When you’re stressed, anxious or up-tight, it can be very hard to apply the principles that you learn from self development material.

A great solution is to relax first and then you will notice that you think and act in a different way, that is more attuned to your real self.  You also start to remember and naturally apply the information that you have learned.

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However, it’s not always practical to take 20 minutes out of your busy day to meditate or relax, especially when at work!

Luckily I have the solution!  It’s an exercise that will help you relax completely in around 6 minutes.

Click here to watch the video

Click here to watch on YouTube

It works by firstly relaxing the body. It then uses a simple, but clever visualisation technique to relax your mind.

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This exercise was originally developed by Andrew Newton. He was the hypnotist that trained Paul McKenna.

The exercise in the video above (and written out below) is based on a modified version by Andrew Parr.

Rapid Relaxation Exercise Process

Set up

  1. Lift your feet up, so that only your heels are touching the ground
  2. Put your hands on your legs palms up
  3. lift your head up and notice a real or imaginary spot on the ceiling.

You’re now good to go!

Exercise Script

I would like you to take a deep breath in. When you breathe out, I would like you to close your eyes.

Breathe in again. This time when you breathe out, I would like you to drop your head forward.

Now breathe in again. This time when you breathe out, I would like you to breathe out through your mouth. Just opening your mouth, opening your jaws just a little bit.

Breathing in again. This time when you breathe out, I would like you to lower your shoulders until they feel really relaxed.

Just breathing in again, and as you breathe out, I would like you to turn your hands palms down.  Notice how much more comfortable your hands now feel.

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Breathing in again. When you breathe out, I would like you to put your feet flat on the floor.  Notice how comfortable your feet now feel, now that they are firmly flat on the floor.

Now breathe in again. This time when you breathe out, relax all your muscles until they feel loose, relaxed. Really relaxed. Maybe noticing how much more relaxed they have now become .

Now, I would like you to imagine a night cityscape or skyline.  Notice all the buildings with the lights on.  Notice the different colours and brightness.

What I would like you to do is start switching the lights off in the buildings.  Just one at a time.

Maybe starting with the buildings at the back, just noticing the lights going off one by one. Noticing how the buildings in the background gradually become darker as the lights are switched off one by one.

Notice the sound of the switch as you switch the lights off.  Notice the sensation on your fingers as you touch the switches to turn the lights off.

As the lights go off, you notice that parts of your body switch off too. As more of the lights are switched off one by one, you notice more parts of your body switching off too.

As you turn off the remaining lights, switching them off one by one, you begin to notice a very tranquil night view with all the lights switched off.

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You enjoy this stillness for a little while and notice how relaxed you feel, now that your body has relaxed completely.

Now I invite you to come back to the room now.  As I count from five down to one, I would like you to become more aware of your immediate surroundings.

Five – starting to become aware of your physical surroundings.

Four – becoming more aware of your feet on the floor.

Three – more aware of your hands on your legs.

Two – more aware of your back on the chair.

One, you can now open your eyes and come back to the room.

Applying this exercise to your life

You can use the rapid relaxation exercise before you start meditating.  It’s also a great hypnotic induction.  It’s a really powerful exercise on its own, so if you feel stressed at work, just pop to the bathroom and do it there! – I have done this quite a few times and it really helps.  I’ve also done this exercise on the train!


To a more relaxed and peaceful you.