Relaxation — it seems such an easy thing to do, yet for many people the meaning of the world is lost. What is the first thing to learn in trying to relax?

The first thing to learn whenever you are going to do something is to know the roots of a problem. If you ask me how I would get rid of my tension then I would have to know what these tensions are. If you think the tension is just physical then I would say go to a sauna and have a massage. If you think that the tension is emotional, then you would have to find a way to relax your emotions. If the tension is not only physical and emotional but also mental then you would have to know how to relax the mind. Now, if in addition to that you think you also suffer other types of tension such as generalized tension, then you will have to know how to do that. There are no magical solutions.

Do women have a higher or lower threshold of anxiety than men as a general rule?

women relaxing by the pool Why Does One Need to Relax

It varies a lot according to individual and societies. Women are not exactly treated the same way in most societies, but there’s one thing they have going for them with respect to tension. Women in most societies are allowed to show their emotions, to express their emotions. They probably have lesser ulcers, fewer heart attacks because they express themselves. They let out their internal tensions. So from that point of view women do not necessarily have a higher threshold. On the other hand men tend to suppress their feelings. But this is an extreme example because women experience just as much tension.

The whole system of achieving, pushing, preparing for success which starts from childhood up to the best years of a person’s adult life is obviously tailor-made for ulcers, high blood pressure, worry, etc.

Being tense is always related to being afraid. Being afraid, that is, of letting go of something. If we were not afraid of these things, we would be able to do it and do it better. We would not be pursuing the ends; we would rather be doing as if it would be an end .in itself. We would enjoy doing it, and without being afraid. So fear is almost experienced as a strong tension.

What is the way to handle stress and strain? Is it to tackle the problem by grappling with the bull by its horns? Is it to walk away and forget about it, let the problem solve itself?

To use a forced solution is to cause an unfavorable side effect. You cannot walk away from a problem because it will not disappear. The way to handle stress is to comprehend it at its root, to be able to know how to get rid of it permanently — the physical, emotional, mental and generalized tensions.

Is there such a thing as certain character types being able to cope with pressures and stresses better than others?

It all depends on what you mean by character types. If you say that a person who is excessively emotional can cope better with tension, he could if he is living in a society that was emotional but if you are emotional and you live in a society that is intellectual, you don’t fit nicely, then it would be very difficult to cope there.

What are a few simple methods of handling tension?

The fundamental attitude of handling tension is exactly the opposite of the attitude that we have in front of most activities we do in our lives. Most things we do we do because we force ourselves. Most people think, “I have to relax.” And they try hard to relax. But the attitude that we suggest in relaxation is one of letting go. It is one of being gentle with oneself. It is the only solution that has no side effects that loses tension permanently.

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