New season, new start

PUBLISHED: 17:43 16 June 2009 | UPDATED: 15:03 20 February 2013



Spring is in the air and it's a perfect time to reward yourself with a new start! Relaxation advisor Penny Anne O'Donnell helps you put a rejuvenating spring in our step this March.

Spring is in the air and it's a perfect time to reward yourself with a new start! Relaxation advisor Penny Anne O'Donnell helps you put a rejuvenating spring in our step this March.

"The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also." Harriet Ann Jacobs

Traditionally March was the first month in the Roman calendar and 2008's early Lent and Easter provides a positive time to reflect upon your life. This time of year has been celebrated long before the arrival of Christianity. Easter was named after the Anglo Saxon goddess of dawn and spring, Eostre, with many of its symbols connected with fertility, birth and good luck.

Top Up Your Fuel

Take a moment to focus your breathing and clear your mind before starting your goal setting exercise. Sit on both sitting bones with you stomach relaxed and shoulders still. Place your hand over your navel, as you inhale your stomach moves outwards and returns to the starting place on the exhalation. Shoulders and lower jaw are relaxed. Slow the breathing rate and tune into the breath entering and leaving the body. For information on Calmness Breathing© and "Breathe your way to Calmness©" see

Look at yourself

Self reflection is vital for a balanced and calmer life experience. Look at yourself - what do you see, is it what you want to see? A good start, as with any project is to plan. Take five minutes now to write your immediate thoughts.

Imagine yourself in five year's time - who are you living with, where do you work, where do you live, what do you look like?

You will be surprised at just how quickly you can complete these questions because deep down you know where you want to be. Whether you think you are capable and worthy of achieving this are different considerations. Remember that if you do not believe in your goals nobody else will!

"You are not very good if you are not better than your best friends imagine you to be." Johann Kaspar Lavater

Social Spring Clean

Consider your support network. Friends serve a variety of needs both emotionally and socially throughout our lives as we grow and develop as individuals. Do you have true friends you can be yourself with? Do you have friends you feel the need to impress? Do you spend time with people who drain you or leave you feeling low?

Categorise your friends, spend time with them according to their positive influence upon your life experience. Remember friendship is a two-way street, if you feel taken for granted without realising it you will begin to feel resentment and experience the accompanying tension both physical and mental. If you are obliged to spend time with an "energy sapper" make sure you build in a relaxing time afterwards. Similarly if you have a "chuckle chum", ensure you build time in for that phone call or catch up coffee.

As you allow yourself to grow towards your goals and experience new opportunities you will increase the likelihood of meeting like minded people who will enrich your life, in addition to the true friends you cherish from your journey so far.

"A man's growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Time management

How much time do you invest in yourself and your goals? Compare this with how much is spent looking after the needs of others. In order for you to be effective you have to respect your needs as well. Often with patients I discuss "energy overdraft" you have to replenish the energy you take out on a daily basis. By the time patients reach me they have spent their energy quota meeting the demands of others and have nothing left to give themselves. The positive and healing impact a daily breathing and relaxation exercise has upon their mindset and physical energy continually surprises them.

Spring tips for a brighter you

1: Be honest with yourself!

2: Daily Calmness Breathing to aid mind de-cluttering and physical tension!

3: Visualise your goals and five year targets!

4: Remember time is non-refundable currency use it wisely and invest it well!

For a daily relaxation tip "Breathe your Way To Calmness classes and products visit Penny Anne is a specialist Speech Language and Voice Therapist and Relaxation Advisor and freelance writer. She Consults at Warwickshire Nuffield Hospital The Stratford Private Clinic, SPIRE Solihull, SPIRE Southbank Worcester. She can be contacted on 07770 945040

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