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What I do to Relax

I have been under the impression for a long time that relaxing can only come from ‘doing nothing’. Now sleeping is an activity that involves ‘doing nothing’ and it helps me relax as well. However one cannot generalize on the basis of this method and create a rule which says “All activities that involve doing nothing will help me relax”. In fact it is quite the opposite because if I am awake and I try to ‘not to do anything’ it in fact bores me. It sometimes bores me so much that it frustrates me and when this happens I find it difficult to relax.

On the other hand if I do too much work I get exhausted and therefore tired. Neither the process of getting exhausted neither the state of being tired is relaxing.

Having observed that a certain amount of activity i.e. mental activity or mental stimulation keeps me entertained and that this is the state that brings me closest to relaxing it hit me that in order to relax what I really need to do is to have a certain amount of mental stimulation while I am awake.


  1. Like Tom Sawyer discovered while painting the fence: Work is what you HAVE to do. Fun is what you WANT to do.
    I suppose something that you WANT to do and is not physically tiring equals relaxation.
    For me it can be reading, or gaming. Even thinking about ad concepts that I'm interested in.
    So your idea of "a certain level of mental activity" I guess applies to you in the same way.
    For me its more about becoming mentally engaged with something, not necessarily analyzing or thinking about it.


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