It is true that most of us know that we should relax, and we know lots of techniques and ideas about how the best way to relax may be… But most of us don’t know how to truly achieve relaxation. The hardest part tends not to be the physical aspect of relaxing, but the mental– the part about letting go of worrying. We wake up and we start worrying about all the things we want to do today.
Then we go about our day, worrying about little things here and there that are happening to us, or we think about little things we have to do in the future. When we are finally ready to unwind and fall asleep at night, we are so used to being in our worry mode we find it hard to stop. And when this habit is hardwired into our daily routine, when we experience true hardship our worry mode spins out of control and problems like insomnia, depression (a sense of overwhelming), chronic fatigue, binge eating, etc. start to take over.
That is why worry free is the way to be! Hard? Yes. But worth it? Very.
The spiritual teachings say that we should try to “be like water” when it comes to the worries of everyday life. As the waves are crashing on the surface, there is no permanent impression left in the ocean. We must learn to be like the ocean– manifesting calmness within–despite whatever storms of life we experience.
When we finally do fall asleep at night, in our unconscious state we can access this oceanic sense of calmness. And whatever we can do unconsciously, we can also do consciously!
Meditation is one conscious way of re-wiring our brains to be worry-free. This is why studies on the effects of meditation show that even 15 minutes a day for just 2 weeks reduces stress. Practicing meditation also calms the heart, lungs, and inner organs– giving them a nice break from their hard work and thus temporarily inhibiting the break down of tissues and decay. This is very good for purification of the blood stream– and all the various related beneficial effects on physical health (including anti-aging). To learn to meditate, click here.
Another way that we can re-wire our brains to be worry-free is by practicing a state of mindfulness and presence throughout our day. Observing ourselves in the moment. This means making the conscious effort to fight our tendency to worry. We can take this minute by minute, day by day.
Instead, try taking the time each morning when you first wake up and do your morning routine to just focus on what it is you are doing– whether it is eating breakfast or brushing your teeth, or packing lunches. Give yourself 10, 20, or 30 minutes of worry free time. Then be present and watch what is going on during this time. Maybe set a timer on your cell phone, and then you will know that when the alarm goes off you can start worrying again (or hopefully feel inspired to continue worry free!).
Start by practicing this two times a day. Then maybe taking one day on the weekend to totally stop worrying about the things you have to do for the next week. Just one day of total physical and mental relaxation. Then practice going for even one whole week where you don’t worry. Then watch as this mentality becomes natural for you.
No matter how busy you may be, practice letting go completely all your worries and all the things on your to do list. They may fight to come back in– but you can remind yourself, that just for these few moments they are not allowed. Remember, the worrying doesn’t help– it will only take away the energy you need to accomplish the things you are worried about getting done properly. Don’t let worries run your life and drain you of your positive will power and energy.
Another technique is when you start to worry–help to get the thoughts from bunching up inside your head. Write them down on a piece of paper before they start to build up and cause problems. You know that you have tons of things to do, but you also know you will do them. You always do in the end. Just write them down and return your list for the next thing to do after you cross something off.
Learn how to stop the perpetual stream of worry and restless and practice being calm and rested. Things will start to flow better and you may even get more done because you are not succumbing to sleepless nights or procrastinating because you feel too overwhelmed.
And remember even if you didn’t do something you were supposed to, or even if that bad thing happened that you were so afraid of– face it! What is the worst thing that you can worry about and face it! And don’t take your problems in life too seriously, remind yourself of how you are just one person that is part of a huge universe, and how short your time here really is in the scheme of things. So make the most of your time and spend it in more happy, worry-free moments.