Take a break from ‘struggling to relax’ – consider it a skill; a skill can be learnt over time with practice. You don’t have to be ‘good’ at something to practice, and within twenty or thirty ‘tries’ you’ll experience progress. Heck – you get ‘better’ at something after three or four tries!
So, instead of stressing about ‘how the hell am I supposed to relax’ just learn to rest a little more throughout your day.
You might try:
- Eating at set times – slowing down how you eat and not watching TV while you smell and taste your food;
- Listening to people really attentively, and smiling as they make a point – you don’t always have to contribute, you can say ‘yeah, I see what you mean’ and smile;
- Closing your eyes and taking ten seconds to yourself when you’re in the bathroom; feel your feet, your legs, your body, your arms, your hands.
- Release tension in your legs when you are sat down – the muscles are not holding you up right now;
- Be curious – take a mental break by looking out of a window and seeing what’s around – be curious about what’s going on – just for a few seconds;
- Do something for someone else – instead of working ‘really hard’ on everything, do a little thing for someone else around you. We can’t always please ourselves but if we can help someone else we know we’ve done a good job;
- Be aware of your surroundings – if you’re very busy, you may need to be totally focussed, but you can’t maintain that focus all day, so ‘rest’ your brain by defocussing from your task for a few seconds and becoming aware of everything around you;
- Write it down – if you have recurring thoughts or worries it might indicate that you’re brain is trying to ‘finish’ something (we humans love to complete things) – if you can’t ‘finish’ whatever is worrying you then write it down! Now that it’s on paper (or your phone / computer) your brain doesn’t have to keep bringing it up;
- Watch great television, but watch a little less television. If you don’t love the show, don’t watch it. This will give you a little more time to yourself and your tasks / work / homework;
- Read a few pages of a book (a real book) before you go to bed;
- Never ever ever play on your phone while in bed. If you want to do your Facebooking, get up and have a cup of tea. Bed is for real rest, you can play on your phone while sat enjoying the tea you have made for yourself and everyone else in the house!
Don’t know how to relax? Stop worrying – just learn to rest a little better with some of these behaviours. Doesn’t matter how wired your mind feels, after three of four weeks of these new habits you will feel better.