Part 2: What Happens When You Relax?

Revealed Healing Health Coach Relax Peace MeditationFirst thing’s first – HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

The big day is tomorrow, and I have 6 pounds of tofu waiting to be transformed into a homemade fowl-free turkey. 🙂

I can’t think of a better way to kick off the holiday season than with a follow-up to my last post about the importance of relaxation. (If you missed the last post, you can catch up and read it here.)

If you missed Part 1, be sure to read it before starting Part 2 below.

Instead of talking about all the ways that stress will make you self destruct, let’s talk about what it means for you to relax, and a simple Two-Step Awareness process that will help you get there.

Let’s start with the basics. The dictionary definition of “relax” is two-fold:

re·lax
verb

  1. To make or become less tense or anxious.
  2. To make (a rule or restriction) less strict while not abolishing it.

In my own life, I focused a lot on the first definition, but I had to take another look at the second one: “To make (a rule or restriction) less strict while not abolishing it.”

The second definition resonated with me because of my history with orthorexia. As many of you know, when people try to eat “perfectly,” or eat only the “right foods,” they are more than likely suffering from orthorexia. When I had this mindset years ago, I was not experiencing freedom with my own body and food. I saw things as good or bad when it came to my diet, and there was little room for a “gray area.” Although I believe wholeheartedly that a diet full of vegetables and whole unprocessed foods is the best way to stay healthy long-term, I do not believe that anyone’s diet should be a restrictive set of rules.

However, it was also not wise for me to go from one extreme to the other in regards to food – from restrictive to unregulated – because that would not have been healthy either. If you put a burger and fries in front of someone who just started recovering from a restrictive eating disorder, they’re more than likely not going to take you up on that offer. Similar to how substance abusers find it difficult to stop using their drugs and alcohol. It’s not healthy or sustainable to live a life of extremes.

Habit change requires consistent, intentional steps towards improvement.

With that in mind, I slowly and consistently added new foods to my diet, over a significant period of time, to bring my hormones, digestion, and emotions back into balance.

The key for me is, and always has been, BALANCE.

Balance has been my “motivating word” for the past two years now. To continue our English lessons for today, the dictionary definition for “balance” that is the most meaningful to me is:

balance
verb

  1. To keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall.

I equate balance with relaxation. When I am in balance, I am relaxed. When I am out of balance or when I take a spiritual or emotional “fall,” then I am no longer balanced or relaxed – this is my stressed state.

The key to taking the first step on the journey to relaxation is awareness. This is where we take the information we know about relaxation and start applying it in a meaningful way to our lives so we can start seeing change and progress.

Now is the time to pull out your journal or laptop.

You’ll be doing some writing, just like last time. 🙂


There is a simple two-step process that I use to heighten my own awareness:

  1. BODY CHECK-IN: Where are you holding on to tension (or stress) in your body? (Example symptoms: digestive pain, neck/shoulder pains, racing heartbeat, insomnia, aching joints, back pain, migraines, etc.) Just notice where the tension or pain is and write it down. Check in with your body multiple times a day, if need be.
  2. MENTAL CHECK-IN: What are some of the thoughts that run through your mind throughout the day? (Examples: your to-do list, family problems, taking care of the kids, work/your career, finances, bills, etc.) Just notice what your thoughts are and write them down.

IMPORTANT: This process is TWO STEPS ONLY for a reason.

We’re just noticing where you are right now, so you know how to get to where you want to be later. You don’t have to do or act on anything after you’ve done these two steps. If anyone else has a “git ‘er done” personality like me, you’re probably looking for Steps 3, 4, and 5 already, and I’m here to tell you to pause and focus on where you are right now. This is all about relaxation, and the only thing you have to do is notice what your body and mind are telling you right now and write that down.


Whether you’ve done this process, or something similar, it is always a positive thing to check in with your own body and mind over and over again. Your body is always speaking to you, and if you’re experiencing negative symptoms within, then your body is trying to tell you that something needs to change.

So often, we become inundated with researching, information overload, taking care of everyone else, being on time, clocking in and out, and on, and on…. We lose ourselves in our busyness, especially during the holiday season.

It’s time to get reconnected. It’s time to take a tiny step closer to relaxation. Take the first tiny, manageable step by trying out the Two-Step Awareness Process I outlined above. When you do, congratulate yourself for making time to nurture one of the most important things on this planet – you.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving, and remember to nourish yourself just as much as you nourish others.

To your health,

Brandie Nicole

P.S. Did you enjoy the Two-Step Process? Click here to dive deeper on what the next steps are in your process.

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