In our culture of busyness snobbery, where claiming to be SO busy is held up like an emblem for admiration, many have forgotten how to relax, both physically and about life.

While there are many activities that will help you relax physically, including progressive relaxation techniques, exercises, and deprivations chambers, I want to address some other choices that will make life easier and more relaxing.

Get more sleep

The easiest way to get more sleep is to go to bed earlier. First, you have to change some of your evening habits. Cut out the caffeine and evening snacks. Turn off the television.

(Do you really need to watch or listen to the news several times a day?) Turn off your computer, iPhone, and other devices and choose instead to read a book, play with your children, or take a relaxing bath.

Do important things first

We all have to-do lists that look like grocery store receipts—too long and too detailed. Instead of trying to fit everything in, pick only the most important and do only those tasks. Anything left at the end of the day goes on tomorrow’s list, or just cross it off and forget it. If it’s not important, why do it anyway?

Stop worrying

To have peace of mind one of the most important choices you can make is to stop worrying. Stop caring what everyone else might think. Stop rehearsing everything that can go wrong.

Stop wondering if you’ve done enough, or too much, are enough, said the right thing, or will be judged. When those thoughts intrude, refuse to entertain them. And stop comparing your life to Kim Kardashian's.

Let yourself off the hook

Fretting about the past is a dead-end street. You can’t change it or re-do it.

Forgiving ourselves is often difficult because we believe that someone has to suffer when things go wrong. Too often the person you choose to punish is you. If you’ve done everything you can to rectify a situation, it’s time to forgive yourself.

Do more of what makes you happy

Have you forgotten what you love most?

Engaging in something you love, particularly if it requires all your attention, can be relaxing, almost like meditation. Whether your passion is playing a sport, reading a book, or working on a hobby, it will do your heart, mind, and health good to do more of it. Take time to cook and enjoy a good meal with friends.

Life is meant to be enjoyed and it will pass whether you’re having a great time or spending it in emotional turmoil. Fortunately, the choice is yours, so relax already.

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