Stress created illnesses are at an all-time high! Our modern-day society places a lot of emphasis on our mental ability. At work, we are asked to do more and better; to think fast, smart and constantly. We are spending “free” moments checking out the latest on social media. We are inundated with advertisements everywhere we look. That is a lot of information for our brains to process every day.
Disease, whether physical, mental, or emotional, arises when we spend more time doing than simply being. This is because the sympathetic nervous system is on constant duty and is not adequately balanced out by the relaxation of the parasympathetic nervous system. Most Westerners are sleepless with more disturbance resulting in poor quality. It’s no wonder so many of us are finding ourselves out of balance and in need of a recharge.
Here’s the thing about going, going and keep ongoing. Your body will adapt for a while, but the moment you stop you may find yourself crashing or getting sick. That’s because the body was not designed to keep going without the balance of simply being, through relaxation. Our autonomic nervous system was designed to create balance, but our busy minds keep us on constant alert and constant duty.
We are now so socialized to be on constant duty that slowing down, or stopping can actually feel threatening to the mind. Yet rest and relaxation is necessary for a healthy life. Animals work when they need to for food, shelter and procreation and then rest when they need to. They do not have the myriad of stress-inducing diseases that humans experience. It’s simply our modern social attitude that has told us this is how we need to behave. Nature, however, shows us a very different view.
If we want to give our bodies and minds the rest they need, then we need to relax! Easier said than done, right? Wrong! Relaxing is the easiest thing possible to do because it is a non-doing. It’s really the mind that we need to train. For thousands of years, yogis have been teaching that ones’ ability to be at peace comes from simply being, not doing. So how do we do that? Eventually, we have to stop, but to get to that point, there are some simple and very easy steps that can be taken. Make a shift from thinking about and analyzing the world around you, to feeling what is present in your body. This takes you out of the head and into the present moment.
The present moment is the only time/place that you can find peace and balance!
Go ahead and think about this for a moment. Yes, I did say think. If you are completely present, meaning you are not drawing upon memories from the past or creating an imaginary future, then at this moment, you can be completely relaxed and at peace! If your mind starts to tell you all the reasons why that isn’t a true statement, recognize it’s drawing its information from what you have learned in the past and is projecting into the future. Right now, this moment, there is absolutely nothing wrong until you start thinking about it.
Feeling what is present in our bodies is the way for us to become present because sensations are happening right now. If you were to take one minute right now and focus your attention on the sensations and sounds of taking slow and steady yet comfortable breaths, redirecting your attention away from thinking to feeling, then you will notice yourself relaxing automatically. If thoughts become stronger than a feeling, then you may find yourself tensing up again. The solution is to become good at feeling the same way you became good at thinking – repetition.
So, Rest, restore, recharge, rejuvenate and then go back into your life with a fresh perspective and new tools to maintain health and balance. Eventually, we all run out of energy and need to rest.