Author Topic: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?  (Read 5398 times)

Torran

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Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« on: November 01, 2016, 11:00:38 AM »
Wondering if anyone on this forum has a similar problem, since there are quite a lot of people here who value 'optimization' of time, being productive, etc.

I basically find it completely impossible to chill out. I can sit and watch a movie, sure, but I'll only do that if
1. It's something I really want to watch and I've chosen especially to set aside that time to watch it, and
2. I have done all the other important things I should have done that day. I.e, its 11pm and I'm really tired before I can 'allow' myself to sit down and chill.

Ofcourse when I've mentioned this to anyone at all IRL they have looked at me like I was humble-bragging and said sarcastically 'yeah it must suck to be so productive all the time'.

It's not that I have a lot of energy either. I'm exhausted. I'm not that productive. But if I try and sit and zone out, I immediately feel restless and think maybe I should be cleaning, or going for a run, or doing anything at all which isn't sitting still.

This 'chilled out' weekend, I was hanging out with a family member after a party and she suggested we get takeaway and watch movies all day. I was on the edge of my seat with frustration. I was trying to force myself to chill out so I wouldn't look like a weirdo. She was obviously thinking this was a lovely way to spend a day. I was eating my knuckles and trying not to scream.

So basically: has anyone else got this problem? (it is a real thing right) and how did you manage to let go a little bit and relax? Was it a change or circumstances? Mind-set?

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2016, 11:09:49 AM »
Yes, absolutely. I found that I have to get into my "happy place" to really relax. For me, that's my hammock. I honestly don't know why - the breeze in the trees above, the birds singing, or possibly just the fact that it keeps me outside and away from any reminder of stuff that needs to get done - but I can relax in my hammock when no place else will comfort me. It's almost magical.
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golden1

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2016, 11:15:24 AM »
Definitely, and it is only getting worse as I get older.  I have a to do list in my head, and if I am not doing something on it, it nags at me and even if I set aside time to relax, I won't really relax.  The only way for me to really relax is if I go somewhere where I CAN'T be productive.

wenchsenior

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2016, 11:18:46 AM »
Yes, although it doesn't necessarily help me be more productive all the time. It does cause me to be generally more tense than I might be otherwise. My issue is that I work from home, so there is no 'designated' space/time for relaxation and not working. As a result, I really have trouble feeling that it is ok to relax completely at home because I could always potentially be working. I try to stick to a time schedule with designated work and chore tasks, and then schedule 'chill' time.   

The other thing I've noticed is that if I leave my home environment (say, on a trip), my brain will automatically start to shift to 'blow off work' mode and I can readily relax then, but this is much easier if I don't have constant access to internet or computer, or when I make an active attempt to discard/ignore them. This is one of the reasons I'm not planning on getting a smart phone until it is absolutely necessary...I think I would have an even harder time chilling out.  I also relax very easily in attractive outdoor settings (which unfortunately are in vanishingly short supply within 3.5 hours of where I live...this has probably contributed the growth of this problem during the past decade), so that would be a useful outlet if I lived somewhere else.

All in all, I try to get myself as far as is reasonable outside my daily routine in order to relax. Failing that, I try to schedule relaxation.


Sibley

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2016, 11:27:54 AM »
Um, guys, this is actually a real problem, one that could kill you. We are not biologically capable of being 100% productive all the time. Our bodies and brains NEED downtime. It is not a luxury - it is a biological necessity. If you've trained yourself somehow to not be able to relax, then you're at risk for a ton of physical problems. (Go do a google search for the effects of stress.)

This is a huge problem, and you need to fix it. Before you blow all your hard work out of the water by becoming disabled because you gave yourself a massive stroke from stress or something.

Practicing meditation or mindfulness may help. Whatever works - but you need to learn how to relax, guilt free, regularly.

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2016, 11:44:34 AM »
I observed the vacation phenomenon this summer.
When I'm away from home, my level of engagement is much higher with my kids.
I'm simply more present and in the moment.
I'm paying more attention to how good it feels to relax and do stuff slowly.
Like walking through a park or taking an hour to eat a meal.
But as soon as I got back home, I ramped back up to the usual frenetic activity schedule.
I'm constantly doing some chore and the relaxing feeling is hard to recapture.

StarBright

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2016, 11:52:28 AM »
Yes, although it doesn't necessarily help me be more productive all the time. It does cause me to be generally more tense than I might be otherwise. My issue is that I work from home, so there is no 'designated' space/time for relaxation and not working. As a result, I really have trouble feeling that it is ok to relax completely at home because I could always potentially be working. I try to stick to a time schedule with designated work and chore tasks, and then schedule 'chill' time.   

The other thing I've noticed is that if I leave my home environment (say, on a trip), my brain will automatically start to shift to 'blow off work' mode and I can readily relax then, but this is much easier if I don't have constant access to internet or computer, or when I make an active attempt to discard/ignore them. This is one of the reasons I'm not planning on getting a smart phone until it is absolutely necessary...I think I would have an even harder time chilling out.  I also relax very easily in attractive outdoor settings (which unfortunately are in vanishingly short supply within 3.5 hours of where I live...this has probably contributed the growth of this problem during the past decade), so that would be a useful outlet if I lived somewhere else.

All in all, I try to get myself as far as is reasonable outside my daily routine in order to relax. Failing that, I try to schedule relaxation.

Wenchsenior might be my twin. I plus one her entire post down to the avoidance of a smart phone.

I also have trouble relaxing on vacation. I have noticed it takes well into day 2 and sometimes day 3 of a trip for me to start slowing down.

Also - just a counter note to Sibley's meditation/mindfulness suggestion - if you are uncomfortable when meditating go with your gut and avoid it. There is starting to be research that suggests it can be harmful to some folks. https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/06/05/meditation-and-mindfulness-arent-as-good-for-you-as-you-think/?utm_term=.57d09258579a

wenchsenior

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2016, 12:05:32 PM »
Um, guys, this is actually a real problem, one that could kill you. We are not biologically capable of being 100% productive all the time. Our bodies and brains NEED downtime. It is not a luxury - it is a biological necessity. If you've trained yourself somehow to not be able to relax, then you're at risk for a ton of physical problems. (Go do a google search for the effects of stress.)

