Stresslaxing: The new name for anxiety when you try to relax

Stresslaxing: The new name for anxiety when you try to relax
Stresslaxing: The new name for anxiety when you try to relax

In modern life, the act of relaxing can be paradoxically stressful. In a society where the mind is always active, even The moments designated for rest are filled with thoughts about pending tasks and responsibilities. This phenomenon is called “relaxation stress,” where anxiety persists even during attempts to relax.

Psychologist Sheena Sood tells Health Shots that this type of stress arises when you take time off to rest, but you can’t stop thinking about unfulfilled obligations. Instead of being a form of self-care, downtime becomes another source of anxiety.

Relaxing stress is based on the discomfort and anxiety you feel when trying to relax.Activities such as walking on the beach or resting with your eyes closed, which should be relaxing, can cause nervousness.

A Penn State Research study reveals that people with anxiety tend to resist relaxation and continue to worry during this time. In fact, relaxation techniques can be counterproductive and lead to anxiety and even fear in some people.

Social demands play a crucial role in this phenomenon. According to Sood, Relaxation is perceived as a luxury that can only be afforded after all obligations have been met. This mindset, combined with a culture of continuous productivity, makes it difficult for both mind and body to relax.

A study by the American Psychological Association suggests that constant effort is glorified, regardless of the outcome, contributing to many people’s inability to relax.

Exhaustion is another important factor. Many only allow themselves to relax when they are completely exhausted, physically or mentally.In these cases, it is not really about relaxing, but rather trying to recover from the wear and tear.

Feeling guilty about resting

Sood points out that this situation often leads to feelings of guilt for not having taken care of oneself before, creating a vicious cycle of stress and exhaustion. Trying to relax in these conditions can be detrimental, as the mind and body are too tired to benefit from restA study published in Nature Human Behaviour suggests that meditation and other relaxation techniques may increase stress in mentally exhausted people.

Insomnia is another consequence of relaxing stress. Doubting whether you deserve to relax or are just being lazy can significantly affect sleep.A study published by Scientific Reports examined the brain activity of people with insomnia and found increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for planning. This increased brain activity can make it difficult to rest, making nights longer and more stressful.

The perception of relaxation as a luxury rather than a necessity contributes to this problem. Sood comments that Rest is seen as something to be earned, rather than an essential component of well-being.

Many people do not consider relaxation as a form of self-care, but rather as an act of selfishness. Questions such as “How can a parent relax when they have to take care of their children?” or “How can an employee be good if they don’t work endless hours?” fuel these doubts and hinder the ability to relax.

There are multiple reasons why people can’t relax, including stress, depression, and anxiety. For some, relaxation has negative connotations. A study published in Computers in Human Behavior explores the fear of missing out (FOMO). This study reveals that people with FOMO are reluctant to relax and disconnect from social media, perpetuating a cycle of anxiety and overstimulation.

To break this cycle, it is crucial to change the perception of relaxation and understand it as a necessity, not a luxury.Learning to disconnect from obligations and enjoy the present moment can be the key to a more balanced and less stressful life.

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