Using Deliberate Relaxation to Create a Whole New You
- Do you have symptoms that scare, annoy, frustrate, or distress you—-like chronic conditions, pain, headaches, high blood pressure, anxiety, back pain, insomnia, gastro-intestinal distress, skin problems, asthma, allergies, or chemical sensitivities? Scientific studies show you can tame or eliminate symptoms like these by practicing deliberate relaxation.
- Are you so busy that you feel stressed, overwhelmed, overworked, overcommitted, and tired most of the time? Using deliberate relaxation lets you to tame your to-do list with a one item to-be list.
- Do you believe you can’t be healthy unless you micromanage your body with a complex schedule of supplements and dietary strategies? The most important foundation for good health is not food or exercise—it’s practicing a consistent and effective stress management practice—like deliberate relaxation.
- Are you struggling with stress-producing resistance to accomplishing desired goals or making major life changes? Practicing deliberate relaxation helps reduce resistance and gets you moving without the stress responses that undermine your creativity, productivity, and health.
- Are you dedicated to eating “right” and exercising, but rarely make time to relax even though you know it would benefit you? You need a relaxation practice that can be done on-the-go and as needed, like deliberate relaxation.
- Are you one of the millions of people who look normal on the outside while engaged in an inner struggle with anxiety, depression, attention disorders, or other forms of mental, emotional, or psychological distress? Mindfulness-based practices like deliberate relaxation have been proven to be more effective than any other kind of therapy for these conditions.
- Do you meditate or do yoga regularly, but still feel ambushed by stress-related symptoms when the pressure is on? Deliberate relaxation is a practice aimed at noticing and addressing symptoms from stress in the moment—enabling you to take the peace you find on the mat into everyday life.
- Are you someone wise enough to want to develop a toolkit of proactive approaches to dancing with what life brings you instead of waiting for suffering to crack you open and force change upon you? Deliberate relaxation can help soothe you when your path gets bumpy.
Is This Really the Cure for Everything?
Calling this program The Cure for Everything is not as tongue-in-cheek as it may seem. This program is based on learning a new skill—-deliberate relaxation—-a foundational health practice that has been shown to soothe alaundry list of symptoms and disorders that modern humans are prone to.
Deliberate relaxation seems like a simple practice, and, as with any new habit, thinking about doing things differently is easy. But it can be challenging to develop and fine tune beneficial new patterns of behavior and response to your particular circumstances, preferences, and personality. The class provides many strategies to help you make this practice work for you.
Deliberate relaxation is not what you automatically think of as relaxing—-you know-—sleeping, or sitting in front of the TV, or going on vacation, or having drinks with friends.
Deliberate relaxation is about learning to notice when tension arises (or even preparing for dealing with it before it starts) and then making choices to alter your energy in the moment.
It’s about recognizing your patterns and how they are or are not working for you—and how you can change these entrenched habits.
It’s about realizing that you can always choose your responses to life—and that choosing new ways to deal with all the small things that stress and distress you calms and relaxes all your physical systems.
Deliberate relaxation is about learning to reset your habitual stress-inducing mental patterns—so that you can feel better NOW.
What you’ll be able to do after learning deliberate relaxation:
- You’ll recognize tension and address it as it arises (or even prepare for dealing with it before it starts) instead of finding yourself flattened by it at the end of the day.
- You will be able to make choices that alter your energy from tense to less tense (or even relaxed!) in the moment.
- You’ll wake up to the ways you create stress for yourself so you can make different choices—because you can’t change what you don’t notice.
- You will develop a practical toolkit for altering your stress-promoting patterns, instead of just wishing you would change.
- You’ll learn to use a variety of stress-reducing responses to life’s challenges instead of feeling like a victim when your main coping mechanisms fail you.
- You will establish a powerful skill that enables you to calm and relax all your physical systems, reducing or eliminating physical and mental symptoms riled by stress.
- You’ll be able, with practice, to reset dysfunctional mental patterns to a more soothing neutral.
The Health Benefits of Deliberate Relaxation Are Scientifically Validated.
Scientific studies have validated that deliberate relaxation methods can substantially subdue or even eliminate symptoms in every condition tested—and the list of symptoms that benefit keeps growing as more studies are done. From insomnia to infertility, from pain to chronic conditions, from high blood pressure to mental health problems–all benefit from developing a practice of deliberate relaxation.
Deliberate relaxation is not magic, even though it seems to have magical effects. Learning this skill works wonders because all physical and mental conditions can be amplified or triggered by our stress responses.
What’s the Catch?
But are you wondering—-if it’s so great, why hasn’t your doctor recommended it? If it’s so magical, why doesn’t everyone know about it? If it’s so powerful, why isn’t everyone doing it?
Your doctor isn’t telling you about this because doctors are not trained in mind-body approaches to health. Modern medicine doesn’t like methods that are difficult to measure and can’t be prescribed like a pill. And convincing you of the benefits of deliberate relaxation and teaching you how to develop this practice takes more time than the ten minutes your doctor has allotted for your appointment.
The reasons not everybody knows about the power of deliberate relaxation are similar—it’s not concrete and measurable like diet or exercise. You can’t just go out and buy this solution—you actually have to learn new habits in order to change your stress patterns. And there’s no formula for how much to take or how often to do it, which means this skill can seem a bit too mysterious and demanding for mainstream sensibilities.
