Do you feel like you can never relax? You try your hardest, you know the techniques but you don't get results, why? What lies behind this difficulty?
Last update: October 14, 2020
Failing to relax may not depend on dedicated commitment or effort. Perhaps there are some factors that you have never thought of and that hinder relaxation. Let's talk about those blocks that operate below our awareness, preventing us from forgetting anxiety.
One of the main reasons we can't relax is the difficulty in disconnecting from external commitments or pressures, which affect us even if they are not explicitly imposed on us.
Another reason is the tendency to oversize our ego. Giving too much importance to individuality generates strong tensions: it ends up transforming the ego into a rigid armor that protects us, but separates us from the world. Where does so much stress come from? What prevents us from relaxing?
"Smooth flows the water where the brook is deep."
– William Shakespeare –
1. The cult of productivity
Many times we cannot relax because we need calm and silence. Instead, we live in a world that pushes us in another direction: to move constantly and exchange information without stopping. The current lifestyle is often hectic; companies want us fast, agile, productive all the time.
We are now so conditioned that calm makes us feel guilty, lazy, or irresponsible. To do nothing is, for a part of society, to waste time. On the other hand, making good use of time means taking action, if possible doing more than one activity at the same time. This is the idea behind the cult of productivity.
We are talking about productivity in economic terms, because from the human point of view this often implies a complete unproductivity. The fear of wasting our time is so strong that we reject the mere idea of stopping for a moment. In these conditions, it is impossible to relax.
2. The conditioning to appearances
Not being able to relax is often due to the weight of appearances. For several years, another cult has been established: the body. Body care has become an imperative to be pursued in the little free time we have available.
The body has become an obsession: physical exercise, nutrition, the sun and much more are the means to appear perfect in the eyes of "Big Brother". Of course all of this is good for our health, but in many cases it plays a secondary role. We want to see ourselves thin and beautiful to fit a stereotype of beauty and intelligence.
But in doing so, do we really take care of ourselves? How is it possible to relax when the objectives to be achieved are so demanding?
3. Failing to relax due to attachment
Attachment is also a form of conditioning, but a deeper one. We can develop forms of attachment to ideas, traditions, emotions or mistakes. There is, so to speak, a force that pushes us to see and keep reality as it is. Furthermore, we need to remain as we are to avoid confronting uncertainty.
Attachments often prevent the mind from flowing freely and going where it really wants to go, even if we believe it is free. They bring into play that tension between the desire to maintain our habits, affections, possession of things and the constant change of reality. Changes put us under stress and happen all the time; thus we remain in a state of useless resistance.
Fighting the natural flow of things is not just a losing battlebut it also prevents the mind from being flexible. This is one of the reasons why you may not be able to relax: resistance to change, attachment to the belief that the reality we want exists forever.
Staying tense or trapped in stress is not a healthy attitude. Not only does it make it harder to control emotions, but it can also make us physically ill. Finding ways to relaxation is an essential part of mental wellbeing. That is why it is worth reflecting on this point and trying.