Saturday, 28 February 2009

Still chillin' after all these years

Walking the dog in the forest early this morning I noticed something remarkable. Stillness.
The forest was 'still'. I was unable to see any movement or hear any 'forest' sounds. Even the sound and the sensation of the wind was absent. I could clearly feel one thing: how still it was. I considered that even after so many years the forest still chills. In my experience being still and being relaxed are two very different things. Both create their own distinct senses of well being. The difference between them is like understanding there is something like a holiday as you leaf through a vacation brochure and really noticing the space your holiday destination lays in whilst you're there.

Many years ago some friends and I drove to a picturesque sea side town and arrived at about 2am. We walked to the beach in the moonlight and the first thing we noticed was the quiet and the stillness. It was an all pervasive stillness. It was beautiful. We felt we responded automatically to this stillness around us by becoming still ourselves. It was like you move from being 'sat' in your head or body sensations to noticing more from a very comfortable 'stillness'. The experience was as if all things were touched by this because we are all still inside of us. We also recognised that if being still can be so quickly noticed then we can notice ourselves being still more often.

To experience being still now, remember a time where you found yourself becoming stiller.
This may have been the result of a place or person you were with or activity you were doing.
  • Notice your experience of stillness.
  • Where does stillness exist?
  • As you sit still, do you notice if stillness has a beginning or end?
  • Are you quickly still or is it a gradual process?
  • What do you notice as you sit still for longer periods?
  • Do you begin to close your eyes?
  • Is stillness stiller now?
Play with this. Discover if certain words or sensations or memories are a trigger for you quickly being still.
If you would like to associate words with being still then simply do so. Once you are still you can say words or phrases to yourself that accentuate stillness. In the future when you want to be still you can repeat the words or do whatever you did originally that worked so well.
Enjoy being still.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

How to prepare your place for relaxation

....and then make it a relaxing place.

This is a purposefully misleading title. It's not about preparing your home or personal living space for relaxation. It's really about 3 more important things:

1. Your Life
2. Your Mind and Imagination
3. Your Brain and Body

The 'bizarre' thing is some people don't think those 3 fundamental, innate attributes you have (and I hope enjoy) are important enough to want to creatively explore and enjoy more of them. Enjoying them in a way that is unique. Individual. Now, that is a different thing altogether because I'm not writing about you choosing a different haircut and holiday package from your friends. I'll ask you this one thing: When did you decide and create what's best for you, before you accepted what someone or some branded idea offered you?

I know it's a slightly provocative introduction but I want to get a message across that many people, myself included can remind ourselves to be more uniquely creative. At that same time caring for our own well being, so we can better care for that of others.

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for." Barack Obama

So, if you've already decided what's best for you and want to now accept what someone is offering you, please read on.

Relaxing and inspiring places and faces
The following points are given as a guide towards a place in yourself that is more naturally relaxed, as you design the world around you to compliment that experience repeatedly.

  • Pick places and moments in your daily life where you can practise relaxation.
  • Decide upon times in your future where you can benefit from relaxation and greater well being, to your advantage.
  • Write and expand and practically develop ideas that make you feel useful and creative.
  • Consider how you're life will change as a result of relaxing more.
  • Surround yourself with friends and locations that encourage well being and relaxation within you.
  • How will relaxation benefit you and you're family and friends?
  • Introduce yourself to people who appear relaxed and dare them and dare yourself to enjoy a conversation.
  • Do you vividly remember times in your past when you were most relaxed?
  • Go and discover music, books, poetry, films, art that may be relaxing for you.
  • What do you imagine relaxation will give you now that you do not have already?
  • Do you believe you can deeply relax?
All of the above will stimulate some sort of relaxing response either during or after the event or at both these times. Maybe you will be experiencing states of relaxation quite spontaneously!
I believe the above handy hints and tips provoke some enjoyable and relaxing changes in life. They're normally very easy to do.
It's basically a long way of saying "think well for yourself, think well about yourself".
Make yourself a more relaxing place.

I want to mention a blog that I read. It's useful and very popular. It covers areas like organisation, simplicity, acheiving goals and its called Zen Habits. There's no indication buddhist monks are involved.

Thanks for reading

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Banish negative thoughts associated with small illness and boost your well being

How to persuade yourself that having a cold or stomach bug is an opportunity to feel good.