This is a huge problem, and you need to fix it. Before you blow all your hard work out of the water by becoming disabled because you gave yourself a massive stroke from stress or something.

Practicing meditation or mindfulness may help. Whatever works - but you need to learn how to relax, guilt free, regularly.

You are correct about the health issues...in addition to the stress, I realize I have really compromised my health (spine, circulation, etc.) with 15 years of being chained to a desk, and am seriously considering taking a pay hit to just be more active in my daily work even it means switching to light manual labor from professional technical work...or I'm very much afraid that I'll be somewhat disabled by 50.

Mindfulness does help me, but I've met some people who actually have anxiety attacks when trying to be mindful or meditate...those types seem to need draining physical exertion or else new distraction to boot their mind out of the anxiety hamster wheel.

Whatever works!

golden1

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2016, 01:16:11 PM »
Quote
Um, guys, this is actually a real problem, one that could kill you. We are not biologically capable of being 100% productive all the time. Our bodies and brains NEED downtime. It is not a luxury - it is a biological necessity. If you've trained yourself somehow to not be able to relax, then you're at risk for a ton of physical problems. (Go do a google search for the effects of stress.)

This is a huge problem, and you need to fix it. Before you blow all your hard work out of the water by becoming disabled because you gave yourself a massive stroke from stress or something.

Practicing meditation or mindfulness may help. Whatever works - but you need to learn how to relax, guilt free, regularly.

Great...now I feel even MORE stressed!   :P

I do try to practice mindfulness, but even my 10 minute mindfulness sessions feel like a chore - something I have to do in order to go do something else.  So it kind of defeats the purpose. Everything I try to do for my well being, journal, meditate, exercise, read, etc... just adds to the list.  I never get to just.....be.  There is always something to be done, someone who wants something from me, some responsibility that needs to be dealt with.  Ignoring it doesn't help, the only thing that helps is just working through the list one by one.  Everytime I finish something, I feel momentary relief followed by a creeping sense of dread shortly afterwards. 

Welcome to the life of someone with generalized anxiety disorder.

marty998

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2016, 02:15:48 PM »
Yes, although it doesn't necessarily help me be more productive all the time. It does cause me to be generally more tense than I might be otherwise. My issue is that I work from home, so there is no 'designated' space/time for relaxation and not working. As a result, I really have trouble feeling that it is ok to relax completely at home because I could always potentially be working. I try to stick to a time schedule with designated work and chore tasks, and then schedule 'chill' time.   

The other thing I've noticed is that if I leave my home environment (say, on a trip), my brain will automatically start to shift to 'blow off work' mode and I can readily relax then, but this is much easier if I don't have constant access to internet or computer, or when I make an active attempt to discard/ignore them. This is one of the reasons I'm not planning on getting a smart phone until it is absolutely necessary...I think I would have an even harder time chilling out.  I also relax very easily in attractive outdoor settings (which unfortunately are in vanishingly short supply within 3.5 hours of where I live...this has probably contributed the growth of this problem during the past decade), so that would be a useful outlet if I lived somewhere else.

All in all, I try to get myself as far as is reasonable outside my daily routine in order to relax. Failing that, I try to schedule relaxation.

Wenchsenior might be my twin. I plus one her entire post down to the avoidance of a smart phone.

I also have trouble relaxing on vacation. I have noticed it takes well into day 2 and sometimes day 3 of a trip for me to start slowing down.

Also - just a counter note to Sibley's meditation/mindfulness suggestion - if you are uncomfortable when meditating go with your gut and avoid it. There is starting to be research that suggests it can be harmful to some folks. https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/06/05/meditation-and-mindfulness-arent-as-good-for-you-as-you-think/?utm_term=.57d09258579a

Same for me... it takes a couple of days to switch off completely.

I'm 'fortunate' to live a long way away from work... the 90 minute commute gives adequate time to turn the dial down from work mode to home mode (plus gives adequate time to read certain forums wink wink).

But it's not enough because you know all the work problems will still be there tomorrow.

Only a long spell of leave allows me to completely switch off and take a deep breathe.

kork

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2016, 02:18:24 PM »
As someone who's challenged with anxiety all the time (and an inability to slow down and relax) I came across this the other day. It's called "Weightless" by Marconi Union.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfcAVejslrU

It's the most relaxing tune ever. http://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/music/scientists-discover-most-relaxing-tune-ever

It could help to close your eyes and slow down for 8 minutes...  Get trapped in your own mind.

lavender_

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2016, 07:46:07 PM »
I relate to this so much. The only time I feel I can really relax each day is in the 30 minutes or so before bed when everything is done. Up to that point, I feel like I'm just ticking chores off the list trying to reach that fleeting freedom. Relaxing before that isn't truly relaxing, because I'm thinking about the things I still need to do.

It's a mentality that I think may have been established during school for me, or else school just facilitated that tendency: I constantly felt like I was just working towards the breaks. Winter break and summer were the only times I truly felt relaxed. All other times, there was always something that could be done, and relaxing instead of doing it felt...like a waste? I know how important relaxation is, have read a lot about it, and understand that this mentality is harmful. Yet, it's so wired in me that I feel like I can't help it. After losing the structure of school, I'm afraid I've transferred that mentality to real life, with the "break" I'm working toward being retirement. Which, needless to say, is depressing and unhealthy.

Torran

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2016, 05:01:58 AM »
Really interesting responses. I guess it's not an uncommon thing, the tyranny of the to-do list!!

Funny that so many people in the world seem able to relax so easily and others amongst us just cannot do it, EVEN when we need and want to.

But then again I'm sure there are many positives to being this way. Sure it's incredibly frustrating, sometimes exhausting, but the fact we're talking on a forum like this means that we probably, generally all run quite a tight ship and keep our finances (and other things) in order. Which imho is a great way to live a good, proper, worthwhile life. How you spend your days is how you spend your life.

Just a bit more balance - a bit more rest and chilling - would probably be good.

Um, guys, this is actually a real problem, one that could kill you. We are not biologically capable of being 100% productive all the time. Our bodies and brains NEED downtime. It is not a luxury - it is a biological necessity. If you've trained yourself somehow to not be able to relax, then you're at risk for a ton of physical problems. (Go do a google search for the effects of stress.)

