How Do You Relax?

In all times, be them good or bad, there’s been one constant in my life. The feeling of agitation, anxiety, of my head always asking so much questions and going in so much places all at once. The feeling that there is so much mental and physical energy that needs to be expressed in some way.

Sometimes it’s a great feeling. If I do something that I enjoy, like listening to an album or watching a movie it only adds to it. I get into it a lot, and my brain constantly asks questions and seeks answers. I get very analytical of the thing that I’m doing. I don’t just watch a movie – I question its every aspect and want to know more about the director, the actors, the screenwriting, the story etc. It’s also how I got obsessed over music. It’s the same when I write. This is the reason why I’ve never written an article after even a single beer, because I lose that thing. That thing that makes me go back to every sentence to try to find a better way to put it. That part of the brain that always tells me that it’s not good enough and that I can do better.

Sometimes though, I wish everything would just slow down. Just for one day. I wish I could just relax and not feel the need to do something and feel something and experience something. It’s good to always be aware and alert, but it’s also exhausting. I don’t know how to just “chill”. I don’t know how to put my brain on hold. I want to be able to do this without any substances, because that feels like cheating. I also want to do this by myself. Thinking back on my previous relationship, I think I was a lot calmer back then. But I don’t want to search for love just in hope that it would help me become more comfortable with who I am. That seems unfair too.

I go to the gym once every 2 days. It helps and I’ve come to really like it, but I still don’t think it’s enough. The last couple of weeks have been kind of unbearable from this point of view. I’ve tried meditating every day because I read that it helps to peace and control your inner thoughts. To be honest, I find it very hard to sit still for 10-15 minutes and concentrate on not thinking about anything. Maybe that’s the point and I should continue working on it. I don’t even know if I’m doing it right. I’ve felt a certain calmness afterwards, but very slight.

Many people complain that they feel unmotivated and unable to do anything. I’ve never been able to relate to that, because for me it’s the complete opposite. I want to do too many things and fill my head with too much stuff all at once. You’d think that sleeping helps, but lately it feels only like an extension of what I’m feeling when I’m awake. I have insane, intense dreams that seem to scoop into my most personal fears and bring them up. I wake up even more tired and agitated after 10 hours of sleep.

I’m sure this is just a phase. I keep telling myself that. I don’t want to be too dramatic about it. I just felt the need to write about and share it. Maybe some people will relate. Maybe you’ll think this is all stupid compared to your own actual problems. That’s fine too. I hope you have a good day.

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14 replies

  1. I can relate to this. When I was a kid, and I got my first job, a friend of mine noted that I always looked nervous. I realized, in some situations, I’m always anxious. Being aware of it helps me control it more. I know how to relax from practice, and sometimes I can make the anxiety go away for a while.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Looking through record bins. Driving on a back road with no particular destination. Listening to psychedelic/stoner/doom records. Fishing. Being on or near water. Building or repairing something.

    These all work for me.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I think we all can relate to this at one time or another. I do know how to improve your sleep. Bad dreams or dreaming in general is increased if your sleep area is too warm. Especially if you use a pillow that keeps your head too warm, like the hard rubber ones. Just a few degrees cooler makes all the difference. It sounds loony but it’s true. Good luck!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I can also relate to this, more specifically to having anxiety and feeling like it’s a ‘less worthy’ problem in comparison to what other people are dealing with. Rest assured that sharing your experience does not make you dramatic (although I completely relate to worrying about that; I do the same thing), nor does your situation seem stupid. Your post was coincidental timing for me because I’ve had high anxiety lately and spent the entire day trying, unsuccessfully, to relax and have been debating writing my own post about feeling completely overwhelmed.

    As for relaxing? One thing that works better for me than just about everything else is to go for a walk, preferably in a quiet area, among trees and/or water, away from cars. Some place where the sounds of wind, rustling leaves, birds chirping, water lapping, etc. are predominant. I’m fortunate to have places like that accessible to me.

    You ARE an excellent writer, by the way. And the meme you chose is hilarious.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So many factors influence your day/week, etc. You seem able to recognize when it’s good energy and when it’s time to let go for a while, so that means you’re ahead of the game.

    Me, I play with my kids. Just watching their exuberance and energy expenditure calms me. I play guitar to unwind, sometimes just connected notes, not even trying to play songs – sure, I do it badly, but who cares? The point is in the doing, and I feel better afterwards.

    A good long walk outside (no matter the weather, just go) also does wonders. No distance goal, not even necessarily a route planned out. Just walk around, no phone, no ipod, just you. Look at things. Smell. Listen. Notice things you would normally walk right past. That’s calming too.

    As for meditation, you’re on the right track but maybe overthinking it a bit. The point isn’t so much to try to think of nothing. You cannot stop your thoughts. And sitting still only makes your thoughts seem to come faster. Instead, just focus on your breath. That’s it. Breathe in, breathe out. That’s it. When a thought comes in, that’s nice, let it go. Now breathe in, breathe out. Another thought? That’s also nice, just let it go. Back to the breath… There’s really nothing else to it, though it’s the hardest thing, sometimes. Simple is often difficult, if that makes sense. But don’t judge the thoughts that come, just let them pass and re-focus on the breath. It works!

    In fact, this is perfect:

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I have the same problem as you, Ovidiu, and have always had a hard time relaxing. If I lay down to take a nap, for instance, I immediately begin thinking about all kinds of shit – what I’ve done, shouldn’t have done, should be doing, etc. – which prevents me from falling asleep. On the other hand, if I sit down with a book or magazine, I doze off in minutes, so that may be the key for me.

    My issue is that I think I have a bit of Attention Deficit Disorder (though I’ve never been evaluated for it nor diagnosed). I have a hard time focusing on any single task, which causes me difficulties when writing music reviews. I’m so easily distracted by just about anything and everything, and continuously check Twitter, Facebook, etc, rather than concentrating on the review before me on my laptop. It’s very frustrating and self-defeating, causing me even more stress as I fall further behind schedule. If I do try and relax, I end up feeling guilty because I’m not getting the reviews I’ve promised done. I realize my response has offered absolutely nothing of help for you…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I read, listen to music, work on my photos

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Strangely – I guess because I have spent my life doing it – I find greatest ‘inner peace’ driving a car. Preferably in traffic, too, for some reason. The most villainous ‘monkey’ sitting on my shoulder is the fear of wasting time: the sense that I should be getting on to the next job in the queue. I have to deliberately create a space in which I can absolve myself of that responsibility, and that may be geographical or simply an envelope of time that is wholly mine to do as I will. It takes discipline, but it is possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Appreciate the post! I’ve had these moments…

    Liked by 1 person

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