I was struck with a cold yesterday. A brutal man sized cold. Head spinning, lethargy inducing, gut-wrenching man cold. The sort I would call a flu except certain tough and perceptive women remind me that the flu is usually much more debilitating.

I admitted to walking the dog and sweeping the yard clear of snow in the morning. Just those two activities tired me out and I regard myself as a fit and healthy individual. Anyway, the point of this post is that I began telling myself I was ill and shuffling around like a 112 year old. Not a good choice of action when you want to recover quickly and enjoy the weekend. I realised that we can lose a little flexibility in our beliefs about ourselves and inadvertently promote feelings or environments that are not to our benefit. Unless of course you do want to chill out in bed, snoozing and watching DVDs on a laptop. Anyway, I didn't feel like I was progressing to better health. I was allowing other things to consume my attention and they were restful but not recuperative.

When you're ill you know it because your brain and body tells you so by producing sensations not normally associated with feeling fit and healthy. I see no sensible reason to compound it by repeatedly telling yourself you're sick and exaggerating a problem instead of positively creating a new scenario to help yourself recover. Unless you want to convince the boss you should have the day off work.

It's your health and it's your choice

The words ill and sick lose their usefulness when they are no longer required for their descriptive purposes. When it is obvious you are 'ill' or 'unwell', use the word 'unwell'. It has a more positive connotation than 'sick' or 'ill'. It suggests a prior time when you were 'well' and therefore the possibility of being 'well' again. It's a good place to start your recovery, as it's something you can use with conventional medicine that only has positive side-effects.

I had to be vigilant whenever someone asked me "how are you?" "are you still feeling ill?" "Ooh you look rough!" (as opposed to "you look like a nice bit of rough"). Otherwise I found myself descending into the ill-feelings their questions were provoking in me. In contrast, when someone asked "are you getting better?" or "how much better are you feeling?" I found the feelings I had were less 'ill'. This made me curious and I explored how I could help myself recover or at least feel much better right now. I found the following helped enormously.

You can do this now
  • When I noticed that I was picturing myself being 'ill' I would make that picture smaller. Then drain all colour from it and whiten it completely. The last thing I would do is move it far, far away into the distance until it automatically disappears.
  • When I heard myself repeating in a sickly voice: " I feel rough" "This is bad" I would make the voices ridiculous so it was difficult to take them seriously. Then I would reduce the volume until they were barely audible then move them far, far away into the distance until they disappear. You may prefer to reduce the volume until the sound disappears. Remember to use whatever feels best for you.
When you've happily removed the unnecessary negative stuff you can begin to add more positivity to your experience of being unwell or ill. It's very achievable too.
  • Remember a time when you were healthy and happy. Clearly see yourself moving around doing the things you do when you are healthy. Exaggerate the activity. See yourself with amazing, limitless energy.
  • Find some words or phrases that represent health and well being to you. For example, " I feel great" "I'm fantastic and wonderful". In an energetic, powerful voice say them to yourself. Make it a surround sound experience if the effect is better.
I recommend you experiment with the two suggestions and find what works best. Tell yourself to remember and practice this the next time you are 'ill' or 'unwell'.

As a final point I will add that relaxation is often a cool place from which to think well and feel better. Click on Relaxation to explore clear step-by-step suggestions for you to deeply relax.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Casting thoughts upon our human technology and well being

Too much thinking at night, she said
I got an email from a friend in England today. In it she tells me she is currently on a doctor's prescription for 'my head' and 'my stomach'. I wondered why, because when I lived there I wasn't aware of her taking anything. She replied and told me she was having difficulty sleeping. She thinks too much at night and this combined with her three jobs, as a mother, an accountant and a wife is possibly contributing to her stomach upsets. I'm sure this scenario is nothing unusual today.

Baby Steps to Well Being
What I did find unusual was that she had not searched for ways to help herself beyond advice from her doctor. I am aware that some doctors do suggest CBT Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation, which is a very good thing. It's 'baby steps' in the right direction. Upon reflection (and a little research into the accessibility of prescribed drugs to reduce symptoms) I suspect there's a huge number of people without resources to practical self help information.

