“Taking the time to relax continues to be a priority for us all but knowing how to relax is another matter
” – Float Level
A lot gets thrown at you during the course of a year. From career woes, testing friendships, troubled romances and family drama; these things can build up. If we are not careful, they can become too much and affect us all in very real, negative ways. Finding peace within yourself is essential, and you won’t be able to live the life you desire, or tackle the world, without first spreading calm over your own life.
2017 promises to be no different from any other year, so it’s up to us to look inside ourselves, to create an environment to facilitate happiness and then to ultimately spread joy to others. It all starts with you, with the individual, once your own house is in order then and only then can we reach out into the community and promote positive change. For this to happen we need to be at peace. This is something that can arrive in a myriad of ways. The world is replete with ideas and avenues through which to arrive at a state of calm, but it’s picking the right ones for you which is crucial.
Meditation has long been a supreme tool for individuals to relax and find themselves. Tara Brach
, a long time practitioner and writer specialising in meditation talks about the power meditation has in bringing calm to oneself in body and mind. Through relaxing the body and calming the mind, meditation uses – among other techniques – the inflow and outflow of air to reach a state of peace. Tara’s tip for beginners would be to understand that “you are embarking on a journey that can deeply transform and enrich your life. The most important thing to remember is to approach practice with a friendly, curious, non-judgmental attitude”.
Another not so obvious but crucially important vehicle to help steer you toward relaxation, is the practise of and participation in learning something new. The ability to learn and grow as people is vital to our development, not only as a species but as individuals. Learning doesn’t have to include sitting down with a text book but just anything that involves picking up a new skill or discovering something you may have not known before.
Our lives can be so full of the stuff that is regular, of what we already know, that things can become stiff and our minds cumbersome. We can’t let such traps lure us into stressful behaviour. By learning something new, and by putting the energy into the world that you are ready to embrace new parts of life that were previously foreign to you, you will intern allow your mind to relax. Picking up a new skill such as a musical instrument or learning about a moment in history can help separate you from the everyday world and ultimately transport you to a state of calm.
This leads into the simple process of making time for yourself. And it is very simple, even though life can suggest otherwise. Finding your own time, and your own space, away from life’s troubles is paramount to negating stress and finding true peace. There is no need to be selfish with your time and energy, but to learn to appreciate yourself and understand when you need that little break.
We all have things that we enjoy, and what those things are do not necessarily matter, it’s just about making the time to enjoy that thing while being away from whatever opposes your calm. Once you have carved out that time for yourself and have learnt to appreciate how important these moments are, you will have achieved that inner peace, which will allow you to be a more selfless person and utilise your time in a more useful way.
Image Credit: Yorkshire Flotation Centre
Making time for you really can include anything, or nothing at all if you so choose. There are many ways of facilitating relaxation, like stopping by a relaxing spa in Yorkshire
for some true ‘me’ time, or hiking across picturesque moorland, or perhaps something a little more outside of the box like a flotation (or isolation) tank.
These devices have become incredibly popular in recent years and for good reason. The solo tanks which you submerge yourself into and float as if weightless, are an incredible tool in attaining relaxation and over all peace.
The Yorkshire Flotation Centre
offers such services. They say, “Floatation therapy is a luxurious escape from the constant stress of life’s daily pressures and a natural way to heal the body and mind. The concept is similar to the mineral salt baths at the Dead Sea”.
, another expert in the field, had this to say on the benefits of floating: “It is no exaggeration to say that one feels akin to "reborn" after a float session; muscles and joints are loose and supple, one's skin smooth and moisturised, one's mind cleansed and clear, one's mood elevated and calm”.
Attributing the rising popularity of floating to high profile advocates like Joe Rogan (UFC commentator and star podcaster) as well as “the amount of information competing for our attention and the cult of "busyness", all of which more and more people are seeking an antidote to”, Float Level really believe that these tanks are the perfect antidote.
Flotation and isolation tanks are all about capitalising on that ‘me’ time and creating somewhere that is safe and free from the outside world. “This peaceful space frees you of gravity, noise, and other distractions. As if in deep meditation, your body and mind achieve calmness, entering into a theta brain wave state resulting in a profound state of relaxation. When combined with the zero-gravity environment, the floatation allows your body and mind to enter into its deepest state of relaxation – not found anywhere else on earth” – Yorkshire Flotation Centre.
We all seek control over our lives, things can feel overwhelming and a burden emotionally when they are outside our sphere of influence. This can be unavoidable, and the key to a relaxed mind is knowing this. Sometimes we can’t bend things to our will, sometimes we need to take a step back and just let things run their course.
Tara Birch Video on Control
For those used to the security control provides, this can be a scary proposition, but, as Tara Brach
describes, “you might discover that each time you let go, it becomes easier and easier to re-enter the atmosphere of your own aliveness. Gradually you’ll come home to the flow of your own living presence, the warmth and space of your awakening heart”. This is an important message and an even more important skill to practice. So next time you find yourself battling for control over something uncontrollable, just sit back, relax, and the peace you will discover might help in tending to insecurity behind your need to control.
Stress, tightness, and general tenseness, can come from a variety of sources. One of the leading offenders however is that desire we have inside us to seek approval from those around us. Getting those that we admire, love or just generally exist around to like us can be a huge burden mentally and spiritually. This is something we must resist.
When we become out of touch with the people that we know we are, it’s easy to try and conform to other people’s expectations. As individuals we must decide not only who we are but what is important to us. By figuring out what you care about, and by learning what values are essential to you, we can start to live life our way, stay true to ourselves, and not cave to the pressures of the world around us.
Without identifying these values, what it is that matters to you -- the moral code by which you want to live your life -- you will find yourself susceptible to the values and judgment of others. By being confident in yourself, knowing who you are and what you believe in, the stress and pressure of outside forces will simply start to dissipate.
We are the keys to our own happiness. A peaceful life, and a relaxed state of mind, can only be found by first identifying who you are and what you want. Identifying values -- not what people think you should believe in but what you know in your deepest self to be right -- is crucial. Values are a fundamental part of our existence, they are the beacons which guide our lives.
Whether it be floating, traditional meditation, relinquishing control now and then, or the important task of identifying personal values, relaxation can most definitely be yours in 2017. If you have the will, you can certainly find peace. The methods and avenues for attaining it are out there, the important thing to remember is to not try and relax, but to make certain changes in your life, appreciate your own time, and allow yourself to focus on you once in a while.
Image Credit: Pixabay Tara Brach Indi75ecu Yorkshire Flotation Centre Float Level Nichole Burrows