Relaxation techniques

I literally could not get my brain to shut up last night. I kept telling it, “Brain, I’m really tired. Please, let me get some sleep. I have a long day tomorrow.” But my brain was all like, “NO!” and continued to punch me in the face with unwanted thoughts until well into the early morning.

I tossed and turned for hours, trying to get my body to cooperate with me and relax into a period of slumber so I wouldn’t feel like a zombie this morning. But sure enough, I was wide awake at 1:30 am, trying to decide if I liked Taylor Swift or not. Then, around 2 am, I was mentally browsing through my wardrobe to see if I had anything that would go with my furry Victoria’s Secret boots this winter.

My mind races all the time. One of the things I envy the most about Clayton is that when I ask him, “Whatcha thinkin’ about?” and he responds “Nothing”, I know he’s telling the truth. It used to make me mad. I’d berate him with accusations of, “What do you mean you’re thinking about nothing? You can’t NOT be thinking about something! Are you picturing someone else’s boobs???” I didn't think it was possible.

More than anything, I want to know what thinking about “nothing” feels like. I used to think it was a complete absence of depth, believing that the minds of people who thought about nothing sounded like crickets or hamsters falling off their wheels. I thought it meant you were a shallow person, obliviously insensitive to the world around you.

But now? After living inside my own head for 24 years, I’ve come to the conclusion that people who can think about “nothing” are nothing short of amazing super heroes who would should be showered with praise and free snacks. My ignorant eyes have now been opened to the truth: People who can sit and think about nothing are carefree, or least know how to manage their stress and not let it rule their every-waking thought. There’s a very long list of things I would do to be able to think about nothing for a day (it’s even longer than the list of clothes I can’t wear because of my cankles).

But it's completely impossibe for me. Maybe it’s a woman thing, or maybe it my obsessive compulsiveness, or crap! Maybe it’s a combination of both?

I’ve tried to relax my brain on numerous occasions. Sometimes my thought processes are so manic that I force myself to lie still on my bed and focus on relaxing each individual part of my body, praying I'll eventually doze off and enter the magical land of "nothing". While my subconscious is telling my neck muscles to relax, I can almost feel a bit of tranquility washing over me. But the outcome is usually still the same:

“Courtney, relax your neck muscles. Feel the tension melting away slowly. Now feel that same peace moving from your neck down to your shoulders and across your chest. Exhale slowly, pushing all negativity out of your stomach. Oh gosh, my stomach feels so bloated today. I definitely need to hit the gym after this relaxation business is over with. Did I go to the gym yesterday? No, I didn’t, because I had to run across town and return that shirt to the store because it gapped weird in the front. I think it was really just because of the bra I was wearing, but it just wasn't worth the trouble to find out for sure. Or it was because I never know what size I am and always buy my shirts too small because I refuse to admit I'm a huge lard-o. Gah, why can't I just pick a diet plan and stick with it?  Skinny people never have to worry about fitting into their clothes, it just happens.  I think it's physics or something. Okay, where was I? Oh yes, relax my shoulders and breathe out … Is my good sports bra clean? Clay tossed some laundry in last night, but I can’t remember if I asked him wash the bra ..."

*downword spiral*


  1. I've been googling for relaxation techniques and found your post. It happens to me too! Exactly! My worries just snowball, and they're starting to give me chest pains :(


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