Deep relaxation, how different is it from the run of the mill relaxation techniques?
In this article I will be talking about how deep relaxation is uniquely different and is an incredibly powerful state that is essential for high performance. It is the beautiful path that makes it so alluring and ironically, practical for anyone who struggles with discipline.
Taking time out to restore and deeply relax is essential for high performance. None of us can push forward at high rev without taking time out to let the body catch up and rest. While it might seem “lazy” to relax when you are busy, learning how to move in and out of a deeply relaxed state is an incredible skill that not only protects against burnout but is crucial for accelerating your performance.
Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.
Using simple anti-stress methods such as taking time out may not address high stress levels. Meditation combined with breathing methods and learning how to be mindfully present can help you to shut down some of the external distraction and immediate sense of stress. Even , if it is for a few minutes a day, it can make a difference.
Deep relaxation, on the other hand, is a beautiful path and very effective for dealing with stress, energy reboots and for shifting you naturally into a high performance state. Learning how to relax and then deeply relax, is important to heal, restore and align your energy for exceeding limits and limitations.
In an earlier article, I mentioned that exercise can be used as an active meditation. But eventually, there will be a time where you need rest. Being able to reset and rest deeply with a deep relaxation technique will shorten down time.
Reset the body.
Tension and emotions can get stored in the body. It makes us feel tired and might show up as muscle knots and the inability to focus. Being able to relax gives your body a chance to pause and reset itself. Deep relaxation techniques release pent up energy. Simple stretches and breathing techniques might be enough to move past tiredness and muscle tightness. But taking a few minutes to immerse yourself in a deeply relaxed state will give you complete rest your body, mind and spirit are thirsting for. And, that reboot you might need.
Condition high performance.
Deep relaxation sets the stage for high performance. It clears the slate of old energy and distractions and allows the body to step into an imagined high performance state before it is experienced.
Consistent sessions with deep relaxation will condition you for any desired high performance state. The more you practice meditation and relaxation techniques, the more proficient you will become at energy “reboots” and triggering a high performance mindset with your energy before stepping into that experience.
Focus is needed in deep relaxation. But not in the way you might expect. This might appear to be a counter-intuitive process, but details are not what is being focused on. It is energy. Allowing energy to flow and being able to deeply step into a relaxed state, lets the body completely rest, recalibrate and “re-focus” on creating a high performance state with your imagination.
Meditation can help you relax and manage your mental chatter by using breathing techniques. Visualization, on the other hand, can sharpen your ability to focus, to observe details and to capture high performance states. Deep relaxation is yet another way to learn how to focus and move energetically into a high performance state.
Allow the body to rest and heal itself.
A daily practice of deep relaxation can transform your recovery. Not only can it be used to purge stress but it can allow the body to enter into a deeply rested state that can accelerate recovery.
Whether it is post-accident or after an intense workout, the body needs to reset, recover and heal. It is assumed that laying down and sleeping will accomplish that. But, have you ever slept well but still felt tired? Deep relaxation moves beyond getting a good night’s sleep. It targets and moves the body into a completely rested state essential for allowing the body to divert energy towards healing.
Allowing the body to completely rest can be transformative no matter what condition or level of health you have. Add a few minutes of deep relaxation to your week and see an improvement in your productivity and your well-being.
How to relax.
If you do a web search for relaxation, you will most likely find general techniques such as:
- laying down or sitting in a comfortable position.
- a warm sea salt bath or sauna.
- nature sounds or relaxing music.
- reading a book or listening to one.
- massage therapy.
Yet, very few will offer you the difference between relaxation and deep relaxation. Just the simple guidelines are perceived as being enough to get results and relief. And, depending on your situation, general advice for how to relax might be sufficient. But if you want to accelerate your recovery, healing and reboot your energy, diving deeper into relaxation, even for a few minutes is powerful and very distinct from a basic relaxation technique. Why? It works with your breath and your energy to completely reset itself, to completely rest and to initiate a high performance state automatically.
One of the most important methods for deep relaxation is learning how to breathe. There are many applications for breath. Some will energize, some will inspire greater focus and others will relax you.
Here is one method to inspire deep relaxation:
Deep relaxation: the Belly-Breath method.
Sit or lay down in a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Place your hands on your lower abdomen. Breathe in deeply and feel your belly rise. Exhale slowly. Keep breathing in slowly and deeply; allowing your abdomen to expand. If you need to take a normal breath in between, that’s ok. This isn’t how most of us breathe but is a natural way we learned before becoming conscious of having a flat stomach. Just relax and allow the deep breaths to recalibrate your energy.
Key point: Feel your energy move throughout the body as you breathe. Allow yourself to be soothed, rested and re-energized.
*A variation is to imagine breathing in light and breathing out stress and negative energy. Fill every cell with light and let the energy wash through your body with each breath.
** Deep breathing benefits: stress reduction, detoxification of the body [it stimulates the lymphatic system], pain relief, lowered blood pressure, improved immunity, energy and digestion.
High performance and deep relaxation at the same time?
Being able to relax deeply allows the body to release stress, recalibrate itself and clear the slate for high performance states. Through meditation and visualization it is possible to tune into your energy and focus on what it is that you are wanting to achieve. Deep relaxation is another way you can step into a high performance state. You can use breathing techniques to ramp up your focus while inspired or when imagined high performance states are being created energetically and then, stepped into.
Breath, imagination, creativity work well in a relaxed state. They help you to become more present and focused. And, as a visualizer you will benefit from being able to step into an imagined state faster once you know how to relax deeply.
It is logical to feel the need to move yourself beyond your physical limits to achieve what you wish for. But knowing you have a super power within reach to tap into and accelerate your results makes a deliberate pause worthwhile. It is less intimidating to stop or take time out. Contrary to most beliefs you will not lose momentum. You will jump start your progress by resetting and re-energizing.
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