This is a huge problem, and you need to fix it. Before you blow all your hard work out of the water by becoming disabled because you gave yourself a massive stroke from stress or something.

Practicing meditation or mindfulness may help. Whatever works - but you need to learn how to relax, guilt free, regularly.

Funny you should say that... erm...
The reason I was thinking about this is because I have an auto-immune disorder which is exacerbated by stress (that's not the official line.. officially the medical world is undecided on the exact cause). It's thankfully very mild in my case, but at my most recent check-up my doctor indicated flare-ups only happen when I've got corresponding work-related stress going on and he told me to make sure I actually relax and rest when appropriate.
This is the first time a doctor has said that to me (he's a great guy, really helpful and realistic) and I thought huh. Yeah. Relaxing. So how does that work? How do I unlock this new level?

So obviously I went on the internets to ask :)

I also spoke to my SO about this. He has a high-stress job and views meditation et al as 'another chore' he can't be bothered with. But he's chosen specific structured focussed activities as a way of relaxation that suits him. Rock-climbing and horse-riding especially, because you have to focus completely on your physical reality (if you get distracted by your own stressy thoughts, you might fall off the horse or the wall).

He finds that total focus on a physical activity extremely relaxing. Also guilt-free because it still counts as 'productive' and worthwhile (Know thyself and all that :), haha).

dcheesi

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2016, 06:52:58 AM »
I started feeling his way during the time when I was practicing "hardcore" stoicism. Ultimately I found that I had to dial it back and adopt a more balanced philosophy that allows for some degree of enlightened hedonism/epicureanism. The trick is to strike the right balance, given that the two philosophical schools (while sharing a surprising amount of practical advice) are fundamentally different in their basic motivation. When possible, I like to set clear time/space boundaries between "work" and "play", and adhere to the latter mindset as rigorously as the former.

All of which is a fancy way of saying that I had (re)learn to take time for myself, and to value that time and personal enjoyment as highly as I do the "productive" time working. It can't just be one more item in your to-do list.

Here's a thought: if everyone in the world spent all of their time producing things for each other, who would actually be enjoying the fruits of all that effort?

RetiredAt63

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2016, 07:22:29 AM »
Really interesting responses. I guess it's not an uncommon thing, the tyranny of the to-do list!!

I also spoke to my SO about this. He has a high-stress job and views meditation et al as 'another chore' he can't be bothered with. But he's chosen specific structured focussed activities as a way of relaxation that suits him. Rock-climbing and horse-riding especially, because you have to focus completely on your physical reality (if you get distracted by your own stressy thoughts, you might fall off the horse or the wall).

He finds that total focus on a physical activity extremely relaxing. Also guilt-free because it still counts as 'productive' and worthwhile (Know thyself and all that :), haha).

Tai chi does that as well - my instructor called it "meditation in motion".  You have to be right there or you at best lose your place and at worst fall over.  Plus I think we spend so much time sitting that we need the physical activities to counteract that.  Even reading is sitting (and I love reading).
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acroy

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2016, 07:30:23 AM »
It’s not a bad thing, it’s part of who you are – part of your personality / temperament. I have it to. The internal nag. Some people have the opposite problem: never able to be motivated. They are sometimes called lazy.

Recognize it, use it for good, channel it.
In my case – every day the tasks are prioritized. I try to ‘automate’ many of the routine tasks as then it becomes habit, it gets done, the stress level goes down.
-   Rise with the alarm
-   Work out, stretch first thing in the am
-   Proper nutrition/hydration during the day
-   Running ‘to do’ list both professional and personal
-   Scheduled tasks (such as routine home/car maintenance, etc) are done on a periodic schedule. Every Monday the house gets dusted top to bottom. 1st of every month the bike chain is checked for wear. 15th and 30th I audit payroll/financials  etc etc etc

At the ‘end of the day’ it is generally easier to relax because I did a lot during the day. I ‘kicked ass and chewed bubble gum’. The internal nag is somewhat satisfied. Sometimes the day went poorly / was disrupted and it is harder to relax. By 7pm or so I’m ready to chill out with some ethanol, family, and a show or book.

Vacations are interesting – it takes me 2-3 days to unwind. I have to be careful to keep the stretch/workout routine, it’s easy to abandon. After about a week, I’m getting bored and ready to get back to work.

Good luck!
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Sibley

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2016, 07:41:24 AM »
To be clear, I'm not saying you have to meditate or practice mindfulness. I don't do either. But it does work for some people. Whatever helps you, go for it. If you're dealing with anxiety, I don't know enough to give any helpful advice, but take care of yourself. Whatever that looks like.

It does worry me that for many people, taking proper care of yourself is a "chore". Our culture has messed up there.

wenchsenior

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2016, 07:48:04 AM »
Torran, funny you should be triggered to ask by an autoimmune problem. I've been suspecting something autoimmune (actually one of the bad ones) in myself for a few years, but every time I get tests they come up negative (which is good, certainly, but doesn't help id my issue). Then a couple months ago: bam! autoimmune areata...entire sections of my head just stopped producing hair...quite the punk look!  Doctor said stress possibly can trigger or exacerbate, and I've been trying to make changes since then, although I have not felt any more stressed the past few years than previously. But might as well try to get a handle on it now, I figure.


cerat0n1a

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2016, 09:06:54 AM »
He finds that total focus on a physical activity extremely relaxing. Also guilt-free because it still counts as 'productive' and worthwhile (Know thyself and all that :), haha).

Not sure that one can generalise from personal experience to something that works for everyone, but I've transitioned from being permanently very stressed a few years ago to pretty relaxed and I think that there are 3 things that are partly responsible and the physical activity is the biggest.

quite a lot of time outdoors doing physical stuff (running, gardening)
my to-do list is written down rather than in my head
low information diet  (no smartphone for me, no tv news either)

I think the stoic philosophy and the mindfulness suggestions are also good; I used to remind myself that real stress and anxiety was living in a thirld world shanty town and not being able to feed your kids, not having to give a presentation or run a meeting. We're not just rational brains carried round by a bag of meat though, which is why the outdoors exercise matters.