We have a huge amount of self help resources for well being available to us. Just take a look at your local bookstore or the internet. There appears little effort in my opinion to market it as being practically useful (as opposed to an intellectual resource) on a daily basis. I believe we have to begin educating people in the schools. Give children the opportunity to know they can enjoy a remarkably creative resource between their ears. Teach proficiency in it's use for well being, as often as children are taught maths and science. 'The Self' is the most important subject they have.

Thinking with our own natural technology for well being
I hope that very soon people start to realise that they were born with a fantastic technology in their brain and body. Many of us are fortunate enough to use it well during our lifetimes but how many of us know how to use it creatively for our well being. The mind is a potentially marvellous resource for many experiences in the brain and body. Sometimes you have to grab the reins of a runaway horse and guide it into the best direction you prefer to travel in. It's simply an important matter to use it in a way that promotes healthy and happier experiences. It's either this or do what you've always done. Of course, if that's what works well for you, then I congratulate you and ask that you share with us the things you do so well.
Thanks for reading.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Not even, but almost the top 10 Self Help Books

I decided to find which books I could rate the 'best' for offering results oriented information and practical exercises which are easy-to-read. I could then 'test' them myself in the shortest time.
My criteria covered the spectrum of self help, mind and body and self improvement books and believe me it's a very broad spectrum indeed.

I've kept them un-numbered because in my opinion they're all useful books. I've no idea what's going to be most useful to you. They are all, except one, available online at the popular stores. These are the titles of what I found.

Master your Memory Tony Buzan
Want to remember facts, figures, shopping lists, information for exams, your partner's name? Then this book is probably for you. I'm using it to remember new words in a foreign language.

Guide to Trance-formation Richard Bandler
From the man who co-founded NLP - Neuro Linguistic Programming in the '70s and continues to teach it to this day with Paul McKenna. It's a book of his entertaining opinions and stories leading into exercises to 'take charge of your brain' and feel good. Very good.

The Secret Rhonda Byrne
You've probably heard of this already. It's popular, inspiring and well crafted. It claims to offer advice to help you achieve health, wealth and happiness. I haven't won 'big' on the lottery yet. Available in audio.

Change Your Life in Seven Days Paul McKenna
The guy's on top of his game. He's had success with television shows, books and cds, seminars and so I naturally assume he knows what he's writing about. Clearly written with great exercises. Has CD accompanying the book.

Never Gymless Ross Enamait
A book for those of you who don't like gyms or the idea of entering one. This is dedicated to home-based workouts. It's rich with body weight exercises for strength, endurance, and speed. You may lose weight too. If you want to curl dumbbells for hours a week in your bedroom, avoid this book. If you want to get fit and feel healthier, grab it now. You'll need to go to his website to purchase. Just google him.

How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci Michael J. Gelb
It's a surprisingly inspiring and motivating book. Good presentation with the usual assumptions and inferences about how an historical figure lived his life. Importantly, it may encourage you to think differently for more satisfying results. Available in audio.

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success Deepak Chopra
This small book has been around for years but it's a definite 'feel good' manual for your imagination and way of living. Available in audio.

Psycho-cybernetics Maxwell Maltz
This book has been around for even longer than the previous one. One of the first books that focused upon creating images and movies in your imagination, to help you clearly see and program what you want before you go out and get it. Available in audio.

Tapping the Healer Within - Roger Callahan
An informative, practical book with clear exercises from the founder of TFT - Thought Field Therapy. It primarily uses tapping points on the body to help reduce and remove anxiety, stress and phobias amongst issues.

I don't have a number 1 book. I've found all of them useful at some time, in some way. One other reason they're listed here is because I still consider them useful and enjoyable to read. Maybe this list will help you decide on a book for yourself or a friend from amongst the many pop psychology and self improvement titles.

Now that you've read the list, you may have a warm, curious desire to explore some 'self help' techniques. Then I highly recommend you click on the links below.
Feel Good

I hope you find the exercises in the links beneficial. I also hope you find the list of books interesting too.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Every Breath You Take.....Relax and Revitalise

A healthy mind has an easy breath. - Author Unknown

Dynamic Breathing
Breathing has been a powerful, integral practice of many systems of self development from the present to the distant past. It's been claimed to aid everything from concentration to out-of-body experiences to relaxation, revitalisation and weight loss.
I certainly feel revitalised and relaxed after practising the breathing technique described below and I find my concentration improves too. I also believe my stamina during exercise has improved. Many people will find that persuasive enough to begin practising. The focus of this post is upon relaxation and well being.

