31 Days of learning to breathe: Relaxing

Stop, take a minute, breathe in, breathe out, relax! WHAT! RELAX? I can't relax. I don't have time. Have you seen my life lately? Do you know my schedule? Do you know what I've been through? Relaxation = laziness, didn't you know that? 

Can we have a raise of hands of those who struggle to relax? I think it's safe to say that we might all feel guilty at times if we even think that word. Society or other "busy" people, have given the word relax a bad rap. But what we forget is that the ability to relax; our heart, mind, body, soul and spirit is vital to our well being. If we live in a constant state of stress, anxiety, busyness, anger, ___________ (fill in the blank) every aspect of our life will be affected. It's unavoidable. We. NEED. To. Learn. To. Relax. To. Breathe. 
(This guy right here....knows how to relax)

I am a pretty laid back person. It takes a lot of ruffle my feathers, to make me worry. I rarely feel stress or anxiety. But I also have a hard time just relaxing every part of my being. My brain is always going. It takes me forever to fall asleep at night. I feel guilty if I just sit and do nothing. Yet, sometimes I feel as though time has gone by and I really haven't accomplished much. That even if I wasn't really doing anything "productive", I also didn't feel relaxed. 

I think that part of learning to breathe is learning how to relax. How to just let go throughout the day and take it all in. To take time to just take some deep breaths, to observe your surroundings, to appreciate all that is around you. To be intentional to recognize what is going on in our heart, mind, body, soul and spirit and be willing to say "I need to take a few moments and reset", "I need to pause and do something different to release this stress or tension". 

A few definitions of relax that I came upon were:


  • make or become less tense or anxious
  • rest or engage in an enjoyable activity so as to become less tired or anxious.
I love these lyrics to the song Breathe by Johnny Diaz. They ring true every time I play the song.


"Just breathe, just breathe. Come and rest, at my feet. And be, just be. Chaos calls, but all you really need is to just breathe".

"Take it in, fill your lungs, the peace of God that overcomes. Just breathe. Let your weary spirit rest, lay down what's good and find what's best. Just breathe."


Ahhhhh.......If you haven't listened to the whole song, do so. Over and over if you have to. It is soothing, it speaks to the deepest part of us that tries so hard to be sometimes so much more than we need to. It speaks to the part of us that is afraid to just let down and come to a place of rest. Is it possible that even in the midst of chaos we can be relaxed, to be breathing easier than we ever have? I believe it is. I believe I'm still learning this every day. And sometimes, just when I think I've got it, life throws a bit of a curve ball, and I feel anxiety rise up and I have stop, take some deep breaths and know that it will all work out. It will all be okay. 

What about you? Do you struggle with relaxing? Do you have certain habits that you practice that help you relax? 

Below are some ideas that can help whether you have a lot of time, or just a few minutes.  

  • Pray
  • Meditate
  • Listen to music that soothes us 
  • deep breathing exercises
  • visualization
  • Read
  • sit in the sun
  • look out a window
  • take a quick walk
  • get some fresh air
  • keep a journal handy and jot it down
  • play a mind game (to take your mind of what's bothering you)
  • laugh
  • aromatherapy
  • create a peaceful surrounding; calm colors, plants, things that make you happy
  • DO NOT turn to social media. That's probably not going to relax you
  • Go on a hike, drive or bike ride
  • Have coffee with a good friend
  • Stretch
  • Take part in yoga
  • Positive self talk
  • get good sleep


With Joy Unquenchable,


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