Deep relaxation is something most people are oblivious to, or at least have forgotten.
Let me offer an analogy to illustrate.
You may have heard of this before but there is a twist!
Imagine holding a pencil in your hand with an outstretched arm.
Normally, a person says here, “Imagine letting the pencil go.”
It represents a certain level of relaxation – letting your hand release. And this is usually offered as a way to describe how the idea of relaxation is simple.
Actually, it’s a very superficial level of relaxation.
So how do we access deeper relaxation?
First, we have to understand what it is.
More specifically, what it isn’t.
Deep relaxation is not deep tension.
Often finding what we want involves being very clear about what we don’t want.
Let’s go back to the pencil analogy.
“Hold” it in your hand with an outstretched arm. This time, I want you to squeeze the pencil as hard as you can – as if you were trying to break it.
Really squeeze hard.
Hold it for 10 seconds.
Then squeeze a little harder… hold it…
Okay, now let go.
Feel what your hand feels like.
While you were squeezing as hard as you could – that is closer to deep tension. And it’s kind of what most people have, to some degree, somewhere in the bodies.
We are holding on, unnecessarily.
You didn’t need to be holding that pencil that hard for it not to fall out of your hand, obviously.
In the same way, for example, a person might clench their jaw which sparks and/or is sparked by incredible neck tension.
This acts as a chain reaction throughout the entire body.
Holding on like this for years causes chronic tension.
What’s worse is we don’t even feel it.
It becomes normal.
So the difference is instead of consciously gripping tightly, like with our little pencil exercise, muscle tension we carry around is deep in the unconscious.
The solution is to consciously set up conditions and parameters to allow the unconscious to let go.
We need to be still.
In this way, we set up the chance to experience deep relaxation.