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Worrying, controlling, trying to keep things together makes relaxation tougher. Here are 5 ways to help even the most wound worriers relax

Are you going through life with body clenched, stress and tiredness doggedly following your every step? How long does it take you to relax and unwind every day? According to research, some people are so wound up in everyday stress they are unable to relax. According to relaxation coach Jane Jackson, constant connection to the internet contributes to distraction and stress. Screen time is also directly related to insomnia, which affects four in 10 people. Here’s a to-do relaxation guide:

Don’t get too needy about relaxation: If you cannot relax, don’t hit the stress button. Just remember there are 6-year-olds to 60-year-olds, who are trying their best to unwind, but can’t. Don’t try too hard to relax. Just let go. Says BK Shivani, a member of the Bramhakumaris spiritual organisation, “Just loosen yourself up. Tell your kids to think nothing. Hug your worries. Make them your friend. Focus on breathing. Try to be at complete peace. If you are tense, let it be, allow the tension to settle in. Don’t fight anything. It is this fighting that doesn’t allow you to unwind. Feel every thought, there’s nothing positive or negative.”

Relax your focus: Don’t pay attention to anything in particular. Think about the abstract. Pay attention to nothing. According to mathematicians at Case Western Reserve University, stopping a thought burns more energy than thinking of stopping a truck on a downhill slope. Says Atul Vyas, a Jaipur-based yoga guru, “Yoga teaches you to focus on one point, but that can stress you more. So, just be. Try not to focus on any one point. Don’t make any rules for the mind. Watch how it eases.”

Accept: This is the ‘miracle’ way to relax. Whatever is happening around you, in your life — good or bad — just accept it. Says Ma Naina of Osho ashram, “Don’t struggle or fight what is happening. You will exhaust yourself. Nobody can control what is happening around them.”

Don’t chase perfection: Most people get exhausted by their wish-list and high expectations. Visual images from social media dictate the way we should live, that leaves us sad. Set your standards low, there will be less pain and disappointment. Says relaxation coach Mark Gibson, “Simplify your life goals, do some habit restructuring, be okay with not doing well and having disappointments too. Conquer your emotional suffering by eliminating negative attitudes and limiting beliefs. Shift from fear to freedom.”

Hug uncertainty: Don’t try to control your life too tightly. Make uncertainty your best friend and learn how to deal with changed plans. Says spiritual coach Katja Rusanen, “Take life to be an unknown destination, with no guarantees. Loosen up to life’s mystery. Be joyful in the journey.”