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How high on your list of priorities is relaxation?  Do you treat it as a reward, something that is hard-earned, and must be deserved to be indulged in?  Or are you enlightened enough to realise that relaxation is a vital ingredient to overall wellbeing, and should never be considered as a treat?

Relaxation means releasing all concern and tension and letting the natural order of life flow through one’s being.” ~ Donald Curtis

Whether you’re consious of it or not, your body and mind is probably experiencing fight/flight (the stress response) on a very regular basis.  For many people, it is a daily experience.  And the effects of this is diminished wellbeing as immunity is eroded and the seeds of many serious illnesses are sown.  While you can medicate symptoms, it is better all round to heal the underlying cause and prevent re-occurrence of disease (dis-ease).  While there are many techniques for achieving this, the required experience can be summed up in one word: relaxation!

In order for healing to take place the body AND mind must relax.  The simplest and most effective way to do both (in one sitting) is to meditate.  (But I’m not going to railroad you into that – honestly – just saying cos it’s true! :-) )

I don’t really mind what method you use, but it is essential that relaxation becomes a daily habit. Yes, really.  And no, that is not self-indulgent.

The modern western lifestyle is typically characterised by rush, doing, busy-ness – a seemingly endless To Do list that only ever gets longer. For so many people, there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get through all their tasks. Where’s the time to relax??  So, for many, “downtime” winds up being a glass of wine in front of the television for an hour before bedtime.

While that’s certainly better than no chilling-out time at all, it’s worth looking into some other choices.  True relaxation requires the mind to be switched off, or at least switched over from the pressing issues of the day to more enjoyable matters.  In addition to, or instead of, meditation, engaging in a hobby that gets you into a state of flow – whereby time flies by without you even noticing – will do wonders for your mind.  And when you mind slows down, your body begins to relax.  And when your body relaxes it starts to heal itself.  (This happens naturally during meditation, even if thoughts are ever-present throughout your practice – again, just saying ;-) )

The difficult economic circumstances most people are currently experiencing, on top of their already hectic lives, means that now, more than ever, relaxation is vital.  And if you absolutely can’t find time in your day for it, that’s a sure sign that you absolutely, positively need to make the time….

Use the current sunshine as your trigger – if nothing else, bask like a cat in the heat for twenty minutes each day.  It’ll do you wonders on every level.

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