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Musings: Learning To Relax Amidst Chaos…

31/10/2011

“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” William S. Burroughs

Musings: Learning To Relax Amidst Chaos... Breathe... inhale. exhale... 😉

Where is the best place in the world for you to go to relax?  When I first read that question, I thought of all the usual places we run to when we need to relax; bed, retreats, saunas, pools, gardens, walking paths, and such. Then, I thought of all the things we do to help us relax; listen to music, massages, relaxation techniques like biofeedback, breath work, meditation,  yoga,    visualization,  t’ai chi and even self-hypnosis. Yet, the more I thought about it, the more it became apparent that the key element that helps all of our effort and choices to get relaxed is our breath…

BREATH or what in Sanskrit and yoga is known as Pranayama; “the extension of breath or the life force,” is what helps us pull it together amidst the chaos of our surroundings. Wherever we go, whatever we choose to do to help us relax, begins with regulation or slowing down of our breath. With each inhalation, we take in a calming shift of oxygen to steady our mind, and with each exhalation, we release our tensions and begin to let go of the toxins that have built up during the day. So why don’t more of us practice the simple art of breath work? More below. 🙂
**Hope your Halloween trick or treating went well! More below. 😉

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” Sydney J. Harris quotes

Musings: Learning To Relax Amidst Chaos... Just breathe and RELAX... 🙂

I think, sometimes, when people hear the term, they start to visualize yogis twisted into pretzel shapes, snorting clouds of air, and shooting flames out of their nostrils… but it is quite simple; especially if you wish to skip the esoteric aspects of it.  Just like some of us enjoy celebrating complex rituals before we do anything, others prefer simple celebrations. There are complex breathing techniques and  simple ones; there are simple approaches to everything. We can begin the process of learning to relax by following a few simple approaches or steps: See below.

Here are some very simple steps: Adjust your posture wherever you are until you feel comfortable. If feasible, close your eyes and take a deep, slow inhalation; a breath inwards to the pit of your stomach. Pause for a couple of seconds. Release the breath by exhaling slowly and fully. Pause. Repeat inhalation. Do this a few times. Try a minimum three times and on that third exhalation, wiggle your fingers, shake out your hands gently and imagine the tension leaving your body. Repeat as needed. Learning to relax begins with us. Where is the best place in the world for you to go to relax?  Before going anywhere, let’s begins within. Breathe! What about you? What do you think? What are your thoughts? What does relaxation mean to you? How do you relax? Do share! Thank you. 🙂

This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: When you’re stressed or overwhelmed, where is the best place in the world for you to go to relax?

Positive Motivation Tip: Learning to relax begins with our breath. Breathe consciously!

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos via Wikipedia. Relax sign by Lukey Dargons via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

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27 Comments leave one →
  1. 31/10/2011 11:37 pm

    Hi Liz, this is a great post. It is amazing that we are sort of on the same page simultaneously. I just posted a piece asking the question – how do we find the time for the things we love? Well I believe taking the time to breathe and relax is a good start to finding that time. In all of our endeavors deep breathing provides the essential ingredient for its success. It is amazing when I bike, how I am constantly reminding myself to observe my breathing—bringing it into union with the motion of my body. Even at the point of exhaustion, the sequencing of breath calms my mind and body.

    Like

  2. 01/11/2011 12:32 am

    It is amazing how many of us forget to just stop and breathe, because it really does help.

    Like

  3. 01/11/2011 1:25 am

    adoring “yogis twisted into pretzel shapes“?
    no I only need an armchair, a sunbeam, my cat on my belly to purr …

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  4. 01/11/2011 1:52 am

    Learning to breathe is a good start. When I’m stressed my breathing becomes shallow. When I exercise I forget to breath!

    Like

  5. 01/11/2011 4:13 am

    I’m with Piglet–when I exercise, my trainer has to keep reminding me to breathe. I once read an article on proper techniques for breathing and realized that I don’t take deep breaths. I will try and remember this at school today, shut my door, and use your technique.

    Like

  6. 01/11/2011 4:21 am

    So ironic to be reminded to breathe when it’s truly an automatic function of our bodies. I ‘m glad that I don’t have to remind my heart to beat or my intestines to do the work of digestion. But, seriously, I can go days without actually taking a conscious breath. You are completely right in saying that relaxation begins with breathing. Now, excuse me whilst I go and breathe. 🙂

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  7. 01/11/2011 6:23 am

    I was surprised at the Buddha.
    Relax gives us peaceful days. 🙂

    Like

  8. 01/11/2011 7:13 am

    Whenever I am stressed, I sigh. I didn’t even know I do this consciously until my husband brought it up. He started asking me what was wrong after I would sigh and I was surprised to learn, I was sighing in response to stress! It is my way of letting out all those stressful toxins, I guess!!

