'Finding Relief' Category Archive

Posted on Nov 6th, 2006

Writing in your journal on a regular basis can actually help you prevent stress. You will learn to think out your problems in an organized way. You will learn how to express yourself and release emotions and anxieties. You learn how to manage your life more productively so you do not have such overwhelming feelings which lead to stress.

Stress can lead to certain health conditions. These health conditions make your stress worse and it is a cycle that is hard to break. When you become accustomed to journaling, you will see that your life is improving.

There are few situations that are actually stressful in themselves. It is our reactions to situations and events in our lives that create stress. Stress is compounded by work overload and not enough sleep. Your journals can help you reduce this and prevent a large majority of stress.

You should use your journals to:

1. Identify the source of your stress
2. Create ways to cope with the stress
3. Find ways to organize your life and activities and events in your life
4. Think of ways to nurture yourself (such as a massage or a bubble bath)
5. Evaluate your responses and opinions of stress in your life to see if you are being productive or counterproductive

Keeping a journal helps your situations become manageable. Keeping a journal offers you a distraction to many daily activities. It also gives you an outlet for your emotions. Journals can keep you on task by forcing you to approach your situation instead of pushing it aside "for later".

Daniel J Lesser is the creator of Stressed-In-The-City.com. A whole world awaits if you can control your stress. Find out how to expand your horizons at http://www.stressed-in-the-city.com.

Posted on Nov 5th, 2006

1) Make a clear distinction between stress and pressure. Stress comes from the outside. It’s what is imposed upon us by others, such as deadlines, bills, and that jerk that cut you off in traffic. Pressure is what we tell ourselves, how we think, about the stress.

2) Give up the silly notion that you can completely reduce or eliminate the stress in life. Stress is inevitable if you are alive. The goal is to manage it well.

3) Learn to say no. It’s such a small but powerful word. Yet we take on much more than we can reasonably handle when we don’t say no. Picture this scene from an old Mel Brooks film - Brooks is in a medieval dungeon being tortured by being placed on a stone table with a board on top of him, covering his body. Stones are being placed on the board, slowly increasing the pressure on him. Here’s the punchline for our purposes - Brooks is yelling “more weight, more weight, give me more weight.” Learn how to say NO!

4) Stop trying to eat a pizza in one bite! In other words, break down large stressful events or projects into manageable sizes.

5) Rest. Rest. Rest some more. According to the story, even God rested one day out of seven. Not a bad model to follow. Or how about these sage words from Lily Tomlin - “For fast acting relief, try slowing down.”

6) Watch your language! Pay attention to the language you use when thinking about the stress in your life. This applies to how you talk to yourself about stress - “I’ll never get all this done!”, as well as to how you define situations - “This is the worst thing that could possibly happen, and besides, it’s not fair!”

7) Guard how many things you allow to pull on your time and on your mind. I have a theory that our culture has gone insane and we just haven’t realized it yet. We have allowed so much stress, demands and have to’s into our life that we fail to realize it’s not normal or healthy. It’s a frog in the pot situation - place a frog in boiling water and he’ll do his very best to get right out. But place the same frog in a pot of water at room temperature, and then slowly turn up the heat. He’ll cook. Be careful how much you take on and allow into your life.

8) Make a list of all the things you like to do for fun. Then consider how many you have done lately. After you get over the shock, pick one and go do it.

9) Get organized. You will live longer and easier. If you say that you are too busy to get organized, then I thank you for proving my point. I’m not an organized person by nature. I’m lucky that Lauren has the gift of organization. If you don’t know how to organize, get help from someone who does.

10) Use these suggestions. Don’t just read this column, smile, say that makes sense and then walk away. Taking action, doing something about it, is one of the most powerful stress management tools available.

Implementing just one of these ten tips will help you to master stress. I wonder what would happen if you used all ten?

Visit http://www.TheArticleGuy.com for more leading edge tips and tools for writing articles that bring you prospects, publicity and profits. You can also subscribe to our monthly Article Writing & Marketing Tips Newsletter. You are also invited to visit my Express-Start Article Writing Program for more information on the next article writing tele-seminar.

Posted on Nov 4th, 2006

One of the best professional experiences I have ever had was working for an adolescent drug treatment center for a good part of the eighties. I certainly didn’t make much money there, but what I learned during those six plus years was priceless.

HALTS is an acronym commonly used in substance abuse treatment that can be very usefully applied to stress management. A HALTS approach to managing our stress recommends that we avoid getting too Hungry Angry Lonely Tired Scared.

