Updated: Dec 9, 2018
Developing proper relaxation skills through a nurturing internal dialogue (and/or body processes) is big part of what I do. For so many of us our bodies are not a source of calm and respite. They are a place of sadness, anger, anxiety, and tension. Because of this we avoid going within, and instead we use sources outside of us to feel better, such as:
A busy schedule
The pattern of avoidance goes deep and thus effects all of our choices. Therapy is a place to build skills so that your body can support who you are. I think of our bodies as separate from us. They are just another part of the inner village, so to speak.
Relaxation can come from an inner dialogue through guided meditations, with real or imaginary helping figures. It may come from the words of supportive people in your life, books that you love, or simply from within yourself. What makes this useful is that you experience a feeling of serenity whenever you imagine it or write it out.
Relaxation practices such as breathing, stretching, yoga, walking on grass, staring at clouds, mindfulness meditation, and prayer also work. That is the beauty of learning to relax. There are ample avenues to go on an adventure down, and you will always be surprised to learn what awaits ahead of you. Life is about the journey, and that is key to discovering yourself and your place of peace.
Some people say this sounds way too simple. “How can this help me?” they may ask. Time—like anything that takes effort—is key to increase the depth of the relaxation experience. Remember: you did not ride a bike the first time you got on one. It took time, patience, effort, and perseverance to learn that skill. My goal is to get you to this place, and often we must address all barriers to this goal. But that’s a topic for another time.