    You are right – you don’t have to be at a place or pay for a service to find relaxation – deep, conscious breaths always bring me peace. 🙂

    Like

  9. 01/11/2011 7:19 am

    So simple, yet so powerful!
    Reading this, I thought of the breath in another way: as my father took his last breath, I realized how truly amazing breathing is. Without the breath, something we cannot even see, we die. This one simple thing is what separates the living from the dead yet we take it so for granted. It’s a precious and priceless gift. (And, of course, death is the ultimate way to relax.)

    Like

  10. 01/11/2011 8:34 am

    Breathing does wonders for me. Especially the intake of air then the slow release imagining all stress being expelled from my body. And, most often than not, I usually take time outs when pressured during work. It provides an opportunity for me to step back and look at the current state, evaluate and see things at a different light.

    Like

  11. Bree permalink
    01/11/2011 8:48 am

    Breath is life. We often forget until we can’t breathe. 🙂

    Like

  12. 01/11/2011 9:06 am

    Breath is our connection with the eternal NOW ~ a way to connect with our bottomless reservoir of inner peace:

    Like

  13. 01/11/2011 9:36 am

    I am frequently reminding myself to just breathe. Thanks!

    Like

  14. 01/11/2011 11:29 am

    Hi there, Elizabeth!
    I just logged into my blog after a number-of-months hiatus and saw your comment for me, asking where I went. Thank you so much for your comment, it inspired me to write a short update post and to essentially start the process of getting going here again, which I deeply need at this point in my life.

    I will be around your blog more, appreciating your support of your own dreams and that of others. It really is a precious gift to find people in our lives who focus on supportiveness instead of judgement! And so great to bring out that part of ourselves as well, to share our support as well as receive.

    Take care and thank you again for your comment on my (relatively new) blog. I really needed that poke.

    Jill / TheWebGrrl

    Like

  15. 01/11/2011 11:31 am

    Hmm apparently I need to re-remember where I have my links going. The blog you put a comment on and I recently posted on was this one:

    http://mesovert.wordpress.com

    Like

  16. 01/11/2011 12:05 pm

    listen to music, qi gong, reading with warm sunshine, go for a walk, sit in a chair and look, at the mountains not moving, anything — someone called it chair meditation. Breathe.

    Like

  17. 01/11/2011 12:51 pm

    John and I have just spent some early morning “quiet time” discussing pretty much this topic, so thank you for the timely article! I’m going to ask him to read it too, as yes, we do have a lotgoing on , maybe not chaos exactly in the strictest sense of the word, but finding just time for us as a couple is proving difficult, let alone “quiet time”. We are working on ways to achieve it!

    Like

  18. 01/11/2011 5:44 pm

    This really helps~ Thanks! I need to particularly improve my posture specially now that I’m in front of the computer the WHOLE day!

    And yes, I need time to relax really. Thanks for this!

    Like

  19. 01/11/2011 5:45 pm

    …and I didn’t know about the WP Daily Post.. =D I bookmarked the link for future reference 😉

    Like

  20. 01/11/2011 5:54 pm

    Didn’t a guy named Frankie say “Relax”?

    Like

  21. 01/11/2011 7:05 pm

    I really needed to hear this today. Thanks.

    Like

  22. 01/11/2011 7:16 pm

    I find counting my breaths can be a big help in settling me or in relaxing. I count “1” inhale, “2” exhale, “3” inhale, “4” inhale until I get to 10 then I start over at 1… and repeat the cycle for a few minutes. The counting seems to be just enough to keep my mind busy, so I can relax from its constant thinking. If I find myself having counted to 37 it just tells me how into my mind I am. Sometimes the practice helps a lot… some times alittle… but it always helps. Good article. Thanks!

    Like

  23. 01/11/2011 8:23 pm

    Breathing – somewhat over rated some days… but today is a good day to breathe. Today it is a good day to peruse and find perspective. I loved the line in your “about” in regards to writers being “voyeurs” with respect to enjoying autobiographies. Shall I disgrace myself and admit that I also peruse People.com as well as read about Stephen Hawking ? Maybe I will just inhale the soothing smell of my tea and accept that for right now – this is the best place for me to relax :).

    Like

  24. 01/11/2011 8:53 pm

    Our ability to relax is only a breath away…and always with us. Thanks for the reminder, I will remember to utilize my relaxing breaths during this upcoming hectic 2 weeks.

    Like

  25. thirdhandart permalink
    02/11/2011 6:39 am

    When we’re out hiking on nature trails or just strolling through a city garden, I’ve noticed that I unconsciously take relaxing breaths. But, that’s just me… it probably doesn’t work for people who don’t like to commune with nature. Thank you for the simple steps to relax. I’m going to try it!

    Like

  26. 14/11/2011 4:26 am

    Just breathe and relax. What tremendously good advice! I idn’t read it all yet.; have to come back to this blog some other time. I had a peep at some of your other blogs. They all seem to be very good and inspiring.I endavour to make time for them at a later date. Thanks for sharing!.

    Like

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  1. Inspiration: How Do You Relax? | Mirth and Motivation

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