Let’s take a look at each of these five stressors and how to avoid them.

Hungry - Although food comes immediately to mind (when doesn’t it?), there are many other things for which we can “hunger.” We all need a sense of worth, connection to others and to something bigger than ourselves, appreciation, and many others. Miss out on some of these basic emotional needs for very long and we can end up stressed out, sad or depressed.

Tip: Stay connected to people and situations that help you meet these needs in a healthy way. Avoid those who don’t as much as possible.

Angry - Anger is a huge source of stress. I get angry, you get angry, all God’s children get angry. No problem there. The problem comes when anger is our most common emotion and our first response to most situations. Recent research has demonstrated that constant anger is not only not good for you, it can kill you.

Tip: Pay attention to and deal with the emotions that anger typically grows out of: fear, frustration, hurt.

Lonely - In spite of all the modern ways we have to communicate with each other, we still live in a culture where it is incredibly easy to become isolated. Most people don’t know the names of their neighbors on either side or across the street. I know of people who are “just too busy” to spend the time to connect with other people. These folks are way too busy for their own good.

Tip: Take the time to connect and stay connected to others. Walk next door and introduce yourself. Call an old friend you have not spoken with in a while. Stay connected. Connection and community relieve stress.

Tired - Vince Lombardi said “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” It’s not that most people don’t have the time to rest, it’s that most people have actually forgotten how. When it comes to the ultimate form of rest, sleeping, when was the last time you got the recommended 8 - 10 hours? You can stop laughing now. We can push ourselves just so far before the body takes over and forces us to rest. I’ve worked with clients that have told me that it’s actually a badge of honor among their colleagues to have been hospitalized for exhaustion. Go figure.

Tip: In addition to getting enough sleep, schedule time to rest. Put it in your appointment book, and protect it and keep it like you would any other important appointment.

Scared - In the Tarzan movies I watched as a kid, there were these natives with blowguns who would shoot darts coated with poison that would render a person temporarily paralyzed. Fear can do the same thing - paralyze us into inaction. Fear of failure, of rejection, of success, of the future, you name it, we get too scared and we freeze up.

Tip: Facing your fears and taking action is spite of them can reduce or eliminate your fears. Remember that fear stands for forget everything and run and false evidence appearing real. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is being afraid of something and doing it anyway.

For better or worse, we may have too much of one of these on any given day. Consistently having two or more can indicate a situation in need of change. Practice these tips to successfully manage your stress or you might want to get with someone who can coach you on making your stress work for you.

Visit http://www.TheArticleGuy.com for more leading edge tips and tools for writing articles that bring you prospects, publicity and profits. You can also subscribe to our monthly Article Writing & Marketing Tips Newsletter. You are also invited to visit my Express-Start Article Writing Program for more information on the next article writing tele-seminar.

Posted on Nov 3rd, 2006

The Law of Decision and Question - Every day we have to make a decision and answer a question about stress. Is it going to beat us or are we going to beat it? Each and every day.

The Law of Recovery - We can handle any amount of stress, if we have an equal or greater amount of recovery after the stress.

The Law of Laughter - The law of laughter states that “if you can laugh about it, you can handle it."

The Law of "Manageable Chunks" - Often what seems like overwhelming amounts of stress can be managed if it’s broken down into small enough chunks. This is when the old saying "one day at a time" may be too big a chunk. So we go to 1 second, 1 minute, 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 1 year, one lifetime.

The Law of Diamonds - If you have a diamond anywhere near you at the moment, take a look at it. Did you know that the beautiful gem you are seeing is nothing more than a lump of coal that handled stress very well?

The Law of Reframing - Reframing means to put a different frame around something, in order to look at it in a different way. An example would be instead of saying to yourself “how I am I ever going to return all these phone messages", reframe it into “I’ve worked very hard for a long time to have this many people who want to talk to me!"

The Law of Dead Roaches - Too many times we take the "dead roach approach" to stress. You know what I mean, just sort of rolling over with your feet in the air, allowing stress to stomp on you. Get up and get moving!

The Law of NO - One great way to manage stress is to learn how to say no, especially when no is the very best thing to say.

The Law of Challenge - It’s important to challenge yourself each day to handle stress in a way that will allow you to thrive and to shine. My personal challenge to you is to take these universal laws and use them to successfully manage the stress in your life.

