Live my best
The why psychologist and TV presenter Galina Tymoshenko discusses why we can’t relax at all.
For some reason, everyone loves to talk about the need to relax, about the ability to relax, about different ways to relax - and no one talks about the need, ability and ways to get stronger. Why do you think this is?
Please note: the antonym (if you still remember from school that antonym is a word that is opposite in meaning) of the word “relaxation” is considered to be anything we like - “concentration”, “tension”, “mobilization”, but not “ gain". In this case, the antithesis of weakness is obviously strength. Here's how all this can be explained?
It turns out that we are relaxing not from a state of our own strength, but from a state of concentration, mobilization, attentiveness, tension ... Maybe this means that we are never strong - if we are so eager to relax all the time?
Remember how often your friends, who are not particularly busy with anything (husband, businessman, one child, nanny, housekeeper, beauty salons), longingly say that they dream of relaxing. Has it ever annoyed you? Or at least surprised?
Immediately a sea of questions arises: why are we so tense that we dream of relaxing? Why
is it so hard to relax? What can be considered relaxation in general? Well and so on.
Let's start with the fact that a person can completely relax for the only time in his life - at the last moment before death. Do you disagree? And remember how many muscles provide the process of our life - and respiration, and digestion, and even blinking. Or are you really ready to relax to the extent that the muscles of all the sphincters in the body (both the anus and the urethra) also cease to strain, and then ... Imagine? Not satisfied? Then to what extent are you ready to relax?
By the way, there is a whole area in psychotherapy - thanatotherapy. Its creator, Vladimir Baskakov, believes that a person is afraid to relax precisely because for him it is a form of death. I do not presume to comment on this statement, but ... You can think about it, right?
But I’m interested in how a person manages to strain so desperately (let me remind you: not to use his strength, not to be strong, but just to strain), then he cannot relax in any way and is forced to make some more efforts - now to relax? The design turns out to be funny: make an effort to relax ...
Note: if you drag water buckets all day, chop wood or do some hard physical work, then we are unlikely to have a problem with how to relax. The so-called prohibitive inhibition will work - a biological mechanism that ensures the inevitable relaxation of the muscle after a certain amount of work done by it. We will collapse onto the bed, not worrying about its comfort, and will fall asleep at that very minute, if not the second.
It turns out that we are not too tired, since we can’t relax? This is not without common sense. Imagine this logical construction: if we were to do something really very important for us, we would need to use all our strength. If we used all our power, we would sooner or later get tired to exhaustion and relax thanks to Her Majesty Biology. Then there would have been no problems! Do you think this is possible? Yes, I think so.
If you don’t believe, I’ll give you another, in my opinion, quite robust and realistic design. If we did what we really want, we would know when it is already done, the long-awaited result was obtained and it is time to open the champagne. After a glass of this drink, as a rule, you usually don’t really want to strain, and it doesn’t work out very well. And if it turns out, it means that something is not completed and not received.
But when we do not really know what result we want to get, then how do we know that we have already received it? It’s like we are drinking champagne, but something is gnawing inside: but could you do better? But since it is nibbling, it means that they didn’t do what they wanted. Or - more likely - did not know what they wanted.
Still unconvincing? I turn to purely practical reasons. Why are office workers mostly affected by chronic fatigue syndrome, and is it more difficult for them to relax? The answer is simple: working in an office almost always involves moving up the career ladder. Why is this needed? To get more money. And why get more money, if the higher up the career ladder, the less time to spend it? Believe it or not, but several times in my psychotherapeutic practice I came across people who complained that they have much more money than they need. Well, why did they climb their career ladder?
And those same friends of yours who, for days on end, are unclear what they are doing (if there are a lot of service staff) and hopelessly dream of relaxing? Think for yourself: if they do not have any concrete intermediate steps in their life, then at what point should they decide that it is already quite possible to stop and take a break? You can only regret them. And I don’t jerk: it is an incredibly hard work - the lack of concrete work.
I suspect that many of you are going to take offense at me: how can it be that I work hard like a horse, I can’t relax - and it turns out that I'm an idler? But I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about what exactly each of those who cannot relax can do. Does he do what he wants, or what is accepted, is he used to, or does dad and mom want? Does he know what a concrete result of his efforts should look like? Why does he need him personally? Does this result provide truly joyful opportunities or not?
Yes, however, what I'm asking ... I would do what I wanted, knowing exactly what I want to get as a result, and anticipating in advance the joy of getting the opportunities that this result will provide him with - I would relax as nice. In the end, one must gain strength in order to take advantage of new opportunities for bliss. Rejoicing, incidentally, is a very energy-intensive occupation. So if you can’t relax, it means that in your daily life you’re not happy enough ...
GALINA TYMOSHENKO, PSYCHOLOGIST AND TV presenter.
PHOTO: FOTOBANK / GETTY