From Dr Yolanta Burke, writing for The Conversation, comes this short piece about stresslaxation, referring to relaxation-induced stress. It seems that between 30% and 50% of us experience symptoms of anxiety when we try to do relaxing things.
Dr Burke posits three possible causes:
- Denying that we’re feeling stressed
- Worrying about what others will think
I think (2) is closest to the truth for most folks. But it’s not exactly that. It’s more about worrying what we’ll think of ourselves. Modern “always on” culture brainwashes us into believing that we always have to be doing something useful. Downtime is equated with laziness.
We’ve internalized this message, and it’s literally making us ill. I go into this in The Relaxation Solution, due to be published May 23. Concise version: We’ve learned to make ourselves feel tense and anxious. We can unlearn it.
Look for The Relaxation Solution, to be published at Amazon and elsewhere on May 23, 2022. For announcements and special offers, sign up for the newsletter.