Visit http://www.TheArticleGuy.com for more leading edge tips and tools for writing articles that bring you prospects, publicity and profits. You can also subscribe to our monthly Article Writing & Marketing Tips Newsletter. You are also invited to visit my Express-Start Article Writing Program for more information on the next article writing tele-seminar.

Posted on Nov 2nd, 2006

Why do we so often find it so hard to switch off and relax? What is it that makes us feel tense and twitchy just when we need to sleep or recover from all that hard work and stress? It seems that our own bodies are working against us at times – and in a way, they sometimes are.

Our Nervous System

A part of our neural equipment, the autonomic nervous system, which controls organs such as the heart, stomach and intestines, is made up of two even more specialised sections. These are the sympathetic nervous system, which sounds friendly but is actually what causes us to become tense in times of danger, and the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls relaxation. The PNS causes your blood pressure to decrease, your heart to beat slower, and makes digestion easier. It sounds like a neat trick, but the trouble is that this auto-relaxer operates involuntarily, as an unconscious process – almost as if it has a mind of its own.

Actively Relaxing

So, relaxing isn’t just what happens when we’re not tense, but is in fact a separate, active process. It’s like what happens when you’re driving a car and you take your foot off the accelerator - the car may slow down or not, depending on the slope of the road, but if you actually want to stop, you have to hit the brakes.

That might explain why I’ve sometimes spent an evening sitting around doing very little but I haven’t really felt more relaxed as a result - just leaving a gap in your activity isn’t the same as actually relaxing. All we have to do is…

So how does the parasympathetic nervous system work?

Basically like all nervous activity: a mix of electrical and chemical messages brings a signal that tells the system to do something. In this case, it instructs specific muscles to let go and relax. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? All we have to do is tell ourselves to relax and we have a little system that will make it happen.

The unconscious – our personal assistant

So why isn’t it as easy as that? Why do we get so stressed when it should be so easy to be calm? The thing to remember is that all of this activity happens out of our conscious awareness. Consciousness is only a small part of our lives and we only have room for a few thoughts at a time in our awareness. Meanwhile, the unconscious mind takes care of all our automatic activity, like walking, digesting, breathing, doing familiar tasks and reacting to the things we encounter with learned responses. It’s like having a personal assistant to deal with the routine stuff.

Think of all the times you have travelled home and not consciously noticed the journey, or done a job you do every day while your mind is on something else. It’s a wonderful way of working - once you have learned how to do something you can free your mind to focus on something else while you do it. The only snag occurs when you have learned a habitual response that works against you.

Here’s an example

I’ll give an example: back at school I was physically small, which is not really a problem were it not for my unfortunate habit of speaking my mind. Naturally I attracted the attention of bullies, who made my life pretty unpleasant at times. As an adult I noticed I would sometimes tense up and lose confidence when in the company of physically large men, even if they were being friendly. I came to realise that my unconscious was automatically creating a fear response to warn me because it had learned that big males were dangerous. Because the unconscious is not logical, it made no difference what I told myself, it just kept on giving me the response it had learned.

I got so annoyed with some of my habits that I decided to do something about it, so I started a journey that has involved learning hypnosis and NLP. Hypnosis is all about being really deeply relaxed, so I get plenty of practice. Now I help others to swap old habits for new ones that work better for them. Along the way I have helped many people to overcome stress by learning how to relax actively.

We can all learn to relax

The good news is that we can all learn the relaxation habit. Even though we might be unable to simply tell our unconscious to cool it (it thinks it knows what’s best for us) we can teach it to do what we want by connecting an outside stimulus with a relaxed state. One example is music, which has been used throughout history to adjust our moods. A new kind of relaxation music is emerging that is carefully designed to trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, causing the brain to operate in a calmer way.

Of course, if you want to be really thorough you can learn meditation or yoga, both of which can have a profound effect on our ability to be calm. Many of us find it hard to find the time to explore these disciplines and for us there’s always the option of putting a calming CD on and letting our bodies respond naturally to the sounds.