This breathing exercise I'm going to describe is what I call a 'dynamic' one. I was taught it 11 years ago and it's still great for encouraging relaxation, revitalisation and concentration.

Begin this for short durations only. Up to 5 minutes is good. You can build up to 20 minutes or more if you wish. It is your responsibility to care for yourself. If at anytime you feel less than relaxed or happy when practising this style of breathing then please stop immediately. Get up and do something else. When you wish to return to this breathing then do so. I normally breathe in this style for 15 - 20 minutes a day.

Dynamic Breathing in 3 parts

1. Inhalation
2. Hold
3. Exhalation

For each part you will count to 4. Each 4 count will be of the same duration. For example:
1. As you're inhaling, count to 4.
2. During the hold count to 4.
3. While you're exhaling count to 4.

Keep all counts to 4, of the same duration.
Use your most comfortable duration for the 4 count.
Keep it relaxed and as comfortable as possible. Leave any stress and strain for weightlifting.
Practise this at a time of day when you will be alone or left at peace.

  • Make yourself comfortable in the best way you know.
  • Settle onto a straight backed chair or seat. Your torso will be upright, straight and relaxed. Your head will be normally balanced. Both your feet will be flat upon the floor.
  • Decide whether you want to either breathe through the nose, or inhale through your nose and exhale via the mouth.
  • When you are seated and relaxed begin inhaling. You will be breathing from your stomach. Remain relaxed as you breathe as this will give you a more enjoyable and I believe, a more beneficial experience.
  • When you're breathing in your stomach will expand, your neck, shoulders, back and legs are relaxed.
  • When you're holding the breath your body is to be relaxed.
  • As you're breathing out, your stomach returns to its 'normal size' or contracts whilst your body is relaxed.
You have completed one cycle. Remember to count to 4, for the same duration, for each part and relax and enjoy.

As you breathe through this cycle remain focused on the counting. If you lose count, stop, stay nice and relaxed and resume breathing from the inhalation again.

I hope you find this as beneficial and revitalising as I do. Keep on reading and look out for the next in my new series of posts on Meditation.

For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth. - attributed to a Sanskrit Proverb

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Give yourself a Body Tapping, Eye Rolling, Affirmative Way towards Well Being

I was reminded yesterday of a technique called EFT or TFT, that claims to have been proven effective for reducing and removing phobias, emotional distress, stress and even addictions. You'll probably agree with me that this is quite a roll call of achievements. I'd like you to decide whether it will be useful, so I'll describe more of it here.

The original founder of the technique of TFT is Roger Callahan. His book 'Tapping the Healer Within' describes this health technique in easy to follow, step by step processes. His first success with this tool was with a woman who had severe water phobia. TFT has lately been popularised as EFT by Gary Craig, which he states is a needle free version of acupuncture. Both claim you can learn and apply this tool immediately and I agree with them. What prompted me to explore this several years ago, was the statement that thousands of people worldwide have used TFT to conquer fears, remove compulsions, reduce anger and anxiety and overcome grief from 'broken' relationships amongst other things.

Being sceptical of the many 'therapies' or 'treatments' being advertised, I was attracted to the idea that I could put it into practice almost immediately and I could also research the scientific results claimed in the book. More importantly, I quickly put TFT to the test and found it worked for me. It also worked for other people I showed it to. Oh yeah, I will add there are no known side effects and no known risks. So if you like adrenaline rushing, edge of the pilot seat experiences this may not be for you. If you prefer potentially fast acting tools for your well being, read on.

An overview of TFT to arouse your curiosity
Roger Callahan has written that TFT (Thought Field Therapy) represents an revolutionary advance in the way psychological disturbances or negative emotions are managed, removed and replaced. Furthermore, he claims his discoveries have received strong scientific support through the technology called HRV (heart rate variability).
As I understand it, HRV is the beat-to-beat alterations in heart rate and is sensitive and responsive to acute stress. I've read that HRV is used medically for its ability to predict survival after a heart attack. The higher the HRV the greater the prospect of survival. Allegedly, some studies have shown a link between negative emotions, such as anxiety and hostility and reduced HRV. Obviously, TFT claims to dramatically improve HRV and theses changes can take place in minutes. In my opinion, something claimed as this effective is worthy of further exploration, especially as much is freely or cheaply available.
See below for links to sites offering more information.

