In this day and age, being busy is so ingrained in our lifestyles that we are unconsciously making our bodies suffer and turning our minds into mush. We forget to love ourselves, forget to appreciate the beauty around us and take a pause in our schedules for a breather to relax.
It is vital for your body, mind and soul.
The perfect prescription to positive relaxation is understanding yourself and knowing what you need to actively seek out to unwind. Everyone has a unique way of relaxing and here is how I do it.
1. Switch off, be present.
When the environment gets overwhelming, I make an effort to take time off for a few hours in a day and switch off my phone, laptop, anything connected to the internet and social media to immerse and focus on the present. The brushes that are at my art table are taken out and dipped in paint, the pages in my book are turned and read and my journal pages are filled in. Honestly, my mind does often wander back to my phone and think of the messages and notifications that I might get, but with a bit of training and discipline (yes! even to relax you need a bit of this!), you will get use to just letting it go.
Put your phone face down and out of sight! Spend time with your loved ones, concentrate on your hobbies or take a walk or run.
2. Cook, engage
Ah, cooking is one of the most relaxing things that I could ever do and my kitchen is my little sanctuary. I love the whole process of cooking from grocery shopping, prepping to plating! Cooking takes up a lot of my attention and at some moments, the calm repetitive actions (especially during chopping, slicing and dicing) actually occupy my mind space with calm, peaceful thoughts. For the ones that have yet to toss vegetables and fry tempeh, give cooking a go!
3. Meditation and prayers
For many Muslims, prayers and dhikr (remembrance of Allah) has become a daily ritual and when an act becomes a ritual it loses its meaning because of routine. It loses its essence and beauty. Question back as to why we revert to prayers besides it being mandated by God and our beautiful religion.
What are we searching for, what are we seeking? When we pray, are we asking for something or are we being grateful for everything that we have? Is prayer an escape from the troubles around us? Or is it a solution? When we understand the reasoning for our prayers instead of blindly making it ritualistic, we can find a special kind of peace and calm that leads to positive relaxation and it becomes part of our daily lives.
In short, the bottomline of relaxation is really the way you program your mind and the way you think. The phrase mind over matter takes a whole powerful new meaning once you wield this knowledge of understanding how to control your thoughts and put it into action.