Graham Smith’s album ‘Calmtime, relaxation music for all the family’, is available from http://www.calmtime.co.uk You can read about how he uses NLP and hypnosis to help people live the lives they want at http://www.smithandfriends.co.uk

Posted on Nov 1st, 2006

Perhaps it’s the result of having a new job, a new mate, or a new baby. You are overwhelmed with a feeling of excitement. Yet, you feel inadequate as well. As a result, you are under a tremendous amount of stress. At times, you might feel as if there’s no relief in sight—as if you’re on a treadmill which shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

However, the secret to effectively dealing with the stress may be to get your body onto an actual treadmill. Exercise can be the key to stress relief. It’s an obvious antidote to fatigue. It can make you feel more energetic, improving your strength and resiliency. It has been shown that individuals who are more physically fit often experience fewer health troubles. In addition, exercisers are less likely to suffer from psychological problems such as depression, binge eating, or insomnia.

Without exercise, you are increasing the likelihood that you will be afflicted with colds, flu, or other medical problems. Aerobic exercise in particular can improve your cardiovascular system and decrease your anxiety level. Some studies have shown that, during aerobic exercise, a chemical is produced in the brain which helps to heal the body from stress-related conditions. You should exercise at least three days a week for 30 minutes at a time in order to improve not only your health but your mental outlook.

If you find it difficult to become motivated to exercise, there are a number of steps you can take. To begin with, you can join an exercise club. Knowing that you’ll have to pay dues to a gym may make it more likely that you will actually end up exercising. You might also consider enlisting the aid of a personal trainer. A trainer can provide powerful motivation, pushing you to complete exercises you never thought possible. Another idea is to join an exercise class. There, you’ll meet other people who are in a similar position. The camaraderie that develops between exercisers can help to reduce your stress level.

In general, exercise should make you feel less anxious. Your muscles become less tense and you will be less shaky after a round of exercise. It has also been shown that exercise leads to an hour and a half to two hours of relaxation response. This has also been referred to as the endorphin response. As a result, your mood will improve, enabling you to deal more effectively with stress.

Exercise can also improve your self-image. You’ll experience greater self-worth, which will, in turn, reduce your stress level. A confident person is an individual who knows how to handle stress without becoming flustered. As a result of exercise, you may also end up eating better. Your improved menu may also prove to be a stress reliever. For instance, if you give up caffeinated drinks, you might become less jittery.

In addition to your sessions in the gym, you should be looking for additional opportunities to exercise. This could mean taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to work instead of driving, or playing touch football in the backyard with your children. The point is to get moving—and keep moving—at every available opportunity.

Exercise quickens the blood flow to your mind, offering the brain additional sugars and oxygen which can be important if you are concentrating. Exercise can also clear out waste products from the brain which can result in unclear thinking. You will also feel a greater sense of well-being as a result of exercise.

As has been shown here, exercise is beneficial for both the body and the mind. As a result, it can relax you when other techniques fail. By engaging in exercise, you free up your mind, enabling you to concentrate better and work more efficiently. Chances are you will not only feel better, you will look better as well. With your brain under control, you should experience less stress. Granted, exercise takes time and requires discipline, but it is well worth the exertion. The good feelings you get from a powerful exercise session can actually last for days. You may find that you actually look forward to working out because of the tremendous benefits it brings with it.

Author is the editor of Special Feature section of newkerala.com, the Online newspaper published from India. Read more articles by the author at http://www.newkerala.com

Posted on Oct 5th, 2006

The number one most popular issue that users of a self hypnosis cd or clients of a hypnotherapist seek help with is stress. Even if their presenting issue appears different, such as a phobia or lack of confidence, somewhere in the mix will be a stress issue. So helping anyone to reduce their stress can be a great and effective way of reducing the symptoms and often the cause of any issue.

Self hypnosis either with the use of a self hypnosis cd or without any aid whatsoever is a technique that can not only assist stress reduction and encourage more and longer lasting feelings of relaxation it can also help alleviate the cause of the problem or issue.

Most often the causes of any issue whether physical, mental or emotional is incorrect thinking about life’s events. There is no doubt that we are different from each other for many reasons. One of the main differences is being to perceive an identical and often the same event than someone who experiences that event at the same time.

A well-known example is what I refer to as the "2 Half Pints of Beer Scenario". This is the story of two men in a bar who have been drinking beer. They both have the same amount of beer left to drink: a half of a pint. One the men thinks to himself "oh no, my glass is half empty". The other man thinks, "Great, my glass is still half full".

Now both these chaps are in the same situation and have the same physical stimulus in front of them. Yet one is obviously having a better time of it than the other. Most often these to chaps are referred to as the pessimist and the optimist.

So it is not necessarily what happens on our world that causes us to have an issue or stress, most often it can be the way we perceive a situation and ultimately how we process that situation and store it away as a memory.