Torran

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2016, 05:44:27 PM »

It does worry me that for many people, taking proper care of yourself is a "chore". Our culture has messed up there.

Uuugh, yes, so true. My work is one of those places where stress is a competition. Who can be the most stressed and the most busy and who can take the fewest sick days? Not sure what the prize is though - a heart attack?

It's so sad. Totally messed up.

Torran

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2016, 06:00:24 PM »
Torran, funny you should be triggered to ask by an autoimmune problem. I've been suspecting something autoimmune (actually one of the bad ones) in myself for a few years, but every time I get tests they come up negative (which is good, certainly, but doesn't help id my issue). Then a couple months ago: bam! autoimmune areata...entire sections of my head just stopped producing hair...quite the punk look!  Doctor said stress possibly can trigger or exacerbate, and I've been trying to make changes since then, although I have not felt any more stressed the past few years than previously. But might as well try to get a handle on it now, I figure.

Sorry to hear you're going through this and having to consider the auto-immune thing. I hope you don't have too many other physical symptoms. (The punk look though is fairly excellent). I was extremely lucky in that what I have looked like it might be really bad news, and turns out, over the years, it's been really mild and hasn't impacted on how I live my life. Except now, I'm a lot more grateful for my health.

I absolutely think stress is trigger for some very strange physical things. Our minds and our bodies are so connected - it sounds a bit, y'know, out there, except when I considered that being nervous makes my heart pound faster and my cheeks go pink, so why shouldn't a day of grinding stress also be doing something physical (even if you can't see it straight away).

One really positive thing that came out of my health issues was a re-connect with my own body. I am very aware now of when I am run down, when I'm a bit jittery.

When I had my first 'bout', I was going through probably the worst time of my life. I was trying to hold it all together and act like everything was fine, and hadn't confided in anyone about how bad it was. But everything was falling apart - work, home, finances.

Anyway - not to be too self-absorbed or self-pitying - getting ill and getting diagnosed was a blessing in disguise because it reminded me that I only have one life. For a while a brain tumor was being discussed by the docs as a possibility, so, y'know, once that's been put on the table as an option, it is an extreme relief when the diagnoses is something different.

To cut a long story short - I do think stress is a dangerous thing. After the latest chat with the doc, this is why I'm now on a bit of a mission to try and 'fix' this inability to relax. Except my brain just doesn't seem very able to truly chill out.

All the suggestions on this thread have been great. Really enjoying reading what other people are experiencing and how they're getting a handle on it. Even without any physical ailments - the amount of people who are also restlessly considering housework at 11pm - I'm not alone!

Especially going to go ahead with:
Getting out in the fresh air
Exercising
A written to-do list (I currently keep a daily diary which actually does help me to feel a bit calmer).
Not fighting it - i.e a day of watching movies actually just isn't my bag.

Especially loved 'recognise it, use it for good, channel it', thanks acroy

zoltani

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2016, 11:41:27 AM »
Also - just a counter note to Sibley's meditation/mindfulness suggestion - if you are uncomfortable when meditating go with your gut and avoid it. There is starting to be research that suggests it can be harmful to some folks. https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/06/05/meditation-and-mindfulness-arent-as-good-for-you-as-you-think/?utm_term=.57d09258579a

I do not see any actual research in that article. They talk about mindfulness as a replacement to therapy or medication, which misses the point completely. The point of meditation is to just do it, you cannot expect any particular results, but you may learn something about yourself.

The article claims that meditating might bring up painful emotions:
"But considering that many of us rarely sit alone with our thoughts, it isn’t hard to see how this might lead to difficult thoughts and emotions rising to the surface for some people – which we may, or may not, be equipped to deal with."

I'm not sure the person making that statement even understands meditation. The point is to feel those emotions without labeling them or calling them good or bad, difficult or easy.

Consider this:
“In 11 studies, we found that participants typically did not enjoy spending 6 to 15 minutes in a room by themselves with nothing to do but think, that they enjoyed doing mundane external activities much more, and that many preferred to administer electric shocks to themselves instead of being left alone with their thoughts. Most people seem to prefer to be doing something rather than nothing, even if that something is negative."
http://time.com/2950919/alone-with-thoughts/

To me this is a sign of a very weak and sick society, that we cannot even sit alone quietly with out own thoughts for 15 minutes.

Meditation is not a cure for anything, it is a tool to help you understand and learn about your inner world, which creates the external world. There is a reason it is called meditation practice, it indeed takes dedication and practice, it's training your brain.

From the same time article linked above:
“Research has shown that minds are difficult to control, however, and it may be particularly hard to steer our thoughts in pleasant directions and keep them there. This may be why many people seek to gain better control of their thoughts with meditation and other techniques, with clear benefits. Without such training, people prefer doing to thinking, even if what they are doing is so unpleasant that they would normally pay to avoid it. The untutored mind does not like to be alone with itself."

If you go really deep in your practice you may even reach partial or full states of ego loss, which will not be frightening if you have systematically built up to it through a dedicated mediation practice (for example getting there through artificial means like psychedelics).

Some actual research on the neuroscience:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-12661646

“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

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beel

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2016, 01:15:42 PM »
This is something I struggle with as well, but there are a few things that have helped me a little.  I've really learned to just let go of some things.... especially the tiny details in life that just really don't matter much. Sometimes there is just too much crap in your life at once and you have to reason with yourself that you just don't have an unlimited surplus of focus and energy.  So lighten the load, even if it hurts or feels weird or even lazy.  Also I strongly suggest some kind of rigorous exercise.  I don't mean the typical " oh yeah my gym routine, or yoga class, or daily walk, etc"  I mean something that burns your body out physically.  I have found that if I push myself (and I really mean push) to the point where I am physically exhausted my mind can finally chill out, my face isn't scrunching, I can sit with a glass of water and just relax because I am just so physically (not mentally) exhausted.  Its kind of like a drug!  Alcohol and marijuana do absolutely nothing to help me with this, in fact I think those things make it worse for me. That's me though, I don't speak for others. Lastly, Force yourself to think optimistically, and I do mean FORCE.  Its extremely difficult, and may add to the stress a little, but like Shakespeare said "Expectation is the root of all heartache." Just keep being an optimist, and if you figure out how to do any of this all the time please tell me how......

