Practice Relaxing

a person reclining in the grass, hands behind head
credit: Sander Smeeks
Several years ago I was having a conversation with my massage therapist about how it can be difficult to relax. She was of the opinion that relaxing is a skill that can be learned. She said that people need to "practice relaxing".

That phrasing has always stuck with me.

We like to think that relaxing comes naturally - that it is simply the opposite of work and other obligations. But I know far too many people who readily admit what a hard time they have unwinding. 

Perhaps it is because we resist the notion that something that is supposed to be, well, relaxing, can actually take some planning and practice.

The good news is it can be practiced in small doses. One way is through guided relaxation.

I'm a biiiiiig fan of guided relaxation. All I have to do is press play, close my eyes, and follow along in my head.

Here's one that only takes three minutes. You can try it anywhere - at your desk or seated on a park bench. Just pop on some headphones and play the file. 

I challenge you to listen to the recording every day for a week. You might like to try it:
  • before a stressful meeting or interaction,
  • after a stressful meeting or interaction,
  • as soon as you arrive at work,
  • at the end of the work day before you leave for home,
  • over your lunch hour or a break,
  • first thing when you wake up,
  • or last thing before bed.
Want more? Good news it's coming.