As you know, some memories just give us a neutral feeling, or no feeling at all when we think about them. An example would be writing a note or driving to the shops for most people. When you think about that memory of driving to the shops or writing that note, it does not bring up any strong feelings.

Thinking about a memory of being laughed at by your whole class when in senior school can bring with it a decidedly uncomfortable feeling. On the other hand, the memory winning that egg and spoon race when you were only 3 years old can bring happy and carefree feelings.

Changing the way we think about past and what appear to be negative events can give us a sense of release and prevent us subconsciously sabotaging future opportunities. Coupled with a relaxation regime such as listening regularly to a self-hypnosis cd can really pay dividends. After all once you have learnt the lesson of the past event (which might be to make sure you prepare for a speech) why do you have to carry the unhelpful feelings around. There really is no need to be burdened anymore is there not?

Steven Harold
Hypnosis Cd - Relief from Stress

Posted on Sep 23rd, 2006

One question that is not asked enough by people under stress is how to relieve stress. Unfortunately, people who are under stress tend to simply take it as a matter of course and simply accept its existence as though it was some sort of natural occurrence, or even a boon! Thus, people who are feeling the effects of stress do not actually take the time to notice that they are under stress and need relief. And when people are under stress, the first part of tackling the problem of how to relieve stress is actually realizing that there is stress that needs to be relieved.

Are you having trouble concentrating? Are you struggling with a project that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere? Are you dealing with people who simply will not listen to sense? Are you frustrated with the way things are going? Congratulations, you have stress. Okay, this is not really something to be congratulated on, but it is important to understand this fact. After all, the beginning of the "How to relieve stress" problem begins with recognizing the warning signs. Then, once the warning signs are seen, healing can begin.

The first thing to do when you want to know how to relieve stress is to learn how to walk away. That’s right, get up, go someplace else, and just cool off. It is often vital to hit that reset button and take a few deep breaths away from the action. The work will still be there when you get back, but being there beyond your breaking point will not get it done. An overabundance of things to do will not be helped by a clouded mind, so give your mind a break. Then, once your head is clear again, you can head back and bang out the projects with the greatest of ease. Or at least more ease than when you were sitting in front of a pile of work and wondering how you would get through it all.

Okay, so you need a break, you have walked away, but you are still so stressed that you are ready to pop. Unfortunately, the previous lesson on how to relieve stress has not worked and you need something more powerful. Well, you need to pull out a better method. This means that you need to simply concentrate on nothing.

When stress is way too much for a simple period of walking away, you need to practice an exercise in meditation. This means sitting down, closing your eyes, and thinking about absolutely nothing. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to think about nothing, so you should think about your breathing. Take a deep breath in and feel the air moving through your nostrils, down your windpipe, and into your lungs. Then push that breath out and feel it moving all the way up from your diaphragm, up into your lungs through your windpipe and out of your nostrils. Feel every motion of the air and notice how it feels as it exits. Imagine your tension flowing out with the air, evaporating into the endless space of the atmosphere, diluting into a complete dilution of oxygen. Think about nothing but breathing and notice every moment of the experience. Then, after about 3 or 4 breaths — or as many as it takes — open your eyes. You should feel as refreshed as though you just took a quick, refreshing nap. If you don’t repeat the exercise until your mind is clear and you are able to concentrate on your work again.

These activities are very effective for a short period of time, but you will also need a method for relieving stress in the long run. After all, it is taxing to notice that you are under stress and it takes a great deal of will to make that leap and push away all those feelings. Thus, you need a way to relieve stress in the long term.

In the long term, the best method to choose, when you want to know how to relieve stress, is to do what you always say you are going to do: eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep at night. Yes, we all say that we will do it, but none of us every actually follow through. But, if you eat right, you will feel better during the day, if you exercise, you will feel better during the day and sleep better at night, and if you sleep enough, you will actually clear away all that fogginess that can lead to stress. So do your body and your mind a favor by taking care of those little things that you keep telling yourself you will do tomorrow. After all, today was yesterday’s tomorrow.

When you want to know how to relieve stress, you should begin with a few simple methods as you slowly build up your will power to tackle the larger work of exercising, eating right, and getting the sleep you need. By doing all of these things, your mind will be cleared up, you will feel better during the day, you will sleep better at night, and you will not have to worry about stress nearly as much. After all, once you are relieving stress routinely, you won’t have to worry about how to relieve stress.

