The inability to relax is something of an epidemic in the modern world. And it affects all of us, from the busiest CEO to the humble pilates coach. (Yes, you read that right!)
But what’s going on here? How is the modern world preventing us from relaxing?
Interestingly, it’s not as straightforward as you might think. The current zeitgeist teaches us that we need to spend time looking after our bodies and mind to feel relaxed. We should be eating five portions of fruit and veg every day. And we need to monitor our minds continually and maintain good mental hygiene. Things like switching off our devices and spending time meditating in the morning are all essential ingredients we’re told.
But when you actually look at how people feel when they pursue these “wellness” strategies, they never seem to work. Those on the most brutal exercise regimes or diets are perennially stressed. And their apparent wellness activities seem to act against them.
What the heck is going on here?
Researchers think they know the answer. The idea is that wellness itself is triggering psychological stress and anxiety. People feel pressure to be healthy, and so they can never really “let go.” They can’t just have fun and leave their stresses behind.
If you think about it, people can become incredibly rigid when it comes to their wellness. It isn’t something they do because they feel relaxed or like looking after their bodies. Instead, they feel self-pressure into doing it. And that creates a kind of feeling of rebellion in them. They just want life to be fun. Work is work. But play shouldn’t feel like work too.
So, How Can You Relax In The Modern World?
Relaxation in the modern world is achievable, though. It just requires a slightly more sophisticated approach than brute force. You can’t power your way to feeling peaceful. That works against the concept itself.
We rarely talk about our inner lives in Western culture. But we should never ignore them. We know that we only want to do things when we desire them. And we also understand deep down that the only time we’re truly relaxed is when we’re having fun, not trying to beat our personal best down at the gym.
The trick here is to try to approach wellness differently. It’s not something you need to “beat.” It’s just something that you love doing.
Many people need to relax more when it comes to how they spend their time in the evenings and weekends. That’s why the market for things like CBD oil has taken off so much in recent years. We’re now moving on to a new understanding of wellness, one in which people adjust their mindset first before going ahead with the process.
Remember, achieving wellness is a constant mental battle if you always wish you were doing something else. Relaxation is much better when you do it in a way that feels intrinsically rewarding. Going for a walk to do 10,000 steps feels like a chore. Walking along a stunning beach one evening feels like something worth doing for its own sake.