So you have decided to take some time to relax.  We're happy about
your decision and are pleased to pass on some relaxation tips that
we think you will find useful.

The art of breathing correctly in order to feel more relaxed is
easy.  Practice is necessary  for maximum results.


Sit comfortably on a chair or on the floor.  Straighten your spine.  
Picture a string attached to the top of your head that is pulling your  
head up  toward the ceiling. Don't pull or strain your muscles.  Just
be aware of your neck and shoulders being pulled upwards.  Hold
your chin straight in front of you.  Rest your hands and arms
comfortably on the arms of a chair or on your lap. Relax your facial

Begin breathing in through your nose and then exhale out through
your mouth.  Listen to the sound your breathing makes.  Do this a
number of times.  Do not try to alter your breathing by taking in too
much air.  Make sure you are breathing normally and listen to the
sound each breath makes as you inhale and exhale.  When you focus
on something rhythmic, like the sound of your own breathing pattern,
your mind is drawn to the sound and tends to focus on that sound.  
The act of breathing  becomes a focal point for your brain, helping
to distract it from feelings of worry or anxiety.


This is an exercise to help prevent the buildup of anxiety throughout
the day.  Think of a balloon.  If you keep blowing air into the
balloon eventually it will look as though it could "blow up".  The
stress of everyday living can make us feel that we are becoming
more anxious as the day progresses.  We will attempt to "let some
of the air out" in order to prevent a buildup of anxiety.  This
exercise can be done anywhere while sitting, standing or even lying
down.  For maximum benefit it is recommended that the exercise be
done in the morning, the afternoon and in the evening or anytime you
feel you are about to encounter a stressful situation.  

Take a normal breath of air in through your nose.  Have your top
and bottom teeth touch as you exhale the air in three short spurts out
through your teeth.  The sound you will make will sound like a
snake hissing or someone letting some air out of a balloon.

Repeat this process three times.  This will be a total of three
inhalations and nine spurts of exhaled air.  As stated above, you can
do this exercise anytime you feel stressful or are about to encounter
a stressful situation.  As a maintenance exercise it is recommended
you perform this exercise three times a day as stated above.  

Note:  You may also want to perform this exercise at the onset of
headache pain to help reduce stress.  This may in turn help to reduce
the pain, especially if you picture the pain leaving your body as you
exhale.  When you picture the pain leaving your body you are using
a technique called guided imagery. Cool!


A lot of people use prayer or meditation to promote a feeling of
relaxation.  If you already are familiar with prayer then you know
what this means.  If you don't know how to pray, simply state the
truth, "I don't know where to begin".  Congratulations, you have just
said a prayer.  Be up front.  Ask questions.  Just be yourself.  This is
a wonderful form of prayer and an easy one.  Praying is talking to
the Higher Power as much as you like for free.  You are not charged
for overages!   


Obtain an interesting picture and put it in front of you.  Look at the
picture and notice the details.  This can be an easy way to clear
your mind of unwanted thoughts.

Notice the colors, the shapes, the style.  Whenever an unwanted
thought enters your mind just ask yourself a question about the
picture and then come up with an answer.  It's easy and fun.  Give it
a try and see what happens.  

Each time your thoughts start to stray or you begin to think about the
worries of the day, just focus again on what it is you are trying to
meditate upon.  Be kind to yourself and don't get mad at yourself for
being human and getting off the subject.  Gently guide yourself back
onto the meditation at hand and begin where you left off.  You'll get
better as time goes on.  Remember, patience is a virtue!

Note:  We will give special attention to panic attacks in subsequent
pages.  This is an important topic and it needs its own page!  

I'm proud of you for taking the first steps toward a more
relaxed                                              self which will
hopefully                                                                           lead to a happier
and more artful life!

Blessings, Diana Ray           
The Art of

"There is a lesson to be
learned from the events
in              your life.

Ask yourself, "What
can I learn from

You may be surprised
at         what you will

Diana Ray

Live in the Moment.  It is

That's why we call
"the present".