DISCLAIMER: This article is a personal reflection on finding relaxation. It does not seek to diagnose or treat anxiety disorder. In the case of symptoms that prevent you from doing your daily activities, please contact a health professional.
When was the last time you felt relaxed? It wasn’t until recently that we started to ask this question in the Thriving Aliens community. With the year 2020 making a historic turmoil in the lives of almost everyone -- you might as well wonder what is going on in this crazy world? Our first guess is related to how we, as a society, are designing life standards and how much we let them affect us. Hence, having a suitable mindset could be one of the biggest keys preventing anxiety. But let’s not rush, at least for the sake of an article that seeks to help individuals relax.
Up to date, we know there are more information and open conversations about anxiety or similar emotions and how it can affect individuals physically and mentally. There are also debates about how living conditions have improved in the past decades. But life itself seems to be even more fast-paced and stressful. Since we believe that the causes of anxiety may vary from one person to another; we decided to open a conversation. To remind us that we need to be cautious in learning how to feel at peace.
What we know so far is that the solution involves different aspects of an individual. The body, the mind, and the spirit -- and that focusing on one of these aspects might positively affect the other. However, we believe the most crucial fact is understanding that not all the solutions might suit someone. With this fact in mind, we should be aware that the internet contains many articles offering tips on relaxing. Social media might already be exposing you to someone’s idea of what relaxing means. For example, those sunsets at the beach or the cozy bubble baths. Even though they look picture-perfect, it doesn’t always mean they can make us all less anxious. If we are not aware of this fact, we might end up more overwhelmed, asking what is wrong with us? Why can’t we relax like the others?
When we fail to assess the right tools for us, we might have a higher level of stress and/or anxiety.
To be sure that we are investing our time and money wisely, we need to question ourselves: which are the right tools for us? For some, the solution, instead of a picture-perfect scene, it might look like: managing expectations, understanding feelings, healthy habits, “understanding” or trusting life itself, learning a martial art… the possibilities are endless. To us, it seems that human life is intricate because our brains are a complex system -- based on beliefs and experiences -- and due to this complexity, there is not a straightforward life manual that works for everyone.
While arranging the thoughts on anxiety and relaxation -- we also realized that there are certain ingredients that we can add in our way of handling challenges. Two of the elements stand out the most for us, 1) having a suitable mindset, and 2) including yourself in your own life.
The most critical element in any process that seeks to improve yourself is having a suitable mindset and attitude that will benefit you in the long term. Yet, in the process, your self should be the reward and not the tool for reaching a goal.
1. What do we mean by a suitable mindset?
For some, this meaning of a suitable mindset might seem quite direct. But when you face challenges, your ability to analyze patterns might diffuse amid worries. We mean by a suitable mindset, are those moments when you are ready to implement solutions -- despite how bad you might be feeling. It means working under a mentality that believes that you can find the answer in some way or another. Accordingly, your mind focuses on deciphering how to get to that point. The importance of this human trait lies in the fact that -- we can overcome anxiety or other related issues faster.
There is a fine line on planning and dreaming about how your life will be and worrying about every detail of how it should be.
When we don’t trust ourselves or our ability to deal with tomorrow’s uncertainty, we start building even more anxiety. This statement is the reason why we wanted to include a second ingredient.
2. What do we mean by including yourself in your own life?
On the introduction to this reflection, we highlighted that we have access to many options and resources. Yet, not all solutions are suitable for us. When it comes to information that will affect you personally, such as dealing with anxiety, it is important to assess it cautiously. To make this assessment, ask the following: for whom are we seeking solutions?
For us, there is only one person who can fully understand your desires, and that person is you. But, this understanding does not necessarily come naturally; instead, we might need to build it with practice. Including ourselves in our own lives means having that understanding of what we need.
Before we set ourselves on a trial and error journey, we would like to invite you to use your instincts. Find the most natural way to listen to your body and mind. Whatever comes to you naturally. Avoid external guidance, at least once, and ask yourself if the solutions recommended to me or those I found are suitable for myself?
To conclude our reflection, it is essential to highlight that life will always be a learning process, which means there is no end goal. After following all the recipes, you will not find yourself in a forever happy state; this is a myth we need to break. In a healthier path, we will always learn new things, overcome new challenges, and be more competent with life. But most importantly, we will learn how to take better care of ourselves and understand our emotions.