How do I use TFT, EFT.
1. You think about a personal concern that is troubling you.
2. You quantify the emotion on a scale of 1 - 10.
3. You tap on specific points on your body in a sequence. This includes points on your face, torso and hands.
4. Later, whilst tapping on your body, in this case normally your hand, you also move your eyes in specific directions.
5. You rate the level of change you experience - ideally has the concern reduced or been removed.
6. Your focus is to naturally remove or dramatically reduce the emotional upset so you can quickly improve your well being.

The Free Basics of EFT
The basics for you to begin EFT are available for free on Gary Craig's website, and here is the link:

Roger Callahans TFT website:

I highly recommend you visit PluginID. It's a blog by Glen, about practically tapping into your 'core self' and plugging into your own identity. I recently subscribed and found my reminder of EFT with an excellent strategy for its use. It also has a link to EmoFree.
Here's the link to Glen's PluginID blog:

Wishing you success. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Develop Your Voice for Deeper Relaxation

You may be thinking "What sort of post title is this?" Let me tell you.

I guess, we have a new thought or an old one, strolling across the landscape of our minds every second. I think we need to decide what thoughts can stroll on and, which ones we save for later and, which we send off in another direction.

Let me show you how to easily create the best thoughts, for the best type of feelings. This is a tool you can use in many different environments. It's a useful tool, so I recommed becoming familiar with it. A good way to quickly accomplish this is by doing the following.

In this example I'll focus upon Relaxation. 'Joy' I hear you yell. Well, 'Joy' will be another state you will be able to create after reading this.

Discover Your Special Words
  • Here and now, find a number of words that are most relaxing to you. In other words, begin saying to yourself (internally) words and phrases that make you feel relaxed. Go on, you know its ok to talk to yourself.
  • Sit down and write the words which you feel will relax you most.
  • Enjoy some time developing the phrases or the one, two, three or more words that your body immediately enjoys relaxing to. It's important that you find and repeat words that automatically create good feelings of relaxation.
  • Then repeat them to yourself. Do this internally because I want you to explore more of your internal voice and the fantastic sounds and effects it can begin producing.

I'll give some examples of words and phrases here:

I'm Relaxing
I'm Relaxed
I'm Relaxing More
Every part of me is Relaxing Deeply
I'm Much More Relaxed Now

Of course, you can naturally choose whichever words suit you best.

A slight diversion but it can be to your benefit.
When you have your most relaxing words, then begin playing with the following suggestion.
To get the most benefits from this you'll really have to let yourself create a range of voice types in your imagination. I apologise to those of you who enjoy this range already. I had to create them using something like this.
  • Remember the voices of as many individual singers as you can. Notice everything you can about their voices. Run through the different sounds from each voice and notice any textures, tones, pitches, speeds and feelings.
  • As you recall the different voices, you can notice they produce different feelings in your body. Maybe these feelings will be in different places, maybe the same. Sometimes you'll hear one singer's voice in a different location in your 'memory' compared to the voice of another singer.
  • Notice and remember the voices with the most powerful effect upon you.

How to design your own beaultiful, relaxing voice for a change
  • Say your chosen relaxing words using your own voice in the most soothing, comforting way. 'Soothing' so the sensation you feel is like 'mmmmmm'.
  • Now say them in the sexiest voice you have. Your voice pours with so much sensual passion you can even smell it's fragrance.
  • Now say them in a voice that wraps luxury around every syllable.
  • Hear your favourite film star's voice. Does she or he speak with a voice that is sensous, relaxing and is easy to play within you?
  • Which was the most relaxing for you? Choose this and repeat it.
  • Slow it down or speed it up if it makes you more relaxed.
  • Make the voice 'deeper' or 'higher' to explore how this may produce deeper relaxation.
  • Notice the direction of your voice. When you change it's direction what do you notice?
  • If you make it a stereo sound or a surround sound what do you notice?
  • If you like, invent your own 'worlds most spohisticated sound machine' in your mind. More of that in a future post.
When you have the most relaxing words, combined with the most sensually relaxing voice spoken at a soothing speed, then please repeat this to your heart's content. Afterwards please send me a comment upon how relaxing this is.

