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There are two times in every day when knowledge of a relaxation technique can come in very handy. The first occurs in the middle of the afternoon when most mammals in the world are taking a nap. They are not sleeping, just napping. They do this to recharge their batteries for the strenuous activities that come later. When you have learned how to catnap for five to fifteen minutes you will discover that you can go another eight hours without feeling tired. The second time you need to relax is when you get into bed to go to sleep. Many people are so wound up they cannot fall asleep for hours. Don’t let that be you. Here is what you need to do.

You need to relax your body and free your mind in that order. To relax your body you need to sit or lay in a comfortable position. Start by taking four deep breathes and let them out slowly. Enjoy the sensation of breathing. It is the primary life activity. Then focus on the muscle groups in your head and face and feel them relax. Allow the tension that is present in those muscle groups to flow downward towards your feet. Follow that with the relaxation of your neck and shoulders. Next is your chest and back followed by your thighs and calves. If you do this correctly all of the tension will have flowed like a waterfall downward to your feet. From there it either flows onto the floor in an imaginary pool or onto the foot of your bed.

When you have done this correctly you should feel very heavy. Try to imagine yourself weighing twice your original weight. When your body is a dead weight and all you are doing is breathing it is time to empty your head.

For most of us this is the tough one, especially without much practice. To get you fully recharged we need to clear your mind of all the madness and mayhem that resides there. To do this, try to imagine that you have a trap door in your head that can be opened at will. Open that little door and let all of your thoughts float out and rise to the ceiling. It may be easier if you visualize the thoughts as smoke so that you can see them rise as if from a chimney.

You want to arrive at a state in which your body is limp and your mind is blank. If you can stay in that state for five to fifteen minutes you are good to go for the rest of the day, or can easily drift off to sleep. Be still. Be quiet and your body will recharge itself. The more you practice this technique the faster you can get to the tranquil condition that will center you, bringing your body and mind into harmony.

Advice for Drivers: If you are driving on a highway and your eyelids close for just a second that is a critical sign that you must pull over at the next opportunity and recharge your personal battery. Sometimes, at sixty miles per hour, people do not survive the second nap.