Techniques for a quick pick-me-up, extended relaxation and creating a private sanctuary.
To shore up your inner reserves, take a relaxation break. Concentrate on a reference point, such as your breathing. This technique works best when you’re alone (barricaded in the bathroom, if need be), but you can also try it when you have the illusion of seclusion – when you’re at your desk, for example. Concentrate on your breathing, without interfering with its natural rhythm. Notice what it feels like to breathe in and to breathe out. Tell yourself that tension and distracting thoughts are disappearing with each breath out.
If you have trouble calming your thoughts, try focusing on a mantra, which is simply a specific thought for focusing, such as “relax” or “I am at peace.” Think the words as you inhale and exhale.
For an extended break, let your imagination run wild. Play with images that make you feel relaxed or refreshed. Envision yourself floating on water, lying on warm sand at the beach or visiting a favorite outdoor place.
Go further: Create a private, mental sanctuary that you can retreat to at will. Imagine it exactly as you would like it to be, filled with features and items that make you feel calm, secure and confident. It can be a real place or one that exists only in your mind. Picture it in as much detail as you can. If you have trouble “seeing” it, just think about what it would be like. See yourself visiting this retreat, exploring it and feeling recharged.
You can bring your sanctuary into the real world by choosing a tangible symbol of it. If your sanctuary is a beach, get a shell, a rock or a photo of a seashore and keep it on your work station as a reminder. Every time you look at it, you’ll conjure up calming thoughts.
Next: Get Physical
© Kathy Biehl 2009. All Rights Reserved. Do not use, reproduce or electronically forward this article without the prior written permission of the author. Karma, ya know.