I'm strongly hinting at you enjoying this and being imaginative here. For some readers you may be breaking new ground. Good! I certainly was when I first used this. My discovery was fantastic in helping me relax deeply and I still use this regularly.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

A Voice for Good Feelings

"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it." Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet.

In today's post I'll tell you a sound way for switching from bad feelings to those bubbling, soothing good ones. This will develop in the next post, so keep reading.

Various peoples' voices have been described as 'diamonds dipped in caramel', 'the velvet fog' and 'a thousand tingling bells.'

I heard someone on the radio say that where ever a thought goes, a chemical goes too. This had me thinking more about what I say to myself (inner dialogue) and the way I say it. What I say creates feelings in my body that are simplistically put, pleasant or not. I know this because I'm hearing and feeling the experience everyday.

Using your Voice for a Change
To clarify this you can do a simple exercise. Only progress so far with this, as you feel comfortable in doing. If at any point it's less than good for you, get up, do something else. You can always return to it again.
  • Remember a time when someone said something to you that made you feel 'bad'. I wont bother giving any examples, as you can probably find some from your schooldays or other institutional gatherings.
  • Now as you remember that time concentrate on the sound of the voice.
  • Notice what happens when you hear this voice. What feelings are you experiencing?
  • What does it sound like? How loud is it? What speed is it spoken? What direction is it moving in?
  • Change the voice to a different one - a voice that immediately sounds ridiculous. For example, it can be slobbering and incoherent or a voice from a ridiculous cartoon character - and there's plenty to choose from.
  • Now reduce the speed of the voice and decrease the volume so its barely a whisper.
  • Now move the voice far away from you, in the direction you feel is best. Move it as far as you want, so it is difficult if not impossible to hear. Maybe it's disappeared.
  • What improvements are you noticing in your feelings?
Read on to Create Even More....
  • Remember something a person said to you that made you feel good or wonderful. Alternatively, say something to yourself that has the same positive response.
  • What does it sounds like? How loud is it? What speed is it spoken? What direction is it moving in?
  • When you hear this voice what happens? What feelings are you experiencing?
  • Play with the volume of this voice. Increase or decrease it, to spread those good feelings.
  • Change the direction of the voice if it helps you experience good feelings more intensely.
  • If it's really good, imagine what you can feel wrapped inside the voice.
  • Repeat the word or phrase and remember, how good it feels to speak to yourself in this kind of voice.
Read my next post, to hear even more imaginative ways to use your voice for relaxing experiences.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Self Dialogue - Video Links

Today, I've chosen three video links for your entertainment.
The first two illustrate a growing belief and knowledge, that what we say to ourselves can have dramatic effects on the way we feel and think. The emphasis here is on precisely exploring self talk to make you feel good and to build other 'states' that will be useful in your daily life. I'll also post at a future date on my experiences of this and offer suggestions for you.
The third link is to a website with a growing selection of videos upon many topics of self help, health, well being and even 'mysteries' and 'conspiracy theories'.

1. The first video is of Marshall Rosenberg. He describes, 'how modern medicine can sometimes misdiagnose depression as a chemical imbalance, and explains how such diagnoses seldom look at the internal dialogues we all have that can lead to our feeling depressed.'
This is the link to the video at

2. The second video is from a clip on youtube, taken from a Tranceforming NLP seminar given by Nick Kemp, using NLP to demonstrate how to access instant confidence.
Check out his website at

3. The third and final link is to the Conscious Media Network. Most videos are free and there is a growing selection. Their mission: 'To educate the global community with crucial information that will develop empowered and responsible individuals.'

I hope these prove both entertaining and informative. When you've watched one or all, let me know how provoking or useful they are.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for viewing.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

A Space to Fit Your Needs

I was chatting today with a friend from a language course I attend. I told her about an exercise I used, which helped create in me a sense of peace and comfort when travelling on crowded trains to and from work. It went something like this.

