Saturday, September 18, 2010

Let Go of Pushing Yourself So Much

One of the things that I've noticed about our culture (here in the U.S.) is that we push ourselves (and others) to accomplish things. We build buildings, hike up mountains, tear down forests, lay down roads, make money, go to games, have children, buy and sell homes, upgrade the car, go on the vacation, party, and generally pack our schedules so full with activities that we do not have time to rest, etc. To compensate we eat food that makes us feel happy for the moment (but bloated later on). We drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes (or pot, etc). We watch TV to distract us from feeling generally unhappy and unfulfilled in life. And, then when we go get an EKG and are surprised to find that our hearts are not functioning correctly and our bodies are filled with fatty substances that make us look unappealing, which in turn makes us feel worse about ourselves. So, in our depressed state we stuff a doughnut in our mouths and plop in front of the TV to keep the cycle going over and over again. It's no wonder we feel like we're losing our minds!

We look to romance or moving to a new location/job to make us feel better. Maybe complaining to everyone that will listen will help. Or, blowing up at the neighbor for parking too close to your driveway and blocking you in. Yelling at the computer when it doesn't do what you need it to do.

All of these are distractions from what really needs to occur... change needs to come from within our selves.

So, how do we make the change to being more happy, more content with life?

Start with slowing down. I'm serious. Slowing down is not a bad thing. It can allow you to relax. To have fun. To do something you enjoy without pushing yourself to get something done or accomplish something important.

How about that walk you wanted to go on? Have you taken it yet?

Or, that trip to Colorado you were longing for? Has it happened?

What about snuggling with your husband, wife, daughter, nephew? Have you taken the time to play with them? Throwing the frisby? Playing Yahtzee? Telling them you love them?

How about taking a nap? When was the last time you took a nap? Not a long one (that would mess up your sleep for the night), but what about one where you dream of your next vacation. Where would you go? What would you do? How would you feel? Allowing your self to relax in to what can be good about life.

Stop thinking about what isn't getting done. Let it go.

Relaxation is one of the things that rejuvenates the body and recharges the brain so that you can better tackle that busy life you have when you get back to it. An article recently quoted on NPR indicated that research shows people who get 10 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period do better and are more productive than those who do not. Can you believe that!? I'd say it's time to take advantage and work on increasing our sleep time each day.

Either way you go, you will always benefit from letting go of pushing your self. Stop trying to make someone else happy, or keep them from getting angry with you. Let go of frustrations because you can't get something done when you want. It will happen in time. They say that 90% of our problems resolve themselves. That's pretty impressive! Maybe it's time to let a few things go and start to do things that make you feel happy with you...right now.

Homework: Let go of pushing your self so much, and start to do things that make you feel happy with your self and the world. Relaxation is key to good health.

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