Feeling tensed and stressed up in the quick paced world? Do you spare huge expenses every month visiting spas, massage, buying aromatherapy oils, etc to help you to relax?
Why not try a free relaxation method located right in front of your face? Relaxation using the breath.
Most of us take our breath for granted. If we really sit down quietly to evaluate our breath, it may not come as a surprised that our breath is actually short and shallow. Short and shallow breathing indicates that we are tensed and not relaxed. If that is the case, we should try to breath in and out more longer and deeper. Doing that will help to gradually relax us. Most stress management courses will teach you to practice deeper breathing everytime you are stressed or about to lose your temper. It really works.
Everyday we spend a lot of time commuting to work, stuck in traffic jams, waiting in queues, etc. In the past, I had always have a book or reading materials in my bag to read. If you are one of those who cannot stand to be idle doing nothing and always have to open your PDAs or try to run your business while commuting to work, let me ask you if you often feel tensed or pressurized for time?
It is only when I had spent months in Thailand, observing their people that I came to this realization. As you may be well aware, Bangkok is the city most famous for its standstill traffic jams. The air is very hot and dusty and the vehicle that you are travelling in may not even more more than 100 metres in 20 minutes- sometimes even during non peak hours. One would have think that the city dwellers are tensed, angry and always looking at their watches because they are rushing for time.
But it is not the case. Travelling in public transport, I often encountered friendly Thai people who are always ready with a smile. Even though they sit in hot, non air conditioned vehicles- wasting so much time on the road, they seemed relaxed. They wake up early in the morning (traffic starts building up at 6am) and they’re lucky if they can get home one hour after they clocked out. No one seemed to mind the traffic jam- why go fretting and complaining about something that you cannot change? Initially I used to wonder why they do not feel that they are wasting time. But over time, I realised that it was me who was wasting time- not them.
All you need to do to relax is to observe your breath. When you are breathing in, you know you are breathing in. When you are breathing out, you know you are breathing out. If you notice you are tensed, breath in deeper and longer. Sounds simple right? It is so simple – and yet, nobody seemed to be interested enough to give it a try.
When you know your breath, you are essentially living in the present- not thinking about the past or planning about the future. If you really contemplate deeply- you may notice that most of us never stay with the present- our minds are always far away in the past- reminiscing about something long gone that we cannot change; or worrying about the future that had yet to arrive. We never really give our mind any resting space- no wonder most of us are so stressed and discontented most of the time.
There is a lot of time in between that you can spend just being with your breath- during the daily commute, visiting the toilet, walking to the pantry, eating, taking the lift- start from these little bouts of free time. I know you may find it difficult not to read during the hour you spend commuting in the train or bus. But if you are willing to give it a try- close your eyes and just know your breath, you will arrive to work more relaxed to tackle the challenges ahead. And when commuting back, you will relaxed and not take your work problems back home (some people feel so stressed that they often release it by arguing with their spouses when they get home).
Therefore, why not give this method a try? There is nothing to lose and much to be gained 🙂