In the second part of the A to Z of Becoming, U stands for the verb Unwind.
I’m sure you’ll be familiar with the idea of unwinding, but how do you actually do it?
What does it mean “to unwind”?
For me, it’s about addressing that tendency to become too tightly coiled – not just where you feel stressed, but that almost background, or default, state of a higher tension, where your muscles, your neurones, your whole system contains a build up of energy…..where everything gets tighter, stiffer, less flexible, less flowing.
I think we often don’t even notice it happening. Like with breathing. We can breathe using our diaphragm, taking big, slow, even, conscious breaths, of we can breathe using the muscles of our chest wall, the muscles between our ribs. This latter breathing is largely unconscious. It tends to be shallow and quite fast. The more tightly wound we are, the more likely we are to be breathing with our chest muscles, and the more we breathe with our chest muscles, the more tightly wound we become.
Unwind is a verb. It’s an action. It might happen unconsciously, but, probably, it requires a deliberate choice.
Choose to unwind.
Choose to let go of the tension.
Easier said than done? Try a simple focus on the breath. Deliberately breathing with your diaphragm for a few breaths can produce a quick unwind.
But I think unwinding should be for more than just a moment. One of the rhythms I’ve discovered since moving to the French countryside is that of Sundays. I’m sure there was that rhythm in my life when I was a child, and it’s a good feeling to rediscover it. Sunday becomes a different day. Not just another day.
The thought that provokes is that we can create the habits, the rituals, or even the environments which induce unwinding. So, here’s your challenge for this week…..how do you unwind? What helps you to unwind? What conditions or habits can you create which will encourage unwinding?
Try some different ideas, some different options, and find when and where is the best time for you to unwind. Then…………….unwind.