The Shape of Things to Come
  • I would imagine a cocoon or circle around me.
  • I would give it a colour that immediately gave me a sense of either peace and comfort or security and warmth, or even a colour that made me feel more energetic. I would imagine any colour which produced in me feelings I needed at that moment.
  • Then I would notice it's thickness and decide to increase or decrease it, only if necessary. I would again notice how tangible it was and decide whether I felt happy with this or if I wanted to alter it again.
  • It would have clear definition, encircling my whole body and feel absolutely natural and complimentary.

The Ipod of your Imagination
  • From this space I would include any sounds that would enhance the feelings I wanted. So if I wanted to feel calm and alert I may imagine a soft humming noise that would literally be softening.
  • Importantly for me at that time, was the discovery that I could ask myself what noise I needed for the desired effect. I used my imagination like an ipod set to random on your most favourite pieces of music.
  • However I decided it needed to be more specific than that. So I imagined that when I asked, my imagined ipod would automatically play the most desired and appropriate music. It still works like a treat simply because I want it to.
  • Since I had created this music centre, I could also adjust the volume, tone, bass to suit my needs. Often I was very happy with the first choice.
  • Finally, I decided how comforted I wanted to be and who and what I would let into my 'space/awareness.' Remember I was on a train, and didn't want to be so self absorbed that I missed my stop or ignored a friend boarding the same train.
  • This great tool would remain for whatever time period I wanted it to. As a result of having created it once, I can more easily recreate it and embellish it with all sorts of cool design features and 'widgets'.

I hope this will be useful to those of you who look for varied ways to relax and compliment your day. Give it a go and tell me what you think.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Into Your Future with the Easy 7

Continuing from yesterdays post 'The Easy 7 to Relaxation' I want to offer some ideas upon how to make relaxation easier to experience and thereby be more of a normal state for you.

This will rely upon you practising yesterdays post and making relaxation a 'real' experience.
I believe once you relax well you always remember just how good it feels. Otherwise so many people would not be asking how to relax more deeply, more frequently. Some people just forget the simple techniques for relaxing and remember the actual relaxation. That's a good thing because, its like having a car ready-to-go and temporarily forgetting where the ignition is, where the accelerator and brakes are and where the mirrors are located. You know how easily you'll find them.

The imagination is a wonderful thing for relaxation and today's post will build your relationship with it. When you recall points 6 & 7 from The Easy 7 to Relaxation, you'll see they involve you imagining an increasingly relaxing future for yourself.

  • Remember those great feelings of relaxation from The Easy 7 to Relaxation.
  • Simply, find the place or time in your future where you will most like to be relaxed.
  • Notice where that is. Notice where the image is. For example, is the image of this time directly in front of you or behind, or to the right, to the left, up or down.
  • What do you see yourself doing in this image? What are the colours in it? What are the sounds? Is it moving or still? Noticing these things, helps you connect more strongly with a future you.
  • See and feel yourself being relaxed in that image of a future time and place. Savour this image. See yourself moving around, being very relaxed, very confident (and the two are usually related in my experience).
  • See events occurring in the way you will like them. See yourself reacting to events in a way that makes you feel better and more relaxed.
  • Imagine the rewards you will receive, however big or small, once you are really performing the activity.
  • When you are happy with what you have created, begin adjusting the image (only if this feels comfortable to do so).
  • You can make it larger, brighter, more colourful, louder or quieter if you prefer. You may prefer to keep the 'original settings.' Play and explore.
  • When you're very relaxed and I hope very pleased with your new creation of a future you, remember it, repeat it and change it if necessary.

Now you've found one future time and recreated to suit your well-being, you can explore lots of others. Remember to build in preferred feelings of being wonderful, relaxed and confident.
Encourage your imagination to be your best friend. Sometimes a little wild and crazy, sometimes highly creative, sometimes nurturing and adoring. The cool thing is, it's your private world and no one else has to know what you're doing in it.

Wishing you the very best success with this.

A gentleman by the name of Tad James introduced the art of Time Line Therapy to a wide audience and this post used a very small part of that tool. I also used some experiences I have of practising Psycho-Cybernetics created by Maxwell Maltz.

Monday, 2 February 2009

The Easy 7 to Relaxation

Years ago, finding ways to deeply relax could be a time consuming effort. You would search papers, buy magazines and visit the local library or sports centre. Now we have the speed and multi media celebration of all things diverse and colourful that is the internet and blogging.

