As I laid on the mat, I cautiously listened as a voice guided me into the clouds to float my problems away. I remember thinking: Are you #$()@(# kidding me?!?! I’m on a cloud?!
How was I to know that a few weeks later I would be loving the imagery, the relaxation and the meditation.
It didn’t come naturally to me, my journey to meditation. I didn’t get it, and at first, I wasn’t even trying to get it. I was simply humouring those leading the relaxations; I did not want to be rude, after all.
My mind was active. My thoughts were going at a million miles a second and I had no idea that quieting my mind would also quiet, my physical pain and my outside stresses would seeming float away.
Fast forward a month and I could feel parts of my body that I didn’t know existed. My body relaxed in places I had no idea there had been tension.
I started to recognize how different thoughts would trigger tension in certain parts of my body; and that was just the beginning.
How it works:
Our body has two systems that are always trading off. The automatic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. The automatic nervous system is important, it is what keeps us alive and it is all about survival. So the fight, flight and freeze response, AKA survival, is what turns the ANS on.
For Empaths, Introverts and Highly sensitive people fight, flight and freeze is likely more “avoid and freeze.” Because you are so sensitive, even the thought of entering that room full of strangers puts your body into a survival state.
Healing happens when the Parasympathetic Nervous System is on. This is the “rest and digest” mode of the body.
Turning on the PNS creates wellness.
The PNS is on when you are- you guessed it- relaxed.
So how do we relax?
It would be nice is it was a simple as telling your mind to stop worrying and slow down but its likely not.
To create a relaxation practice you need to:
Set the mood.
When you have a bath and make it luxurious with bubbles and essential oils. When you sit down to read make it a warm cozy place with your favourite socks to keep you warm.
Set your Intention.
Turn off your phone or set a timer where you know you will not be disturbed. Find a quiet place- bathrooms and closets can work in a pinch! Tell you friends and family that you need 20 minutes of quiet time. (Hello boundaries!)
Be honest with yourself about what you need and what you can do.
If you have had a long hard day of sitting at a desk, perhaps what you need is movement.
If you have a long hard day of running around, perhaps what you need is stillness.
If you have never meditated before start with 2 minutes a day, not an hour.
Perhaps you need guidance and should sign up for a yin yoga class or a breath work class.
The more you do it, the more relaxed you will feel. You will amaze yourself with how deeply you can relax.
What do you do to relax?
If you have any questions at all, please reach out!