Below is a simple way to relax your mind. The technique was adapted from The Silva Method.
Begin by sitting down in a comfortable chair or on a couch, and close your eyes. Don’t lie down or you might fall asleep. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly. While you’re exhaling, visualize the number 3 in your mind’s eye while you say to yourself, “three.”
Take another deep breath, exhale slowly and visualize the number 2 while you say “two.” Do the same for number one.
At this point, say something to yourself like this: “I am now more relaxed than before. I will count backwards from ten to one, and at the count of one, I will be even more relaxed.”
Then start counting backwards slowly, stopping occasionally to say, “deeper and deeper” or to repeat the suggestion that when you reach “one” you will be relaxed.
At the count of “one” say to yourself, “I am now relaxed.”
That’s it. That’s the whole technique. If you want to get even more relaxed you can count backwards from twenty to one, or fifty to one, or a hundred to one.
Another way to deepen your relaxation is to relax your muscles while you’re counting backwards. Start with the muscles around your eyes, your forehead, and the muscles in your face. Work your way down your body trying to notice where muscles are tense and letting them go loose.
Another good way to deepen your relaxation — after the 3,2,1 count — is to imagine a very relaxing scene. It could be a place you’ve been or it could be an imaginary place. The only requirement is that it makes you feel relaxed to think about it. Lying on a sunny beach, for example, listening to the waves, feeling the sun’s warmth on your skin, feeling a gentle breeze.
To deepen your sense of relaxation, just imagine your relaxing scene for a few minutes. Imagine being there.
Once you’ve relaxed your mind, then what? A state of deep relaxation is useful for many tasks. For example:
1. Envision a goal. This has more positive consequences than you might think, including increased motivation, enhanced problem-solving, and the stimulation of creative ideas.
2. Improve your self-image. Sometimes you may feel blocked from achieving your goal. You may feel perfectly capable of accomplishing the goal, and you may be motivated, and yet your goal remains frustratingly out of reach. It is possible you have a belief in a limitation without knowing it. The belief is part of your self-image and until it is changed, all your attempts to reach your goal will fail.
3. Use one of the techniques of the Silva Method — the laboratory, dream programming, the mirror of the mind, the three fingers technique, simple suggestion, or “cancel cancel.”
When you’re done, count yourself back up to a wakeful alert state by saying to yourself, “I will count from one to five. At the count of five my eyes will open, I will feel wide awake and healthy.”
Begin counting. After you say “three” say again to yourself, “At the count of five my eyes will open, I will feel wide awake and healthy.” When you reach five, open your eyes and sit still for a minute. You’re done. You will feel relaxed and refreshed.
It’s a good idea to use a formal technique like this — to count yourself in and out of your level the same way every time — because your mind will get used to it. You’ll get familiar with it, and you’ll respond better and better the more you do it.
How often should you go to your level? I like the way Jose Silva puts it: "Five minutes a day is good. Ten minutes is very good. Fifteen minutes is excellent. Once a day is good. Twice a day is very good. Three times a day is excellent."