And everyone isn’t doing it because deliberate relaxation is a skill that you have to learn how to apply to your particular needs, and then you have to practice consciously and deliberately. It can’t be compressed into a simplistic one-size-fits-all formula you can follow without thinking. Deliberate relaxation requires conscious participation on your part. Many people consider that way too challenging.
It’s Not Just a Class—It’s a Mission
My mission is to sell you on the benefits and power of using mind-body approaches—inner practices—to improve all aspects of life, because health isn’t just about your body-—it’s about everything in your life.
Modern and popular approaches to health care miss the mark in addressing stress-related symptoms, because diet, exercise, prescription medication, and regular checkups do not address the source of your inner stress responses—they try to clean up after the damage has been done.
It’s time to add something genuinely effective to health care as usual.
This change requires each individual—that means you—to learn and practice new skills for improving health. These new skills represent a truly holistic approach to health care—you use them with the understanding that your physical and mental health does not operate in vacuum, divorced from other areas of your life. The inner and outer you are not separate, but inextricably interconnected.
Recognizing the connection between the inner and outer you means that, in addition to being a scientifically proven way to improve almost any kind of physical and mental health issue, deliberate relaxation is also a powerful and counter-intuitive tool for getting more accomplished with less effort, less stress, and more fun. And less stress in any area of life = better health. It’s that simple.
New Paradigm is Not Just Another Buzzword
Using this new skill effectively requires shifting to a new paradigm—or, as Daniel Pink would say, a whole new mind—one that is larger than the current scientific model, but not yet completely accepted.
It is challenging to practice skills based on concepts from the new paradigm because:
- It can be tricky (or impossible) to translate new paradigm concepts into concrete, measureable experience—the gold standard in the old paradigm. That can make it difficult to stay motivated when you’re used to driving yourself toward outcomes and what you are now practicing is a process—a new way of being in the world.
- New concepts like this one are usually resisted or denigrated by the old mindset. That means you’ll get little or no support for making these kinds of changes.
- Confusion and resistance often come up when comparing new paradigm methods to old means of accomplishing desired outcomes. That can make it challenging to stay committed to learning this new skill.
In fact, it can be so challenging to learn new paradigm approaches that many individuals won’t even consider them until they have run out of all other options for easing their suffering.
Increasing Your Awareness is Essential
Opposition to deliberate relaxation and the glorification of leading a stressed-out life is everywhere in the modern world, which means you must become aware these influences in order to understand your unconcious resistance to doing something that has so many proven health benefits.
Because you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge, this class will help you become aware of and neutralize:
- Physical and mental tension that has become so much your norm that you no longer notice it as tension.
- The many cultural and social barriers to taking this practice seriously.
- Your personal values and beliefs that set up resistance to deliberate relaxation.
- Your payoffs for staying stressed out, overwhelmed, or tormented by various symptoms.
Assembling Your Personal Toolkit of Tactics, Methods, and Techniques
With the practice of deliberate relaxation, one size does not fit all, nor does any one approach work in every circumstance. And because this is a skill that becomes more effective as you practice it, deliberate relaxation is not a quick fix. Therefore, in order to develop confidence with this skill, you will want to assemble a collection of tips, tricks, and tactics that you can apply when and as needed.
The toolkit section focuses on:
- Helping you test drive and collect a variety of deliberate relaxation practices—offered with tips about which are likely to work well for particular circumstances and personality types.
- Special tactics and tips for practicing when you feel discouraged or exhausted or too sick to do much of anything.
- Reminders about common patterns that may sabotage your practice and how to address them.
- The power of little-by-little—finding the smallest steps you can take to start building confidence and seeing results from practicing your new deliberate relaxation skills.
- Inspiration for committing to practicing this new skill through the inevitable slip-ups and discouragements that are part of learning anything new.
- The importance of recognizing and acknowledging signs of progress—large and small.
The Class Will Be Offered via Relaxation-Inspiring Online Classes
The Cure for Everything is being delivered as online classes because that is guaranteed to relaxing. Classes will be delivered live each week over four weeks. Each class is recorded and available for download so that you can listen to it as your leisure. You do not need to be on the live call to participate.
This class does not assume that simply understanding the powerful benefits of deliberate relaxation will be enough to motivate you to undertake learning a skill so contrary to the values of the modern world. Therefore, this class is deliberately designed to help you establish new patterns of behavior by addressing directly (and often humorously) the opposition to and challenges of developing a life, health, and productivity-enhancing whole new mind while living in the old mind world.
This information is not presented as a simple, formulaic, step-by-step program—because simple formulas only work in chemistry classes. The reality is that changing your patterns and learning any new skill requires experimentation, trial and error, repetition, and practice. More than anything, this class focuses on promoting an ongoing exploration of you–encouraging you to expand your awareness of how to alter your energy so you can find ways feel better now. There is no sequence to that process and you may want to return to certain sections again and again.
The Cure for Everything teleclass information
Four one-hour teleclasses plus handouts and class recordings, plus answers to emailed questions.
Class starts January 24, 2012 and meets on Tuesdays at 3 PM Eastern, 2 PM Central, 1 PM Mountain, and noon Pacific. If you miss the live class, don’t worry–class recording will be made available for download.
Questions? Ask me: wendy [at] changingyourmind [dot] com
After you sign up for the class, you will be emailed instructions for calling into the teleclass, where and how to download handouts for each class, and class recordings. If you do not receive these instructions within 24 hours after signing up, contact me: wendy [at] changingyourmind [dot] com