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Relaxing vs. Unwinding

Cory Muscara



Cory Muscara



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Relaxing vs. Unwinding

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, welcome back to

your Daily Mindfulness.

In today's session, we're going to

talk about the difference between

relaxation versus unwinding.

Relaxation versus unwinding.

So relaxation is a state many of

us are somewhat familiar with.

At least we have experiences

or small doses of it.

And this is where we're not caught

in fight, flight, freeze, or fawn

reactivity where we're not in a

nervous system activation state.

Something in us is allowed to be calm.

The mind, feels a little bit more

calm, the shoulders aren't so tense.

And even though this might not be

a very familiar experience to us,

most of us have a sense of what it's

like to be in a more relaxed state.

But there's a difference between

inhabiting relaxed states versus

unwinding deep tension that gets

accumulated over the course of a

lifetime due to the traumas of life,

micro and macro, and all the different

experiences that we accumulate as human

beings being in the world that don't

always get processed in real time.

Although these are different, relaxation

supports unwinding deep tension, because

the thing that keeps that tension bound

in us is being in an activated state.

All that stuff that's lingering

beneath the surface, the stuff that

I like to say is in our backpack

of life that's weighing us down.

When we continue to just keep pushing,

pushing, pushing, and we stay in

that nervous system activation,

none of that gets addressed.

We just keep adding more and more to it.

But when we allow ourselves to drop

into a state of relaxation, of ease,

of internal spaciousness, well now

we're no longer adding more tension.

We're no longer adding more

things to our backpack of life.

And we also give some of that stuff that's

been lingering beneath the surface, the

space to unwind, to actually be released,

to soften and to not be, hmm, how to say,

yeah, to not just continue to perpetuate.

So this happens in a meditation practice.

I mean, think about like five minutes,

10 minutes, 20 minutes that you might

take when you're sitting down, you're

dropping into a more relaxed state

and you're also giving some of the

stuff that's been there beneath the

surface, the opportunity to arise.

Have you had that experience yourself?

If you sit down and just like,

oh, I feel pretty calm now.

But then an emotion seems

to come out of nowhere.

Maybe a sadness that arises spontaneously,

or maybe a feeling of agitation.

Usually what this is, is something beneath

the surface that's been unresolved.

But now that you're giving yourself

the space of presence, of care,

of compassion, it's having the

opportunity to be worked through.

It's not bad, it's not wrong.

It's a sign that things are starting

to move again and getting reintegrated.

And so you just meet that with a calm

nervous system, with that relaxed state.

And eventually it will pass.

It will soften.

It will release.

And it will integrate with the rest of

you allowing us to move back into our

life without all of this extra tension

and baggage that we've accumulated

over the course of a lifetime.

So this is the difference

between relaxation and unwinding.

They're both important, but

they are different journeys.

They inform one another specifically,

relaxation, informing the unwinding.

And hopefully this gives you something

to think about on this journey of

maybe softening some of that deep

tension that has been lingering

beneath the surface of your awareness.

Thanks for your practice.

Let's settle in for today's meditation.

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