Most of us have experienced a desire to escape from our lives. Whether it's dreaming of a vacation or heading out with friends after work to blow off steam, tension and release can be an endless cycle that exhausts the body and mind. How we choose to release excess tension can be destructive or beneficial depending on our activity of choice.
If our lives don't provide a full release we feel stuck. We get bottled up, tensed, unhealthy, and probably eventually blow up. Over eating, drugs, and alcohol abuse, are common somewhat socially accepted and encouraged methods employed to release tension. "Have another drink, it was a long day." "You deserve that burger, and fries, and extra piece of cake because your boss is nuts." It's interesting how naturally we slip into peer pressured destruction. Not that there is anything wrong with an extra piece of cake or having a drink every once in a while, but attaching these behaviors directly to our problems can be destructive. We can lose sight of what we are doing and continue to behave according to the problems we are masking.
It starts with paying attention to ourselves. Our state of mind affects completely how we treat our bodies. We can see clear examples of this in our lives. I've always been sensitive and it's manifested in different ways throughout my life but this is a fun example around eating and dinner companions. Same meal, different companion, completely different reaction.
I had dinner with a friend at a favorite restaurant of mine. Good company, good food, good times, etc. I'm not a big drinker, (used to be, that's a whole other story) but we had a couple drinks and dinner, and had a great time. The next day I felt refreshed, happy, and calm. My digestive system and my body woke up in perfect order and my day was fantastic. I had dinner with another person, an acquaintance who I feel very tense around. (I'm still working on not taking other people's tension on myself. That's a good one!) I had the same to eat and drink, and the next day I felt awful. I've had experience so many times. I know how the meal affects my body has to do with my state of mind. You guys have that at all?
If we can shift our perspective of blowing off steam to get away from ourselves, and our lives to dropping right into them, we can begin to form healthy, sustainable habits. We can release tension in the body and mind in healthy, productive, sustainable ways that will spark your creativity, and individualism and put you right in the center of you, not a million miles from you.
5 Simple Steps to Getting Back to You.
1. Awareness. Take a good look at your life and your habits. What do you do that is destructive? Do you have a desire to change? If so make a change.
2. Let go of bad news friends. We've all had them in our lives or still have them lingering around. If you're exhausted when you come home from hanging out with your friends, you're probably in a bad friendship. Let it go. The world is full of friends.
3. Have a practice. Meditation is practical, simple, and very useful. Taking even 30 seconds to rest your attention on your breath instead of following the cycle of your thoughts can bring you back to you in a heart beat. Destructive behavior only brings you further away from yourself.
4. Take it easy. If we can find ways to be easy in our bodies we have less build up of tension to release. (A regular physical yoga practice helps with this). Use what you need. Rest what you don't.
5. That's life. Tension happens. It will continue to happen. If we didn't have tension we wouldn't be alive. How we maintenance ourselves makes all the difference in how we live our lives.
Tension can be useful, exciting, flirtatious, strength building, or destructive. Put yourself in charge of how you direct it.
This video is a simple, easy intro to meditation that can help bring you back to you, where all the good stuff is!