July 17, 2012 § 4 Comments
We all have felt anxiety before. No matter how confident and relaxed you are, you know what it’s like to be nervous before an interview, trembling before a speech, or cold and clammy over the pending results of your graded quiz.
The point of this article is to provide you with eight different ways to release this tension. There are more powerful ways in which you can relax (as we will provide in our products) however this article provides eight ways you can use anywhere. Hardly anyone will actually notice that you are using them. You will not have to sit in a meditation position on the floor, or chant mantras to relax yourself… so no worries.
Also, notice the title of this article is not “…Calm Yourself Down”. We don’t calm down. We calm up.
Calming yourself involves not detaching yourself from your environment, but integrating yourself with it while you mentally move inward to obtain steadiness. You should not feel tired or detached. You should simply become “in the zone”: Alert, focused and relaxed.
This one’s great for if you are waiting to give a speech or if you are nervous in a group setting. Simply put your feet flat on the floor. Put your hands on the arms of your chair. If your chair doesn’t have arms, place them on the edges of the seat. Brace yourself. Now, take a deep breath, and push up with your arms and feet as you exhale. Lock your arms – let your torso hang from your locked arms for a moment while you finish exhaling… long and deep. Go limp, but remain locked in the up position. Now sit back down. You feel like a noodle, and everything is cool.
Breathing is absolutely crucial to calming yourself. I recommend you do some in-depth research on Eastern styles of breathing, and how to breathe powerfully with your diaphragm. Breathe in strongly and slowly through your nose as you expand your diaphragm. Your stomach should rise, not your chest. Now, blow it out strongly and steadily through your mouth. Repeat this a few times. You can feel the tension leaving your body.
This one may not seem like much, but it has serious subconscious value. When most people are relaxed (particularly us guys) we have a tendency to spread our legs slightly and take up more space. By consciously spreading your legs while sitting (or standing) you will take up more space, which is what we generally do when we are comfortable in a setting. Perform the action, and the feeling of comfort will follow.
Yes, slouching is bad for your posture. Slouching for years will curve your spine. Slouching for a few minutes will not. This is another habit most people demonstrate when they are relaxed and comfortable: They slouch. So, next time you feel antsy about a situation, allow yourself to lean back your head and slouch slightly in your chair. Once again, the feeling will follow the action.
Powerful people are often calm, relaxed and comfortable in their actions. When they sit around a table, they often do one of two things with their hands: Steepling, or the hands-behind-the-head. To steeple, put your elbows on the table, and steeple your hands in front of your face – like the bad guy does in the movie when he’s going “M’yesss…. Muwahaha…. I can see it all coming together so perfectly…” Think of yourself as the bad guy when you steeple your hands. You know you are going to win. You steeple your hands as you turn over your master plan inside your head. Everything is falling into place so perfectly. Muwhaha. For more of a “corporate” power / relaxation effect, lean back in your chair and put your hands behind your head, lacing your fingers together. This is how bosses sit when they are talking to people who work for them. It has profound effects in making you feel more powerful and relaxed.
This is an incredible psychological tool we will cover in more depth in our products. Your subconscious mind anchors certain actions / stimuli with certain feelings and responses. Psychological anchors and triggers are used everywhere. It is the reason behind many strong emotional connections. If you had a song played at your wedding, hearing the song played at a later date may make you cry. The emotional event was your wedding, and you heard a song during it (the anchor). Thus, the song became tied to the feelings you felt during your wedding. Uponhearing the song again (the trigger) you feel the same feelings again.
Another example is if you became very ill once from a certain drink, you may become sick simply from smelling the drink in the future. The emotional event was becoming very ill, and the anchor was the drink. Therefore, smelling the drink in the future could make you sick very quickly. Anchors are used everywhere, in positive and negative emotions. To use them to calm yourself, develop a specific anchor every time you are calm. My anchor is to place my hand palm-down on my thigh. Every time I am relaxed, I do this, to reinforce the anchor. Then when I need to be calm, I simply fire the trigger (palm on the thigh) and my mind recreates the emotion tied to that anchor – which is relaxation. Pick an anchor you don’t use that much, such as touching your ear, or putting your hand on your knee. Do it whenever you are relaxed, and when you need to become relaxed, doing it will help to put you in that mental state.
