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Many people come to me for ways to use meditation to help them with relaxation.

Stress and anxiety are huge realities for a number of them and seeking a way to relax is an understandable aim. Usually I give some starting techniques to introduce calm.

Soon after I will begin to develop these and suggest ways to deepen their meditation practice. There is an enormous power available through meditation and I have always believed that relaxation is only a single starting response. However, as I have deepened my reflection on this I think that relaxation can actually benefit us in ways that aren’t usually considered. The effect is actually similar to that of a meditation session.

This might seem obvious but it is possible to achieve some of the benefits of a structured meditation session by simply relaxing properly.

This doesn’t even have to be relaxing in the typical way although that is fine as well.

The key, in fact, the secret to this relaxation process is to allow the mind to quiet and for your thought processes to slow down.

Once you can get into a state where your inner dialogue doesn’t hold you in its grip, you will actually start to feel fairly content and upbeat. This is true relaxing. Not fighting, not struggling but developing an acceptance about the way things are.

You get into the place where you are allowing yourself to enjoy life as it occurs. In the moment, you are aware and not seeking something else. It sounds a lot like a meditative state but you can achieve it by just allowing yourself to really relax.

You might find that you can relax whilst working hard on something, or playing with your kids, or even watching a movie. The point is that you take an intentional break from worry and judgement.

Think about the things that you like to do that absorb you and that you find relaxing and find more ways to bring these into your weeks and into your days. It doesn’t matter how long you get to do this, any full relaxation is better than none and will benefit you as you build on it.

Keep choosing to do some relaxing things and don’t think about what others think or about what you should be doing. Pretty soon you notice that you are not so bothered by the need for approval and are more interested in enjoying what is going on for you now.

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