StarBright

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2016, 01:23:24 PM »
Hey Zoltani,

I was mostly thinking of the negative side effect paper that was linked to in the WaPo article (for some reason I was not able to link to it directly).

I think meditation and mindfullness are great for a lot of people. I was just putting the idea out there that if it isn't helpful or creates extra stress that is okay too.

I am a person for whom meditation (particularly of the corporate retreat sort) can be counter productive and anxiety producing which is why I suggested going "with your gut" if it doesn't feel right or helpful.


To OP: as others have said, it might just be your personality. Weirdly, I actually found that the "most relaxing" song made me very edgy.

And this may sound weird but there is one form of "guided relaxation" that I have found legitimately helpful. There was a pregnancy hypnosis CD that someone gave me and it had a 30 minutes safe space track. It was all about creating your personal relaxing space and it gave lots of instructions for thoughts so it kept my mind quite busy "building" my safe, relaxing space. It somehow let me relax and do lots of thinking at the same time. I still use it to help me fall asleep sometimes.

« Last Edit: November 03, 2016, 02:52:15 PM by StarBright »

MrsDinero

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2016, 01:26:37 PM »
Yes!  I always found it hard to "just sit there".  Going to the movie theater is tough because I have a hard time keeping my mind focused.

I found a way to sit and be still without being still.  I crochet (and knit).  I usually do this in the evenings while watching TV.  It allows me to sit and chill but still be active. 

There has also been a lot of articles lately talking about the health benefits of crochet and knit.  I find it very soothing and almost meditative.
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TrMama

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2016, 01:49:54 PM »
I'm like this too. It drives my DH nuts because he's the opposite. He would love for us to spend the entire day together just hanging out, in bed, or watching movies, but I just can't. I think there's a genetic component to this since all the women in my family are like this. We're like energizer bunnies, except we have no off switch. So we also deal with the not so great side of it, like anxiety, intrusive thoughts and insomnia. If you do some reading on anxiety, you'll also learn that the more anxious you are, and the longer it's allowed to go on, the easier it is for your brain to be/maintain that anxious state. Something about building neural pathways and increased sensitivity to the chemical biochemical reactions involved in producing chronic stress.

I don't have any more helpful advice to give that hasn't already been mentioned. When I'm really having a hard time I make sure to do really vigorous outdoor exercise. Walking sedately around the block doesn't work. It needs to be more along the lines of anaerobic intervals until I keel over from exhaustion.

I also knit. There is no sitting on the couch doing nothing. I can watch TV, but there'd better be some knitting in my hands.

zoltani

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2016, 04:29:58 PM »
Neuroscience is showing us that the long held belief that our brains are hard-wired is false. Research neuroplasticity. Those of you saying "I'm just like this" have formed strong neuro-pathways that support the feelings, thoughts, and emotions you have. With those strong pathways it is easy to go to that place in your mind, whether it is negativity, restlessness, anxiety, etc.  As we pay attention to our inner world and change our thoughts and behaviors we form new connections and as we reinforce those connections they get stronger and become the default.

Corporate retreat style meditation? That sounds absolutely awful. For me it is a personal thing. Try just sitting 5 minutes. Close your eyes and just listen to all of the sounds around you. Do not name them, just listen. As you practice this your own thoughts start to become part of the background "noise" and you will form more of what we call a Teflon mind. You will have the thoughts, the point of meditation is to not rid your mind of these thoughts, but you will start to not pay attention to them. Perhaps that is where the anxiety during meditation comes from, the thought that you have to empty your mind, but cannot?

TrMama, this is not genetic. If anything it is a learned behavior from your family. You must realize that most of your thoughts are not even your own, they are implanted there from birth. We begin an empty vessel that is filled with ego through others.

I highly recommend that those interested in meditation listen to this talk (note, you don't actually need the props he mentions): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TjCZRutOKY

Lifting weights also helps me with anxiety and depression. I was always against lifting weights for some odd reason, but lately have been doing it regularly. It helps a great deal. Any intense exercise can do this.
 
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chesebert

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galliver

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2016, 02:10:10 PM »
This is really interesting to read from the opposite perspective, but having noticed similar behaviors in friends.

For the most part, especially with more distant acquaintances or if our primary contact is through FB, I assume if they seem very active (not just athletically, but like constantly doing something) that either (a) they have lots of energy or (b) it's a selective posting effect; some people carefully curate their online image and only post positive/energetic things that they are proud of, whereas actually they take naps and relax, too. But with closer friends I actually see in real life, sometimes they let on these are not actually the full story. E.g. one friend was recounting how she was so sick and felt so crummy the weekend before we were hanging out...but went for a 15 or 20 min run with her 100+ F fever because she "didn't want to be lazy" or something. And I'm like "Girl, no! Rest your body! What are you doing!?" Another friend had foot surgery this week and posted the doctor's recommendation that she stay off the foot and elevate it with the response "haha, no! escorting a guest speaker around campus today!" And I'm like, seriously, given how busy you constantly claim to be, and how nice I know you are, there's no way no one at your department owes you a favor. Meet with the speaker in your office and ask someone else to pick up the slack because YOU HAD FREAKIN' SURGERY (I'm not in her city or department so I can't do it, but if one of my labmates asked, even the one I don't like, I'd be like YES OF COURSE.) That sounds, to me, more like what you're talking about, OP.

My personal theory is that we have a cultural narrative of things that are productive/good and things that are lazy/frivolous/bad and we all internalize it to different degrees (similar, actually, to the cultural narrative on food/health/body). And both extremes are unhealthy; obviously, having NO drive and watching TV all the time and eating fries for every meal won't get you anywhere good. But I think if you are feeling exhaustion, or illness, and still feel like you have to perform at 110%, that's a problem also. No one will die if dishes get put off to tomorrow because you need a nap, if the closet doesn't get decluttered this week, if you skip a run because you're running (ha) a fever. I've been planning to clean my oven for over a year now (with oven cleaner, not like the self clean thing). But other things, including occasional bouts of doing nothing, have taken priority so far. Perhaps this weekend; it's starting to smoke really bad sometimes...

