Radical Ways to Relax

The pace of life can seem relentless sometimes, an endless to-do list of places to be, people to meet and goals to achieve. There are constant social pressures coming at you from every angle; are you successful, beautiful, funny, bright, accomplished? It’s no wonder we all feel exhausted a lot of the time. You probably know about the importance of relaxing and taking time out, and no doubt you’re still trying to fit in a ten-minute session of mindfulness here, or a half hour of yoga there. If you’re struggling to find time for these more traditional forms of relaxation, maybe it’s your motivation that is lacking. It could be time to try a radical approach to switching off.


Man has long been envious of the ability of birds to fly, and although there’s no magic flight suit that lets you live like a bird, there are man-made forms of flying that will give you a taste of what it’s like to soar through the sky like an eagle. You could try a flight in a small aircraft for starters, an experience that brings you much closer to the experience of flying than the air-conditioned cocoon of a commercial jet. You might even like it so much you want to take flying lessons! If you have an adventurous spirit, there are sports like paragliding and hang gliding that capture the spirit of the free-flying bird. Perhaps the ultimate letting-go experience is skydiving; when you leap out of a plane and chuck yourself towards the very distant ground relying on your faith that the parachute will open correctly, your mind is not likely to be mulling over how to approach your boss about a raise.

Water Sports

If you’re not too keen on heights, how about the adrenaline rush of water sports? Surfing, water-skiing, kite-boarding; all are high adrenaline activities that are sure to divert your brain from the stresses of everyday life. When you’re learning a tricky sport like one of these, you must put all your concentration into getting it right, and when you do get the hang of it the thrill of speeding through the waves is incomparable. People who take up water sports tend to become devotees, and with good reason; taking to the water is one of the best ways of letting go of your troubles and having a lot of fun at the same time.

Horseback Riding

If you like the idea of diversion as a form of relaxation, but water and air are a bit too full on for your tastes, how about a more sedate pastime? People who ride become passionate to the point of evangelism about the unique pleasure of taking a horse for a ride. There are several aspects of this activity that make it special and good for your soul. Firstly, you can escape into the wilderness, on your own or in a group just as you like, and really get away from any hustle and bustle. In the countryside, where it’s just you, the horse and nature, there is a kind of spiritual peace that can be like a healing balm. If you come to enjoy the riding and start to go regularly, you’ll probably find you start building up a relationship with the horse as well. For some people, the bond between them and their horse can be as close as between human friends or partners, and the whole process of caring for the animal and spending time with it becomes part of your relaxation experience. Of course, if you want a

change from ambling quietly through the forest, on a horse you have the option of going up a gear or two as well. A gallop along a sandy beach can be just as adrenaline-fueled as surfing a wave!

Taking the medicinal route

There’s a temptation when you’re stressed and feel like you have no time or energy for anything else to turn to alcohol or drugs. Having the odd glass of wine or an occasional shot of bourbon is not too much of a problem, and can be an important part of a social gathering, but if you find you are relying on alcohol to wind down at night, that’s not so good. You’d have to have been living in a cave for the last fifty years not to know the health risks of drinking, smoking and taking drugs; and yet they are still used as a crutch to get through life for a great many people. If you are curious about drugs but wary of their effects and the consequences of breaking the law, there is one thing you can try in some states across the country perfectly legitimately, and that’s marijuana. The growing and possession of personal supplies have been decriminalized for medical use and in some states for recreational use as well. You can find out what the situation is in your state and learn more about the legitimate use of marijuana at this site.

Whatever you do, do something

There are a good few ideas here about alternative ways of relaxing, and hopefully one will appeal to you. It’s not really important what you decide to do; rather it’s the fact that you’re doing something that diverts your brain and gives your mind a chance to switch off from the stresses of your regular life. Without being able to rest your brain, you run the risk of mental and physical health problems, and what is the point of working and pushing so hard to do well in life if you can’t enjoy it because it’s made you ill?

Take some time out, try anything and everything you can to achieve that state where you haven’t thought about work for an hour, where you are so involved in doing something different and fun that you’re not even sure what day it is. Capture the spirit of letting go and embrace the experience of living a different kind of life that will allow you to enjoy your normal life to the full.

Thank to Carol

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