This might sound obvious, or it might sound rather naive, but I’m not talking about what most people seem to take as relaxation. Reading a book is stimulating, not truly relaxing. Watching TV is low energy, but not deeply relaxing in the way I want to describe. Having a glass of wine relaxes you, but using alcohol to achieve the effect tends to make us lazy about doing it naturally.
I’m talking about a practice of relaxing deeply, doing nothing, switching off or emptying the mind and opening up the whole system.
When you relax all your muscles become softer and more flexible. This opens up the energy channels or meridians that run through the body.
When you’re tense and stressed the meridians are more closed and you receive less energy through the body. This makes you feel you’re lacking something, or you become tired. You have to work harder as a result, which makes you even more tense. You’re forcing things rather than relaxing to get stuff done. There’s a vicious cycle here, where you end up working harder and harder to achieve less and less. It builds up over months, or even years, and you can end up feeling exhausted, drained or broken down.
There are plenty of warning signs:
- Not having enough energy for the family in the evenings
- Being on overdrive all the time, never able to switch off
- Glued to your phone and email all day and all evening
- Feeling overwhelmed, confused or anxious
- Reacting emotionally instead of calmly
When you relax deeply and your meridians open up you receive additional energy. You can feel it flowing through your body. It gives you tingles, or waves and other sensations that are very enjoyable and energising.
This is essential because your energy is the vital force that makes you alive. It’s what makes you get up in the morning, gives you all your ideas and inspiration and determines your capacity.
When you take care of your energy, you take care of yourself and your life. You recharge your batteries, heal naturally and replenish your body. Your mind is clearer, life flows more smoothly and you become far more effective and productive.
If you build a habit of daily relaxation the effect accumulates. Eventually you can’t imagine doing without it. It makes so much difference, it affects every minute of your day. You learn not to become stressed about anything because it’s so unpleasant and so ineffective. You rewire your system to relax first, react later.
If you want to learn how to do it, you need someone to teach you. Listening to recordings is fine most of the time, but it’s good to get some feedback as well from time to time.
Not all meditation will give you the kind of relaxation I’m describing. Some meditations require you to focus your mind a lot, which has its value, but not in the way I’m talking about. Also sometimes meditation is more like a visualisation. Again this has its place, but pure relaxation is more important.
I personally teach Energy Relaxation, which seems incredibly simple, but has a powerful effect on your energy. I encourage people to spend 20 to 30 minutes a day relaxing, preferably first thing in the morning, because it sets up the entire day. Many people relax two or three times a day because it makes such a difference. It cleans your energy on a daily basis, which is like taking an internal shower. Over time it builds up and transforms every part of your life.
Some people have claimed that it gives them an extra 3 hours per day of productive time. Others have revived their family life, because they no longer arrive home unable to do anything except sit on the sofa and blob. It impacts your kids, partner and parents, even if they don’t know you’re doing it.
Above all, it’s very very easy.