Many people find it difficult to relax because they feel guilty when they are not busy. The constant pressure to be productive and busy every moment leads to stress, but when trying to relax, guilt and restlessness interfere – making relaxation impossible. This guided meditation will help to change the perspective of needing to be busy all the time so that you can relax and reduce unreasonable demands on yourself.
Before you get started, get a sheet of paper and a pen, in case you want to write anything down.
When you are ready to start this relaxation to stop guilt when not busy, begin by getting into a comfortable position. By choosing to do a relaxation technique right now, you are doing a healthy, productive activity. This relaxation is essential and will allow you to be even more productive by reducing stress and becoming more efficient.
You need this time of relaxation. Relaxation is a basic skill that helps you to survive and be healthy.
Close your eyes, and take a few moments to just breathe.
Breathe slowly and calmly.
Focus on this single act of breathing. Such a simple act, but essential to life.
Perhaps you have thoughts right now about other things you think you “should” be doing. Acknowledge these thoughts. Consider what types of tasks, activities, and demands are going through your mind right now.
You may even want to go ahead and write down a list of the things that you feel compelled to do.
Focus on and acknowledge the thoughts that come up for you over the next few moments.
Sit quietly now, and reflect upon the thoughts that have been coming up. Do you notice any patterns? Allow each thought to pass, without dwelling on any particular thoughts. Let each thought come and go, and notice each thought as an observer.
As you meditate, what kind of thoughts and judgements have you had about yourself?
Notice the “should” statements, the criticisms, the judgemental thoughts that have told you, wrongly, that it is never okay to be not busy.
Would you expect any other human being to be productive at every moment?
How could such an expectation be fair or reasonable for any human?
The expectation to be busy at every moment is not realistic or fair for anyone, including you.
So far in this meditation, you have done productive thinking, and you have been busy. Now I would like you to challenge yourself, and spend the next two minutes being not busy. In a moment, I will begin timing so that you can have two minutes of silent reflection.
During the next 2 minutes of silence, I want you to allow all thoughts to pass, and simply relax. Do nothing. There is nothing you need to do or to think about. Every time thoughts arise, just let the thoughts go, emptying your mind completely.
(Pause 2 minutes)
The two minutes are up. What was it like to spend two minutes not being busy?
Reflect upon the last few moments, and acknowledge the thoughts and feelings that came up for you.
This script will conclude with a brief progressive muscle relaxation.
Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, allow your body to begin to relax.
Breathe slowly and naturally.
Raise your shoulders toward your ears. Then, let your shoulders relax…dropping into a comfortable, loose position, and feel yourself sinking into the surface you are on.
Allow your jaw to drop slightly, letting the muscles of your face and jaw become loose and relaxed.
Wiggle your toes once or twice and feel your feet and legs relaxing.
Gently open and close your hands once…and again…and then relax your hands and arms.
Take a deep breath in, feeling the tension in your chest and stomach as you hold that breath…and allow your chest and stomach to relax as the breath escapes slowly.
Allow the muscles of your back to relax…from your neck…to your upper back…middle back…lower back…feeling your whole body relaxing.
Notice any areas of tension in your body, and relax those areas now.
Take a few moments just to enjoy feeling relaxed.
You do not need to be busy at every moment. You are not busy at every moment, and that is okay.
You deserve time to relax. You deserve to be not busy.
It is okay to relax. It is okay to be not busy.
You are more productive when you take time for relaxation.
You accomplish everything you need to.
There is no need to push yourself to be superhuman. Just being is enough.
It feels good to relax.
You can enjoy time of relaxation.
You can enjoy time of doing nothing, and feel good about taking a few moments to do nothing at all.
It is okay to rest and relax.
It is essential to rest and relax.
Keep with you this feeling of relaxation now as you reawaken your body to return to the day ahead.
Wiggle your fingers and toes. Open your hands…then close them… and open them once again.
Roll your shoulders forward…and back…feeling your muscles reawakening.
Lean your left ear toward your left shoulder…return to center…and move your right ear toward your right shoulder…then return to neutral.
Stretch a bit, feeling the energy flowing through your body.
Take a deep breath, reaching your arms up above your head as you inhale, and lowering your arms out to the sides and down as you exhale.
Take one more deep breath in, feeling fully alert and awake as you exhale. Return to your usual activities feeling calm and refreshed.