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Elaine Fairweather

Table of Contents 10th November 2008, Issue #007

This Month's Article - Handy Relaxation Tips for Busy People
Tip of the Month: I am the greatest!
What's New/Coming Soon

Handy Relaxation Tips for Busy People

In every age, stress has been a part of human life. In the present climate of global warming, energy sources running out and economic crises, we may have more to cope with than at any other time in history. Being able to relax and take time off from ongoing stress and worries in these times is more important than ever, but it can present a challenge.

The following tips offer a few simple ways to bring little oases of relaxation into your busy life. They can really help in times of increased stress and when you feel under pressure. A little time taken to relax and calm down means you will get more done in the end, and with less damage to yourself.

#1 The Magic of Mantra

Choose a word or phrase (only one, and keep to it). It can have meaning as in the words: ‘peace’ or ‘love’. or it can be a neutral word such as the word ‘one’. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Quiet your mind and relax your body. Then use the word like a mantra and say it in your mind each time you breathe out. Continue for 5 or 10 minutes.

As you repeat this exercise, using the same word each time, your unconscious mind begins to associate the feelings of relaxation with that particular word. Over time, the word gains the power to create the feelings of relaxation in you. The word becomes a resource to help you remain calm and relaxed during your everyday life.

#2 The Mmmagic of Mmmantra

A refinement of the above is to select a word that ends in either ‘m’ or ‘n’ such as: ‘calm’, ‘ocean’, ‘home’. Apparently, the ‘m’ or ‘n’ sounds occurring at the end of words, tend to synchronise our brain waves which results in greater relaxation. For the full effect you need to draw out the ending of the word eg. ‘calmmmmmmm’.

Perhaps science has just discovered what yogis have known for thousands of years – the power of the syllable ‘Om’ – which is known for its harmonising effect and used in yoga meditation.

#3 Counting and Breathing

This restful and calming breathing technique is best performed while you are sitting quietly and without distraction for a few minutes. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Count from 1 to 4 as you breathe in, and count 1 to 4 as you breathe out. Breathe gently, slowly, naturally and rhythmically. Don’t hold your breath in between and don’t breathe so slowly that you are short of breath. Fit the numbers to your breathing; not the other way around.

Once you are familiar with this exercise, it can be done when you are in company or at work (not when driving) without anyone being aware of what you are doing. I have used this breathing technique when I have been very stressed and it really is a great help in calming one down.

#4 Warmth and Heaviness

This next tip comes from Autogenic Training. You can use your mind to induce physical relaxation by focussing on feelings of warmth and heaviness. Before going to sleep think of your muscles becoming heavy, and they will relax. Think of your body growing warm as you lie in the sun, and it will relax. You may find you fall asleep more quickly and the quality of your sleep improves dramatically as a result.

#5 Body Breathing

Here is another breathing technique for you to try. As you breathe in, imagine that you are taking in the air through your fingertips. Think of it rising up through your arms and into your shoulders. As you breathe out, imagine expelling the air down the trunk of your body through the abdomen, legs and out through your toes. This encourages deep natural breathing and is exceedingly relaxing and pleasant.

By spending a little time following the tips above and putting energy into creating a peaceful environment within yourself, it becomes easier to relax and remain calm in testing conditions. It also helps you keep a clear mind and open to creative solutions to problems.

Now and again set half an hour aside for an extended session of progressive relaxation.

This Month's Tip

We can all take something from this anecdote about Muhammad Ali who is famous for saying “I am the greatest”. A colleague was tired of hearing this continual boast and thought he would catch Ali on the hop by asking him about his golf game. Ali replied “I’m the best”, and gave an affirmative nod. “I just haven’t played yet.”

We can smile, and we can wince at the idea of making such statements ourselves, but the truth remains that having that sort of unswerving confidence and self belief is part of a winning mindset. You don’t have to punch the air and shout it out publicly, but you can certainly feed self confidence by repeated strong affirmation of yourself and your gifts.

What's New

A new page has been added to the poetry section of the website. Even if poetry is not normally your thing, consider sampling some of the inspirational sort which can be a source of upliftment and encouragement along your path to greater self confidence.

If you haven’t visited this part of the website before, take a look at the poems on the the original poem page.

I hope you enjoyed this edition of Self Confidence Secrets. If you would like to make comments, offer ideas, suggestions or give feedback, I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think.

See you next month!


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