Learning to Relax

Relaxation is a part of life that most people take for granted, because it is just something they expect to experience every now and then and so rarely, if ever give it a second thought.

Where things go wrong in today's fast paced life is that a great many people never actually get the chance to relax properly until they collapse, exhausted into bed at night. But then they miss the part where relaxation comes to be savored and enjoyed because they go past that state and into sleep quickly, only to be awoken by a noisy alarm clock several hours later.

While the time spent in bed sleeping is technically a part of relaxing, it is not the part that is most beneficial from a personal development standpoint. There is more to relaxing than simply drifting off to sleep!

Finding Some Me Time

To truly benefit from relaxation in its fullest sense, you need to find some time during your waking hours when you can switch off from the world and find your own quiet space for a while. You don't actually need to fall asleep during this time, although it does happen. But you do need to relax!

One thing that is not so easy to do is to try this at your desk at work or while driving a vehicle down the freeway! Chances are you will be interrupted in a most inconvenient way in either case!

A desk job often entails being in close proximity with not only other people, but also telephones and more recently computers that audibly alert you whenever you need to give them your attention, such as when receiving email or an online chat request. There is also the chance that your boss may make an unfortunately timed walk-by at the most inconvenient moment and you definitely do not want to be caught with your eyes closed!

When driving, while you can relax to a point and it has been said that a relaxed driver is usually a safer one because their reflexes are sharper, you still need to have your attention focused on the road because you need to keep going in a straight line and not encroach on the opposite lane and you need to be aware of any stop lights or stationary vehicles that you may be approaching!

Where to Relax

To truly relax, you need a quiet place, preferably at home or at least someplace where you are not going to be disturbed. That means being in proximity to no telephones, cell phones or computer devices (including tablets) and no doorbells or alarms of any kind.

It helps if you can darken the room a little or screen the natural daylight with blinds to create an ambience of calmness. A comfortable chair or a bed is useful, especially if you are not trained in yoga or similar discipline where you may be used to sitting cross legged on a mat.

The rest is simply a case of switching off your train of thoughts and allowing your mind to become clear and still. If any disturbing thoughts try and sneak in while you are relaxing, you must shut them out by thinking about a happy thought over and over until the unwanted thought or worry or inner disturbance fades away.

You should also control your breathing to slow it down by starting with several slow, deep breaths. Breathe in slowly as much as you can, hold it momentarily, then let it out real slow. Repeat this several time while mentally repeating to yourself the word "relax" very slowly each time you exhale.

This action creates a state of calmness both in your physical body and your mind and allows you to really find that calm place where you can truly relax and experience an inner sense of peace that you will not get anywhere else and at any other time.

Once you have learned to relax in this way, you can use this calm state to meditate, which is the first step to making marked improvements in your life and certainly improve your confidence levels by using the power that you possess within yourself. This subject will be covered in later articles here on this website.