How does one relax? The Chinese long ago became intrigued with this question. They studied babies and young children to see why they are the most relaxed - and energetic - of all people.
They also studied animals such as tigers that remain equally relaxed whether they move slow or fast. And they studied how people can best train to become as relaxed as babies or tigers.
As a start, try the following little exercise.
Sit down and take off your shoes and, if you wear them, your glasses.
Rest your palms in your lap, facing upward.
Gently curl your fingers and thumbs a little toward your palms and
then uncurl them. Do these actions repeatedly in a slow, rhythmical
fashion in which you never stop moving. Let the curl become the uncurl
and the uncurl become the curl. Usually the slower you move, the
better, but "pulse" at whatever speed feels most relaxing to you.
Now in unison with your fingers gently curl a little and uncurl your
toes. Do this in such a way that you don't tighten your toes, even if
this means that you barely move them.
Now gently close your eyes and and partially open them as you curl and
uncurl. Let them remain unfocused as you open and close them.
Continue to "pulse" your fingers, toes, and eyes this way for 2
minutes. If you find yourself wanting to inhale and exhale with the
movements, do this too. If other parts of your body want to let go or
move a bit as well, let them. Play with the speed of your pulsing, but
err on the side of going slower and slower. In fact, how slow can you
go and still keep moving?
When most people do this exercise, they find that all or parts of
their body naturally begin to relax. This is consistent with Chinese
findings and theory, which say that rhythmical movements relax, slow
movements relax, moderate movements relax, and continuous movements
relax the human body.
Further, the Chinese found that if you relax your hands, feet, and
face, then the whole of your body is likely to relax.
For the next two weeks, each day play with this little exercise
whenever you find that you'd like to relax. See whether and when it
works for you.