There is a story of a man hired by the Ford Motor Company in its early days. This employee routinely sat with his feet on his desk gazing out the window. A group of potential investors visiting the facility observed this man’s behavior and remarked on his idleness. Henry Ford responded, saying the man was not being idle but, in fact, was one of his most valued employees, because he consistently came up with plans that increased production and profitability. When he sits like that, said Ford, his ideas are formulating.
It is in moments of repose that we hear the still small voice within and tap into our creativity for ideas, solutions, reassurance and knowledge. We have so much within, and we tend to short change ourselves if we don’t allow time and space for the inspiration that comes out of the blue when we trust.
Have you ever noticed that, when you’re under pressure, you can’t find something you have mislaid, but as soon as you relax you remember where you left it? Relaxation is a powerful tool we can use in any situation to be more effective. A pause can help us stay in the moment in tense encounters so instead of reacting emotionally we respond reasonably. A pause can give us time to gather our thoughts and feel more secure.
Sometimes we have so much on our plate, and although we don’t want to drop the ball, we feel overwhelmed. Many of us have been programmed to carry on regardless, worried about that promised promotion if we perform well, that bonus if we put in extra hours, or the well being of the people in our lives who depend on us. Even so, if we don’t take time for repose, we’ll wear ourselves out.
Take a walk or a bike ride. Go for a swim or a paddle in the kayak. Recharge your batteries. When we are relaxed, we will be more likely to keep things simple and put our priorities in order. Taking time to sort out what activities and tasks are essential, what we need help with or can delegate and what may need to be put on hold will save us time down the road. It will take the pressure off and we can start enjoying the challenge of each day.
Here are a few fun ways to take a five-minute relaxation break in the middle of a busy day:
- Have a cup of green tea with honey. The L-Theanine in green tea reduces the body’s stress responses and honey has been known to relieve anxiety, depression and even protect the brain.
- Eat a mango. Mango contains linalool, an ingredient associated with stress reduction.
- Creative visualization. Visualize what you want to happen in your life, how you want to feel, what you want to be doing. This not only relieves stress but also helps to create your future.
- Take a walk in a park and sit against a big old tree for a few minutes.
- Stare out the window with your feet up.
- Take a power nap.
- Journal what you are feeling.
- Watch a funny YouTube.
- Listen to some music.
Relaxation equals enjoyment of life. By taking a moment for repose we can heal ourselves, our loved ones and the world around us.