Stay Still and Chill
Learning to Relax
I have always had a hard time relaxing. I seem to always be doing something that I find absolutely necessary to do, even if it's not, or I find it hard to stay still, thinking I should be up and doing something constructive. Recently, I decided I was going to find a way to relax, even if it killed me! Actually, I came to this decision because I realized if I didn't find a way, it might kill me!
I have tried meditation in the past, but without much success. The way they tell you to think of one word or concentrate on your breathing...it just didn't work for me. Well, one day I was racing around the house as usual, going from one chore to the next, when I suddenly felt completely worn out. I had just recently been through some rough time with a sick friend of mine and I was tired. Really tired.
I have a small sun room, with a very comfy couch, that is very peaceful. I made myself stop and go to that room and just plunked down on the couch. I closed my eyes and just sat still. I immediately thought I should get up and finish my chores, but then realized they didn't have to be done all in one day. I made myself sit there, telling myself that I was forbidden to move for 15 minutes.
As soon as I enforced this rule on myself, I found I was beginning to relax. I was chilling, as the kids say! The more I sat still, the less I wanted to move. I thought of this as one of my "chores" that I needed to do. This gave my mind some kind of "permission" to do it. I wasn't goofing off, I was engaging in just another of my daily rituals (like cleaning the litter boxes, feeding my cats, doing the dishes...all those things that you do day in and day out). I decided my new motto would be "sit still and chill." I have to confess that my fellow hubber Kenneth Avery gave me this phrase. He used it in an email to me and it struck a chord. Thanks, Kenneth.
Now it is part of my daily routine. It is one of my chores, but obviously not an unpleasant one. I made up my mind to sit still and didn't try to think of "nothing" or any of the other meditation techniques that had failed me in the past. I just let my mind wander and it became less cluttered. I suppose I just found my own way to meditate, but the difference was giving myself permission to do it, setting up that rule not to move.
This is nothing earth shattering, but wanted to pass it on for others who might be in the same situation...trying to relax and not being able to. So, as Kenneth said, sit still and chill!