Curbing your addiction with relaxation.
When you think about relaxing, you probably don’t consider that actually figuring out how to relax might be a difficult task for certain people such as workaholics.
There are some who are addicted to being busy throughout their entire day. While it’s great to be on top of things and cross everything off of your to-do list each day, there’s a huge difference between being busy for the sake of being busy and being productive.
In her book, Daring Greatly, Brené Brown explains the reason many of us feel the need to stay busy is because it acts as a universal numbing strategy. When we avoid dealing with the things going on in our life, it’s natural to want to keep occupied with busy schedules and plans.
But the truth is, avoiding deep emotions will only lead to more stress.
Practical Relaxation Techniques
When you’re not used to idle hands, figuring out how to relax might seem impossible. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Get out in nature.
It’s up to you how you decide to immerse yourself in nature. Will you go for a walk in the park? Or are you more inclined to sit by the lake and take some deep breaths?
Being in nature is said to reduce levels of stress hormones in your body. It will also center your focus on something that isn’t concerned with external factors, actually making you feel relaxed and calm.
Many people are afraid of mediation, but it’s one of the best things you can do for your body. When you focus on your breathing, you’re sending a signal to your brain telling it that it’s okay to surrender.
With this signal, you can then focus on tactics that keep you in the present and release negative thoughts, all while drinking your morning coffee.
3. Plan time for relaxation.
Obviously we’re more likely to relax if it’s made part of our busy schedules. Relaxation should be a non-negotiable like eating dinner or taking a shower.
It’s also easier to feel relaxed during this planned out time because you know that’s what it’s meant for. Be clear about your goals for this relaxation period and allow yourself to really play into this downtime.
4. Do something that makes you happy.
When we’re so focused on keeping busy it becomes easy to neglect the things that bring us true joy. Maybe this is watching a new series or reading a book — regardless of the specifics, doing something that makes you happy is ultimately relaxing.
Hobbies give us a chance to find pleasure in things that aren’t tied to work, chores, or other responsibilities that keep us from relaxing.
5. Change your mindset.
For people (like myself) who might feel guilty about vegging out on the couch as opposed to tackling the day, it’s important to re-prioritize your mind.
This means that you must change your outlook on relaxation to make it appear as a necessity. We should begin to see relaxing with equal importance to something like working on projects with a deadline. There’s no reason for guilt when you have to relax.