One simple, quick technique to bring you back to a calm centre
Have you ever stepped up to do a presentation and your mouth goes dry, you are literally shaking with fear and you feel sick? Have you ever been in a situation where your negative emotions have sabotaged you? Do you often feel anxious at work or in other social situations? Do you feel that your inner dialogue stops you from noticing what is going on or prevents you from really listening to another person?
This is a really simple technique that will enable you to get back to a calm centre within a few minutes. It's a technique that is taught to the police when they are doing training to be advanced car drivers. It's a technique that will enable you to learn things more efficiently and easily and it is a technique that will calm nerves or take you out of negative emotions swiftly.
How does this work? Going into periphery vision accesses our parasympathetic nervous system; the part of your nervous system that calms you down, and slows you down, and lets your mind, and body and emotions come back into balance.
The technique is called 'Peripheral Vision'.
Find a spot where you can comfortably look across the room you are in. It could be a small object, picture or mark on the wall.
Get comfortable and relax yourself, sitting down with both feet on the floor.
Focus your attention on the object across the room. Just fix your eyes on that spot. As you focus on the spot expand your vision and awareness either side of you. You need to keep looking at the spot but start to expand your vision so that you are also taking in what is either side of you.
Keep doing this for a minute or so, and then start to expand your vision so that you are also looking at the space above and below the object you are focusing on.
You are now in peripheral vision. Try to notice all the things that are in your vision whilst looking at the spot or object across from you. And continue to open up your awareness to see more things in your periphery vision.
And you can take your awareness even further around behind you than that; all the way round, 360 degrees; of course I'm not suggesting that you can see behind you, but you can use your sense of hearing or spatial awareness to be aware of what's behind you as well.
Once you have gained your centre you can relax your vision and start to notice the state you are in. Most people report that they are very calm and centred. Any negative emotions they may have been experiencing is now gone.
With practice you will find that you can go easily into peripheral vision whenever you need to bring your emotional state back to a calm and centred one.
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About Nicola Willis
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