Are you practicin’ relaxin’?

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Are you practicin’ relaxin’?

Modern life pushes to do more, think less, and react to whatever seems most urgent. Sure, we get a lot done, but on the whole, we’re not very happy while we very stressed out!

Stress is  killing us, physically, emotionally and spiritually. The number of American workers who consider stress to be a major problem in their lives has more than doubled during the past ten years. 62% percent of American workers say their workload has increased over the last six months; 53% say work leaves them “overtired and overwhelmed.

Moreover, the modern brain, over exposed to electronic stimuli, neurons firing and twitching, is addicted to the action. Our nervous systems, extended beyond our bodies given by the reach of the internet, crave a constant connection to the virtual world. When that connection is unavailable, we literally feel like we’re going to have a nervous breakdown!

Beware, the addicted and self protecting brain!

Keep in mind, that your addicted brain thinks it needs action, not reflection. It tells us that slowing down is nonsense; I can’t slow down; I’ve got too much to do!’ ‘What does getting quiet have to do with anything? I don’t have to connect with myself through relaxation; I’ve got work to do!’”

In addition,our brains have a strong genetic predisposition (hundreds of thousands of years of evolution!)  to scan for, register, recall, and react to potential threats. Your brain is like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive ones.

So, how do we get our lives back and save ourselves from the addictions, stress’s and strains of modern life?

A good place to start is by making a conscious commitment to slow down, get quiet and connect with yourself.  Carve out the space and time to think about what is really important at work, at home and in life. Do not negotiate this time for yourself, you need to be able to stop and think and reflect.

We need practices that lift our spirit and nurture our soul.  The important thing is to commit to discovering for yourself those practices that will help you to feel connected (not to the internet!) and fulfilled. Here are some simple practices that  have been found to be effective with decreasing stress, improving cardiovascular health and elevating immune system function and mood.

  1. Deep breathing with long slow inhalation and exhalation.
  2. While Breathing, imagine or sense that you’re breathing in and out through the area near and around your heart.
  3. Bring to mind pleasant, calming emotions; love, kindness, or appreciation. While breathing in this way, recall pleasant experiences; holding your cat, seeing your child smile with ice cream on their face, and so on.

Get the support you need to get on, or stay on, the path of connection, communication and consciousness.

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Helen Keller wrote about her time as a student at Radcliffe University. She is both eloquent and inspiring, reflecting about her life before all of the demands of college entered her life.

“I used to have time to think, to reflect, my mind and I. We would sit together of an evening and listen to the inner melodies of the spirit which one only hears in leisure moments when the words of some loved poet touch a deep, sweet chord in the soul that until then had been silent.”

Perhaps it is that deep, sweet chord that we, in our modern lives, need to discover, and relax into if we are to be truly happy, productive and well.

Recommended reading to support your learning:

  • Buddha’s Brain, Rick Hanson
  • Quantum Shift in the Global Brain, Ervin Laslo
  • The Story of My Life, Helen Keller

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