To be honest I think I’ve stumbled at the first hurdle with this one when I’ve said ‘trying’ to relax. Surely you’re not fully relaxed if you’re ‘trying’ to be. Being truly relaxed is something that happens when we don’t even notice and so probably impossible to orchestrate and therefore out of reach for so many of us who want to be able to control everything, argh!!!!
So what can we do to set us towards this state without forcing it? That is the million dollar question!
I’m going to start with making a list of things I enjoy doing and that I know make me feel calmer and do more of these things:
- Spending time with my family
- Being outside
- Having the house tidy and organised
- Eating well
- Exercising – Doing Yoga
- Watching comedy and laughing
On top of knowing what you enjoy doing having some good coping mechanisms in place is important. Such as being able to deal with any situation that comes your way in a calm manner, this does take a lot of practice. It involves being able to adapt and accept that you cannot control everything or everyone around you. It also means you have to be able to let other peoples shit – which will be sent your way occasionally – wash over you and not effect your calm. Some people will not be as emotionally mature as you are and that is their issue not yours.
If we don’t want to remove ourselves from society completely then we must find the best ways to deal with the situations life throws at us which we cannot predict, control or change. Life is a roller coaster, there will be bad days as well as good, sad times as well as happy and if we can try to put a positive slant on every situation then we will be able to cope better. Even the toughest times in life will teach us something.
Try and eliminate worry from your life, it is completely pointless. Worrying about a situation doesn’t improve it, change it or help in any way. If you are worrying about something and there is something you can do to change it then DO IT. If there is nothing that can be done then you have to just let it go, know what will be will be and get back to living in the moment rather then the past or the future. Worry really does spoil any calm you might have cultivated so don’t let it!
Write a gratitude list when you’re feeling low and appreciate all the things you have. Always striving for the next thing and not stopping to appreciate what you already have is never going to bring you happiness and it’s very exhausting.
Life is full on nowadays and it can be difficult to switch off at times but finding the quiet in all the chatter is important for your brain, how can you relax unless you have time to stop for a moment? Meditation is brilliant for this, unfortunately I think a lot of people hear the word ‘meditation’ and start to tune out, either because they feel they ‘don’t have the time’, or it’s a bit ‘hippie dippie’ for them. I’ve thought both of these things in the past and I admit I still find it hard to find time to just ‘meditate’ and be with myself. I manage to attach some mediation to my yoga practice and this feels a bit less intense to me but it can definitely be hard if you’re not a fan of your own company (and many of those suffering with mental illness aren’t) to find time to just be with yourself.
Mindfulness can be a smaller step in this direction and much easier to do immediately, just focus in on anything around you even just your breathing and off you go!
I hope you have a few more ideas on how to help find your calm and be more relaxed now.
As always, Stay Strong xxx