Copyright 2005 Trevor Dumbleton

LowerYourStress.com: for everything to do with stress. Get a free ebook to help with your stress levels: http://www.loweryourstress.com/stress-book.html

Posted on Sep 20th, 2006

Innovative Power Therapies Provide Simple Techniques to Deal with Trauma

Recent years have seen the development of a family of therapies that offer clinically effective alternatives to traditional, long-term treatments. These Power Therapies only require one to three sessions, but the results are usually permanent. Each of them provides noticeable relief from negative emotions, pain, and trauma by "rewiring neural pathways" in the brain.

It doesn’t matter whether the pain suffered is physical or emotional. These methods bring relief from fears and traumas such as: phobias, depression, grief, rape, natural disasters, crime, childhood sexual abuse, and post traumatic stress. Although their methods differ from each other in emphasis and approach, Power Therapies all work by interrupting old habits and reflexes that were established around the painful incidents.

Painful reactions are replaced with non-distressful ones. These methods work by triggering brain activity below the level of conscious control. Emotional intensity also goes down. Relieving lifelong problems in moments seem to defy logic, but a body of documented scientific studies prove the benefits are real. Fortunately, a person doesn’t have to believe in these techniques for them to work.

EFT is Easy Enough for a Person to Learn to Do in Minutes

It doesn’t matter whether their pain results from something recent or from long ago - or whether or not the cause is known. EFT (Emotional Freedom Therapy) works on both the emotional level and the physical level. The mind focuses on the pain or problem at the same time that another response is introduced, whereby a neutral response replaces a painful one.

Everyone suffers from self-limiting fears to some extent. But some people are paralyzed by them. The most powerful fears are the unconscious ones. During the tapping sequence, after one fear gets cleared, another one comes up to be healed.

EFT Always Taps Exactly the Right Place

It was developed by Gary Craig, who simplified Roger Callahan’s revolutionary Thought Field Therapy (TFT). TFT therapists follow complex tapping sequences (protocols) for numerous symptom categories. By contrast, EFT taps on the same meridian points on the face and body for every problem.

Once people learn how the tapping is done, it’s simple enough for them to use on themselves whenever they sense fear or pain. Find more information at Gary Craig’s extensive EFT website, http://www.emofree.com He offers a free, downloadable instruction manual on that site, with tons of how-to and case studies.

Rather than focusing on the traumatic memories (as with most talk-it-out therapies), EFT addresses the true cause, the disruption of the body’s energy system. It’s unnecessary for a person to relive the painful memories.

EFT works directly on the energy points (meridian system) of the body. Like acupuncture, relief comes (in part) from stimulating the meridians. Only, instead of needles, the person’s meridians are tapped with the fingers. Whether EFT is performed by a therapist or self-applied, over 80 percent of people achieve noticeable improvement or complete cessation of the problem.

EFT Applies the Same Steps to Any Negative Emotion

Craig’s system is based on the concept, "The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system." He reasons, since every negative emotion has the same cause (an electrical disruption - a "zzzzzt") they can all be relieved in a similar manner. It’s unnecessary to focus on diagnosis (or delve into the old wounds) to be successful with EFT.

EFT Simplified Sequence:

- Identify the problem

- Apply the Basic Recipe

- Relief - Complete; Partial; None

- Test and re-apply if necessary

- Apply Adjusted Basic Recipe

Each element must be performed precisely as described, and in the proper order. Every round of tapping takes about one minute. Tapping can be done by either hand, on either side of the body. Tap solidly with the index and middle finger on each tapping point about seven times.

The Basic Recipe Starts with the Setup

The person starts by identifying their fear, negative emotion, or trauma.

THE SETUP SENTENCE "Even though I have this __________, I deeply and completely accept myself." Fill in the blank with a short phrase about the problem being addressed, for example: "anger toward my father" or "nightmares."Sometimes a person can’t "accept themselves," so we might tap on just that at first - as in, "Even though I can’t accept myself for this and I hate myself right now, I am willing to be willing to accept myself."

Repeat the statement out loud three times, while simultaneously tapping the "karate chop" point on the side of the hand (or two specific points on the chest). The "karate chop" point (abbreviated KC) is located at the side of the hand about an inch below the baby finger. Vigorously tap the point with the fingertips of the index finger and middle finger of the other hand. While either hand will work, it’s usually most convenient to tap the KC of the non-dominant hand with the fingers of the dominant hand.

