HELP FOR STRESS DISORDERS

By Eleanor Eggers, Ph.D., LP, BCB, (Senior Fellow)

                 Lesson 8


It usually takes about a week to develop the ability to sense the coolness in the forehead quickly and to reduce the number of repetitions of the formula from many to just one.  When you have done that, you have completed learning the six standard formulas!


The optional formula deals with tension in the neck and shoulders, a very common situation.  Therefore, many people like to add this formula.  It has been found to be very helpful in solving this problem.  You can choose between saying “neck and shoulders” or just “shoulders”.


Please begin by reviewing the information given under "Basic Information" and in Lesson 1.

 

Lie down on your bed or recliner chair and focus your attention in a very  passive way on your arms and legs and say to yourself  (think) once: 

  • My arms and legs and heavy and warm. 
  • I am completely calm. 

 In

 Switch your focus of attention to your heart and say to yourself once:  

  • My heartbeat is calm and regular. 


Switch your focus of attention to your breathing and say to yourself once: 

  • It breathes me. 


Switch your focus of attention to your abdomen and say to yourself once: 

  • My abdomen (solar plexus) is warm. 


Switch your focus of attention to your forehead and say to yourself once: 

  • My forehead is cool. 


Switch your focus of attention to your (neck) and shoulders and say to yourself once. 

  • My (neck and) shoulders are heavy. 


Then say to yourself several times: 

  • I am completely calm.  

                                                                                         Now you can spend the rest of the twenty minutes just enjoying being in this state of deep relaxation. Follow the directions given in Lesson 1 on how to maintain a completely

passive state. 

 

At the end of the twenty minutes be sure to cancel by making two fists, bending and tensing both arms, and then opening your eyes.  


You will soon find that you can say the shoulders formula to yourself at other times during your daily activities when you want to help your shoulders relax and that you get an immediate relaxation response from your shoulders.  Eventually, just saying the word “heavy” while focusing your attention on your shoulders will produce relaxation of the shoulders (and neck).

 

If you have a problem with your shoulders, you probably also have a problem with your neck because the shoulder muscle extends up into your neck.  Pain in the neck and shoulders is often the result of chronic tension in that muscle. Learning to let it relax will usually make the pain go away.