[Day after post note: On rereading this post this morning...I found a few grammar clunkers, which I have now fixed (although there was no drinking while posting...most of the horror took place in the paragraph about alcohol, just updated and added an "oops" there...then I found another one, so now there's this note too!). Anyway, yikes! Next time I want to play grammar snob....I'll remember this!]
One of the things I’ve loved about having a cat is watching the way he sleeps. It’s like he’s putting all of his energy and concentration into getting rest, and when he opens his eyes and gives a big streeeeeeeeeeeeeettttttch, he just looks so languid and relaxed.
Cats are champion sleepers and champion relaxers. It’s as if, or perhaps they really do, just throw their whole being into resting. They take it very seriously! I’ve actually gotten jealous watching my cat sleep because he just looks so peaceful. He’s safe and warm; there’s food in the bowl and shows of affection always at the ready from his humans (if he wants that sort of thing…). I almost feel hypnotized watching a kitty sleeping.
The stresses and strains of every day life sometimes mean that I have a hard time relaxing and/or sleeping. I’m beginning to realize that in some ways relaxing actually takes effort. This seems a bit counterintuitive, and feels a little crazy (Oh great, so now I get to feel guilty about not putting effort into relaxing!) but in order to relax I usually need a) quiet b) no distractions c) to not have something playing over and over in my mind.
Sometimes, relaxation just happens….there are moments where I just sort of slip into a trance and all my worries just float on over to the periphery…or even further out of “view.” I feel that exercise relaxes me when I’m just concentrating on the movement itself (eg, it’s hard to worry when you’ve bumped the treadmill speed up to 8.5 mph and are just focused on staying on!). If I’m reading something good, or have the tv on while I’m knitting (since I’m not beyond the basic scarf stage and don’t need to concentrate that much)…it does the same thing. I’ve noticed how blogging lightens my frame of mind since I have to think about what I want to say and how I want to say it….even though it seems like it should feel like work. I find drinking tea relaxing, which is why I have a nice cup of herbal or decaf tea almost every night before bedtime. Thank heaven I have about fifty varieties to choose from!
Wine and alcohol relax me of course, but they usually have other consequences for me (silliness, waking up at 3 am beyond thirsty). They definitely have their place. [Note, if you read the previous two sentences Friday night, I apologize...they were totally mangled...a combo of being tired and making changes I didn't follow through on...if you missed it, I had lots of subject-verb and singular/plural disagreement...something for everyone to be horrified by!!]
I find there are certain people who relax me, which I suppose makes sense, since there are certainly people out there who stress me out!! I am fortunate to know some people, and am lucky enough to even live with one, who are able to calm the twisters swirling around in my brain. Even if I never let on that there’s a storm raging, there’s just something about the way they go about things and the way they talk that calms me down as if by osmosis. Sometimes, I seek them out specifically for this calming effect, but if only I could bottle it!
How are you at relaxing? Do you do things specifically to help yourself relax, or find that it just happens?
Do you know any calming people or animals?