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Can you relax? Try this simple test

October 10, 2012

We all have our favourite things to do when it’s time to relax and unwind.  But do you find that even when you do have down time, the tension continues?

Behavioural psychologist Robert Sharpe says that, as adults, our muscles are kept in such a constant state of tension that we have lost the ability to distinguish between tense and relaxed in our different muscle groups.

In his book “Self-help For Your Anxiety”, he advocates the following simple test to relearn relaxation:

“Think about the way you are sitting, lying or standing as you read…Which muscles are under tension because they are doing work and which ones are needlessly taut?

Concentrate on the muscles of your shoulders, neck, tongue, jaw and forehead.  There is probably no good reason why these should be stiff and tense but the chances are that they will be!

Notice the way a small child unwinds and flops out when resting.  Even if they are lying on the hard surface of an un-carpeted floor, they will probably be completely at ease and cat-like in their relaxation.  This is the kind of state we need to achieve.”

Sharpe says these are skills we used to have as children, but have lost as we’ve moved into adulthood and built up defence mechanisms against the world.  Is your anxiety a result of you being on guard all the time?

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