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“When I kept it all inside, my bones turned to powder,
my words became day long groans – the pressure never let up;
all the juices of my life dried up. . .”
Years ago, as part of a design team developing a ten-week program for individuals living with chronic illness and pain, I produced and recorded my first relaxation audio recording for Kaiser Permanente.
I produced a second one some years later with an Emmy-nominated friend who composed the background music for it.
As you listen and follow the instructions, you will focus on the process of breathing. You will tighten different muscle groups, breathe deeply, and then release the tension as you breathe out.
When practiced each day for at least 30 days, you will become aware of where you hold your tension and will learn how to quickly release that tension.
These methods are well-established by the medical community from research in the field of biofeedback and body-brain physiology.
How Stress is Created
Releasing tension accumulated in our bodies is only part of the letting-go process. Letting go begins with an examination of irrational beliefs and rigid thinking processes that create tension.
Most of our stress is created by the habits we have of worry, anxiety, fear, anger, resentment, etc. When we take time to examine those stressful habits, our relaxation exercises will be even more successful.
Close your eyes for a minute and imagine yourself relaxing more and more. As you breathe in and out, you release tension stored in your muscles. As you continue to relax, visualize your stress flowing away. You are letting go.
- Of the need to be right.
- Of resentment – it leads to entitlement and grievances.
- Of fear – fear is only protective if you are in physical danger.
- Of the need to be perfect – we can never be perfect – it is a journey of transformation throughout our lifetime.
- Of comparisons – it keeps you from developing your unique talents and skills.
- Of the belief that you have no worth or are unimportant. God does not make junk.
- Of your anger – anger has a purpose, and we need to listen to it and then take appropriate action. However, hanging on to anger only relieves us of our responsibility to take appropriate action when needed.
- Of always minimizing accomplishments – humility can become a source of pride.
- Of focusing on your failure – start focusing on your successes instead.
- Of have-tos, shoulds and oughts and start making purposeful choices instead.
Now imagine you are an eagle soaring high in the sky. With wings outspread, you are catching the currents and thermal updrafts that take you beyond your troubles.
As you soar, put your faith and trust in God.
His word will sustain you. He will never let you crash, and He will never leave you. He cares about you personally, your needs and your happiness. He always shows you a way through, around or over.
He strengthens your wings when you need to fly.
He sharpens your brain when you need to think and make good decisions.
And He provides the thermal updrafts to soar above your problems. The more I let go and soar, the more freedom and energy I have.