Whenever I try and take slow, deep breaths to relax, I feel like I’m giving myself an internal service error. At which point, I put my breathing back on auto-breathe and act like I didn’t try to manually control it. The body is smart, I’ll let it do it’s thing.
This blog post is in response to Aaron’s weekly prompt. Since today is National Relaxation Day, his prompt is “Relax“.
I was going to get into what I had intended on writing about, but I’m too distracted by the recommendations Google has for how we can relax our mind and body.
Soothing music. What classifies as soothing music? Is it just ocean noises with the periodic “Caw Caw”, to keep you on your toes? Or, is it just music you like that doesn’t have any thumps in it?
It’s like when a fitness instructor says, “legs should be shoulder width apart”. Okay, but how far is that, exactly? When did our shoulders become a unit of measurement?
I just want specifics.
Anyway, when I see the word, “relax”, I think back to watching TVO Kids as a child. For the non-Canadians reading this, it was like Nickelodeon. There would be an after school lineup of children shows, with hosts in a studio.
The hosts would say, “Kick back, relax”. I didn’t know what “kick back” meant, but I assumed it meant I should lay down on the couch and kick the far arm rest, as a way to get comfortable and “relax”.
Brilliant boy, I was.
And as I thought about writing that in this post, I remembered the Friday Night Football song for the CFL on TSN in the early 2000s. The song had the lyric, “kick back, relax”. The song was great. I miss it.
Was there something about that era – late 90s, early 2000s – where “kick back (and) relax” was a popular phrase people said? Maybe it’s just a coincidence. I’m just here to connect the dots.
To me, relaxation occurs when I am doing something, while also doing nothing. It is the act of being on a couch, while staring at a television screen. Or laying on a bed and listening to music, that may or may not be soothing. Caw Caw.
Another weird thing just popped in my mind.
The ol’ “picture the audience in their underwear” line, as a way to get you to calm your nerves when speaking in front of a group of people. I never understood that. That’s too much mind work. Can’t I just picture them looking uninterested and bored?
Remember presentations in front of the class? You held onto the paper with both hands because if you were to hold it with one, it would start shaking uncontrollably? I feel like that happened to everyone at least once.
I always hated sitting through the presentations before mine. That was worse than actually giving the presentation. The anticipation killed me. Once I got in front of the class, I knew I would deliver as long as I wasn’t missing a cue card.
Maybe it was growth through experience, but presentations in university weren’t that bad. I was fairly relaxed for most of them.
The trick, for me, was a combination of: being prepared, not having a script, and not over-rehearsing.
I would have my bullet points and know what I wanted to saw for each. To practice, I’d pace back and forth in my room while saying the words under my breath. I never wanted to get too attached to the same verbiage every time, in fear of sounding robotic. I wanted to save my best performance for the class.
“We’ll do it live!”
There was one time my group wanted to practice, and practice, and practice the presentation. It got to the point where I said I wasn’t going to practice my part again. I knew it, I didn’t want to overdo it.
That presentation was only out of 10 marks. Two marks were going to be given for making the audience laugh. That was to encourage us to make it fun.
My portion was one of the two parts of the presentation where laughs were possible. Sure enough, I had the lecture room laughing, and I attribute that to not over-rehearsing.
Anyway, I have rambled on long enough about things that
barely definitely relate back to Aaron’s prompt.
I bid you an adieu.
How do you relax? How were you with school presentations?