Don’t tell me to relax

Does anyone else get that thing where someone tells you to relax and it just makes you feel incredibly tense? Because usually they’re telling you to relax when you’re justifiably tense about something. It’s tantamount to sweeping your fear or frustration or anger under the carpet.

My motto used to be “please don’t tell me to relax, it’s only my tension that’s holding me together”.

People would tell me to relax and I had no idea what ‘relaxed’ felt like. Until I discovered this relaxation technique: starting at one end of your body, first clench the muscle, hold it for three seconds, then let go. Do this for each muscle in the body. It’s great— even if you never find out what ‘relaxed’ means, you at least get to experience relatively relaxed.

It’s useful for times when you actually want or need to relax, like in preparation for ritual.

This blogpost started life as a comment on Nimue Brown’s blog.

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my books.

3 thoughts on “Don’t tell me to relax

  1. I have heard of that technique or relaxing each area of your body. It does help. The photo of the water lily is a very relaxing picture. To relax, I run outside with my camera and let nature calm me down. I have always had people tell me to relax – even when I was not having a problem. I have always been a hyper person and I simply could not help that problem. I get tired of people saying “Relax”.

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