Create your own portable relaxation zone
How would you like to be able to change your mood or behaviour in seconds? To let go of anger, frustration and other negative feelings, and to feel relaxed quickly? By taking some time in advance to create a personal and portable relaxation zone in your mind, this could be much easier than you think!
True masters of the mind, use this simple yet powerful technique: They have set up a relaxing place inside their minds which they can quickly access to change their mood or behaviour; to get themselves back in the ‘zone’ or the ‘flow’. This quick access to a positive state is known in NLP as an anchor or resource anchor. You don’t need any music or special tool to create your own anchor – just a quiet spot to run through the setup process.
So, here’s how you can anchor your own relaxation zone. First find a bit of time to run through it for yourself or to get best results follow us in the longer audio version where we go through the process more in depth and you are highly likely to end up with a better outcome (and definitely a better outcome than if you were to only read the text!)
1) Choose a place/memory/location that is relaxing for you to think of
This can be a holiday memory, a relaxing place in your home, a place in nature or any other spot you find relaxing. If you don’t find it easy to come up with a specific place just make one up instead.
2) Step into the experience in your mind
Imagine being in this place. Completely immerse yourself in the memory or creation – see what it looks like as you are there, have the sounds return, even any smells of this place so that the feeling of relaxation returns more and more.
3) Repeat and make adjustments
Repeat this process of remembering your relaxing space a number of times. And as you do that, play with the details. What we mean by that is: adjust the brightness, volume, and other qualities of your relaxing space. Change one quality at a time and compare if the relaxation increases or decreases. Then start playing with the sound: turn up the volume; let the sound come from different directions, etc. Once you have the most powerful design of your relaxation space.
4) Connect it with a finger movement This step is optional but the core element of being able to easily access the intensity of the relaxation. You may have noticed some athletes make a movement or have a particular routine to access a particular state, such as focus or their peak performance.
You can lock in the relaxed state (for future use) just by pressing your thumb and little finger together. Here the timing is important: Only do this movement once your feeling of relaxation has reached the highest intensity, and you are right there in that space in your mind, press them together for a couple of seconds, and then release them. Repeat and connect with your relaxing thoughts at least five times with the finger movement.
Now you can start using this process the next time you are stressed in some way, and would like to be relaxed. You can either just think of you relaxing place or, if you have connected it with a finger movement, put these fingers together and experience how the relaxing feeling returns and: Voila! – your mood has changed!
And as always: Play around with it until it works best for you. The more you practise the quicker you can access your relaxation zone.
The exciting thing is that once you start to get the swing of setting anchors like the relaxation one you just did, you can start to think what other emotional states would also be helpful to have ‘on tap’ – you might want to be able to feel more calm when driving a car load of kids, more confident when speaking to a group, more sleepy when you get into bed at night. All of these states can be anchored (just make sure to choose a different movement for each one – otherwise they will get mixed up!)
To your lasting success and happiness,
Jan & Maree nWow! Counselling & Training