They were doing Canada Fitness Testing. (I don’t know about you, but I still have visions of those chin-ups. Ugh!) One of the things she had to do for the test was hold a plank position for a minimum of 2 minutes. She told me she made the time, but a lot of her friends had to give up before the two-minute mark, because their muscles were shaking so much. So it begged the question, what did she do differently?
“I just relaxed my muscles, and it was easy!”
Interesting. She simply relaxed into the position, and she was able to hold it much longer, because she wasn’t straining against it.
That made me think about the bigger picture. How often do we struggle because we’re trying to hold something by straining against it? The straining makes it much more difficult to accomplish. What if instead if we took a breath and relaxed into it? Would become easier? I think it would. Think about the times when you’re trying to remember the name of an actor. Inevitably, the name comes when you stop thinking it. We relax and then bam! Kevin Bacon! There it is.
It’s when we let go of the struggle, that it becomes easier.
I really feel this when I write. Some days it’s so difficult and I struggle to make my points, and then other days it just flows. On the tough days, I’ve found that it’s just better to walk away from it. Inevitably, when I come back to it in a different frame of mind, it’s easier. Much easier.
So, think about it the next time you’re struggling with something. Would it be better to take a little step back and relax first, and then re-approach? You might just find you are much more effective when you relax and do it.