Lifestyle

Forced Relaxation is Good for the Soul

October 27, 2015

I have major stress problems. I’m basically a ball of anxiety. My life goal for the past 20 years has been to figure out a way to reduce that anxiety and just chill out. Although I definitely have not found a miracle cure to zap the stress leech permanently attached to my brain, I have gotten much closer to finding things that actually wind me down. When I’m bursting with stress, I’ve found that sometimes I have to force myself to relax. As in literally make an appointment for a planned time to calm down and do nothing. Or in my case, an appointment to nap.

My waves of crazy anxiety usually correlate with my frighteningly low levels of sleep. (I hear that correlation does not imply causation, but I mean…) Although I realize that getting a full night’s rest would totally change my brain-game and completely rejuvenate me, for some reason I don’t have the self control to break the no-sleep cycle. I always feel like there’s zero time to nap, which is bull. My body might be screaming at me to sleep, but my head seductively whispers that I’ll just sleep later. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

I stumbled across the perfect solution to my problems last year when I discovered acupuncture. Before, the idea of someone poking needles into my skin never appealed to me, but I was desperate for some instant stress relief so I gave it a shot.

Aaaand let me tell you.

There was no going back.

Acupuncture is a gift from heaven because…

1) It forces me to schedule time for an appointment. An appointment dedicated to my mind, body, and soul. An appointment for immediate stress reduction.

2) I’ll be charged money if I ditch this appointment, so I will NOT miss it.

3) You get to lay on a bed in a dimly lit room with tranquil music fluttering through the air while a warm heater keeps you nice and cozy.

4) This is the main reason why I adore acupuncture. Anxiety can be a total head-game, but having actual needles placed in my body in exact areas that are known to relieve tension is a tangible, immediate way to reduce stress. So yeah, underlying worries, fears, and troubles might still be running around in this crazy head of mine, but it’s a great way to get some immediate relief until I can work out all of those other kinks.

Every time I get acupuncture, I feel like a new woman. After being poked with some strategically placed needles (which does NOT hurt, by the way) I usually meditate for a few minutes and then fall asleep. It’s the best. 

To a skeptic of the art of acupuncture, this might seem like paying for a nap.

But it’s so much more than that.

If you’re a bundle of anxiety like me, but you find something that successfully relaxes you, STICK WITH IT! Even if it’s just for an hour, it’s worth it. Is your entire life going to instantly change so that you’re suddenly a totally zen, carefree person? No. But that doesn’t matter. And if you haven’t given acupuncture a try yet, I would seriously encourage you to test the waters. I never thought I’d be the type to indulge in alternative medicine, but here I am.

Trust me when I say, it’s the best damn nap you’ll ever have in your life.

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