TED Conversations

Henry Woeltjen


This conversation is closed.

Improving Your Life: Step 1 - Relax!

For the next few weeks I will be posting some steps I think are necessary to improve your life. Take the journey with me and give me your feedback. Let's build a strategy we can all use to improve our life and the lives of everyone around us!

Step 1 - Relax!

All of us have stories to tell. Some are exciting and full of progress. However, some of us struggle to understand what's going wrong. These posts will be an attempt to facilitate a conversation about progress. We need to move forward. I believe we can help each other do just that.

Step one of this process will be one of the hardest. We all have stress, and sometimes our stress is overwhelming. We need to take a step back and relax! Before our journey begins we must have an open mind. Take a second, sit back, and relax. Feelings of anxiety and stress will only prevent you from moving towards your goals.

What are some things that help you relax? What are your coping mechanisms?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      Jun 16 2013: Great points Lamar. Some of us may relax entirely too much. However, in order to properly analyze what we are doing wrong we must have a clear head. In order to achieve that we need to slow down. Relaxing can provide this.

      Coping mechanisms can definitely be positive and negative. It is important to identify positive coping mechanisms. As you said, people make little problems into big problems. In order to objectively analyze your life you must focus on the real issues. There is no real way to analyze complicated concepts if your mind is in multiple places at once.

      There is definitely not a one size fits all solution. Some people may require professional help. All of that is accurate. However, some of us just need to take a second and calm our nerves. Some of us need to focus on the real problems.

      The complexity of our mind may complicate things, as you stated. Relaxing can allow you to conduct a thorough audit of your thought processes and environment you are in.

      Stress may motivate you into action, but that doesn't mean your actions will yield positive results. Every success is preceded by thinking. We must slow down, relax, and think critically about the steps necessary to move forward.
      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          Jun 16 2013: I think we may misunderstand what the word relax means. Relax is to become less tense or anxious. Many of us believe the word relates to sitting around or taking a nap. It can be sitting on the couch watching television. It can also involve taking a walk, as you stated.

          The state of being relaxed is the result of an action. The action you choose to get there is up to you. Either way, being relaxed is an important factor when trying to analyze a problem critically.
    • thumb
      Jun 16 2013: One of the TED Global speakers, whose name I cannot now remember, talked about this issue of how she had been telling her clients for years a myth about stress. Particularly, research now seems to show that it is ones expectations about the negative health effects of stress rather than stress itself that looms large in predicting negative health outcomes within normal ranges of stress.

      It is an interesting finding that has changed the way she counsels her clients about stress.

      It might have been Kelly McGonigal of Stanford University. Yes, here we go: http://blog.ted.com/2013/06/11/the-upside-of-stress-kelly-mcgonigal-at-tedglobal-2013/

      And here is Robert Sapolsky, one of the world's leading scholars whose specialty is stress in animals, including humans: http://killerstress.stanford.edu/more and http://killerstress.stanford.edu/more/qa-what-about-stress-mangement/
      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          Jun 20 2013: LaMar,Good for you!
          I wish more treatment centers and prisons would implement stress management. They tend to leave it up to the individuals to do it themselves. Did you write anything about your experience?

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.