MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “relax”

A bad ally

©MCD

Just give me some time”, she muttered as she stormed off.

Tiredness is a sneaky feeling. It gets you to the extent where you want to punch something to let off steam, but at the very same time, you feel the urge to break down in tears.

Time is vital. It helps you regroup, regather your thoughts, and re-energise yourself to be able to keep going.

But solitude also works. Particularly because it constrains you from saying something you shouldn’t or cannot retract.

When you’re exhausted, go somewhere alone. Perhaps even better, sleep it off.

Tiredness is never a good ally.

He showed up with a flower, after what he deemed a revitalising period of time.

She couldn’t help but smile.

All we really want is to feel important and appreciated, and that all the work we do – regardless how meaningless it may seem – is noticed and valued.

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Weekends are for relaxing

©MCD

We seem to be spending too much of the (working) week looking forward to the weekend. Those two days that we can escape the chaos and irrationality that constitute our daily contemporary lives.

In essence, though, we’re anticipating this end of week so much because we need it. We ought to relax and our very organisms are actually calling for it. It is a sign that we’re experiencing life in rhythms that our beyond natural; we stress too much over meaningless things; we anguish and rush; we work, sleep, and eat at irregular tempo and hours.

We need a couple of days to do nothing that entails a tight schedule and an alarm clock. To allow ourselves to lie in, to walk on the beach, to go for a coffee, to meet friends, to engage in endless conversations, and to not think about the passing time.

We know we’ve relaxed and replenished, when all we’ve done is sleep and surrender to leisure, and just like that the weekend has passed, without us realising exactly how. But we feel complete and happy, and that’s what truly matters. And what will help us get through another week.

Learn to relax

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In a daily routine that we’ve become so accustomed to constantly being engaged with something, how do you truly manage to relax and unwind?

Relaxing is increasingly difficult in our always-on digital world”, as this excellent article explains.

We are always busy with something, occupying our minds with often useless information, so much that we don’t know what to do in situations when we have no screen to look at and nothing to keep our hands or minds busy with.

The paradox of this world of technological ease and plenty is that we find ourselves unable to relax and switch off. We simply don’t know how to do this anymore.

There are also “periods of time when your mind is so exhausted and overwhelmed it takes itself out of the situation”; when we’re not even engaged in what we’re looking at – totally zoning out, not being able to recall what we’ve done for the last half-hour. It’s as if our mind itself is disassociating itself from its surroundings.

But yet we are still unable to completely switch off.

We live in such hectic rhythms on a daily basis that we find ourselves unable to cope with days off. With not having responsibilities, obligations, or simply something to pass the time with.

Walking outdoors, taking a hike, a bike ride, a road trip, seem “too much trouble” and we dread the idea of finding ourselves somewhere without satellite reception that we’ll be “cut-off from the world” no matter how short a time this will last.

Like everything else in our process of development, we need to learn to relax and switch-off.

It will help us view the world in a different perspective; change mentality on a few things; and perhaps even enable us to adopt a healthier lifestyle.  

Pause and breathe

There is always something to do in a day. If you want to, you can find tonnes of things to keep you occupied – doing your actual work being a fundamental one.

But the thing is, nowadays, we lack the will to do pretty much anything.

We may blame it on languishing, the phenomenon of our times. But it may also be due to a series of reasons.

Life’s hectic rhythms sometimes result in us being too exhausted to be productive. And we realise that if we pressure ourselves, whatever we deliver will not be up to our own high standards. Perhaps that is why we prefer to do anything else, other than our obligations. And that anything else is often nothing. (Unless binging on TV series and Netflix counts as something).

We need days off. If anything to clear our minds and actually relax. Those moments we spent as kids just lying on the bed and staring at the ceiling, daydreaming; well, they were actually priceless. Now, we seem to be lacking time for a proper meal, let alone for an instance of losing ourselves in space.

But it is necessary to breathe. To hit pause and do nothing, simply so we can get back on track of actually doing all the things that we’re used to filling our days with.

Reaction to life

Stress is your body’s way of activating your flight-or-fight response to a perceived state of danger. It causes your senses to go on alert, often resulting in convulsive – irrational – reactions, heightened adrenaline, faster heartbeats, and increased breathing rates, as well as altering your food digestion and consequently your glucose levels. Stress has multiple effects on our body, many of which we are hardly aware of.

It’s easy to advise a person not to stress. What is not easy, is to actually follow that advice.

You may have heard/read it before from so many sources nowadays: stress is a fear reaction to life and life’s constant changes. To manage it, we need to equate stress with fear and then begin to eliminate fear from our lives. We need to wonder why are we in fact so afraid? Why do we so passively give our power away? William James had said that “the greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over the other”. Because in essence, what causes our bpm to rise is in fact our own thoughts. If we replace the constricting and fearing thoughts we allow to invade our heads with positive and empowering affirmations – keeping it cool and focused – will actually allow us to reach what Louise Hay describes as “the totality of possibilities”. If you let your mind go beyond what you think is possible, you open yourself up to a myriad of options and potential.

