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Relaxation: The Key to Joyful Living

By Michael Ketterhagen

Beach Vacation

Stress is the source of anxiety. Stress means that our basic needs are not being met. We are fighting for fulfillment of them or running away from the reality that is endangering them. When our needs are not met, our body produces the necessary chemical-like adrenaline and cortisol to alleviate the pain or give us the energy to do what is required to fulfill our need.

Our four basic needs are food, sleep, physical affection/sex, and self-preservation. When we do not meet these physical needs, the body consciously and unconsciously gets worried about its well-being. We start to feel anxious, first on a subtle level, then on a more physical level. Have you ever noticed that when you are hungry you have a tendency to get irritable? You tend to start getting anxious and your mind moves to figuring out where you can get a quick snack. This happens because your body wants and needs food, or some source of energy.

Have you noticed that shortly after you eat something, even if it is junk food, you feel much better? This short drama is a daily human event. Yet, this anxiety and stress is not remedied completely by a quick snack because the chemicals of stress are still in the body and must be removed. Sometimes even our solution to the need for food, such as caffeine, nicotine, or candy bar, creates more stress chemicals. These chemicals are deposited by our center of consciousness in the long muscles of the body and stay there until we exercise or relax.

When we gently exercise and relax, our body gathers up those chemicals and pushes them into the kidneys, bladder, the lungs and then out of the body through our breath, our sweat, and our urination. They no longer bother our body. We no longer feel anxious.

When we gently exercise and relax through yoga or t’ai chi, we discover this joyful way of life. I personally invite you to come and learn how to experience relaxation at the Center.



The Fond du Lac Center for Spirituality & Healing offers yoga, t’ai chi, Awareness through Movement, and meditation classes.

For more information or to register for a class, click here.

To see our Courses schedule, click here.

To see our Yoga calendar,

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