When someone says to you ‘just relax’, what does it mean to you? Is it possible for you to do that? Can you tell me the last time you remember relaxing? Most people can’t. I used to be full of tension all of time. As a matter of fact, it was so ingrained in me that I mistakenly thought it was just the way it was. Interesting what happens when you have something to compare an old belief system against. I remember always having tension in my lower stomach. (Everyone holds onto stress differently, I just happened to allowed it to collect in my lower stomach) and the tension never want away. I would try walking, running, watching TV, heating pads, and an endless supply of all sorts of weird, wild and wacky ways in which to relax.
Even after learning how to meditate using scientific principles, I could only relax to certain levels. I slept much better, and did not feel fatigued at all during the day when I constantly reminded myself to enter a deep state of relaxation. You know, I have found that you can study something for years and years and still not master it. I get bored easily (yea, drives my wife crazy) and tend to ‘flit’ or ‘dabble’ here and there, just scratching the surface of a subject, and when I get bored, I just move on, so I suppose it’s my own fault for not staying with whatever I am dabbling in at the time. However, that being said, a few years ago I discovered the real meaning of complete and total relaxation that surprised me very much.
At that time I was on a diet that included apple cider vinegar, and oil of oregano, and had been taking one tablespoon of vinegar and two drops of oil of oregano in a glass of water after dinner. If I can remember correctly, I was on that plan for about 2 to 3 months before I noticed a big change in the way I relax. Here’s what happened. When I went to bed, I would lay on my back and gently focused on the area that I have always had a challenge with. My abdomen area. The reason I mention the apple cider vinegar is because Paul Bragg, a fitness expert swore by it, and his daughter took up his cause after Paul died. Apple cider vinegar has a long list of features and benefits that would surprise you. Some of the benefits are supposed to help diabetes, weight loss, acts as a blood purifier, digestion and much more. Now, the reason I mentioned oil of oregano is because it is an oil that fights infection, and experts will agree that today’s diet and poor lifestyle choices can often cause chronic infection.
Anyway, I was rambling. As I was laying on my back and felt myself relax deeper, and deeper, and deeper…. it was ridiculous. There was just no end to the relaxation, it kept coming in waves, and with each descending wave, I experienced several things that I never expected. Time just stood still. OK, I’m not a freak, hippy, guru or anything like that. It’s just that, while I was aware of time, it felt as if time wasn’t associated with a clock pounding out a beat. It’s as if each second lasted for minutes, and each minute became an hour in a place that I simply did not want to leave. Another thing happened as well. I was completely aware of my body, but could actually feel my body truly resting and repairing my own body. That relaxation experience created a whole new reference point that I can use to hopefully revisit that point many times in the future. I personally believe that relaxation needs to address all three aspects. One is physical, you can’t allow your internal organs to completely relax until the physical body is allowed to deeply wind down. Two, your mental state has to have an opportunity to be completely clear of all stresses and challenges that you have dragged around in your mind during the day.
Third, emotionally you need to be able to process all of the baggage and thought processes that work with your mental capacity and form strong pictures inside of your emotions. All three of these human functions must come to some kind of ‘agreement’ that relaxation needs to be more important than anything else you are dealing with at the point of deep relaxation. I met a woman at a trade show a few years ago. She had written a book on stress. She said that, if you don’t give yourself the opportunity to process all of the events that happened to you during the day. She followed it up by saying that if you can’t or wont process, then you can be heading down the road for some kind of a breakdown.
She had some great advice, and I would venture to say that very few people actually allow time in the evening to ‘process’ what they did during their day. My advice? Practice, practice, practice until you get it right. After all, relaxation is a ‘learned’ phenomenon. If you have a great way to relax, please let us know. Drop us a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks, Rick.