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Do you get easily overwhelmed with all that has to happen every day? Do you wake anxiously as your mind makes a To Do List of chores that require your immediate attention? Do you rush through your day only to collapse on the couch in front of the TV? Do you feel exhausted, frustrated, and trapped in a pattern that you can't seem to break?

You're not alone.

Anxiety has become the norm in society today. Everyone is experiencing pressure to perform at higher and higher expectations that are being pressed upon us by others. Those in power are becoming more demanding and those who have to comply are feeling more and more anxious. When my clients come to therapy, I can see the worry on their furrowed brows, the pent-up energy in their bouncing legs, and their confusion and pain in their handwringing. Their bodies are ready to explode, and they are keeping the lid on their lives pressed down as hard as they can. This is no way to live.

I teach my clients that it is good to perform and strive for excellence, but they must put as much energy into resting. I call this type of focused relaxation, "Performance rest." People who are performance driven (by external or internal reasons) need to find success in resting. Unfortunately, rest for these types of people is seen as a deterrent to success, a barrier to time, and is a consequence not a reward for hard work. In order to change one's mindset to performance rest is to make rest something to pursue and not an annoyance to tolerate.

A friend of mine understands this concept well. He is a performer and knows that if he wants to be successful as a singer, he must "rest" his voice. It's good to recognize before your voice starts straining. Resting your fingers when you play the guitar it's good for the fingers dexterity to take breaks. When you performance rest, you take breaks more often and recover from the challenges of the day quicker. Babies need naps and sometimes mom's do too. When you wake, you'll feel better, have a better outlook, and others will enjoy you more. You just might like yourself a little better too.


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