In spite of common misconceptions, relaxation doesn’t have to be something that takes a lot of time every day – some people do indeed spend an hour every day doing morning yoga or spend several hours practicing slow eating or training at a gym, but it’s not like you have to. There are many people with extremely busy schedules who still manage to find relaxation in their everyday life, and one is simply focusing for a short while on being in the moment.
Being in the moment is a typical new age fluffy idea that’s hard to actually understand – what exactly does it really mean? Well, being in the moment simply means to notice all the small things around you for a short period of time, to focus on everything that constantly buzzes around without you noticing because you’re so caught up in something else – like they say, life is what happens when you’re too busy to notice. This is actually extremely relaxing, and if you just remember to do it you can do it practically anytime and anywhere, and it can take anything from five seconds to – if you’re going really hardcore – thirty minutes or an hour. You can even do it in front of the computer …
Slow Snacking and Slow Snacking
To break out a concrete example which exists in most people’s lives, consider your morning coffee. It doesn’t really matter if you drink it before leaving for work or school, if you drink it at the office, or even if you make a stop at Starbucks on your way there. If you don’t like coffee, you can do the same with tea or juice or water. Just stand still for a moment, at least five seconds, drink your beverage and focus on everything around and inside you – the noise on the street, someone talking right next to you, the smell and taste of your drink. It sounds simple, but we rarely do this, and when we do it’s extremely relaxing.
A slightly more time demanding version of the above mentioned practice is what’s often referred to as “slow eating”. This is when you instead of rushing through your lunch makes sure to take as much time as possible, focusing on the aroma, taste, and smell of every bite, without exception. Close your eyes or dim the lights and feel the food on your tongue – this is an extremely relaxing practice that can really have a huge effect on your stressful day, but like previously mentioned it also takes more time than doing the same with coffee.
Think of the People around You
One interesting practice that can also be done without investing much time or effort is to stop and think of the world as it moves around you, and you with it. Without sounding too much like a 1970s hippie, thinking of the people walking and working around you is an extremely relaxing and soul strengthening practice. One thing that often makes it hard to relax properly is the inability to stop thinking of your constant worries, like relationships and work. Here you have a very effective way of learning how to drop everything, at least for a minute, and experience some pure relaxation.
Maybe you’re sitting on a train – look around. The girl in front of you has her own story, a lot of issues and questions on her mind – work, school, a relationship, maybe she recently found a new friend or maybe she is really excited about a potential new client. If you’re walking to the grocery store, look at the man tying his shoes by the curb. What’s his name? Where has he lived? What interesting anecdotes do he tell at dinner parties? The world is full of people with lives as rich as yours, we just don’t really think about it and by default take it all for granted.
The Strength of Relaxation
Relaxation is something almost everyone wants and needs, and still so very few manage to achieve it. I’ve often heard that it’s something that takes a lot of time and effort, but that’s just not true. All it takes is for you to stop once in a while, and spend a couple of seconds properly looking at the world around you. It’s alive, just like you, and that fact alone can certainly carry you a long way.