Relaxation, Any Time, Anywhere

Relaxation starts with you.

Relaxing thoughts bring about a relaxed body.  Here are some ways to achieve this... wherever you are.

By Sharon Houghton

 

         

     Does relaxing the mind bring about a relaxed body?  Or does a relaxed body bring about a relaxed mind?  Actually, the answer is... both.  I used to think that anyone could be relaxed by training their own mind to think relaxing thoughts, until I was in an auto accident that put my body into a state of imbalance that didn't allow my mind to reach a calm state.  My mind seemed to race uncontrollably.  It was then that I realized that I couldn't heal myself like I usually could, I needed outside help.

     Since I don't believe in taking synthetic drugs.  Massage was extremely healing to my 'mental chatter' that continued for many months.  I also found that making tea out of sedating herbs helpful (See how to make your own herbal tea here).  Eventually, my body stabilized, and I was able to once again regain a sense of control over my mind and body.

     For those with a healthy, normal functioning body, the best way to gain a sense of peace throughout the entire body is by using various mental relaxation techniques.  These can be done at any time, and anywhere.

relaxing thoughts

     'Relaxing the body through the mind'

     ... is our goal when we do the techniques that I recommend in this article.  Sending 'energy' throughout the body will achieve the feeling of peace and tranquility.  The object is to train the mind to focus on this energy, and become able to manipulate it at will.  The difference between this form of mental relaxation process and meditation is in the train of thought.  In meditation, you open up your mind to nothingness.  My experience has been that the mind is like a vacuum that wants to be filled.  So by mentally filling it with thoughts of sending energy throughout the body, the mind stays focused on one thought at a time.  (I have nothing against meditation.  It works well for many.  This is a completely different relaxation technique.)

     To give an example of one form of sending energy throughout the body, try this now.  Take three very nice deep, relaxing breathes with three comfortable exhalations.  Each time you exhale, say to yourself "Let go".  Nothing should ever feel forced or rushed.  Especially when you are first learning to do these exercises.  This should be done with no mind to the clock or linear thinking.  Because all of the tension generally starts in the head area, feel the warm energy go down through your neck, down through your arms, torso, legs, and eventually flow out through your fingers and toes.  Feel it like a soothing current of energy that is steady, comfortable and ever-flowing (Rather than thinking of a current of electricity, think of a river current).  Just stop and 'feel' it for awhile.  It should feel very good.  If you had any tension in your head area, you shouldn't be feeling it at all while you are experiencing this process.

     I really believe in the power of the mind.  The more you believe in the current, the more you will feel it.  Push it out. Enjoy its gentle pulsating quality.  You can even say to yourself..."Ah, this feels so good" and you know what?  It will!  I remember hearing once that smiling releases certain chemicals in the brain which actually make you feel better.  Which came first, the happy feeling, or the smile?  I believe that what they're saying is that it works both ways.  By telling yourself that you feel great, it has the same power as smiling to make yourself happy.  Sure you could call it a form of self-hypnosis.  Perhaps it is. Through my own experience with self-hypnosis, I know that it can be quite effective.  Whatever modality of relaxation you choose, if you believe that it works, it probably will.

     Another technique that I came up with for relaxing the mind and body is to mentally put yourself at the beach where the water meets the shore.  Picture (and feel) yourself lying face up with your legs pointed toward the water, and your head toward the beach.  If you've ever experienced the water tides at the beach, it is a mesmerizing process.  The tide slowly rolls up the shore until it reaches its highest point, hovers there for just a moment and then slowly flows back out to sea taking along every small shell and floating particle with it in one mighty pull.  Then there is a still point for just a few seconds while another wave rolls in and starts the process all over again.

     If you can put yourself mentally into the situation I've mentioned you will hear the water sounds, you'll hear the seagulls, and you will be one with the ocean.  As you peacefully lay there on the shore, visualize the water coming onto the shore around you, feel the warm energy come up, into you, around you and over you.  You may want to enjoy a nice big breath.  Imagine the water at that still point when it reaches its highest point.  Feel the still point, and then let the water flow down around you, over you and most importantly...through you.

     It's on the 'flowing out and through you' part that is the key with this exercise.  This is the part that sends the warm energy down from your head area and out through your feet.  You may do this exercise for as long as it takes you to fully relax.  Or you may choose to limit it to 3 inward and outward flowing tides, and on the last outward flow, send the flow out to the horizon.  Mentally see the water go away to where you can no longer see it.  Physically this would be impossible of course.  But that's the beauty of doing this as a 'mental' activity.  Your mind can do whatever it chooses to do.  So as you feel the energy flowing out of your body while you're watching the water flow away, imagine it to be all of the stress that was in your body.  As you say good bye to stress, blow out a nice long exhale to release any tension left in your body.

      Once you begin to understand and literally 'feel' the concept of energy flow through your body, you'll be able to come up with your own mental exercises.  You will get so good at it that you'll be able to realize that relaxation can be had at will.  Any difficult situation can be helped by this process.  At first you'll want to try these exercises while laying flat on your back, legs separated slightly, with your head level with your body.  Eventually you'll be able to do this while stuck in a traffic jam or while waiting in line at the grocery store.  Learn to be aware of your body's level of stress, and you will have a system for releasing it when you need to.  The next time something stressful happens to you, think of it as a time to practice your new skill.  Feel the tension, then send the energy out through your toes.  And please don't forget the importance of taking nice, relaxed deep breaths.  Feel the energy current go down through your entire body and out.  Your body will thank you.

 

Once you relax your mind, you can put yourself wherever you want to be.

 

 

Disclaimer -  This article is not intended to replace medical advice or medical care.  Any health or medical condition that you may have should be evaluated by your doctor or healthcare practitioner.  The information in this article is strictly the opinion and belief of it's author.  SharAmbrosia and the author of this article cannot be held responsible for any harm done to anyone that uses any information given here.  The information in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA.

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