Incidentally, although I probably err on the "relaxation" side of the spectrum, I do have times when I feel guilt for doing something for me when I could be productive. Not sure if it will work for others, but I ask myself, do I *really* think X thing that needs done is more important than Y thing I am doing, considering all the factors including my well-being. And once consciously think about it and I can convince myself the guilt is coming from "society" and my view is that what I'm doing is valuable (e.g. snuggling with BF instead of doing dishes :) ), I can sometimes (mostly) let the guilt/anxiety go.

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #29 on: November 06, 2016, 10:10:54 PM »
Nah. I consider myself a total lazy-ass slug. Seriously. I get shit done, but then I'm happy doing not all that much. I always wanted to be a high-energy person who bounces out of bed and does all of the things, but this thread is giving me a glimpse behind the curtain. Maybe I'll just keep on being me, but with a renewed sense of gratitude.
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lifejoy

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #30 on: November 07, 2016, 03:29:29 PM »
Sometimes this is me. Cannot relax. And then it spirals and is hard to get out of.

oldtoyota

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #31 on: November 07, 2016, 04:13:02 PM »
I use Headspace, which is an app that teaches meditation. Helped me a lot.


Torran

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2016, 12:26:25 AM »
This is really interesting to read from the opposite perspective, but having noticed similar behaviors in friends.

For the most part, especially with more distant acquaintances or if our primary contact is through FB, I assume if they seem very active (not just athletically, but like constantly doing something) that either (a) they have lots of energy or (b) it's a selective posting effect; some people carefully curate their online image and only post positive/energetic things that they are proud of, whereas actually they take naps and relax, too. But with closer friends I actually see in real life, sometimes they let on these are not actually the full story. E.g. one friend was recounting how she was so sick and felt so crummy the weekend before we were hanging out...but went for a 15 or 20 min run with her 100+ F fever because she "didn't want to be lazy" or something. And I'm like "Girl, no! Rest your body! What are you doing!?" Another friend had foot surgery this week and posted the doctor's recommendation that she stay off the foot and elevate it with the response "haha, no! escorting a guest speaker around campus today!" And I'm like, seriously, given how busy you constantly claim to be, and how nice I know you are, there's no way no one at your department owes you a favor. Meet with the speaker in your office and ask someone else to pick up the slack because YOU HAD FREAKIN' SURGERY (I'm not in her city or department so I can't do it, but if one of my labmates asked, even the one I don't like, I'd be like YES OF COURSE.) That sounds, to me, more like what you're talking about, OP.

My personal theory is that we have a cultural narrative of things that are productive/good and things that are lazy/frivolous/bad and we all internalize it to different degrees (similar, actually, to the cultural narrative on food/health/body). And both extremes are unhealthy; obviously, having NO drive and watching TV all the time and eating fries for every meal won't get you anywhere good. But I think if you are feeling exhaustion, or illness, and still feel like you have to perform at 110%, that's a problem also. No one will die if dishes get put off to tomorrow because you need a nap, if the closet doesn't get decluttered this week, if you skip a run because you're running (ha) a fever. I've been planning to clean my oven for over a year now (with oven cleaner, not like the self clean thing). But other things, including occasional bouts of doing nothing, have taken priority so far. Perhaps this weekend; it's starting to smoke really bad sometimes...

Incidentally, although I probably err on the "relaxation" side of the spectrum, I do have times when I feel guilt for doing something for me when I could be productive. Not sure if it will work for others, but I ask myself, do I *really* think X thing that needs done is more important than Y thing I am doing, considering all the factors including my well-being. And once consciously think about it and I can convince myself the guilt is coming from "society" and my view is that what I'm doing is valuable (e.g. snuggling with BF instead of doing dishes :) ), I can sometimes (mostly) let the guilt/anxiety go.

Ah... I might try and be more mindful of what internal messages I'm following when I try and push on through the tiredness to get the dishes done. Good point re wellbeing. It seems hard to prioritize such a fuzzy concept as wellbeing, over more concrete things like having a clean house; getting work done, etc. But you are right. It's a good idea to remember that wellbeing actually does need to be no.1 on the list, because without that, you ain't got nothing.

What you said about facebook though - ooft. I'm one of the worst offenders for that. One of my friends said one day 'you're always doing so many things at the weekend', referring to how many times I post on facebook about going places, doing things. Nobody sees me absolutely exhausted and very anxious last thing at night, or fretting about what a failure I am in so many areas. Lolz. It's a very silly state of affairs really. But as Gloria Steinem says, 'the truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off' ;) So yeah, I probably need to calm it down with the facebook 'everything is wonderful' thing.

Napflix looks brilliant!!

I am already quite addicted to ASMR videos (tis the creepiest bit of youtube). Generally I like watching videos of people explaining really boring things (if you search youtube for 'accidental asmr', that's what I'm talking about). And ofcourse Bob Ross painting trees, always good.  But overall, being so frazzled that I can only chill when watching stuff on youtube and completely zoning out, isn't that great for mental health.

I think I need to try meditation again and see if I can stick to it.

Anyway - I'm so glad I'm not alone! It's great to hear from other people.

MandalayVA

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2016, 03:03:26 AM »
Nah. I consider myself a total lazy-ass slug. Seriously. I get shit done, but then I'm happy doing not all that much. I always wanted to be a high-energy person who bounces out of bed and does all of the things, but this thread is giving me a glimpse behind the curtain. Maybe I'll just keep on being me, but with a renewed sense of gratitude.

THIS.  I've never been high energy, and it's a mystery to me how people can get up half an hour before they have to go to work and cram in showering and breakfast and getting the kids ready and all that stuff.  On average, I get up at least two hours before I need to be anywhere so I can ease into the day.  And I LOATHE rushing. 
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galliver

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2016, 08:40:40 AM »


But overall, being so frazzled that I can only chill when watching stuff on youtube and completely zoning out, isn't that great for mental health.

I think I need to try meditation again and see if I can stick to it.

I think clearing the mind and meditating can look different for everybody. I have puzzle games on my phone that I find help me quiet my thoughts when I'm stressed. But my favorite mind clearing activity is going for a walk. My mind focuses better when my feet are moving, and that means there's no room for a stressful whirlwind of thoughts. Just one main thing I needed to deal with, or the moment (pretty flowers, etc).

