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Live your truth gently but totally and consistently.”


Why do we have such trouble relaxing? The U.S. has about ¼ of the vacation days as Europe. We are one of the most efficient countries in the world – but we can’t relax. Maybe it’s because we have the idea of how to relax all wrong. Relaxing is supposed to be doing nothing, sitting on a beach, reading a book, right? While that’s all good and fun, I just don’t feel all that relaxed doing it. Maybe for 5 minutes, but then I’m on to something else.


We’re all different. For some people a bike ride is relaxing, for others cleaning the kitchen (yes, it does help me!). Working with my clients I’m realizing how hard it is for people to relax because they are doing the relaxing activities instead of their relaxing activities, thus finding little relief.


John Gray, author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice, explains what I thought was craziness on my part, ‘Normally, unless a woman is totally exhausted, lying down has little value to her in reducing stress. For her, resting on the couch only provides a minimal amount of relief. She’d soon feel restless, thinking of all the things she needs to get done. Moving around and working on her to-do list feels better… Sitting on the couch or doing some enjoyable activity independently is one of the best ways for men to recover from stress, but that’s just not true for women.’

While men and women are quite different as John Gray effortlessly explains in these two books (I’d recommend every person on the planet read these books – understanding the differences between men and women will change your life), every single person is quite different as well. This may not be how you are, again, this is a generalization and was true for me, but that doesn’t mean you can be a man and not find relaxation getting things done around the house (re – my nonstop dad).


What relaxes you? Flowers on your desk at work? A bath? Candles? Chocolate? Going for a run? Cleaning the kitchen? Organizing your closet? It doesn’t matter what others think of it – what matters is if it relieves stress for you.


FAST FACT: For men increased levels of testosterone reduces stress; for women increased levels of oxytocin. Two completely different chemicals. So men naturally find ways to increase their testosterone (e.g. – sitting on the couch and watching a game) and women search for ways to increase their oxytocin (e.g. – nurturing activities or support from others).

ACTION: Do what relaxes you, not what relaxes everyone else.


Love and brussels sprouts,


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