#1 Reducing Stress & Creating Calm
There are only two ways to feel good or feel bad about anything: either remembering something good or bad that happened, or imagining something good or bad that could happen.
When we recall something or imagine something, we create movies in our mind – often with a soundtrack – so put simply, it’s the internal pictures and the sounds that create our feelings from moment to moment. Say, for example, we get invited to a party and we instantly imagine standing alone in the kitchen not knowing anybody, we get an uncomfortable feeling and decide not to go. However, if we make a movie of ourselves interacting with fun people, laughing and relaxed, we get a good feeling and that leads to a different decision. All day long, we navigate our way through life with the movies we make in our minds and the things we say to ourselves.
we are going to discover how it is that that we can either create or reduce unnecessary stress in our lives through the pictures and the sounds that we make in our imagination. Once we have more control over our thoughts and feelings, we have control over our choices and behaviours and ultimately control over our lives. Obviously, we can’t control everything that ever happens to us in life, but we have a big say in how we think and feel about them.
Havening: The Biggest Psychological Breakthrough
Havening Therapy was created by Ronald Ruden MD. Ph.D. Scientific studies have shown that it is amazingly effective at reducing sadness, reducing stress and trauma.
Dr Ruden’s work has been hailed as a remarkable breakthrough. He discovered that patterns of repeated touch to parts of the body combined with specific eye movements and visualisations have a rapid, reliable and predictable effect on our feelings by producing more delta waves in the brain (delta waves are associated with the deepest levels of relaxation and restorative sleep).
- Pay attention to any stress or traumatic memory you wish to remove and notice what it looks like in your imagination and how stressful it feels. Now, rate its strength on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is the most powerful and 1 is the least powerful. This is important as it lets you measure how much you are reducing it.
- Now, clear your mind, or just think about or imagine something nice.
- Now, cross your arms, place your hands on the tops of your shoulders and close your eyes.
- Now, stroke your hands down the sides of your arms from the top of your shoulders down to your elbows, and keep doing this downward stroking motion, again and again, throughout this process.
- As you carry on stroking the sides of your arms, imagine you are walking on a beautiful beach, with each footstep you take in the sand, count out loud from 1 to 20. 1, 2, 3…
- Now, keeping your head still, whilst continuing to stroke your arms, move your eyes laterally to the left and laterally to the right ten times.
- Still stroking the sides of your arms, imagine you are walking outside in a beautiful garden, with each footstep you take in the grass, count out loud from 1 to 20. 1, 2, 3…
- Now, open your eyes and check on your scale from 1 to 10, how much lower the number of the stress feeling is now.
If it is way down the bottom of the scale, congratulations – you have personally changed your feelings. If you think that the stress feeling is not yet reduced enough, just repeat the Havening sequence until it is reduced as far as you want.
Many people experience remarkable positive changes immediately after a Havening session, however even if you are one of those people, Paul recommends that you do this Havening exercise regularly.
#2 Instant Confidence & Self-Belief
It never ceases to amaze me how someone can go from a state of complete terror to one of complete conviction in just moments with the aid of a few simple techniques. For example, some Olympic athletes, who have trained for an event for years, walk out into a stadium with a billion people watching them on TV and suddenly they lack confidence, and their performance suffers. Others have trained not only their bodies, but their minds, to go into a peak state of performance – they call it being ‘in the zone.’ Musicians refer to it as being ‘in the groove’ and psychologists call it being ‘in flow’ – a peak state of performance where you are in a state of total focus, you move and express yourself perfectly and nothing else in the world matters because you are totally in the moment.
This type of confidence is not something that some people are born with, and others will never attain – it is the inevitable result of taking a few daily actions on a consistent basis.
Stop for a moment and vividly imagine how your life would be if you were already naturally confident right now – at ease with yourself and whatever is going on around you:
- How would your posture be?
- How would your voice sound?
- What kinds of things would you be saying to yourself?