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LennStar

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #35 on: November 09, 2016, 09:32:31 AM »
OP:
I dont think you have a problem with relaxing (ok you have but), but with the image of what relax is. Watching TV is not, quite the opposite.

As some other posters I would put my money on mediation, which is not what most people think (empty mind on bone-breaking sitting positions). It is attention. And if you are paying attention you are relaxing.

Try the book "The mindful geek".

Learning to meditate/to be mindful takes a bit of time and can be quite disturbing. As the author puts it, most of us are not used to be alone with ourselfs. But it pays off in the end.
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lukebuz

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #36 on: November 09, 2016, 12:07:52 PM »
I may be a little late to this discussion, but I'm also an "impossible to relax" person.  Even to the point of Insomnia.

However!

I found a significant way to help it!  If you are the high energy type, the LAST THING you need is more stimulation.  CUT ALL CAFFEINE OUT OF YOUR DIET.  Decaff Coffee/Tea/Soda/Crystal Light/etc...

You'll be surprised how much more level headed and even keeled you'll be.

LennStar

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #37 on: November 10, 2016, 03:29:09 AM »
I may be a little late to this discussion, but I'm also an "impossible to relax" person.  Even to the point of Insomnia.

However!

I found a significant way to help it!  If you are the high energy type, the LAST THING you need is more stimulation.  CUT ALL CAFFEINE OUT OF YOUR DIET.  Decaff Coffee/Tea/Soda/Crystal Light/etc...

You'll be surprised how much more level headed and even keeled you'll be.
High sugar intake can be worse then coffeine. Not to mention diabetes.

WerKater

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #38 on: November 10, 2016, 04:00:16 AM »
Nah. I consider myself a total lazy-ass slug. Seriously. I get shit done, but then I'm happy doing not all that much. I always wanted to be a high-energy person who bounces out of bed and does all of the things, but this thread is giving me a glimpse behind the curtain. Maybe I'll just keep on being me, but with a renewed sense of gratitude.

THIS.  I've never been high energy, and it's a mystery to me how people can get up half an hour before they have to go to work and cram in showering and breakfast and getting the kids ready and all that stuff.  On average, I get up at least two hours before I need to be anywhere so I can ease into the day.  And I LOATHE rushing.
Disclaimer: I have no children yet, so I am at an advantage here. On workdays, my average time between getting out of bed and being out of the door in the morning is 10 minutes and that includes a quick shower (but no breakfast because I eat at work). No need to rush to achieve that. Just don't waste time and don't do stuff that does not need to be done right now. In fact, it would drive me crazy if I had to spend 2 hours at home after getting up first. How can I enjoy that time if I know that I still have a full 7.5 hours to work that day (+commute!)?
And I love the time when I come home, it is stil mid-afternoon, lots of time left in the day. That is the really relaxing time.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2016, 04:02:07 AM by WerKater »

Torran

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #39 on: November 16, 2016, 04:56:15 AM »
Well then Trump got elected president and I realised I'd never be able to relax again.

I kid, I kid (kind of).

Just thought I'd check back in as I've taken on board lots of these suggestions and have made some small tweaks to my daily routine which have helped enormously:

1. Changed my commute, so instead of 40 mins stuck on a crowded bus in traffic, I now walk 20 mins to the train station and take a 20 min train journey. That extra walking time is an amazing boost to my frame of mind. Plus fits an extra 40 mins exercise into the day.
2. Tried to cut down the time I spend on the internet faffing. That is a huge time drain. Productivity will be easier if I actually make sure to use ALL of the time properly.
3. Try to have a cut off point each day where I accept that there's tons of stuff I haven't done, and give myself two lonesome but very enthusiastic thumbs up for the things that DID get done (which means I still need to push to get stuff done, but just not push to a crazy-stupid level and stay up to 1am cleaning etc).
4. Consider that anything really worthwhile takes time, doesn't get done all at once, and probably includes a lot of sacrifice (e.g you can't have a rollicking social life every night AND sit at home writing a novel).
5. Ok so I'm still not able to let go of structure/rules etc, but as lots of people said, it's good to just work with the way you are. On this note, I'm trying to be a LOT less judgy and baffled by people who can sit around being lazy relaxing. I'm just jealous really.
6. Uh, try to grow up a bit and not take myself so seriously. I don't have to aim for 'perfection' because nobody gives a single tiny little damn how 'perfect' things are, except me.


zoltani

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #40 on: November 16, 2016, 10:01:20 AM »
Well then Trump got elected president and I realised I'd never be able to relax again.

This election is teaching me a lesson about letting go of things that are outside of my control.

Good job on implementing some positive changes.

I am interested about the structures /rules that you live by and can't let go of. Yes, you can accept them as just how you are, but you could also try to understand why you have these in the first place. If you dig down and figure out why you have these structures/rules then you will learn what your values truly are and how they cause you to have these rules. Then question those values and rewrite them to fit better with how you want to live rather than being based on what may be outdated values. Just a thought. 
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Yvon Chouinard

dcamnc

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #41 on: November 16, 2016, 10:11:12 AM »
I'm kinda bi-polar with productivity and relaxation. I get into spells when I'm super productive (currently), and spells when I don't do shit except the bare minimum.

Grog

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #42 on: November 16, 2016, 10:17:19 AM »
Try fishing. No kidding. Go to the lake, convince your brain that you are doing something useful (bringing food home, natural as it gets) and then fish away. Concentrate on the rod, the movement of the tip....while immersed in a beautiful environment.... Water sounds....sitting/standing your choice. Time will fly away.

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tct

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #43 on: November 16, 2016, 10:33:17 AM »
try simplifying, by decluttering and getting rid of items you don't need. Especially those that require maintenance. This has helped me with the symptoms you described.

LennStar

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #44 on: November 16, 2016, 12:54:03 PM »
Try fishing. No kidding. Go to the lake, convince your brain that you are doing something useful (bringing food home, natural as it gets) and then fish away. Concentrate on the rod, the movement of the tip....while immersed in a beautiful environment.... Water sounds....sitting/standing your choice. Time will fly away.

