Day 7 - Eyes Wide Shut
Creative Commons License photo credit: gotplaid?

You may be aware that I have battled with chronic fatigue and eventually managed to win that battle. If you suffer from chronic fatigue or know someone who does then check out My Battle With Chronic Fatigue and How I Won.

The type of fatigue I’d like to cover in this article is of a type many of us in the modern world battle with, every single day. It is interesting because most of us sit as we drive to work. Once at work we sit while working at a desk. We sit again on the way back home from work and finally sit while we eat dinner and then relax afterwards sitting most likely in front of the television.

When we consider how much actual physical activity is involved it raises a question. How is it possible for us to be so thoroughly exhausted at the end of the day when all we have done is sit all day long?

To make matters more interesting I would like to present you with a significant fact: it is impossible for us to become fatigued from mental work alone. Quite some time ago scientists discovered that the brain itself is literally tireless. So how is it possible that we become so very tired from what is essentially a day of mental work?

According to psychiatrists the majority of our fatigue is a product of our mental and emotional attitudes. They maintain that a person possessing good health who is engaged in sedentary work experiences fatigue due to emotional factors alone.

Feelings such as boredom, resentment, anxiety, worry, and rushing all cause us to feel fatigued because they produce nervous tensions in our bodies. I’m sure you have experienced worry and anger in the pit of your stomach. Emotions such as these create a great deal of tension in the core and this radiates outwards, infecting other parts of the body. The contracted muscles subsequently drain us of energy throughout the day and possibly even when we sleep. If you cannot put aside your worries and anxieties before going to bed the quality of your sleep will be greatly impaired and you are likely to wake the following morning poorly rested.

Here is an interesting experiment. Check yourself right now as your read this article. Are you frowning at the computer screen as you read this sentence? Are your eyes straining? Is your head over your body or protruding forward towards the screen? Is your face tensed? Are your shoulders hunched? Chances are in some way you are right now holding nervous and muscular tension. This is precisely what is causing your fatigue. We are all wasting energy because we are not relaxed.

The tension with which we undertake our daily lives is the product of a lifetime habit. The good news is this habit can be switched out for the habit of being in a state of relaxation. To be relaxed is to be free of all tension and effort. To become relaxed the best place to begin is with your eyes. It has been said that the eyes consume as much as 25% of our body’s nervous expenditure of energy.

Once you’ve finished reading this paragraph, sit back in your chair and close your eyes. Sub-vocally say to your eyes – let go, stop straining, relax and let go. As you do so notice the tension in the forehead and let it go, relax the cheeks, open your mouth and feel your jaw drop. Repeat the sub-vocal message to your eyes for a minute.

I’m sure you noticed that after a few moments the muscles of your eyes began to obey your command to relax. You probably also suddenly realized just how much tension you have been holding in your eyes specifically and your face in general. You can now apply the same principle involved in the above experiment to your neck, then your shoulders, your chest, your stomach, your hips, your upper legs, your feet and your hands. Feel all the energy you have been holding bound up in centers of tension flow back to your core. This is the area around the navel.

Check yourself several times a day. Run through the above exercise and seek out hidden centers of tension in your body. Check to see if you are using muscles that you don’t need to be using to get the task at hand completed.

Eventually, with persistence, being in a relaxed state will become a habit for you. Then, instead of reaching for fake energy from sources such as coffee and refined sugar, which are harmful to your health, you will be able to conserve your body’s natural energy. A sure sign you have made this habit you own is if at the end of a busy day you are neither tired nor irritable.

Running through the above exercise just before making an important presentation, before walking into an exam room or before a performance. By doing so you will help yourself perform to your fullest potential.

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