How do you find relaxation? Do you listen to soothing music. Do you drink hot tea? Do you pray and meditate? Maybe you find relaxation in gardening, writing, or knitting. These are all good options. Many people choose alternative ways to relax. Some of these alternatives may actually have the opposite effect. These three lies have been told repeatedly.
Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m so tense. I need a drink,” Or how about this one, “I smoke cigarettes because they calm me down.” Then there’s the marijuana excuse, “Smoking pot chills me out.”
Have You Told Yourself One Of These 3 Lies?
People have mistakenly associated relaxation with alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. Based on my own experiences and observations, none of these options really work.
When I smoked and drank in my twenties, it was a habit. Like many, I believed the three lies. When I felt stressed out, I’d go to the bar and drink a few or get high on marijuana. It felt good. I thought it was relaxing, but I was just covering up a deeper problem. The next day I’d wake up feeling stressed out again. Why? Because smoking and drinking did not solve the problem, it delayed solving the problem.
The True Problem Is Not Admitting The Problem
I didn’t want to take responsibility for my life. I didn’t want to own up to my own weaknesses. So I convinced myself that having another cigarette would calm me down. I claimed that a few beers were exactly what I needed. It was easier than admitting I had a problem.
It took years to finally understand that the cigarettes and alcohol were the problem. Tobacco and alcohol both lead to higher heart rates and hypertension. The actual physical effects are opposite of relaxation. Funny, isn’t it? We do things that exacerbate a problem in the name of fixing it.
What about marijuana? It’s relaxing. Right? Wrong again. For me, marijuana led to paranoia. It’s hard to relax when you’re scared and uptight. Most drugs, both legal and illegal lead to physical or mental stress. Physical and mental stress doesn’t help you relax. You’re just tricked into feeling relaxed temporarily. When you come back to reality, life is still stressful.
So How Can You Find Relaxation?
Here are a few simple ideas. Note: each main point leads to a previous Hip Diggs post on that topic:
- Keep a clean home: Clean and open spaces have an amazing effect on your psyche. You feel more at peace when things are clean and organized. It helps you to feel in control.
- Limit your schedule: Overbooking yourself will only lead to stress. Don’t do too much and have a drink at the end of the day. Schedule less, come home earlier, skip the drink, and get extra rest.
- Less screen time: Less screen time leads to getting those little things done that need to get done. Often we get stressed out because we put things off. Watching TV puts things off.
- Practice creativity: There are many creative hobbies that will help you relax and give you healthier self-esteem.
- Practice breathing: Taking time each day to breathe deeply. It will help you to relax more than almost anything else.
- Control your emotions: When we let our emotions control us we cannot find peace. When we control our emotions, we learn presence. Learn more in my free ebook, Get Back To Where You Are.
- Practice prayer: Simple prayer can lead to feelings of comfort.
- Read more often: Reading is not only relaxing, but it can boost your mood when you’re feeling down.
- Spend less money: Overspending will lead to stress. Think wisely before you make that next big purchase.
- Exercise: Each time you exercise, you bring your heart level down just a little in the long run.
There are many things you can do to create a relaxing atmosphere in your home. We’ll continue to explore and discuss simple remedies for our daily stressors. And although experts may not agree, a good cup of coffee is usually a great way to relax. An occasional beer is okay, too. Just don’t fall for the three lies about relaxation.
Have you read my free ebook, The Happiness of Simple. It’s a great way to learn more about simple living and finding happiness in your life. And it’s free with a simple click: