Posted by: Briar Rose | January 20, 2007

Opposites Balanced

Nothing Is At Last Sacred But The Integrity Of Your Own Mind
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Much of our life seems to be suspended between opposites. We grow up learning to label things as good or bad, hurtful or helpful, naughty or nice. People are kind or mean. The thermostat can be adjusted to avoid extremes of heat and cold. We look forward to the changing of seasons from summer to rainy days or winter. Time is divided by day and night.

Not only are these opposites helpful to us in defining or “bordering” our lives, but they can also help us release stress.

In my case, I am someone who is engaged in physical, muscle-intensive work all day and I choose a mental activity with which to relax and unwind such as, reading and writing. People who have idea-intensive jobs can enjoy relaxing with hobbies that make use of their hands such as, woodcarving or needlework. Those people who work in a well-ordered environment look forward to going home to weed in their gardens.

Structured tasks and routines are good relaxation for those involved in the creative arts. The musician runs home to the computer. The surgeon delights in growing orchids in a hothouse. The factory worker enjoys crossword puzzles. The executive unwinds in the kitchen, preparing gourmet meals.


So when you feel stressed out at day’s end, try engaging in an activity that is opposite in nature to the work you have been doing. If you have been using your mind, turn to an activity that is physical. If you have been exerting physical energy, turn to an activity that is mental.

This is what I do. Try it.
Happy Saturday! 🙂


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