I have never found it easy to relax. By relax, I don’t mean simply doing nothing, or participating in leisurely activities. I am always fidgeting, whether it is my foot tapping, my knee bouncing, or my hands wringing. If I am sitting on a desk while teaching, my legs kick. My shoulders are always up by my ears. I have been known to chew my nails from time to time, and my pen caps have bite marks (we could get all Freudian with this, but we can save that for another post). I have even been known to knit a row as my students write something down just to keep my hands busy and to keep from pestering them as they concentrate.
If my body is at rest, my brain is pinging all over the place. I am not good at establishing a quiet mind. If I am knitting, I need to read. If I am eating, I need to read or converse. It is very difficult for me to let go even while getting a massage. I worry, I plan, I write blog posts in my head, I have imaginary future conversations with people and rework past ones. When I try to fall asleep at night, I like to say the alphabet forward in French and backward in English, over and over, perhaps just to crowd out the other “noise”.
Part of my new resolve for wellness is to learn how to relax both my mind and my body.
Captain J.A. Hatfield stated “This art of resting the mind and the power of dismissing from it all care and worry is probably one of the secrets of energy in our great men”.
The time has arrived for me to tap into that energy.
Unbelievably, I think I am on the right track, since I began attending yoga classes. I have done yoga before, but I have not been able to grasp that coveted state of complete relaxation–shavasana.
I reached it or came darn close three times in the past month. I focused my breathing like Sherri or Renee told me to, and I was actually able to “go” to a completely restful place. It doesn’t always work, but I am close!
I have also been able to shut down my busy brain while at my acupuncturist’s office. Just crossing Melissa’s threshold lowers my blood pressure–I’m sure of it. Once she has inserted the needles and has left me, I have been able to focus inward and completely relax. It is actually rather exhilarating.
Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop. ~Ovid
What do you do to relax your mind and body?