- What would you picture in your mind?
If you actually took the time to imagine any of these things, chances are you are already feeling more confident than you were just a few short moments ago. The reason is that the human nervous system doesn’t know the difference between a real and a vividly-imagined experience, so when we imagine scary things, it makes us scared, when we imagine relaxing things we feel relaxed.
But as you will soon learn, confidence is much more than just a positive feeling in your body – it’s an attitude and approach to life that leads to success, motivation and new possibilities!
The Gradual Confidence Booster
- Imagine a slightly more confident ‘you’ sitting or standing in front of you.
- Now, I’d like you to imagine stepping in to that more confident you. See through their eyes, hear through their ears and feel the feelings of your more confident self.
- Notice that right in front of you is an even more confident you – sitting or standing a little bit taller, a look of slightly more self-belief behind their eyes and emanating a little bit of extra charisma.
- Now step into this more confident self and then notice that in front of you is an even more confident self – more passion, more power, more ease, more comfort.
- Then again, imagine an even more confident you sitting or standing in front of you.
- And step into that more confident you. Feel your confidence overflowing! Be sure to notice how you are using your body – how you are breathing, the expression on your face, and the light in your eyes.
A lot of people think that being confident means doing some important act like speaking in a massive auditorium or making a huge business decision. Whereas the confidence people experience in everyday life can be something as simple as shopping in a supermarket. There’s no worry present – just a decisive, simple, effortless, determined act of picking out the items that you want. That, by definition, is a form of confidence.
#3 The Easy Way to Build Resilience
Many people think that resilience is just about toughing it out, about being relentless. Whilst there is truth in that, resilience is also about adaptability and flexibility. So, resilience is really the ability to think creatively, combined with persistence.
The Law of Requisite Variety, which comes from the scientific field of Cybernetics, shows us that the system or person with the most flexibility of behaviour will control that system – that could be in a corporation, a political party, or a family. The more flexible you are when you hit a challenge, the more likely you will control your life and get what you want. In other words, it’s a good strategy to generate more choices in any given situation. We can think about this another way: The only way you can control your destiny is to be more flexible than your environment.
Hypnosis: A State of Deep Focus
Any time you focus on one thing to the exclusion of all others, it is a form of hypnosis – when you’re watching TV, you forget about the carpet, the curtains and the rest of the room. Whatever goes on on-screen, you entrain yourself to – so, if it’s frightening, you get scared, or if it’s a love scene, you feel romantic. In meditation, you’re focussing on a mantra or your breathing, and you forget about the room you are in or the people that may be around you. All these things are a form of hypnosis or a trance-like state if you will.
The reason why we do this is when you’re in a relaxed, imaginative state you can imagine doing things that are outside of the normal boundaries of possibility. So, you can imagine being really confident meeting new people or you can imagine achieving your goals. Great creative people throughout history have used this state of mind in order to visualize new possibilities. One of the greatest equations of all time is Einstein’s Theory of Relativity but in order to arrive at that, he had to use his creative imagination, and he imagined what it would be like to ride on a beam of light – not something that’s possible to do in real life, but something you can do in your imagination!
Here’s all you need to do to give yourself a whole new insight into your problems and begin generating positive solutions:
- Think of somebody who is good at solving problems and sorting things out. The person you choose can be real, or they can be a character from a story. Over the years, Paul has seen people choose everyone from Sherlock Holmes to Elon Musk – from Bill Gates to their Aunt Gladys. All that matters is that you have a strong enough sense of what they are like, so that you can imagine them vividly in your mind.
- Now, imagine stepping into your role model and take a few moments to imagine yourself seeing the world through your problem-solver’s eyes. See what they would see and hear what they would hear.
- While still looking through their eyes, think about a particular problem you have and consider it from this point of view. How would they handle it if it was their problem? What advice would they give you about it? What do they think is the best course of action?
- Act on any insights you have!