A book, a hot bath, a beach chair, a float for the pool, a pillow, blanket, sofa, a massage. . .Any one of these or a combination will beckon me, and I will obey and relax. My resume clearly shows that relaxing is a definite strength. I can usually put off any number of high priority tasks if either opportunity or inspiration presents itself for me to relax. I have one question for you, if I am so good at relaxing, why do I get intense so easily? The answer lies in the fact that I may be relaxing my body, but my mind is still on the job.
If we can learn to give our minds a rest along with our bodies, I believe we will find a deeper place of relaxation where God can speak to us, refresh us, and bring about the best in us. It is going to require getting our mind, “our reasoner” to be quiet. When I am “relaxing” my mind is still rapidly chasing rabbit trails Thousands of thoughts continue to vy for my attention, pulling me away from the book I am reading, busily solving problems or making plans. That may be relaxation of the body, but it is not RELAXATION of the mind.
I would venture to say that our minds are the hardest working organ in our bodies. For example, the heart basically has one job to do, pump blood. The liver gets poisons out of our systems; the lungs take in air and release carbon dioxide; the stomach digests food. Read this list of what our brains do:
- “Controls the body’s functions, such as walking, talking, swallowing, breathing, taste, smell, heart rate
- Controls all our thinking functions, our emotions, how we behave and all our intellectual (cognitive) activities, such as how we attend to things, how we perceive and understand our world and its physical surroundings, how we learn and remember and so on.” (ABI Manual)
I don’t know about you, but my brain needs to RELAX!
I know that when I can get my “reasoner” to be quiet, I can better hear from God, I can be more creative, and I can receive inspiration from Him. This is great motivation to find techniques to quiet my mind and learn to really relax. I’ll be experimenting with this over the next few weeks, so if you have any tips, please feel free to share them.
Here’ s a method of relaxation suggested by Norman Vincent Peale’s in his book, The Power of Positive Thinking.
Lay with your palms up.
- Begin with the toes, and think or say “My toes are relaxed.” Do this slowly without thinking too much about it.
- Move up your body, doing this with every muscle part until you have covered all of the muscles of the face and the top of the head.
- At this point you should be completely relaxed or asleep.
Another idea for entering into a deeper state of relaxation is to imagine you are on the 50th floor of an elevator. Count down as the elevator goes down opening out onto a beautiful beach or a peaceful scene. Your mind should be quieted now, and you can relax, thinking only of the Lord and the beautiful scene in your imagination.
A third method is to simply put on some relaxing music. You can find a number of sessions on Youtube. Just lie down, breathe deeply, and and totally relax.
If you have tips and methods for deep relaxation, please share. I really want to give my brain a rest!