The Struggles & Solutions To Relax
I struggle with being a workaholic. I get involved in something and become so focused that I lose track of time, and ignore other things that need to get done. Like having lunch or going to bed.
I start working on a task and find myself hours later, sometimes into the very wee hours of the morning still working on it. It’s stressful. It affects your health when you do it day after day. And it’s simply not good for you.
But if I had a problem with a project, I’ve been known to get so focused that I can’t think of anything else until it’s resolved. I’ve had bosses tell me I have to go home and stand there until I pack up and leave. It was much worse than it is now. I talked to a therapist and tried to resolve the issue.
How can you change the negative patterns and turn your day around to be in the moment, enjoy the world around you and relax? The best way is to find a set of tools that offer rewards and incentives. I think I’ve done quite well overall, but it still creeps up from time to time. I’ve found ways to help me avoid getting back into the old patterns.
My therapist gave me some exercises to do that, though they sound odd, really worked for me. We started out slow, expending 30 minutes each week on some unusual activity that took my mind off “work”. An exercise that required concentration so it didn’t seem like goofing off. What I didn’t know then, was that these exercises were actually a form of meditation. As we progressed, the 30 minutes a week turned into 30 minutes 2 or 3 times a week.
Two of my favorites were:
Counting snow flakes. Now of course you can’t do this in the middle of the summer, but in winter, it was interesting. The task was to draw a square foot block outside a window or sliding glass door etc. Then count the snowflakes that fell into the square. Now at first it’s somewhat frustrating or annoying because if it’s a heavy snow, you may not be able to count fast enough. But eventually you stop counting all together and you start noticing the flakes. Their varying shapes and sizes. You watch how they fall and float, how they land and sometimes tumble upon other flakes. It’s truly amazing. Have you ever watch snow flakes up close?
The second was a summer time exercise. Feed a slug. Now it made me laugh when she gave me this exercise, but let me tell you it made such an impression on me and my entire life. So find a comfortable blanket and lay it down next to a flower bed at dusk. When the air starts to cool and the blaze of the sun is off the ground. When the slugs come out to feed. Take a grape and cut it in half. Place it in front of the slug. They will generally head right for it. Then watch them eat. They’re really interesting little critters and while you might not like them because they eat your plants, remember you’re moving into their habitat. Instead of trying to kill them, you can learn to live with them and offer them alternatives. After this event, I began feeding them grapes and lettuce and they stopped eating my flowers. We developed a relationship in that 30 minute exercise. I watched them eat the grape, wiggle their antlers, which was truly interesting, and when they breathe, they open a hole behind what I assumed were their ears to breath. Like us, they are part of the Divine Creation of the Big Bang, we’re made of the same stuff. It was honestly one of the kewlest things I’ve done to relax and be one with the Natural world around me.
Other exercises were to watch a flower out in the garden. I found myself watching the bees collect nectar. Lay in the yard and watch the clouds, you can’t help but watch them form into shapes of dragons, turtles and alike. Sit on a covered porch and watch rain fall into a bucket, did you know when you close your eyes falling rain sounds like a steak sizzling on a grill? In the summer you can hear the animals talking to each other during a rain storm as if they’re using the time to talk about the neighbors or the family they have across town.
Each exercise was designed to get me outside away from a computer. Forced me find ways to relax and “be in the moment”. It also helped me develop a meditation practice that up to that point had been sporadic at best.
Move forward a few decades to now. I still get focused. I still need reminders that set limits on some tasks so I don’t work through others. Consequently my smart phone is the greatest invention for me. I set alarm reminders throughout the day and week for tasks I have to get done. But even then, there are some things I still put on a back burner and I can still get too focused. But now that’s a rare thing and it’s become sporadic.
One of my new tools came as a suggestion from my dear friend Sushi, who turned me onto MindBloom. I started out using it to keep reminders to be inspired during the day. And each time my little tree gets rained on or receives sunshine I feel rewarded for my efforts. So I added a few more tasks to my event calendar to help me get things done. Simple things like Play MindBloom each day (I set an alarm on my phone for 7pm each night to go play), to keep an eye on my tree. Some of my other activities are send out a weekly Appreciation message to someone to let them know what they mean to me or have done for me. Meditate each day. Put some energy toward abundance and so on. And each time I check off the activity as being complete, rain or sun energy is put toward my beautiful tree. And along the way as you achieve milestones, you receive a reward certificate to commemorate the efforts.
It’s a reward system that makes me feel as though I’ve accomplished something and gotten things done for my day. I love it! An incentive that both inspires your energy and helps you put it into physical action! That’s how you manifest dreams and goals. And best of all…it’s FREE.
Now MindBloom may not be your thing. I’m Pagan and aligning with nature is something we do and we’re drawn to. So planting a tree, nurturing it in a field or meadow, in the mountains, or on a farm (there are various scenes and backdrops to choose from) is sort of something that resonates with our beliefs and views on life.
But there are tons of ways to give yourself reminders and receive rewards to create incentives for you to get things done on your daily activity list. Find what that thing is for you and put it to use. Let your tree grow through nurturing it each and every day! You too can get closer to attaining your goals. Both the daily short-term ones and even the long-term, or life long goals too!
“Be Inspired To Dance YOUR Dance!” – and let your dreams come true.
~ © 2014 Springwolf 🐾 ~
© 2014 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Springs Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.