What does “just chill” do for you?
Are you the sort of person who:
- decides to ease the tension around your right scapula (keyboard injury, how glamorous!) with a massage. Then spends the entire time making a mental grocery shopping list to complete as soon you have had your knots pummelled into submission.
- sneaks to the bathroom to take, or make, work calls on holiday because you have promised your partner this, will be a completely work free break.
- feels really pleased that you managed to get your massive to do list done and then wonders if you should have squeezed a couple more things on there?
It’s at this point you might be “helped along” by something like “just chill!”
If you are more gracious that I, the phrase may simply send shivers down your spine. There have been times I’ve heard that, or the very similar, “just relax” and (figuratively of course) wanted to stab the speaker.
I remember the phrase vividly around the time I was trying to conceive. I was reassured by doctors that it would just take time, that there was nothing wrong and that I should just relax. Cue visions of lots of red splattered white coat.
The fact was, I was doing almost everything I could think of to relax. More than that, I was busting a gut to bloody relax! I am pretty sure it was during this period I was also involved in a car chase with the police on my way to a meditation class (I didn’t notice them chasing me to be fair).
Don’t worry I am not going to wag my finger and tell you that unless you mend your wicked ways you are doomed to a life of stress induced ill health.
Instead, I invite you to notice your pre-disposition and I am going to share with you how learning how to “un-think” has been the key for me.
Ayurveda has allowed me to deal with my little foibles in a way nothing else in my left brained world could.
There are two aspects which are particularly helpful.
The first is an understanding around my pre-disposition.
The Ayurvedic take on things is that everything is made up of 3 elements; earth, air and fire.
If any of the initial examples resonated with you then the chances are you have a tendency or pre-disposition towards the element fire.
No-one thinks fire is good or bad, correct? There are no judgments to be made. Just the knowledge that a fire out of control can do a fair bit of damage.
The fire simply needs to be kept in check so that it can do it’s job most usefully.
That’s us. We are the fire. Well actually I am, you might be an earthy type.
The second thing Ayurveda has done for me is to remove the need to think. Let’s face it, we don’t really need any more of that do we?
Conscious action is fine. Take meditation for example. It’s a great place to start. Lots of studies show that whatever we think about our performance and how well think we are doing; we get results. And by results I mean physical measurable results. Reduction in stress indicators for example, heart rate, blood pressure and breathing.
However, conscious action is sometimes accompanied by complications. Take the car chase for example.
What have been really life changing for me have been the development of unconscious habits. These small habits, each of which has its own potential to reduce stress, stack one on another. Each is geared towards grounding and keeping the fire in check. For example, every morning before I shower I do a 3 minute self massage with oil. I don’t have to think about it, it’s just part of my routine and it’s these habits and routines which now ground me while still keeping the contained embers alive.
Is any of this attractive? Want to try out developing some unconscious habits? If so check out my tips to kick-start your day checklist, click here