Monday, 1 September 2008

5 Secret Ways to Relax

1. Huff and Puff. 
Inhale abruptly — sigh out-loud. You’ve probably done this before when you were exasperated or fed-up or exhausted. Try it again with some attitude. A sarcastic whatever attitude could flush out the tensions; a disgusted what-an-idiot projection might release stress. Huffing and puffing helps us relax naturally, even if bitterly. It’s easy and it’s free.

2. Shake “No” 
Gently shake your head. Nose pointing from one corner of the room to the other, to the other, to the other, back and forth, shake your head. A small, soft shake will do. Mesmerize yourself. You can even employ the bitterness from the Huff-and-Puff. It is important, however, to pull your head in so that your head balances atop your shoulders. Each ear lines up over each shoulder. Shake no, and feel the back of your head, those muscles, the ones gripping your skull in position, feel them relax.

3. Smile Inside. 
It’s the physical act that matters: this one happens deep in your throat, behind your tongue. Smile. You don’t have to show it. Smile inside. Grin inside about anything: use revenge, secret knowledge, long-term spite to lift the edges of an inner smile. Of course, love and friendship and contentment make smiling inside easy.

4. Pound Something. 
Beat it. Wreck it. Pull it down from the top shelf. Push it off the counter with fantastic fury or fabulous delight. Hit it. Kick it. Smash it.Whatever you do: work. Physical work releases loads of stress and when it’s done, it’s satisfying and primal.  Sometimes we need to see problems and obstacles broken in bits. Do this one well and, as best you can, carefully. I pound cushions, not just with my fists, but also swinging and striking with my elbows. It's great!!!

5. Wave Hands Like Clouds. 
Tai-chi proper brings great results. The more intimate your knowledge of your body, the deeper this kind of movement instills stillness. Wave your hands like they are clouds. Get it. Try it. Emulate cirrus, strato-cumulus, or cumulonimbus clouds. Wave hands through clouds. Stand in a park, on a mountain, in a field, on a roof, in a stream, on a tree, or in your room (right now) and, while looking through your top hand, watch your hands wave through those far away clouds. Relax: even if you’re waving them through piling storm clouds, it feels great.

Aaaaahhhhh.... relax.

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