I share this post so you can apply the following techniques quickly and easily. I find they are designed to help enter a state of relaxation quickly and easily.

  1. Remember a time you felt most relaxed.
  2. Remember that time in clear detail. Close your eyes and vividly savour every relaxing detail.
  3. If you haven't already, move into that moment, being in the experience as if it's happening now.
  4. Notice everything that makes you feel more relaxed. Make the feelings deeper throughout your body. See what you see, hear what you hear to encourage those relaxing sensations.
  5. Focus on the wonderful sensations in your body. Feel what area is most relaxed, what direction relaxation moves in and send it through your whole body.
  6. Think about your future as you enjoy this relaxation and imagine yourself over the days, weeks and months.
  7. Clearly see yourself with this relaxation, living your life in specific situations at home, travelling, at work and wherever and whenever suits you best.
This technique is to be practised until you feel the pleasures of relaxation you want. It can then be repeated more easily when you desire those pleasures again.

This is my adaptation of a relaxation technique taught to me many years ago on an nlp course. I understand it was designed by the co-founder of nlp, Richard Bandler.

Thanks for reading. Send a comment to share or to let me know what you think.
Share this post with your friends and colleagues when you think it will benefit them.

About The Relaxing Zone

Welcome to The Relaxing Zone - a blog that helps people add relaxation, meditation and well being to their lives.

Bringing Relaxation and Well Being into Life

My name is Jens Upton and I've been meditating for over 15 years and I enjoy exploring various change technologies, self help or so-called self improvement practices. I have attended excellent NLP trainings and also practice methods from Psycho-Cybernetics, the Silva Method and various meditation practises. They are as much hobbies as lifestyle choices and I consider them fun and very useful. I'd like to offer you what I discover in a clear, step by step practical way.
I began blogging in 2009.

In 1993 I was desperate to find a way to deeply relax. I was also curious to know what is 'spirituality' that people speak of, but were unable to give me a satisfying answer to. After only a short time, I found someone to teach me a style of meditation that just 'clicked'. I continue to meditate to this day. It's simply wonderful!

Just in case you thought 'I bet he lives on a mountain retreat and uses the local village cafe for blogging', I'll admit to living in a town, near a big city, enjoying making a living with the bright lights, loud music and the fun of meeting people.

Why The Relaxing Zone?

This site is designed for helping people learn the skills for relaxing deeply, feeling good and meditating. It's a broad area and it will cover many themes. I read somewhere that 'the secret of love is in seeking variety' and it describes something of my attitude to this blog. I'll appreciate your comments on my articles. I also ask you to share your experiences and knowledge and promote this potential for people to discover even more well being.

Thanks for reading.

Please stay updated with The Relaxing Zone and subscribe via RSS or via Email with the links upper right on this page.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Videos on my blog

I've added a Relaxation and Meditation video bar at the bottom of The Relaxing Zone blog front page.
This shows both google and youtube video images and clips of various people talking about, you've got it, meditation and relaxation.
You can click on an image and it will open up into a small player and begin the selected video. The blog page will remain in the background. You can also right click on the blue text beneath the small player and this opens the video in a new tab at its source page (either youtube or

I put them on my blog when I remembered that people find motivating and useful information from different sources. It is the online, wireless, multi-media culture we have here. So together, let's enjoy using it for our own benefit and for that of others.

My Opinion of the Videos
I've looked at many of the videos presented on the bar. I've also downloaded some onto my ipod
so I can listen to them whilst walking my dog.The features I look for in video, audio or written presentations (relating to relaxation, meditation and self help) are the following:

  • Are the goals or directions of the presentation given clearly.
  • Does it provide you with practical ways to attain goals for yourself.
  • Is this information provided clearly and simply so you can quickly act upon it.

The videos at the bottom of my front page have been uploaded to google/youtube from various sources. Some are talks given at Google Tech. Others are individual presentations or organisational presentations of which I have no affiliation and no known association with. I simply believe that some of the information may be useful to you. Generally, the videos contain nuggets of motivating and practical information that I imagine you can put to good use. Notice, that I wrote 'nuggets'.

I hope you enjoy the videos and as always, please comment.
Stay reading, stay relaxing.
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