Instant relaxation – read on
The momentum continues to build towards Relax in a minute, which is out on April 7th. It's all very exciting, a number of national newspapers and publications are featuring it over the next few weeks. But the first chance to take a look is right here.
In my last blog I started telling you about my relaxation technique, 'The Spot'. As promised, here it is in full. Just like all the other techniques in the book, it only takes a minute.
The idea for ‘The Spot’ came from watching a world-famous sportsman who won the biggest tournament in his sport. Throughout the four days of competition he had drawn a small red spot on his clothing. Eventually the TV cameras picked up on it, and the story of the red spot got a lot of publicity.
After playing around with coloured spots for months, I found when a person changes the colour of the spot to blue or green, puts it in a certain place, and follows very specific instructions, something incredibly relaxing happens. The colours blue and green can have a strange calming effect on us.
It turned out the sportsman had been working with a brilliant sport psychologist called Karl Morris to help his concentration levels. Dr Morris had worked out that by placing a coloured spot somewhere where he could see it often, he could get the sportsman to remind himself of what he was supposed to do at certain key moments. Every time he looked at the spot, it made him feel a certain way.
So, are you ready to give it a go?
Linking thoughts and emotions to colours is something I’ve been using for years and I have found it hugely effective. It works by making use of the amazing way that the brain links a visual stimulus to a thought. You must follow the specific instructions below though, or it doesn’t work.
First, pick the colour you’d like to use. Your options are:
- Blue: The colour of the ocean and the sky, and generally associated with calm and peacefulness.
- Green: The colour of nature, and calming and easy on the eye. Hospitals often paint walls light green because it relaxes patients.
I’ve tried a number of other colours over the years, but generally blue and green seem to work the best. Other colours have different associations. Yellow, for example, can be associated with a ‘speeding of the metabolism’ – not really ideal when you’re trying to achieve a state of relaxation. And red isn’t ideal either. It is the most emotionally intense colour, and one associated with – among other things – danger.
You might ask why the sports psychologist worked with a red spot, rather than a blue one. Well, Dr Morris asked the sportsman what the colour was that he associated with focusing and keeping his concentration. He said ‘red’. Simple as that. As we’re going for relaxation, not focus, I would recommend blue and green as a great starting point, but by all means try different colours if you want.
These coloured spots become even more powerful when used alongside sophisticated memory association techniques to help you feel calm. Here is what you need to do.
- Get some coloured spot stickers in your chosen colour. (If you don’t have any coloured stickers handy, just find a scrap of paper in your chosen colour until you can get some proper stickers.)
- Stick one somewhere you’ll see it often, but not constantly.
- Once you’ve placed your coloured spot, think of a specific time when you felt deeply relaxed. It might be lying by the pool on holiday, slouching in a comfy chair watching TV – any time when you felt relaxed. Think of that time now as you look at the spot. Associate as closely as you can with the memory, hearing what you heard at the time and making the sounds clear and crisp, seeing exactly what you saw and making the colours vivid as you continue to look at your spot and remember how relaxed you felt. (1 minute)
- Now notice how you feel more relaxed whenever you happen to look at the spot.
- Want to add some extra emotions onto your spot? Come up with some other ways that you’d like to feel (such as calm, controlled or happy). Follow the same memory process, watching your spot for a full minute each time.
- Only leave the spot there for 24 hours. After this, either change the colour, or remove it and put a new coloured spot somewhere else.
This works great as long as you absolutely load up the spot with your desired emotion. I’ve been using a coloured spot on my phone. I just glanced down at it while writing this, and had an unexpectedly vivid flashback to my recent relaxing holiday in Thailand.
But I’ve found the usefulness of the spot starts to diminish over time. That’s why the best time to use it is over a 24-hour period. After that, it’s better to change the colour or the position of the spot, and load the feelings on again.
If you'd like to read loads more rather brilliant (I'm trying to be modest but failing!) techniques from Relax in a minute, then I'd like to give you a free copy. I'm giving away ten on my facebook page TOMORROW! All you need to do is 'like' my page for a chance of winning. These are special advance copies, so make sure you head to Facebook. Either click the link to the side now, or simply click here.
Have a relaxing day.
Zestology Guest: Karl Morris