Create a Relaxation Anchor to Dissolve Holiday and Anytime Stress


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Create a Relaxation Anchor to Dissolve Holiday and Anytime Stress
In this episode you’ll learn how to prepare for - and navigate through - holiday season stress with a simple and effective stress releasing technique that is, literally, at your fingertips.
This simple and effective method is not only great for holiday stress, but you can use it anytime you’re dealing with stressful situations.
Speaking of stress, as I record this episode in the United States, we’re in the holiday season beginning with Thanksgiving followed by Christmas, and New Year’s. This time of year can be a joyous time, but it can also be a time of high stress created by an array of memories, beliefs, and emotions.
The purpose of this episode is not to offer treatment methods to identify and dissolve root causes of issues related to holidays. There are therapists and practitioners of Energy Psychology methods for that kind of work. If that is a path you would like to explore, I invite to visit my main Stress Solutions, LLC website at
This episode is designed to offer you a simple way to prepare for and easily handle potential stress creating experiences using a technique from a method called NLP, which is short for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. That technique is called anchoring, as in anchoring in a Relaxation Response to dissolve stress.
I’m sure you’ve heard the story of Pavlov’s dogs. Back in the 1890s, Russian researcher Ivan Pavlov conducted an experiment where he feed his dogs while simultaneously activating a sound. At first he used a metronome but later he used a bell. When the food was presented to the dogs, the dogs would salivate in preparation for eating the food.
After several times of presenting the food and activating a sound, Pavlov simply activated the sound without presenting any food to the dogs.
Regardless of the fact no food was present, the dogs salivated just as if the food was in front of them. The dogs associated the bell with being feed. This stimulus - response reaction became known as Classical Conditioning.
Due to how the brain is wired, this same type of response can be programmed into our behavior. You and I will create what’s called a Relaxation Response Anchor you can activate anytime in the future to neutralize or reduce a Stress Response. As a matter of fact, we’ll create a double anchor using physical touch and three words.
1-Page Guide
I have a 1-page guide for you. This 1-page guide leads you through each step of, "How to Create a Relaxation Response Anchor”. Get your 1-page by emailing and entering the word, “Anchor” in the subject line and I’ll send that out to you right away.
If you’re driving or otherwise engaged in activities that require your full attention, then please have a go with this method later when you can give your full attention to the process.
How to Create the Relaxation Response Anchor
Find a chair where you can sit upright in a comfortable position. Avoid slouching and avoid a ramrod stiff posture. Sit upright, body relaxed, head erect with eyes relaxed as if looking out over the ocean where the water meets the sky. Your ears will be over your shoulders and your shoulders will be over hips.
Allow three comfortable breaths as you close your eyes. Using your dominant hand, bring the tips of your index finger and your thumb together gently touching one another.
Bring to mind a positive memory of a time you felt unstoppable, a time you felt on top of the world
Bring that memory to mind clearly. As you replay that memory in mind, increase the pressure to a moderate level where the tips of your thumb and index finger are touching. As you make the memory big, bold, and bright, increase the pressure slightly as you really feel the power of your memory and say, preferably out loud if possible, “Calm and confident”.
Allow the memory to fade as you reduce the pressure at the tips of your thumb and index finger. When the memory dissolves allow the tips to part ever so slightly. Open your eyes and look around the room as you allow three comfortable breaths.
Repeat this same process two more times.
Apply Your New Relaxation Response Anchor Skill
Stand up and move around. Stretch, yawn, and sigh.
Next, bring the tips of your thumb and index finger together and increase the pressure ever so slightly in the same way you did when you were remembering those positive, resourceful experiences.
If you followed along with creating the Relaxation Response Anchor, notice how your neurology and your body respond. What are you experiencing.
I’ll bet you noticed a palpable wave of calm and relaxation throughout your body. Notice how much more calm and confident you’re feeling.
Did you hear yourself say, “Calm and confident” as your mind and body were relaxing? I’ll bet you heard those words as your body relaxed.
Now try this:
Bring to mind a challenging situation you are concerned will occur in the future. This could be holiday related or not.
Once you have that situation in mind noticed how strong the stress response is in your body. Use a “0" to “ 0" scale with “ 0" being maximum stress imaginable and zero being no stress.
Alternatively, you can assess the stress level as green, yellow, or red, with green being low or no stress, yellow being moderate stress, red being high stress.
After assessing your Stress Response level, re-image the challenging situation and then bring the tip of your thumb and index finger together and say, “Calm and Confident”.
Notice what happens within your body. Be an observer to the processes and allow the Relaxation Response Anchor to do it’s magic.
After 10 or 20 seconds, again re-image the challenging situation. In all likelihood you’ll notice there is a zero or very low stress response associated with what you originally believed would be a stress creating situation.
How Do You Use Your New Anchor?
You now have a skill you can apply anytime you want to feel calm and confident. If you notice you’re starting to feel stress, fire off your anchor by touching the tips of your thumb and index finger together and allow the Relaxation Response wave to flow through your body. In all likelihood you’ll hear yourself saying, “Calm and confident” in mind or - if the social situation allows - out loud.
How to Increase the Anchor’s Power
At least once a day repeat the process you used to set the Relaxation Response Anchor. Recall other empowering memories or revisit the memories you originally used.
What’s important is you strengthen the association daily for several days. After a few days of reenforcement, you can drop back to every other day and then once a week.
When you are successful in maintaining a calm, relaxed response in situations where you would have been triggered in the past, that new positive experience can be another reenforcing resource memory.
Host: Stephen Carter, CEO, Stress Solutions, LLC. Website:
How to get the 1-page instruction guide:
Email and enter "Anchor" in the subject line. No other email content is needed.
Previous episodes available at:
Technical information:
Original recording and initial editing done in Twisted Wave. Second editing and rendering done in Hindenburg Journalist Pro.
Mic: King Bee.
Key words: NLP, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, stress, anchor, relaxation response, stress response, calm, relax, relaxation, holiday, holidays, holiday stress, Christmas, Thanksgiving,

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