Why is it so Hard to Let Ourselves Relax?

I have specialized in stress management and relaxation since grad school.  That’s what my Master’s thesis was about, and back in the early 90’s, we didn’t even know as much then as we do today.  There are thousands of articles about the importance of being in balance and being able to relax in our hectic world.  Our minds and bodies are on the go and ready for action most of each day, and sometimes even when we are trying to sleep!  When we engage in practices that encourage relaxation, this allows us to be physically and mentally more in balance and we are better able to deal with the stresses that life  brings our way.

What I find most interesting is that people will literally avoid doing things that are helpful to themselves!  Whether it’s getting a massage, practicing meditation, getting a reiki treatment, or trying something like vibrational sound therapy (which is the technical term for using bowls to emit vibrations which relax the muscles). {for more information on VST, go to vibrationalsoundassociation.com by clicking this link}or Yoga.  I recommend these services and refer to practitioners I know and trust and yet, people will routinely have reasons why they haven’t or don’t practice any of the above.  And it’s not just a money thing, because meditation is free!

Another reason I use the term ”avoid doing these things” is because I have had people try some of these different approaches with me and then when they recognize the value, they initially appear excited about the value whichever method they’ve tried, and then get too busy to schedule another appointment or schedule/cancel/don’t reschedule.  When asked why they are not using these tools, the most common answer is “I’m too busy, I don’t have time”.  The most intriguing issue is the people who need it the most are the ones most resistant to setting up a relaxation practice!

Please don’t get me wrong, there is a growing number of people who ARE getting regular massages, doing Yoga, meditating and whatever else they can do to relax.  And I find that trend to be very hopeful.

As a counselor, I know that doing things that are good for us aren’t always in the front of our minds and there are a variety of psychological and emotional reasons why we may not take the best care of ourselves.  I want to encourage people to consider taking better care of themselves and using relaxation/stress management methods as ways to help that process.  Most of us are aware that we physically/emotionally/psychologically need to be in balance to work and life more productive, happier lives, so let’s just take a quick inventory and see what we are doing to be more in balance and then consider adding just 1 thing to help us be more in balance.  If you add 1 thing and then pay attention, you will notice that you work better, sleep better and feel better after about a month.  Give it a try!  Let yourself relax and see what a difference it can make!

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