“Relax.” The word carries such a negative connotation in the world of sports. Too often relaxation is used synonymously with laziness. Perhaps it is because our perception of the word is all wrong. Relaxing has very little to do with being inactive. Essentially, it is being in a state of rest rather than unrest. In an increasingly active world where everyone is trying to outwork their competition, how is there room for this? It is all too easy as a young kid coming up to hear the speeches about taking no days off and “grinding” and think that there is no room for relaxation if you are to be successful. Nothing could be further for the truth. Relaxation is essential to success, though probably not the kind that most people think of. I am referring to the mental, not physical, state of relaxation. Our inability to relax stems from our fear; fear of letting go of that frantic and perpetual state of anxiety as we run around from one stressful event to the next. Funnily enough, if we were to simply adjust our perception of the same events and enter them in a relaxed state we would actually get more done and find that we have far more time available. The energy wasted from being overwhelmed could be redirected to the present moment (i.e. focusing on the task at hand, rather than the length of the to-do-list). So how do we relax? First, understand that our thoughts are physical. Our body will follow whatever directive we give it, hence the famous saying “I think, therefore I am.” Secondly, a distinction must be made between an event and the feeling of stress. The event itself is independent of the emotion that we attach to it. Although it easier said than done, how we perceive a circumstance is a CHOICE. So keep working hard, and relax while you do it!