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I always thought fishing a very strange (and needlessly expensive) type of meditation.

But, as the saying goes, nothing is more boring then fishing - except watching someone else doing it.

Goldielocks

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #45 on: November 16, 2016, 01:05:40 PM »
Um, guys, this is actually a real problem, one that could kill you. We are not biologically capable of being 100% productive all the time. Our bodies and brains NEED downtime. It is not a luxury - it is a biological necessity. If you've trained yourself somehow to not be able to relax, then you're at risk for a ton of physical problems. (Go do a google search for the effects of stress.)

This is a huge problem, and you need to fix it. Before you blow all your hard work out of the water by becoming disabled because you gave yourself a massive stroke from stress or something.

Practicing meditation or mindfulness may help. Whatever works - but you need to learn how to relax, guilt free, regularly.

Agreed,  I got my wake up call with a doctor trying to prescribe high blood pressure medication.  I refused, but had to change the lifestyle, the mindset, and it is a work in progress now, even 10 years later..      Good news is that I have passed FU money and onto "I could FIRE if I want to live frugally", so I don't NEED to do anything.

OP -- do you have young children?  That was the worst of it for me, and as the kids aged (8 year+), it made getting a handle on downtime much easier.


Torran

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #47 on: November 17, 2016, 02:07:42 AM »
I was inspired by this thread, to create this thread: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/self-soothing-on-the-cheap!-share-your-ideas-)/msg1305517/#msg1305517

I was reading this thread and it made me feel so happy! So many ideas. I'm going to contribute shortly. Glad to see I'm not the only ASMR weirdo - that was mentioned by someone else on this thread I think.

Also, yeah, the rules and structure is a relatively recent thing. I've never really been able to waste days sitting around or watching movies (unless I'm ill) but in recent years due to various life changes. my life has become much more rule-bound. I gave up drinking in 2015 (for many reasons, not least that it was making me really unproductive and melancholy) and I also sort of pulled myself out of the swamp of sadness following a previous break-up a few years back. It was not exactly a great time. Getting my life back on track has largely depended on sticking to a LOT of rules. I guess I didn't really have the confidence to go it alone so started filling life with structure. On the plus side, the main benefit of all this is that I managed to get my finances in order and eventually buy my own place. On the down side, I am now left in an irate mess if my structure isn't adhered to for a few days. Lolz. Human nature is weird I guess.

Anyway. I suppose now everything really is very good for me, I've started to notice the tyranny of productivity and how I might try and let go of this a bit.

Last night I had the lend of a car so I went and bought a month's worth of groceries, took it home, unpacked it all, spoke to my mum on the phone for an hour, and then it was 11pm and I was exhausted. I decided to ditch the rule about having the kitchen all clean before I go to bed every night. Because sleep.

I have gone fishing once and LOVED it. That's something to try again.

RE small children - my plan is to have kids (I'm 30) if I am lucky enough, and if that happens, I can only imagine how much the 'rules' are going to fly out the window, hahaha haaa. I'll re-read this thead to give myself a good laugh at that point :)


Torran

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #48 on: November 17, 2016, 02:09:36 AM »
Um, guys, this is actually a real problem, one that could kill you. We are not biologically capable of being 100% productive all the time. Our bodies and brains NEED downtime. It is not a luxury - it is a biological necessity. If you've trained yourself somehow to not be able to relax, then you're at risk for a ton of physical problems. (Go do a google search for the effects of stress.)

This is a huge problem, and you need to fix it. Before you blow all your hard work out of the water by becoming disabled because you gave yourself a massive stroke from stress or something.

Practicing meditation or mindfulness may help. Whatever works - but you need to learn how to relax, guilt free, regularly.

Agreed,  I got my wake up call with a doctor trying to prescribe high blood pressure medication.  I refused, but had to change the lifestyle, the mindset, and it is a work in progress now, even 10 years later..      Good news is that I have passed FU money and onto "I could FIRE if I want to live frugally", so I don't NEED to do anything.

OP -- do you have young children?  That was the worst of it for me, and as the kids aged (8 year+), it made getting a handle on downtime much easier.

Very glad to hear that you're now in such a place financially that you can FIRE - that must be helping so much with stress and high blood pressure. It's a horrible thing when your body starts sending you these big red flags. But ofcourse also a very, very good thing, because you can take action.

chesebert

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Re: Does anyone else find it impossible to relax?
« Reply #49 on: November 18, 2016, 12:58:44 PM »
Um, guys, this is actually a real problem, one that could kill you. We are not biologically capable of being 100% productive all the time. Our bodies and brains NEED downtime. It is not a luxury - it is a biological necessity. If you've trained yourself somehow to not be able to relax, then you're at risk for a ton of physical problems. (Go do a google search for the effects of stress.)

This is a huge problem, and you need to fix it. Before you blow all your hard work out of the water by becoming disabled because you gave yourself a massive stroke from stress or something.

Practicing meditation or mindfulness may help. Whatever works - but you need to learn how to relax, guilt free, regularly.

You are correct about the health issues...in addition to the stress, I realize I have really compromised my health (spine, circulation, etc.) with 15 years of being chained to a desk, and am seriously considering taking a pay hit to just be more active in my daily work even it means switching to light manual labor from professional technical work...or I'm very much afraid that I'll be somewhat disabled by 50.

Mindfulness does help me, but I've met some people who actually have anxiety attacks when trying to be mindful or meditate...those types seem to need draining physical exertion or else new distraction to boot their mind out of the anxiety hamster wheel.

Whatever works!

Shit, I think this describes me. I have been doing 12-15 hr days for 7 years and just beginning last year I fee like I am getting anxiety attack for no apparent reason - like if I sit down and write a document I get the anxiety attack feeling (its so weird). I have been trying to mediate more and it helps but its weird that I don't recall felling this way before I got on the crazy work schedule.

I have down shifted a bit since last year, but still feel the anxiety attacks.

I will try to do more exercise - I think I am very much out of shape so this will be painful. I am only good at walking - I walk almost daily for 30min. I may need a combination of heavy exercise and meditation.

I really need a 6 months sabbatical - but the force is strong with OMY.