This page contains tools you might use to in your journey to self-awareness and growth - or maybe just to learn to handle stress better and become healthier and MORE ENERGETIC
the mother breath
The Mother Breath* is excellent for stress relief and clearing your mind. It mimics the sounds of the sea: you breathe in silently with your mouth in the shape of Ah, like the sound of the wave’s backwash; then you whisper Mmm through your nose as if the wave begins to swell, and Shh as the wave breaks on the shore. So: ah… mmm… shhh… for at least 10 times at a time every day, breathing very deeply – right down to your anus!
Expressing appreciation of each other, when sincere and given without ‘an agenda’, builds positive energy in the giver and the receiver.
One way to do this is by giving ‘Russian Toasts’ at get-togethers or special events like the company’s end of the year party or the family’s New Year’s celebration. How to do it is that people spontaneously get up to toast a member of the company or family or group of friends and express what they most appreciate about that person.
Another way that works well in work teams is to form a circle. The facilitator gives one person the end of a ball of string which that person holds. The person chooses someone else in the circle and says what he/she really appreciates about that person while the facilitator connects them with the piece of string. That person in turn chooses someone else to ‘appreciate’ and is connected with the next bit of the piece of string, until finally everyone has had a turn and the string criss-crosses multiple times within the circle. This gives a very clear image of how the members of a team are all connected and what it means to be a team.
A variation of the same technique can be used where one person is celebrated – a birthday, a kitchen tea or whatever. Again everyone forms a circle with the ‘special person’ holding the end of the piece of string. As people are ready to say what they appreciate about the special person they are handed the next bit of the piece of string until everyone has had a turn and the string forms a ‘net’ of connections between them.
Close your eyes and take three deep breaths. Exhale and relax. With each breath that you take, allow yourself to relax deeper and deeper.
Now relax each part of your body starting from the top of your head all the way down to your feet. Put your attention on each part of your body progressively and try to tighten up or clench that specific muscle as much as you can, and then you let go and release it. As you let go, you allow that portion of your body to relax completely.
Begin with the top of you head… tighten up all the muscles around your forehead, your eyes, your cheeks and your nose for a few moments ... and let go completely and relax. Now tighten up all the muscles around your mouth, your chin and your jaw ... and just let them go and let them relax. Next you tighten up all the muscles in your neck area for a moment, the front and the back... and let go ... Tighten up the muscles at the base of your neck with your shoulder muscles and relax them… Then your upper arms and after that your lower arms – tense and relax as much as you can ...then clench your fists and relax them. Feel your arms become heavy and relaxed… down to your fingertips.
Now tighten up all the muscles in your chest area and relax them... and then your back… clench and relax. Next tighten up all the muscles in your stomach ... hold it for a few seconds ... and as you let go you allow all of the stress and tension to leave your body completely ... now tighten up the areas around your hips, your bottom… and relax them. Now clench and relax the muscles of your upper legs and then your lower legs… your feet and toes ... clench them as tight as you can ... and as you let go, allow everything in your body to relax completely ... from the top of your head, to the bottom of your feet.
Take another few very deep breaths and then open your eyes.
appreciation when difficult
Think of something you admire in the person you dislike, despise, resent or fear. Think hard and you will find something, even if it is only the person’s ears. When you interact with that person again, look into his or her eyes and say in your mind what that is, e.g. ‘You have beautiful ears.’ Keep repeating this every time you see the other person. Over time your positive approach will change the energy between the two of you and you might be surprised at the positive, maybe almost miraculous, results!
[Source: Jacobus Swart]
making affirmations work better
We can each choose what ATTITUDE we want to bring to each day of our life, for instance: ‘Today I show kindness’. That way, we don’t reACT in the habitual and predictable, often negative way. We reSPOND: we choose our response to any situation or event. Victor Frankl said the last of the human freedoms is our ability to choose our attitude under any given set of circumstances.
To make your affirmation work better, you can make it your ATTITUDE for the day:
-every evening, decide on your affirmation for the next day
-write it out about 10 times
-repeat it with FEELING a few times while looking in the mirror
-the next morning, again repeat it with FEELING while looking in the mirror
-throughout the day, keep repeating the affirmation.
For more information and some suggestions for affirmations, click on the image from space.
‘Combat breathing’ or ‘Tactical breathing’ is taught to law enforcement officers who are regularly exposed to high-stress situations. It helps prevent the distortions of perception and thought common to such situations. This enables policemen to keep thinking and seeing more clearly and thus being able to make better decisions.
If we regularly practise this form of breathing, we can easily and automatically go into it when we need to calm down or are involved in high-stress situations like natural disasters or criminal attacks.
Be alert rather than fearful in situations similar to those where you experienced trauma before. Fear is a great energy thief.