Relaxation for the Mind, Body, and Soul

Between work, family, church and everything in between how many of us have time to rest and relax? I mean really relax. Relaxation by definition means to loosen, to open, and to stretch and rest is defined as:  to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.  For many of us there are not enough hours in the day to complete everything on our To Do List and usually rest and relaxation become luxuries we just don’t have time for in the course of our day to day lives. Many of us aren’t able to fully rest at night because the mind is still going. Then there are those of us who even pride ourselves with being able to function with just a few hours of sleep at night. However, God did not design us to work like machines with no opportunity to rest and relax. You have a soul that lives in a body with a purpose to carry out the work of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are reminded in Genesis 2:3, “So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”  Even God the creator the universe rested meaning he ceased from work.  God provides us with the perfect example to follow, to work then rest and relax. 

So how do we rest and relax if it doesn’t come naturally for us? 

To experience rest and relaxation, mind, body and soul, the first step is to Release Control.  Yes, the C word!  In order to allow the soul to be at peace you must learn to trust God as it says in Matthew 12:28, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” God realizes that labor can be heavy at times but He is able to give us rest.  Sleep, massages, meditation, and prayer will all be fruitless until we release control over every aspect of our lives and allow God to be God in every area of our lives. 

Once the soul is at ease we can work on relaxation for the mind through a good night’s sleep. 

Restful sleep is vital for a healthy and clear mind.  Our ability to learn and memory are affected by lack of sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health.”  However, it is imperative that we schedule sleep just like any other activity in our life to keep our minds sharp and alert.  Your body on the other hand doesn’t just need rest but also relaxation.  To just stop moving doesn’t automatically equate to relaxation.  When we carry burdens or mental stress it can manifest in our physical bodies such as muscle stiffness, back and neck pain etc. and exercise can be a great stress reliever.  Any form for exercise may aid in relaxation however, the benefits of yoga are great for relaxation.  Yoga is a great mind-body exercises that can help you to relax body through meditation and various strengthening and flexibility poses, which in turn, sends signals of calm and control that help reduce mental tension.

When seeking rest and relaxation start at the core of your being, your soul and remind yourself daily, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – John 14: 27.

Appeared Originally in Faith & Fitness Magazine