16 October 2012

Learning to relax

When thinking about what to write for this blog, I look for happy, uplifting topics - and the more I look, the more I find! It's good for me and I hope it brings a little slice of pleasure to you, too.

But of course the real world has the flip side too - the darker undercurrent - a bit of yin to the yang. Recently in our little community, while my family remains happy and healthy, there have been marriage breakups, fathers of young families with terminal diseases, and other things I won't go into. A yin cluster.

I feel sad for them. I appreciate my blessings. 

Today I received an email  from my sister-in-law with a link to this site, and I am quite taken by it. It describes ways to deal with the stress of parenting, but many of the suggestions apply to people who aren't looking after children. If we are calm we are better friends, parents and spouses, and healthier, too.

Two points that struck a chord with me were:
1. When we are worried, hurried or anxious we get tense. Our minds have given our bodies the signal to respond to a threat. If we put ourselves through a little relaxation exercise one or a few times each day, it's a way of our minds giving our bodies the "all clear". 

Just focussing on one thing can do that. Breathe in, breathe out! From the tummy is good. 

One of my favourite things to do, when walking home after dropping the children at school, is to put my mind into swinging mode. I pull my mind into the centre of my brain (away from the front, where all the thinking happens) and let it rock from side to side with my steps. I feel like a child on a swing, lulled by the motion.

2. This second one is going to really help me: I cannot believe that I have got to age 39 without having spelled this out to myself before. It is this: 
Have a forgiving view of events and people. Believe that most people are doing the best they can, and accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world.
Thanks, sister-in-law!

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