This is followed by the Sequence of tapping again. Modify the Setup statement, based on the new issue(s) that might present itself. Then tap another round. Do as many rounds as necessary until the problem is gone. That may require several sessions.

Example of a Client Session

PROBLEM: A woman in her 30’s is afraid to have some mandatory surgery. She’s terrified of them putting the anesthetic tube down her throat, as in a previous surgery.

FEELING or BELIEF: "I will choke to death" is the belief. FEAR is the feeling that she experienced. The woman rated her level of fear a ten (on a one-to-ten scale), as she recalled the prior operation when she thought she was choking.

First, EMDR (another Power Therapy) lowered the fear. She said after processing with the Eye Movements that the fear went down to a level seven. The belief was, I will be alone (and die that way).

When we started EFT, I had her tap the set-up point on the hand and say three times: "Even though I am afraid I will be left alone to die, and that I am helpless, and I judge myself for having this fear, I completely accept myself right now."

We did one round of tapping on "This FEAR." Then she reported feeling cold and alone. She remembered a skiing accident when she was lost in the snow for a few hours (where she felt she was surely going to die alone).

We tapped on different aspects of this incident for several rounds. Then she recalled other fears she’s had in her life, which we tapped on. Then we tapped on the humiliation she’s felt for having certain fears. Events that are attached to the same feeling (this type of fear) all come up, one after another.

After we had tapped on each one until it was gone, she measured her level of disturbance around that issue. It was now down to a two. We tapped on "this remaining fear" and it came down to a zero.

Then she made a deep sigh, and her face registered a sense of relief and peace. The new belief: "I am strong and have survived many things that would kill most people." We tapped this belief in with several rounds. This strengthens the belief even more.

We went back to the memory of the FIRST operation, where she got her tube phobia. She focused on this memory (and checked inside her body for the feeling that went with it). She reported she felt no fear at all.

I had her "run a movie" in her mind of this first operation, from beginning to end; and at the same time, she was to monitor her body for any feeling of fear. I asked her to tell me if she felt any sense of fear as she recounted the experience in detail. At one place in her story, she felt fear of about six. After several rounds of tapping on this, the fear went to zero.

We then repeated this process with her "running a movie" of the original experience in her mind. This time she got all the way through the story with no feelings of fear. At the next session the fears were at zero as well.

Two later sessions Future Paced how she’d deal with the surgery with her family and office mates. Future Pacing is a way to create the behavior we want to have in a future situation, through imagery enhanced with EMDR and EFT. She called me several months later to report that she’d gone through the surgery with very little fear.

Eliminate Everyday Fear and Frustrations as they Arise

The most amazing thing about EFT - clearing these fears removes scary and self-limiting beliefs that have been driving a person their whole life. The beliefs that have the most power are unconscious, so they have to be carefully teased out.

EFT techniques are easy to learn, even by children (who are very good at this). It’s a wonderful tool for managing their anxiety and other negative emotions. People who learn how to discharge their fears right away are pleased to discover they don’t have to be afraid of them any more.

© 2006, Susan Quinn

Susan Quinn, MA., MFT, Certified Life Coach - Power Therapies and Coaching - Newer methods for faster healing and growth in all areas of your life. Subscribe to my free monthly E-zine, Power Therapies E-zine http://www.susanquinn.net 310-600-3458

Posted on Sep 19th, 2006

EMDR Uses a Person’s Eye Movements to "Rewire" the Brain

New techniques gaining respect among therapists can easily reduce or eliminate painful emotions, altogether. These methods (known as Power Therapies) bring relief from fears and traumas, like phobias, depression, grief, rape, natural disasters, crime, childhood sexual abuse, and post traumatic stress. They’ve proven themselves to be effective whether the pain is physical or emotional.

Power Therapies usually produce marked results in three to eight sessions. And the results are usually permanent. So people don’t need to wait for years to eliminate intrusive thoughts or memories. Respected scientific studies prove the benefits are real and long-lasting.

Each of the Power Therapies reduces negative emotions by redirecting neural pathways in the brain. Although each method differs in its approach, Power Therapies work by interrupting old habits (reflexes) that developed from painful incidents. During treatment, a person focuses their mind on the pain or problem - which is desensitized. As that happens, a new belief about the self emerges, and the new belief (along with the feelings of well-being) are strengthened and built upon.

A person need not have any confidence in how these techniques work for them to be effective on their pain. It also doesn’t matter whether the trauma results from something that happened recently, or from long ago. The precise cause of the distress needn’t be known. These treatments work by triggering brain functions below conscious awareness.

