’s been eye-opening and has eased my heart.
  2. Yoga. There are many kinds of yoga, and while I’m bad at almost all of them, I find focusing on my breathing, stretching my back and resting in shavasana (corpse pose) really helps me slow down. Through this, I practice shutting my brain off and focus on breathing while letting go of negative energy.
  3. Squeeze a stress ball. Sometimes, this actually has a counter-effect on me and makes me feel more stressed and tense. However, sometimes it can allow me to focus on why I need to relieve stress, which makes it that much easier to let it go.
  4. Sunshine. Weather 100% impacts my mood. If I’m feeling stressed or tense at work, I’ll do whatever it takes to take five minutes to sit in the sunshine, close my eyes, and breath for a second.
  5. Dogs. Is it really a post from me without mentioning a dog at least once? It’s incredible how quickly I relax around a dog. Petting them, hugging them, or even getting a little smooch from them is all I need to ease the tension.

Relaxing is a conscious effort in my life. If you’re a relaxed person, do you have any tips you want to share? I hope you all find time to let go, unwind, relieve some tension and feel relaxed today.

-Cas

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P.S. Did anyone else count how often I said, relax or relaxation? Goodness.

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Twenty something looking for inspiration, travel opportunities, and all of the dogs to cuddle.

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