Kill Internal Dialogue
There are many ways to do this, but here’s one good technique: If you are talking yourself into a worrisome state, or worrying while talking to someone during a conversation, do this immediately. Defocus your eyes, and open your peripheral vision. Look at two areas ahead of you, to each side. Picture your conscious thoughts in those areas. Now, draw your gaze up from both points at 45 degreeangles until they meet in the high-center of your vision. Next bring the gaze straight down, so it is directly in front of you (a person’s face if you are talking to them). Now, picture your gaze coming straight back to your own head, as you return your consciousness to your own mind. Not only does it help increase focus, but the simple effort required to perform the exercise will often stop any distracting internal dialogue you are having at the time.
If you feel a general anxiety of your whole body, such as being self-conscious of your hands, feet, or body position, this exercise can work wonders. Close your eyes. Take a few deep, long breaths: in through your nose and out through your mouth. Place your tongue on your front pallet, directly above the backside of your upper teeth- this is effective in stimulating cross-lobe integration (and relaxation) in the brain. Picture a point far in front of you. Project your thoughts there in your mind. Continue breathing, and keep your thoughts there, until you are fully relaxed and have forgotten about clammy hands, sweaty feet, or mismatched socks. Once you are relaxed, slowly bring the point in front of you closer as you return to a fully aware state.
February 3, 2012 § 2 Comments
I admire people who live their lives with the conscious certainty of what they are doing is right for them. When they get sick, they recuperate quickly. When they’re employment disappears, they turn around with freelance work. When they loose something, they brush it off with a smile. In other words, they don’t get attached to things they can’t control.
Sadly, most people, specially the ones living in modern societies, have developed a form of addiction to the concepts of “must hold on to” and “must have”.
But sadly, many of us thread along life, holding on so dearly to stuff, people and feelings, ever so scared of being naked and perpetually feeding on poison. Why? Because that’s all we know and we can be so terrified of the unknown.
Consequently, we become under stress, continuously forcing our souls in a state of depravation. After all, own can feel satisfied if we always feel hunger?
Imagine a life long gruge for a certain person because he or she did something which hurt you in your past. In this particular case, we could say that this holding on to this negative feeling gives the “victim” (you) an illusion of power: “you’ve hurt me in the past and I’ll never forgive you for that… So there, take that!”. Meanwhile, the feeling will have eaten at the you… Slowly, but surely, the gruge will have fermented and will have managed to create all sorts of offshoots. If the “perpetrator” happened to be a blond girl for example, you could possibly have lived all your life with a constant distrust of women with the same appearance.
Another common example are cases where someone is living a relationship which is terribly toxic for them. They hold on again so dearly since that’s what they know. It’s part of their comfort zone. In the case of a marital bond, letting go would be to end the relationship in order for you and your former spouse to find suitable partners. Often, holding on will blind us. We get so tied up in that one thing we think we need to keep so badly that it prevents us from seeing the better option.
I very funny thing happened to me recently. I was in a small town in Thailand and had to catch a cross-Pacific flight in Bangkok. I had asked a friend of mine to drive me to the bus station in order for me to hope on a bus, get to Bangkok, take a cab and ultimately reach the airport. So I get to my friends house with a bit of spare time on my hands and proceeded to load his car with my luggage. When the time came to leave, my friend couldn’t find his keys! I waited in the car for 20 minutes as he frantically looked for them. As the clock kept ticking, I came to realize that this was just not going to happen. Instead of getting nervous, I remained calm and opted for a cab ride all the way to Bangkok airport. Now the really strange thing is that IF my friend would have found his keys, I would have missed my flight. The traffic that afternoon being really bad.
Ultimately, letting go is the neutral equivalent of one of the most positive words in the human language: TRUST. Trust yourself, trust the universe (or God if your wish), trust life. It liberates us from the anguish and the hate as well as creating the space within our soul in order to enjoy the moment and direct our energy towards the important aspects of our life. Trusting life allows us to bathe in the mystery of the universe and enjoy it’s infinite wisdom.