Why do we get so worked up that we dream of relaxing? Why is it so difficult to relax?
For some reason, everyone is very fond of talking about the need to relax, about the ability to relax, about different ways to relax - and no one talks about the need, the ability and ways to strengthen. Why do you think that?
Please note: the antonym (if you still remember from school days that the antonym is a word opposite in meaning) of the word "relaxation" is considered to be anything - "concentration", "tension", "mobilization", but not "gain". At the same time, the antonym of weakness is clearly strength. How can all this be explained?
It turns out that we relax not from a state of our own strength, but from states of concentration, mobilization, attentiveness, tension … Maybe this means that we are never strong, if we are so eager to relax all the time?
Remember how often your girlfriends, who are not particularly busy with anything (husband, businessman, one child, nanny, housekeeper, beauty salons), wistfully say that they dream of relaxing. Has it ever annoyed you? Or at least surprised?
Immediately a sea of questions arises: why are we so tense that we dream of relaxing? Why
is it so difficult to relax? What can be considered relaxation? And so on.
Let's start with the fact that a person can completely relax only once in his life - at the last moment before death. Do you disagree? And remember how many muscles provide the process of our life - and breathing, and digestion, and even blinking. Or are you really ready to relax to the extent that the muscles of all the sphincters in the body (both the anus and the urethra) will also stop tensing, and then … Imagine? Not satisfied? To what extent, then, are you willing to relax?
There is, by the way, a whole trend in psychotherapy - thanatotherapy. Its creator Vladimir Baskakov believes that a person is afraid to relax precisely because for him it is a form of death. I do not presume to comment on this statement, but … You can think, right?
But I'm interested in how a person manages to strain so desperately (remember: not to use his strength, not to be strong, but just strain) that he then cannot relax in any way and is forced to make some more efforts - now already to relax? It turns out a funny design: make an effort to relax…
Note: if you carry buckets of water all day, chop wood, or do some hard physical work, then we are unlikely to have a problem in order to relax. The so-called transcendental inhibition will work - a biological mechanism that ensures the inevitable relaxation of the muscle after a certain amount of work done by it. We'll collapse into bed without worrying about its comfort and fall asleep in a minute, if not a second.
So we don't get too tired if we can't relax? This is not without common sense. Imagine such a logical construction: if we were doing something really very important for us, we would need to use all our strength. If we used all our strength, sooner or later we would be tired to the point of exhaustion and relaxed thanks to her majesty Biology. Then there wouldn't be any problems! Do you think this is possible? I think so.
If you don't believe me, I'll give you one more - in my opinion, quite sensible and realistic - construction. If we did what we really want, we would know when it's already done,the long-awaited result is obtained and it's time to open the champagne. After a glass of this drink, as a rule, you usually don’t really want to strain, and it doesn’t work out very well. And if it turns out, it means that something was left unfinished and received less.
But when we don't really know what result we want to get, how do we know that we have already got it? It seems that we drink champagne, but inside something gnaws: but could it have been done better? But if he gnaws, then they didn’t do what they wanted. Or, more likely, they didn't know what they wanted.
Still unconvincing? I turn to purely practical arguments. Why do office workers suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, and is it more difficult for them to relax? The answer is simple: working in an office almost always involves moving up the career ladder. Why is this necessary? To get more money. And why get more money if the higher up the career ladder, the less time to spend it? Believe it or not, several times in my psychotherapeutic practice I have encountered people who complained that they had much more money than they needed. So why did they climb their career ladder?
And those very friends of yours who are busy all day long (in the presence of a bunch of servants) and at the same time hopelessly dream of relaxing? Think for yourself: if they do not have any specific intermediate steps in their life, then at what point should they decide that it is already quite possible to stop and rest? One can only pity them. And I'm not kidding: it's incredibly hard work - no concrete work.
I suspect that many of you are going to be offended by me: how is it, I work hard like a horse, I can’t relax - and at the same time it turns out that I’m a loafer? Yes, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about what exactly each of those who cannot relax is busy with. Does he do what he wants, or what is accepted, used to, or dad and mom want? Does he know what the concrete result of his efforts should look like? Why does he personally need it? Does this result provide truly joyful opportunities or not?
Yes, but what am I asking… I would do what I wanted, knowing exactly what I want to get as a result, and anticipating in advance the joy of getting the opportunities that this result will give him, I would relax like a pretty one. In the end, one must gain strength in order to properly use the new opportunities for bliss. To rejoice, by the way, is a very energy-intensive occupation. So if you can't relax, then you're not enjoying enough in your daily life…
GALINA TYMOSHENKO, PSYCHOLOGIST AND TV HOST.