Relax Into the Moment (try this tip)

Relax Into the Moment

By Leo Babauta  A guest post

You might be surprised how often we’re resisting life.

If you assess your body right now, I bet you can find some kind of tension or tightness. For me, it’s often in my chest, but sometimes it’s in my jaw, face, neck or shoulders.

Where does this tightness come from? We’re struggling against something — perhaps we’re irritated by someone, frustrated by something, stressed or overwhelmed by all we have to do, or just don’t like whatever it is we’re faced with. This causes a resistance, a hardening or tightening. Everyone does it, most of the day.

It’s normal, but it causes unhappiness, an aversion to the present moment, struggles with other people or ourselves, struggles with the task we’re faced with. What I’ve found useful is the idea of relaxing into the moment.

Try this:

  • Notice where the tension is in your body right now.
  • Notice what you’re tightening against — it might be someone else, or whatever it is you’re faced with.
  • Relax the tightness. Just let yourself melt.
  • Face the same situation, but with a relaxed, friendly attitude.

And repeat as often as you can remember, throughout the day. Just use the phrase “relax into the moment” to remind yourself.

What this does is helps us to face the day with less tension and greater contentment. We struggle less with how other people are, and instead might open our hearts to them and see that they, like us, are struggling and want to be happy.

We might face a task with less resistance, and instead do it with a smile. We might just notice the physical space around us and start to appreciate it for the unique gift that it is. And in the end, we’re changing our mode of being from one of struggle and resistance to one of peace and gratitude.

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7 Brilliant Ways to Get Rid of Stress

I bet that you didn’t want to start your week off the way it happened.  But there it is.  Nothing you can do about it.  You forgot a major timeline…or you got sick and missed an important meeting.  Whatever it is, it has you feeling stressed and it’s only the start of your work week.  Because you are stressed out, you start to feel anxious as well.  Which then leads into all sorts of scenarios in your head.  You know your boss is looking at you funny.  What?  Why is everyone in the workroom laughing except they got quiet when you walked in?  Ack.  Your boss thinks you are an idiot.  Chances are, none of these things are true.  But what if they are?  Really?

7 Brilliant Ways to Get Rid of Stress

 

  1. Stop taking things so personally.  Maybe, just maybe, the people in the workroom were laughing at the fact that they were about to surprise you with a party.  Okay, it could happen.  But even if they were laughing at you, who cares?  Yes, you do.  I know that.  Now think about this, this is not a reflection of your actions.  It is a reflection of theirs.  Be polite.  Be professional.  Move on.
  2. Stay in the present moment.  Don’t create a story or a situation that was never there to begin with because that’s how you become your biggest enemy.  I know that you might feel stress creeping up so what if you shifted your attention out of worst case scenario mode and went back to the task at hand?  Always allow your thoughts to pass by, inspect them, and carry on with the present moment.  Here is my friend’s article on releasing anger with her affirmations.
  3. Work out and move your body!  I was doing research for the new yoga flow that I am creating for a workshop, and it said that one of the top ways to remove and release stress was through yoga.  Of course that doesn’t surprise me, so see my previous articles on 3 simple exercises to keep you fit or 10 yoga tips for beginners.
  4. Spend time with your loved ones.  Sometimes, when it’s quitting time, it’s best to quit and go on home.  Your work will be there.  You only have one life and this isn’t a test.  Play some loud music on the way home that you love, unwind, and by the time you get home, try very hard to stay in the present moment there too.
  5. Unplug and unwind.  This one is really hard.  I know it.  it has proven to be difficult for me as well.  I am very thankful for our family vacations away from people…and things…in the mountains.  With literally no service.  No tech.  No T.V.  I know right?  Sounds amazing.
  6. Find your quiet place.  Which brings me to this one, and I know you are thinking you can’t find time to do this, but find time to meditate, journal, take a bath, or do something that you can really focus on in peace and quiet.  Yes, even you new moms can do this!  You really need to make this part of your routine.
  7. Prepare for your next day.  We always all get ready by picking out our clothes, and not having to rush.  Take a minute to do a list of things before you leave the office, home office, school, etc, and when you get in, it will be there to focus you.  That way, you leave it there where it belongs.  Don’t take it home with you.  You can find balance in your work and life.  This leads you on a better path to wellness!

Still feel like you need help?  Sign up for my 4 Weeks to Wellness course OR get help in a closed support group.

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5 Ways to Relax…

Ring.  Ring.  Buzz.  Beep.  Bloop.  What’s all that?  Oh it’s your devices going off.  Deadlines are coming up.  You are stressed out.  Stress leads to sickness.  So take a minute to re-charge without feeling guilty because in the long run, you will be much better off.

How do I relax?

1. Go to your happy place.   Where’s my happy place?  If you don’t know, chances are you need to relax.  For me, it’s the beach.  Since I live near there, I can go stick my feet in the sand and relax.  But it could easily be a hammock, a favorite restaurant, a movie, a good book, or just closing my eyes for a few minutes thinking about my children, husband and dachshunds.  Or perhaps a massage in Jamaica.  Whatever:)
2. Listen to music.  I have eclectic taste in music.  Okay, fine, I listen to old music mostly.  However, I have songs that bring about happy feelings, so they relax me.  I can just put on some Rusted Root and send me on my way to my happy place.  I can listen to Celtic inspired music and dream about the day I actually get to go to Ireland.  And Bob Marley and his birds, well, I need them to remind me about the joys of little things.
3. Breathe deeply and be present.  Unfortunately, this one is my nemesis.  I work on staying present, but it’s like this giant battle in my head.  “Oh look.  It’s the past.  Let’s go there.”  Or “Hey, let’s go down this path to worry.  You like it a lot.”  Noooo.  Not there.  Path to now.  Let’s stay on that path.  “Wait, a bunny.  It’s leading me to what if?”  WHAT IF??  No.  Absolutely don’t follow the bunny.  Bad bunny.  Trying to take me down the rabbit hole.
4. Unplug from devices.  Bzzz.  Beep.  Bling.  Message.  Text.  Call.  Notifications x 100.  Groups.  FB status.  E-mail.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.  Stop the insanity!  That’s why for family vacations, people might be extremely surprised to find out the social media gal, that’s me, goes away to state parks that don’t have internet or any connection to the outside world.  Muhaha.  And if you are that person who has tried to remove Facebook from your phone for the third time…but re-installs it.  Or deletes their profile…and gets back on.  Well, at least you tried.
5. Get moving!  Honestly, this is the best.  I do “the yoga” to relax.  It helps me get into my flow, which I have mentioned before, is my moving meditation.  It is the way I truly and fully live in the now.  I listen to the teacher and focus only on me.  I don’t care what you are doing in the class, I really am focused on me.  Sometimes, I might make a joke under my breath that others close by might hear as I talk myself through a pose…but I am truly only thinking about the present moment.  I am trying not to talk to myself as much about my short comings…but working alone, I spend lots of time in my head.   That’s why this one is the best for me!!

5 ways to relax