What is interesting is the fact that many of us create the ideas we have about life by the time we are 5 years old. And from then on we live in the limitations created by our 5-year old consciousness, often stopping us from experiencing all that we could or desire. It is our own excuses, beliefs and limitations that obstruct our way. We have the option of either accepting them or overcoming them and moving beyond what we think is possible. Because it’s all in our head.

Anger is a significant form of stress.

One of the best advice on learning to alleviate it is what is termed as the “5-minute rule”. You should not spend more than 5 minutes stressing over something or being angry. Give yourself five timed minutes to vent, to moan, to scream, to let it all out. But afterwards, take a deep breath, and acknowledge that you cannot change what has already happened, so there is no value in wishing it were different.

Put simply: deal with it, and move on. Otherwise your just wasting your energy and time.

It’s not so easy to do. But it’s definitely worth a try. And if you keep at it, you’ll eventually get there.

Switch it off

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How do you switch it off? Your mind. How do you hinder the perplexities? How do you stop it from making scenarios, rushing to conclusions, dreaming ahead? How do you escape your own thoughts?

How is it that your entire mood can change by a single potential drawn up in your head? By that question or theory that wakes you up at night and haunts your sleep? How is it that what we fear most or anguish about is usually simply something concocted by our brain and not reality?

We fabricate our dreams, yet we cannot stop ourselves from cursing our own good fortune. And for that, we bring ourselves harm because we expect things to go wrong. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, we overthink everything and then anticipate it all to take the wrong turn.

But what if we silenced that part of our brain that cautions us so much it does not allow us to live; to enjoy even the simplest things of life?

What if we took the risk of tumbling upside down inside a sheet hanging off the ceiling, like we do in aerial yoga? What if we enabled ourselves to do something different – something out of the box and beyond our comfort zone? What if we enjoyed it so much that we could finally begin to acknowledge that life eventually gains the vivacity you send out to it?

It all begins inside that powerful organ – the brain. Don’t let it bring self-destruction for no apparent cause.

On an unknown path

©MCD_Makri

So what is it that we truly need to have fun? It’s not the location, not the material stuff, not the luxury or comfort, it’s not the resources. Regardless of what you may have in mind – and the fact that some of these do help make life easier – you don’t need a lot to enjoy your days.

All you really need is good humor, good friends and a good mood. (Although a drink or two also helps).

In essence, you realise that we are the ones complicating our lives without reason when you’re suddenly found in a place where there is not much to do and almost nothing to see.

So you acknowledge that very often than not it is the simplicity of things that helps you relax; you communicate faster and effortlessly; you enjoy your (longer) days more; and you certainly feel more satisfied. Because you’re actually enjoying yourself without straining too much for it. And that’s really the point. Isn’t it?

Every so often we need to get lost. To follow a path we don’t know where it leads, because life ought to be an adventure, and we should be willing to discover whatever it may bring. It may pleasantly surprise us.

Forest getaway

© Alicia Jamtaas

It was the need to get away from the hassle of the city. The exasperation of constantly having to please everyone. The disappointment of the selfishness that dominated the world. The desire to simply disappear.

It all led to a forest he had discovered long ago. It was a finding that occurred by chance, but that remained imprinted in his mind.

It only took a moment for the decision to be taken.

And a few days before its full implementation.

He would finally mange to relax. To detox. To clear his mind and allow his soul to relax. Right there.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Forces of Gender

It is a proven fact that men and women react to stressful situations differently. It’s not all about gender, though, it also has to do with a person’s character. But judging from the men in my family and workplace, they have a more reserved way of dealing with things that women usually lose control over.

Females have an innate tendency of shrieking their lungs out when their irritation hits alarming levels. It’s as if we’re giving up on trying to make sense of anything anymore and have surrendered to exasperation, releasing all the tension that has built up like a volcano gathering lava. We’re also severely more impatient, needing solutions here and now, and certainly more sentimental, allowing emotions to take over rational thinking at times.

It’s not easy remaining calm in adverse situations. And the more you tell someone in such cases to “relax” and “calm down”, the worse it gets. We know that’s what we need to do; but that doesn’t mean we can.

In movies – slapstick comedies in particular – we see the recurrence of actions that irritate a character for the sake of witnessing their reaction and laughing at it. But consider the person experiencing the incident. It may be funny to an outsider – or even to the same person after a while – but at that precise moment it’s literally salt on an open wound.

We need to lash out every so often to get rid of the tension we aggravate inside about everything – our lifestyle, our environment, the policies that govern our lives, the things we can’t control yet so deeply affect us. But we need to find healthier ways to release that stress. And we need people around us who understand, who actually help keep us sane, and who can maintain freak-out levels to a controllable intensity.

Restless spirits

Nature shows us that life occurs beautifully without constant pressure;

Yet we cannot tame our restless spirits;

Incessantly fidgeting.

Also part of Weekend Writing Prompt #206

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