EMDR Works Below the Level of Consciousness - Deep in the Brain

Studies suggest that memories too painful to deal with consciously are processed while the person is asleep. During the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep the eyes move the same way as they do during EMDR treatments.

Intense fears are "learned" at the cortical level of the brain, which is inaccessible to talk-it-out therapies. Activities that interrupt and replace those negative emotions and reflexes, allow less painful responses to take their place.

EMDR treatment involves back-and-forth eye movements, alternating sounds, and/or vibrations that stimulate the brain to resolve disturbing emotions. It was developed in the late 1980s by Francine Shapiro, to help patients deal with disasters and post traumatic stress reactions. It was thoroughly researched with Viet Nam veterans, and shown to be 80% more effective in processing trauma than other therapies. But EMDR works just as well with less dramatic, hurtful events, or self-limiting beliefs that cause low self-esteem.

Language is a left brain function, and emotions are held in the right brain. This has been shown with SPECT Scans developed by Daniel G. Amen, M.D. (http://www.amenclinic.com). Dr. Amen specializes in working with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and measures activity in the brain with this imaging scan. Looking at the brain with this instrument, the patient is asked to recall an unresolved trauma. When this happens the right hemisphere of the brain lights up in the image (it gets heated).

This information was discovered about the same time that the mind-body therapies were developed. Focusing on where the feeling is held in the body, while having alternate bi-lateral stimulation (as in eye movements, alternating sound, etc.) causes strong feelings to get desensitized. They loose their intensity.

The theory why this works - this alternate-bilateral stimulation engages the right hemisphere of the brain, as well as the left hemisphere. Without engaging the right brain as well, the trauma is not processed. Only mental health professionals are trained in EMDR, and sessions are conducted within a therapeutic setting.

My Typical EMDR Treatment Session

When working with a client, I allow one hour fifteen minutes for an EMDR session. While the person relaxes, the sounds play in the background. As in hypnosis, the client goes into a light trance.

I start by strengthening positive feelings, and feelings of times when they felt strong, confident, peaceful, and proud of something they’d done successfully. I intensify these feelings using imagery and Eye Movements.

The alternating sounds let the person close their eyes, and go more deeply into their experience. More importantly, they can move through the problem much faster than with traditional therapies. I guide them with my voice into the traumatic or painful experience to be desensitized. The topic was previously decided upon between us. Any specific event leads inevitably to what’s connected to it; and that, too, gets addressed.

I ask the person to name the emotion they’re feeling, as they see themselves in this event. Then they rate the amount of charge they feel about it (on a scale of one to ten; ten being the highest). That’s their starting point (usually six or higher). I have them place their hand on the part of their body where that fear/emotion is held, and ask them to visualize any pictures related to the emotion.

The person continues the reverie, as connected experiences and images come up. As we process these images or emotions felt in the body (with the Eye Movements and the alternating sound) they report the intensity of the feeling going down, to a one or two. Intense feelings are no longer attached to the event.

When this happens, I ask, "What belief do you have about yourself now as you look back at that event?" A common example is to go from the belief that, "I’m helpless," to, "Whatever happens I can/will handle it."

I end by intensifying and "Future Pacing" the good feeling that goes with "whatever happens I will handle it." I have them see and feel themselves (using imagery and suggestion) going through the day and into the future with this feeling fully activated in their body. This exercise implants tangible imagery into the person’s mind, so it affects their daily activities.

At the beginning of the next session I have them check inside their body, to see if there are any remaining feelings surrounding the incident we have desensitized. If not, we go on to the next incident (or memory) to be desensitized.

The Essence of Counseling is to Combine Methods that Best Serve the Client

The client-centered approach I use brings in a variety of therapeutic methods. The Power Therapies are powerful and varied (also read about EFT, Emotional Freedom Techniques, which I teach to all my clients (http://www.quintal.net/subjectPages/efttherapy.htm).

Each person has unique emotional needs, so a range of treatments, like hypnosis or coaching, may all combine to support their emotional growth. The beauty of Power Therapies lies in their ability to alleviate lifelong problems so rapidly.

© 2006, Susan Quinn

Susan Quinn, MA., MFT, Certified Life Coach - Power Therapies and Coaching - Newer methods for faster healing and growth in all areas of your life. Subscribe to my free monthly E-zine, Power Therapies E-zine http://www.susanquinn.net 310-600-34

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