By: Brian Tracy
Regular relaxation is essential for a long life and personal effectiveness. Here are some techniques for relaxing physically that are used by the most successful and highest paid people in America.
Take Time Off Every Week
First of all, work only five or six days per week, and rest completely on the seventh day. Every single study in this area shows that you will be far more productive in the five or six days that you work if you take one or two days off completely than you ever would be if you worked straight through for seven days.
Get Your Mind Busy Elsewhere
During this time off, do not catch up on reports, organize your desk, prepare proposals, or do anything else that requires mental effort. Simply let your mind relax completely, and get busy doing things with your family and friends. Maybe work around the house, go for a walk, engage in physical exercise, watch television, go to a movie, or play with your children. Whatever you do, discipline yourself to shut your mental gears off completely for at least one 24-hour period every seven days.
Get Away on Mini-Vacations
Second, take one three-day vacation every three months, and during that time, refrain from doing any work. Do not attempt to catch up on even a few small things. If you do, you keep your mental gears in motion, and you end up neither resting nor properly doing work of any quality.
Take Big Chunks of Down Time
Third, take at least two full weeks off each year during which you do nothing that is work-related. You can either work or relax; you cannot do both. If you attempt to do a little work while you are on vacation, you never give your mental and emotional batteries a chance to recharge. You’ll come back from your vacation just as tired as you were when you left.
Give Yourself a Break Today
If you are involved in a difficult relationship, or situation at work that is emotionally draining, discipline yourself to take a complete break from it at least one day per week. Put the concern out of your mind. Refuse to think about it. Don’t continually discuss it, make telephone calls about it or mull it over in your mind. You cannot perform at your best mentally if you are emotionally preoccupied with a person or situation. You have to give yourself a break.
Go For a Walk in Nature
Since a change is as good as a rest, going for a nice long walk is a wonderful way to relax emotionally and mentally. As you put your physical body into motion, your thoughts and feelings seem to relax all by themselves.
Eat Lighter Foods
Also, remember that the process of digestion consumes an enormous amount of physical energy. Therefore, if you eat lighter foods, you will feel better and more refreshed afterward. If you eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products, your digestive system will require far less energy to process them.
Be Good to Yourself
Since your diet has such an impact on your level of physical energy, and through it your levels of mental and emotional energy, the more fastidious you are about what you put into your mouth, the better you will feel and the more productive you will be. We know now that foods high in fat, sugar, or salt are not good for your body. The lighter the foods you eat, the more energy you have.
Here are three things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action:
First, plan your weeks in advance and build in at least one day when you will relax from work completely. Discipline yourself to keep this date.
Second, reserve, book and pay for your three day vacations several months in advance. Once you’ve paid the money, you are much more likely to go rather than put it off.
Third, decide that you will not work at all during your vacations. When you work, work. And when you rest, rest 100% of the time. This is very important.