Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Take "Ten Zen Seconds" to Reduce Stress and Be More Creative

Life can get very challenging sometimes. Even activities that are supposed to be fun - for example, creative things like writing or painting - can be stressful if you get bogged down in the details. But now there's a technique that can help you relax and focus on what you have to do with confidence. It's called "Ten Zen Seconds."

This technique was designed to help people relieve stress, get centered, and take control of their lives. It was developed by Dr. Eric Maisel, who is a licensed family therapist and specialist in the field of creativity. Dr. Maisel has found a way to combine the techniques of Western cognitive psychology - thinking - with those of Eastern mindfulness - breathing.

The Ten Zen Seconds technique is called "incanting." It combines breathing with specific thoughts like "I am taking action," "I am free of the past," "I am equal to this challenge," and "I trust my resources." If you're familiar with affirmations, these will seem similar. They're shorter and simpler, though, and they're always synchronized with breathing - a five-second inhalation and five-second exhalation. The first part of the thought is "said" in the first five seconds and the last part in the second five seconds - for a total of 10 seconds.

This technique is based on theory, but it isn't just theory. It was tested by real people who helped refine the process down to 12 basic sentences. That made it even simpler. But the testers also came up with some very creative ways to use their Ten Zen Seconds - for example, at the beginning and end of a specific task like washing dishes or writing an article.

The Ten Zen Seconds technique has some advantages over other forms of self-help. For one thing, it's fast - 10 seconds is not a lot of time - so it can be used even by people who are in a hurry.