Step out of the rat race to relax

In today’s hectic world we are surrounded by demands on our time. There is noise both physical and emotionally. We all feel stressed from time to time and for some this becomes a real problem. We find that our anger rises easily, we get upset by the smallest thing and we often feel that our lives are in a mess and there is no solution.

As a counsellor I often hear clients with anger or stress issues say that if only they had the time to stand back in that moment they would feel so much in control. Yet the reality is that the circumstances never allow such luxury. You are wound up and you have a million things to do and the children are screaming so you snap you don’t have the resource to stand back. Your reserves are completely depleted.

We long for a time when things were simpler, when the pace was less hectic and we felt in control of our lives, of our emotions. Perhaps the time has come for a respite from that hectic life that you find yourself in. Perhaps the time has come to find that safe space that you can go to that will offer you the time and space to examine your emotions and your feelings. Many people find that as little as 10 minutes to themselves each day can significantly improve their levels of stress and their ability to control their emotions.

But where do you find the time, perhaps you are a single parent or you seem to have demands on your time all of the time. As you sit reading this ask yourself if there isn’t 10 minutes somewhere in your day when you could quietly sit. Perhaps it’s after the children have gone to school, perhaps it’s on the bus on the way to work, and perhaps it’s a walk round the building at lunchtime we are only talking about 10 minutes.

What you are doing is getting out of the headwind of your life and spending a little time in the shelter, resting before the next onslaught. It is important to allow your body and your mind to escape from the stress. The space helps to slow the heart, breathing and the 10 mile an hour head that scripts your days. It helps your body to balance and rebuild your immune system.

When you find this 10 minute space what do you do with it? Well first and most important is to realist that it is not going to fix things overnight it is going to take time and practice. It’s helpful if you can switch off your phone/ TV/ Radio so that there are as few stimuli as possible.

Start with your breathing, take deep comfortable breaths breath in counting to 4, hold for 2 then out for 5. As you complete this the gentle rhythm starts to work on your body and calm the stress levels. Your head will be buzzing with thoughts, but gently push them aside knowing that you can come back to them in only 10 minutes. If possible you should try to let go of the tension in your body. It usually builds up in the neck, shoulders and forehead. Just gently try this for 10 minutes then go back to your life.

As time goes on and you practice this you will find that the space helps you centre yourself so that you are clearer in your thoughts and more aware of what is going on.

You might also think about other times you could relax; perhaps a bath or instead of watching a TV program, you will feel rejuvenated and more energized.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Glasgow, G46

Written by Graeme Orr

Glasgow, G46

I am an Accredited Member of BACP offering counselling for both individuals and couples on the Southside of Glasgow. You may be struggling to cope with difficult thoughts or feelings. It can feel a very lonely place, with nowhere to turn. Problems happen to us all and at any time in our lives. If y...

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