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Coach Paradise: Learning How to Truly Relax

Dear Coach Paradise,
Everyone keeps telling me that I need to relax, take it easy, chill out – including my wife, my kids and my doctor. I work a lot and when I am home I do things around the house and in the garden and often bring work home with me. If I sit down for very long I feel like I am wasting time and being lazy. I hear my father’s voice telling me, “Idle hands are the work of the devil” and my mother talking about the neighbor’s son as a “lazy good-for-nothing.” I know that I need to make some kind of change. I have high blood pressure and snap at people and whenever my wife massages my shoulders and neck I can feel the tension just ooze out. I wonder if you have any suggestions for me. It’s a new year and I would like this to be the year that I learn how to relax.
Wound Up in Paradise
Dear Tense –
I applaud your intention of making 2007 the year in which you learn how to truly relax. This could be a lot more fun than losing weight, stopping smoking or getting your taxes done early. Writing to me shows how important this is to you and how willing you are to take a look at what is going on. More applause.
You seen to have some pretty negative conclusions about people who relax: they are up to no good and are lazy. Do you really think that this is true? Do you think that if you relax you will turn into a different person? Think about this and then come up with some more interesting conclusions about people who relax (i.e., people who are able to relax are more fun, more productive, better husbands and fathers, healthier etc.) You will have to dismantle these underlying negative tapes and replace with a message that supports you as a relaxed person.
And, what do you mean by relaxing? Do you picture chilling out in front of the TV or are you most relaxed when you are puttering around or mucking the stall? Check out the thesaurus and see how many meanings are listed under relaxation. It might work for you to replace the word relax with another word that has different associations for you. Did you know that the most successful business people take quick naps (i.e., relax) on a daily basis and that learning how to let go, clear you mind and step out of your mental and physical routine is refreshing and energizing.
Working with a coach would be a really good idea as this may take some practice and trying out different approaches to see what works best for you – (exercise, meditation tapes, a walk with your wife, swimming with your kids, just sitting still for five minutes, a massage). This needs to be about developing a practice in 2007 and being open to all the benefits and spaciousness that this will bring you. I can hear you taking a deep breath as you approach the rest of the year in an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive way.
Here’s to you, going with the flow in 2007,
Coach Paradise
Editor's note: Coach Paradise (AKA Anne Nayer), Professional Life Coach, is a member of the International Coaching Federation, an MSW clinical social worker-psychotherapist and a medical case manager with 30 years experience working with people of all shapes, sizes and challenges.
For further information about her services, call 774-4355 or email her.

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