People often say they could do with a vacation and fantasize about a beautiful desert island with white beaches and blue seas. Actual seaside holidays rarely match up to this vision, of course. How can you really relax when you are surrounded by screeching kids and thousands of sunburned tourists? And real desert island holidays are quite out of reach for most of us.
So you put the dream aside and get on with real life. There's a crust to earn, a family to feed, a mortgage to pay… relaxing on beaches is not for me. That's what you tell yourself, gritting your teeth.
You could be short-changing yourself.
Why relaxation is so important for health and happiness
Philosopher William James famously said "Every man who possibly can should force himself to a holiday of a full month in a year, whether he feels like taking it or not."
A month of holiday may seem hopelessly unrealistic, but in principle James is right. If we don't take time out for rest and relaxation, we become ill. Mentally and physically. Sometimes to the point of total incapacitation.
What if you can't take a holiday right now?
However, back in the real world, taking a month long vacation is difficult, if not impossible, for most people.
But if you can't take a vacation, or your vacation is just as stressful as daily life, then don't give up on ever getting any deep relaxation in your life.
Because there is a way to give yourself some of the major benefits of a 'live' holiday. It's completely possible to enjoy the wonderful sensation of freedom from worry that a great holiday gives you.
And you can start to enjoy this holiday without moving an inch. Well, maybe a couple of inches - enough to reach a comfy armchair, let's say.