Relaxation is important
We all find relaxation important because it makes us feel good. And though relaxing is indeed a pleasant physical experience, it is more than that, it is a necessity of life. Relaxation sets one free from tension and anxiety, and this allows recovery, learning, and nutritional processes to happen. Relaxation is therefore more than just important, we for our balance. We need it to survive.
Awareness of patterns
Mindfulness training will teach you to become aware of those thinking and behavioural patterns that cause stress. It will open your eyes to how stress patterns are forms of automated responses that, though starting from the best intention, will generally only make things worse, meaning that they ultimately are not fit for purpose. This awareness will instantly enable you to change your ways, because no one consciously chooses stressful reactions if they are not needed.
It may sound contradictory, but you will basically learn to relax with the stress, the unease, the grief, or the pain. This is sometimes referred to as ‘deep relaxation,’ because you learn to relax while embracing the experience - regardless of whether the experience is pleasant or unpleasant - in the moment when it occurs, so that the automated stress response is never triggered.
The secret to enjoyment
The secret to enjoyment is that it is linked to the present moment. A pleasant memory, a fantastic dream, or an engaging prospect can give you pleasure - but it is never quite the same as enjoying the moment in the here and now.
This is something you do by being in the moment with full physical and sensory awareness. Smell the moment, see it, taste it, feel it. Enjoyment triggers are all around us and emerge without being prompted: a singing bird, a refreshing glass of water, a fresh apple, clean sheets. Common everyday things. If we can find it in ourselves how to enjoy them, we will never have to look far for enjoyment. Our ability to enjoy is always there, always on standby. You never forget how to enjoy.
In short: mindfulness makes life more intense. You will learn to distance yourself from distracting thoughts that have the tendency to recur in your head. It becomes easier to relax and your mind settles down. Your awareness is heightened, especially your awareness of sensory aspects of every moment.