Getting your mind to quiet down and get in the right mode is essential to doing any sort of magic or manifesting. Your brain operates at 5 different frequencies (Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta, and Gamma) throughout the day and night. During the day it swings between Beta and Alpha. Most of us spend our time in Beta, going about our usual daily activities. We unknowingly slip into Alpha when we're day dreaming, or consciously when we go into a light meditative state. Alpha is the place to be if you want to do any visualizations, spell work, or self-programming. In this state your mind is more relaxed and receptive, yet you remain fully conscious.
To get into Alpha I use the following countdown method based on the one by Laurie Cabot in her book Power of the Witch (one of the first books on witchcraft I read-love it!).
1. Sit in a relaxed position and breathe deeply for a minute or two.
2. Close your eyes and visualize a blank, black or grey screen in front and slightly above your eyes (your third eye).
3. On the screen picture a red 7, orange 6, yellow 5, green 4, blue 3, indigo 2, and violet 1. If you're having trouble visualizing coloured numbers, you can use objects instead. Take food for example:
1-Lavender (ok, it doesn't really fit in but I couldn't think of a violet coloured fruit or veggie)
4. Count down from 10 to 1, cross your fingers and say "I'm now in Alpha. Everything I do will be accurate and correct". Crossing your fingers isn't necessary, but it will give you a physical trigger to put yourself into Alpha if you need to do it quickly.
5. Now you can go about doing your mediation, healing, casting, and psychic work in a calm, relaxed, open state.
6. When you're finished your work, count yourself back out from 1-7. Clap 3 or 4 times to bring yourself fully back into awareness and clear any lingering energies.
Once you're comfortable counting down into Alpha, try slipping into the frequency when you find yourself stressed or overwhelmed. Cross your fingers, tell yourself you're in Alpha and see if you can feel your consciousness shift a tad and notice how much more relaxed you can become instantly.