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Relaxing vs. Unwinding

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. In today's session, we're going to talk about the difference between relaxation versus unwinding. Relaxation versus unwinding. So relaxation is a state many of us are somewhat familiar with. At least we have experiences or small doses of it.

And this is where we're not caught in fight, flight, freeze, or fawn reactivity where we're not in a nervous system activation state. Something in us is allowed to be calm. The mind, feels a little bit more calm, the shoulders aren't so tense. And even though this might not be a very familiar experience to us, most of us have a sense of what it's like to be in a more relaxed state. But there's a difference between inhabiting relaxed states versus unwinding deep tension that gets accumulated over the course of a lifetime due to the traumas of life, micro and macro, and all the different experiences that we accumulate as human beings being in the world that don't always get processed in real time.

Although these are different, relaxation supports unwinding deep tension, because the thing that keeps that tension bound in us is being in an activated state. All that stuff that's lingering beneath the surface, the stuff that I like to say is in our backpack of life that's weighing us down. When we continue to just keep pushing, pushing, pushing, and we stay in that nervous system activation, none of that gets addressed. We just keep adding more and more to it. But when we allow ourselves to drop into a state of relaxation, of ease, of internal spaciousness, well now we're no longer adding more tension.

We're no longer adding more things to our backpack of life. And we also give some of that stuff that's been lingering beneath the surface, the space to unwind, to actually be released, to soften and to not be, hmm, how to say, yeah, to not just continue to perpetuate. So this happens in a meditation practice. I mean, think about like five minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes that you might take when you're sitting down, you're dropping into a more relaxed state and you're also giving some of the stuff that's been there beneath the surface, the opportunity to arise. Have you had that experience yourself? If you sit down and just like, oh, I feel pretty calm now.

But then an emotion seems to come out of nowhere. Maybe a sadness that arises spontaneously, or maybe a feeling of agitation. Usually what this is, is something beneath the surface that's been unresolved. But now that you're giving yourself the space of presence, of care, of compassion, it's having the opportunity to be worked through. It's not bad, it's not wrong.

It's a sign that things are starting to move again and getting reintegrated. And so you just meet that with a calm nervous system, with that relaxed state. And eventually it will pass. It will soften. It will release.

And it will integrate with the rest of you allowing us to move back into our life without all of this extra tension and baggage that we've accumulated over the course of a lifetime. So this is the difference between relaxation and unwinding. They're both important, but they are different journeys. They inform one another specifically, relaxation, informing the unwinding. And hopefully this gives you something to think about on this journey of maybe softening some of that deep tension that has been lingering beneath the surface of your awareness.

Thanks for your practice. Let's settle in for today's meditation.

Cory Muscara

4.8

Relaxing vs. Unwinding

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. In today's session, we're going to talk about the difference between relaxation versus unwinding. Relaxation versus unwinding. So relaxation is a state many of us are somewhat familiar with. At least we have experiences or small doses of it.

And this is where we're not caught in fight, flight, freeze, or fawn reactivity where we're not in a nervous system activation state. Something in us is allowed to be calm. The mind, feels a little bit more calm, the shoulders aren't so tense. And even though this might not be a very familiar experience to us, most of us have a sense of what it's like to be in a more relaxed state. But there's a difference between inhabiting relaxed states versus unwinding deep tension that gets accumulated over the course of a lifetime due to the traumas of life, micro and macro, and all the different experiences that we accumulate as human beings being in the world that don't always get processed in real time.

Although these are different, relaxation supports unwinding deep tension, because the thing that keeps that tension bound in us is being in an activated state. All that stuff that's lingering beneath the surface, the stuff that I like to say is in our backpack of life that's weighing us down. When we continue to just keep pushing, pushing, pushing, and we stay in that nervous system activation, none of that gets addressed. We just keep adding more and more to it. But when we allow ourselves to drop into a state of relaxation, of ease, of internal spaciousness, well now we're no longer adding more tension.

We're no longer adding more things to our backpack of life. And we also give some of that stuff that's been lingering beneath the surface, the space to unwind, to actually be released, to soften and to not be, hmm, how to say, yeah, to not just continue to perpetuate. So this happens in a meditation practice. I mean, think about like five minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes that you might take when you're sitting down, you're dropping into a more relaxed state and you're also giving some of the stuff that's been there beneath the surface, the opportunity to arise. Have you had that experience yourself? If you sit down and just like, oh, I feel pretty calm now.

But then an emotion seems to come out of nowhere. Maybe a sadness that arises spontaneously, or maybe a feeling of agitation. Usually what this is, is something beneath the surface that's been unresolved. But now that you're giving yourself the space of presence, of care, of compassion, it's having the opportunity to be worked through. It's not bad, it's not wrong.

It's a sign that things are starting to move again and getting reintegrated. And so you just meet that with a calm nervous system, with that relaxed state. And eventually it will pass. It will soften. It will release.

And it will integrate with the rest of you allowing us to move back into our life without all of this extra tension and baggage that we've accumulated over the course of a lifetime. So this is the difference between relaxation and unwinding. They're both important, but they are different journeys. They inform one another specifically, relaxation, informing the unwinding. And hopefully this gives you something to think about on this journey of maybe softening some of that deep tension that has been lingering beneath the surface of your awareness.

Thanks for your practice. Let's settle in for today's meditation.

Cory Muscara

4.8

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