How to Reduce Stress NOW and Stay Relaxed AUTOMATICALLY…
Relaxation is a simple but vital thing: the most valuable insights I’ve gained is that while getting tense is an UN-conscious process, while relaxation is a CONSCIOUS one.
In other words, it’s something you have to get yourself to do (until it becomes a habit), and if you don’t do it, you’ll feel the pain. There’s no neutrality here: relaxation is something that you already need to do (like,yesterday), regardless of how bad you think you need it or not…
Again, if you don’t relax, something is going to make you. If you don’t consciously slow down and take time to rejuvenate yourself, your either going to pay the price BIG time or gradually OVER time, with fun things such as:
>> depression and anxiety,
>> migraines and headaches,
>> bone and joint problems,
>> obesity, drowsiness, insomnia, sleep apnea
…and much more.
If this sounds a little “OD” (exaggerated) for me to say that, remember how Doctors always fall back on the key diagnosis of “too much stretch” and how we dwell in an “always-on” society: everywhere you go there’s a television playing, a radio blasting, a cell-phone going off, drivers blowing their horn, etc. etc. Remember how the world we live in is completely ignorant of the natural on-and-off cycle of life.
So here’s a quick 1-2 rundown on how to build stress-reduction into your life so you relax and rejuvenate yourself AUTOMATICALLY. Follow this, and you won’t even have to think about it too much…
…clutter is stressful, and there’s no way around it. It’s a psychological drain that you simply don’t notice until after you clean and organize it up.
Ask anyone into Feng Shui (ancient Chinese, “interior design” with a spiritual twist to it) and they’ll tell you that clutter blocks energy (or the flow of Chi). For a more in-depth argument and more complete steps and advice with this, see the classic post I did on creating a clutter-free environment.
Sleep in the Dark
…apparently, a lot of people like to sleep in the midst of electronic lights and gadgetry. In fact, if you’ve noticed, most appliances today have a constant notification or hybernation state that leaves you aware of them 24/7.
It never used to be like that, but for some reason it is now, so when you go to sleep, plug everything out (microwaves, televisions, air fresheners, etc.). If you have an alarm clock you use to get up, put a towel over the LCD display so it doesn’t shine, and if light from the hallway creeps in through under the door, turn that off too.
You’ll find yourself resting better, and therefore feeling more refreshed in the morning. Sleep is the reset button to this video game of life, so don’t let anything disturb that process…
…self-explanatory. See the post I did on time-management last week for more details.
(You’re body has a natural on-off cycle known as the “ultradian rhythm.” It’s like the circadian rhythm but it governs your daily energy levels instead of your sleep.)
Avoid Cooked & Processed Foods
…because from my personal experience, I’m always most on-point and in control when I have an “basically raw” diet. Here’s a video I shot with my friend (and nutritional consultant) Hondo Solomon on this:
Do Something Creative or Artistic
For more on the “rejuvenative” aspects of creative expression, see The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. You’re basically allowing a certain part of your psyche to stretch and exercise itself, similar to the physical body.
Use Electronics As Least As Possible
…because human beings are not wired to interface with excessive amounts of gadgetry. There’s a good book that came out in 2009 (I think) called You Are Not a Gadget, which I’ve been meaning to get my hands on, and you should also check out Jerry Mander’s 4 Arguments for the Elimination of Television, (one of my favorite books of all time).
Chris Rock once said “In 1987, there was no internet: if you wanted information, you had to go outside your house and get it…”, and in that, I think he’s speaking to a little bit more then just the objective fact that there was no “web” at that point in time.
The physical world is a type of “internet” in and of itself, one that requires all 5 of your senses AND your brain, not just your eyes and some computer. With that is a kind of holistic health thing, where you’ll find that
>> speaking to people in person to get information
>> walking on foot to go somewhere, and
>> physically writing things down to retain information
…all tend to keep you calm, centered, energized and optimistic. Me and my homegirl build on this all the time: just try to do certain things as old-school as you possibly can.
Have Connected, Nourishing & Therapeutic Conversations
…that make you feel understood, cared for and grounded. For more on this, see the post I put up last week called “Not Listening is a Form of DISRESPECT,” where I said:
Remember, most people go through their entire lives without ever being fully listened to and acknowledged at all, so when you become that person, you’ll get rewarded:
>> they’ll now fully listen to you and be receptive to your thoughts,
>> both of you will feel more energized, alive and healthy, and
>> the relationship will go deeper.
I suppose that’s good enough for now. We could go on for days with techniques and approaches, but don’t forget what I said earlier: if you don’t take time to relax, sooner or later something will MAKE YOU. In fact, as a principle
“If you don’t give appropriate attention to what has your attention,
it’ll start to take more of your attention than it deserves…” ~ can’t recall