Being too serious is bad for your health. I’ve had some serious posts. I’ve had some silly posts. Most of all, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to make my posts as interesting and engaging to read as possible, regardless of intent. I think I’ve done an all right job. I’ve heard your “thank yous” and I just want to say “you’re welcome.”

See, I told you.

Flashy gifs aside, it’s been great doing what I do especially with three separate blogs to update. I can’t do them everyday like I used to but I love having the option of doing music, news and whatever I want. I mostly try to stay personal on this particular blog which is why I’m going to briefly take the time to discuss relaxation.

I sometimes feel an over abundance of stress and stressors in my life. Not that we all don’t: in some ways, I have less to worry about than most people. Than say, 99% of the people in the world. I’m aware of that. However, this doesn’t stop my stress and my stressors from hitting my emotions and creating an excessive amount of worry, anxiety and tension in my mind and in my body.

This is part of why I split Alpena for the weekend and am hanging out with my family. I haven’t really seen them much lately and its been nice. Living here was stressful (as it always is when you come back) but being back for a few days is nice. I’m also taking care of some problems (such as broke brakes) and spending time playing with the dogs.

Such as Bailey. Child’s shoe kept in shot to reinforce the absolute tininess of the dog.

The dogs are especially important in relaxing: there are many health benefits to pet ownership including but not limited to:

  • Increased socialization with friends and family.
  • A decrease in blood pressure.
  • Increased relaxation.
  • Decrease in stress as you play with the dog.

It’s also nice to be taken out of my current living situation, pulled back into the home where I grew up and letting nothing at all happen. That’s key: I was going to write articles for my freelance job but none were sent. I could have easily suggested more but let it go. Why? I may not have made the 50 bucks I could have made writing but I got time to relax, watch some “Roseanne” with my dad, chase the dogs around the house, play with my sisters cat and sit outside, letting the wheels turn around me as the world continues to die.

A picture of my parents ultra cute dog, Hanna. Useful in offsetting depressing statements, such as the last sentence I wrote.

The dogs here…they are actually pretty elderly. They don’t look it do they? Hanna is 12 years old. Bailey is 10. Yet, they still run around and play (within reason, Hanna gets winded easily) as if they were still two to three years old. I love that about dogs: although they feel stressors, just like the rest of us they can let loose and enjoy the many benefits of relaxing and letting your stress melt away.

So, if you feel tension growing in the back of your neck muscles or if your mind is drifting to the darker sides of life, forget all about that for the day. Just sit down, relax and let it overcome you. Breath deeply. Do some yoga. Let your muscles tense and relax, releasing all those harmful stress chemicals.

Yes, stress chemicals exist and can be released through a steady inflow of oxygen and increased blood flow. You know what that means: exercise time! Don’t worry though kids: an exercise can be just as steady as a 20 minute to half an hour walk. Just move more in any way and those stress chemicals will begin to dissipate.

Another great idea is to eliminate all the excessive entertainment that cuts into our lives. Turn off your computer (after finishing reading this, of course), find a nice chair in a well lit area (sunlight is nice if possible). Turn off the television or radio. Sit with your eyes closed and let your thoughts race over your head. They’ll sort themselves out.

Or hell, just clean the house for an hour. The exercise of cleaning (small but not useless) combined with the peace of mind of a clean house will actually boost your mood and let you relax. Whatever way you do it, I want you to relax as much as possible today because even though you have the rest of your life to live after reading this article, you don’t have to live it caught in the endless spiral of angst and anxiety.

Or just stare out your window at nothing.