Ever wish you could just close your eyes and transport yourself to a faraway place? You can - in your mind, at least. Psychotherapist and life coach Julie Hurst tells Abi Jackson how to create a ‘Quiet Room’.
We all have those moments where we dream we could be somewhere else, somewhere far away, where the stresses and challenges of our current surroundings can’t reach us.
Unfortunately, beyond Star Trek, scientists have yet to crack teleportation, and I’m yet to find a lamp with a wish-granting genie inside it.
What we can do, though, is journey into calmer realms within our own minds.
Because by creating our own mental ‘Quiet Room’, explains corporate psychotherapist and performance coach Julie Hurst (www.worklifebalancecentre.org), we’ll have a peaceful place we can ‘check into’ whenever we need; no magic, no expensive plane ticket.
Hurst — whose clients include big corporations, hospitals, universities and councils — spent a decade researching the effects of modern working life, and examining techniques and methods for helping us all be at our best, and with that, best able to cope with work and life demands.
Inspired by the late Maxwell Maltz’s classic self-help book Psycho-Cybernetics, which referenced how we all need a quiet room inside our heads, Hurst now believes in a “multi-modal approach”, combining therapeutic and coaching techniques in the bid for calm.
Here’s her step-by-step guide on how to construct your very own mental Quiet Room...
“You are about to build your own quiet room, a haven and a sanctuary where you can find complete peace and calm. Like any good room we begin with the foundation. Lay a strong floor — any kind of floor you like. Take in all its textures and colours. Notice how strong it is, and that just by standing on this floor you already feel more peaceful and more calm.
“Now put up the walls of your room. It can be any size you like — whatever you choose. Again look at the colours and textures of the walls. Examine them. See how strong they are. Know that no troubles can reach you through these walls. No worries can penetrate these walls. This is sanctuary where you are always safe, and always calm. Nothing bad can ever happen here.
“Now it’s time to put the roof on your room, and the shell of your own personal haven is complete. It can be any roof you like. You control this room completely. Within this space you are always at ease, calm and peaceful.
“Now, light your room. Again, you can use whatever lighting you wish, firelight, candles, wall lights. Let your eyes look around the room taking in the difference between the areas of light and shade. As you do this, notice the darker and lighter areas and the muscles around your eyes will begin to soften and relax. This feeling of relaxation beginning in your eyes will now travel slowly throughout every muscle in your body, right down to the tips of your toes.
“As you carry on looking around the room you see that in one wall there is a large window, and next to that window is a seat. It is the most comfortable seat you have ever seen. The style, the texture, the colour, everything about it is perfect for you. Walk over to that seat and relax yourself into it. Notice how comfortable it feels. Notice how it is supporting you completely and easily, and give yourself over to it. Allow your body to go slack and limp as that perfect seat holds you.
“Now look out of the window. Outside you can see the most peaceful and relaxing view you have ever seen. It is exactly what you most wish to see. Let your eyes travel over every detail from the foreground to the distant horizon. Take in every detail, every colour, every object.
“As you do this, notice that you are breathing in tranquillity, and breathing out trouble. Breathing in calm, breathing out chaos; breathing in peace, breathing out all worry. Your body and mind will fill up with all of these positive feelings, and all the negative feelings will evaporate like mist in the air.
“You can now safely leave your room and come back, recreating the same calm, whenever you wish. All you have to do is walk in, sit down and breathe, all the knowledge is stored safely inside you.”