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Learning to Relax

Do you find it hard to sit still at times? Is it hard to turn off your worries at night? Have others noticed that you seem stressed and have a difficult time slowing down? Some of us find it hard to sit through a movie or unwind enough to fall asleep. Why is it so hard? For some relaxing comes easy and naturally. For the rest of us, we need to learn and practice skills that will help us over time.

There can be a lot of different reasons why relaxing is such a challenge. Stress and anxiety contribute a great deal to tension and accumulate with each added stressor. For example, job stress, relationship issues, parenting, injuries, illness, frustrating commutes, and the big one, financial stress all become cumulative adding to our worries and triggering fears, anxiety, and even anger.

So, how do you take some time to let it all go? What does "letting it go" even mean? You may be saying to yourself "I'm not going to magically forget all my worries.” The mental list goes on and on... Believe me, I know. Stress management and relaxation training are both cornerstones of my practice in treating anxiety, depression, anger management, and trauma recovery.

The key to lowering stress and increasing your ability to relax is regular practice starting with small steps and short intervals. It can take many years to establish poor habits in managing stress. It will take time, trial and error, and some patience to integrate new skills and habits into your life. In the following entries you will find some of the basics I fall back on in helping others and in caring for myself. I hope these are helpful. Please remember, if you are experiencing severe symptoms of anxiety, depression, or anger, seek professional help as soon as you can. And, if you are expereincing a mental health or medical emergency call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. Don't put it off, life is too short. 

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