I don't know how to relax

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May 27, 2012 at 4:03 am #90327
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Labyrinth
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The way people usually relax stresses me out. I’m not very hyperactive but I can’t seem to relax. My parents say , “Just relax. Sit down and watch a movie with us.”Laying down,sitting down to read,watching a movie, etc. My mom can vegetate on the couch and watch movies all day. I try but I came to the conclusion that that is in no way relaxing for me. And I want to explode from all the things I’m thinking about. I can be in a quiet room, by myself, no distractions and still manage to be distracted. My thoughts are very bombarding! Idk… I’m extremely restless and my distractibility level is high. Which doesn’t help me relax.

Before I was diagnosed (about two-three weeks ago) I sensed that I always felt an urgency I couldn’t explain. Which I now know is due to my ADD. So all in all, I can’t seem to find a way to relax. I don’t think I even know what it means to relax.

Some thoughts from my fellow restless ADDers ?


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May 27, 2012 at 9:04 am #110760
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Scattybird
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Hi Labyrinth – this is an interesting post. I haven’t really considered the concept of relaxing before. I know that sounds completely stupid – because I can sit and watch a film or read a book and relax my body, but my mind wanders continually. So what is relaxation?

Since I started my meds my mind doesn’t wander in quite the same way but it still buzzes around a specific thing I might be working on rather than lots of random things.

When I was younger I had that sense of urgency – you mention wanting to explode from your thoughts – I felt I should be doing all sorts of things and was continually planning all sorts of things. It was like a motor in the pit of my stomach. Having to sit through family evenings when I should have been doing SO much was hell. I was never hyperactive physically.

As I have aged, that feeling of absolute continual urgency has faded, the urgency appears now and then, but the distractability certainly remains as a constant.

So the conclusion of this ramble..there isn’t one!

Try to focus on one lovely thought and practice being aware. Just for a few moments. Go outside and stand still – feel the breeze on your face, listen to the birds or whatever sounds are around and just be aware. Completely focus on one thing at a time. OK that won’t help you relax big time, but a few moments like that help to quiet the brain. Even a minute’s relief can be good!

Maybe sitting in the sun answering your post is my form of relaxation?!


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May 27, 2012 at 9:35 pm #110761
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Bellamom
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Labyrinth, “Relaxing” doesn’t always look like relaxing! So lots of people relax in front of the tv or go to a show, read a book, lie on the beach … Maybe your “relax” needs to be rock climbing or playing basketball. What I mean is that you aren’t a failure at Relaxation 101 just because you can’t sit on the couch with your folks and watch a movie.

Scattybird’s idea of being mindful just for a short time here and there sounds like it’s worth a try.

Um, have you tried walking a labyrinth?


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May 28, 2012 at 12:52 am #110762
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ipsofacto
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For many people relaxation is something that can not be achieved easily. You can learn how to do it, but the chances of someone with serious anxiety issues just figuring it out are slim. From my experience, “progressive muscle relaxation exercises” are the best first step. These teach how to physically relax, Eventually you can monitor your physical tension, and relax your body at will. You soon find that physical relaxation helps to calm your mind. A relaxed body is the best start you can have to learning mediation techniques. The combination of relaxation and meditation made huge differences in preventing anxiety from exasperating my ADD symptoms. It does take some patience and perseverance at first. When I first learned how to use relaxation Response I was so afraid of having another panic attack, it helped to focus my mind. Once you are over the initial hump, it gets easier.

Their are many free progressive muscle relaxation audio files you can download, Start with a simple one, and then find one you like.

For an easy to read overview of relaxation and meditation, and their effects on the body and mind, I would recommend Dr Herbert Benson’s book “The Relaxation Response”.

Good luck with whatever you end trying.


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May 28, 2012 at 1:56 am #110763
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Labyrinth
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Nice! Thank you all so much for the tips.

@Scattybird: ” Having to sit through family evenings when I should have been doing SO much was hell.”

Yes!

I actually took a break from homework to play softball with my cousins and I think that worked well for me. The fast pace action of the game didnt leave time for my mind to wander on all sorts of things. I’d say it helped! I’ll see if doing that more often helps.

ipsofacto , I’ll definitely look into the muscle relaxation. Bc I literally feel my muscles so tense whil trying to focus and concentrate.


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May 28, 2012 at 6:48 pm #110764
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JimC.
Premium Member

@Labyrinth: you’ve hit on one very helpful thing… exercise. I ride and ski and run and well, I think you get my drift. You can channel your energy into a sport or thing you really like. And then because you like it, you continue to do it. and it works and is helpful. That’s relaxing.

Should you chose for example, to join a gym and then get bored, you’ll drop out, so the key is to do what you like as often as you like. Baseball’s a great start, don’t stop now…

Cheers and good luck, Jim


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