Do you ever find it hard to have enough space in your head to think clearly, relax when you’re not at work, or even switch off at night so you can get a good nights sleep?
Stress and anxiety are considered one of the biggest workplace health concerns and major health crisis for modern living. People are finding it increasingly more difficult to switch off from work as we get better connected and have become highly accessible to the point where the lines between home and work are frequently blurred.
Even when we’re not at work, we can still find ourselves being troubled by work issues that dominate our time and make it almost impossible for us to wind down, relax and enjoy ourselves.
Why is it getting harder for people to unwind?
It’s because we live in such a fast paced world where rapid change is a normal part of every-day life. This creates an undercurrent of restlessness in the mind and uncertainty towards the future as people work harder and longer to keep up with their work while struggling to keep on top of their everyday tasks.
Not being able to unwind from work, or the stresses that we face each day, keeps our body tense and the mind on edge. The inability to switch off has been linked to a variety of problems such as overeating, substance abuse, lack of concentration, depression, insomnia, and even heart disease.
Concentration and focus issues are one of the most common problems for a lot of people who find it hard to switch off or unwind, and if you can’t concentrate properly because you’re mind is foggy from the constant distractions of worry, stress, or lack of sleep, you’re unlikely to be at the top of your game mentally or physically.
What can we do about it?
It really is becoming more much more important these days that we need to find a way to make it through each day feeling like we’re not just running around in circles. There’s nothing wrong with working hard but it’s equally as important to find time to switch off and rest the mind and body.
Being worn out and tired all the time makes it harder to manage your workload and your life effectively, not to mention it becomes easier to make mistakes. That’s why if you find it challenging to let go of work and unwind so you can relax and get a good nights sleep there is a solution.
Part of the solution is understanding the roots of stress in our life and what we can do about it. While many people would consider that stress is created with what goes on outside us, this couldn’t be further from the truth. It is to do with what happens within you.
Specifically, it comes from always thinking about the past or the future and totally missing the present, which is the cause of stress and tension in your life. Thoughts are real forces and have an impact on your mental and physical health and well-being. A prime example of this is worry.
When we worry it is always concerned with the future and has nothing to do do with the present moment. While we waste time worrying about what may happen, not only are we feeding our fears and setting ourselves up to attract what we don’t want into our life, we are missing out on the power of being present in the here and now.
When we are present then the background noise of the busy mind obsessing over the past or worrying about the future fades off into the distance and the body naturally starts relaxing. This means you are no longer attached to your thoughts and so no tension can exist in the mind or body.
Another word for being present is awareness. We spend all day using our awareness with things that are going on around us – people, cars, traffic, all of which helps us to survive. However, we can also use this same awareness on the inside traffic of our thoughts, emotions, daydreams and imaginations; all kinds of things that go on inside us.
Here is a simple meditation to help you switch off, be present and enjoy more calm and clarity no matter how busy your day or night might be.
Just sit silently in a relaxed state, doing nothing and be present with the mind and body. It’s a bit like watching fluffy white clouds float on by in a clear blue sky. You are the one watching the traffic of the mind and simply allowing it, rather than trying to avoid, reject or change anything you think or feel.
The secret here is to let the thoughts come and not engage them in any way. The moment we fight with our thoughts we feed them energy which creates tension, so just allow them to come… and like the clouds in the sky, they will effortlessly float on by in their own timing.
Don’t even be concerned if thoughts should come or should not come – have an attitude on non-judgment towards them and soon you’ll notice that you are unaffected by their coming and going. When that happens, then the thoughts will start to disappear and in their place is a quiet, calm and relaxed state.
Meditation Dojo is free to get started and gives you instant access to our Focus-5 program. It’s ideal for those looking for simple meditation techniques to give their mind and body time-out for their busy and hectic lives. Why not give it a try today!