Relaxation techniques help you to reconnect with yourself and others. As you reconnect you can notice how you have lost perspective and this gives you the opportunity for a fresh start. They help you find a more restful place in yourself. Just by spending some time engaged in such a technique one is removing oneself from the usual pressures of ones life. It is learning the ability to turn off from what one has been doing. Highly stressed people often report that they cannot turn off the demand of work when they go home. Others report the inability to turn off the worrying thoughts about financial problems. When someone has irritated you or you feel hurt by another’s actions it can be hard to turn off the negative feelings that have been triggered. Relaxation techniques can help develop the ability to change a negative state to a positive one.
You may have noticed how a task seems so much easier to do when one is in a more relaxed state. When one is relaxed we have fewer intrusive thoughts and feelings demanding our attention. Our ability to concentrate on the task at hand increases and difficulties seem more manageable, our whole perspective changes. When one is not weighed down by distractions we get the opportunity to notice how simply being in the present can be enjoyable, like being on vacation from ones mind. It is as if we come from a different place in our selves. Being relaxed allows us to access this place.
Bringing a rested state of mind to a problem you can discover solutions that eluded you previously. With a clear mind the problem seems to be less of a challenge. The information we need seems to come to us more easily. It is not that we have magically acquired this information rather our ability to access what we already know has improved. When we are stressed out this ability to access and use the skills and abilities that we have is reduced. In other words our personal resources are maximized when we are relaxed and minimized when we are stressed out. As you develop the ability to relax yourself you may begin to discover that in that state you think and feel differently
With a relaxed perspective we are more resourceful. This enables us to feel more positive and optimistic about dealing with the demands we face in our life. This outlook can inoculate us from the common stresses of life. Feeling less under attack from life we can afford to be less defensive and be more generous towards others. In the next part of this course you will be introduced to several relaxation techniques and related methods to help you be more positive and think more clearly.