Well, we're still on, the notion of resiliency, but this is where I'm really going to introduce you to the second approach. Just to make that clear. We've been talking a lot about how we can use the environment, to trigger, positive mental states. We talked about that around humor, around dancing and singing, around social connections, around anticipation, those are all things we can do. We can configure our world, in a way where we're going to continually have events that positively impact our mental health, giving us a break from anxiety, every now and then, a break from cortisol, and even some endorphins in there to counteract the effects. That's all really cool, and very powerful, and a quick and easy way, to configure your life to be one more conducive towards mental health. Of course, also you can use that, to create a context, in your institution, that promotes mental health. What I'm going to talk about now, is a different approach. It's going to be a skills based approach. Let's just relax. My point is, that sounds nice, just relax. There's a lot of power to relaxation, but it's not something we actually just know how to do, it's something we have to learn. But if we can learn the skill, of summoning relaxation, over our body, this is a second, extremely powerful way, to manage your anxiety. This one is going to take some time, and effort and work. It is a skill, it's going to take practice. But the good news is, if a person puts the time into this, they will have, this skill in their back pocket, and it will help them every time they're encountering stress or anxiety. It takes a lot of work to get the skill, but it's a really powerful skill to have. Institutionally, by the way, let me just say at the onset, if I were running a hospital, I might support, my staff and workers, everybody that works there, by having some way they could come into a practice, session with this, where they could work as a group and learn the skill. If all of your employees had this skill, there would be, less stress within your workplace. That's all. For starters, let's unpack what we're talking about a little bit more here. First of all, I want to talk to you about this general principle that psychologists often rely on, when it comes to behavior change. That is, what we call promoting the good and ignoring the bad, and if you ignore the bad it'll get crowded out. Let me give you two examples of this, one I've already given you. Let me give you this really quick. We've talked about eating well, and I told you in that case, what a lot of people do is they say, "I'm eating too much junk food, I'm eating too much ice cream, I'm eating too much chips. I got to not eat that, not eat that, not eat that". Of course, every time they're thinking about something they should not eat, they're thinking about that thing, and that makes them want that thing. Whatever you think about, you give energy to, and you often don't want to give energy to the bad things. That's why I told you there, don't think about what you don't want to eat. Identify foods that you wish you ate more of, healthy foods. Buy those foods, make yourself eat those foods. If you eat the good stuff, and you eat lots of it, you're not going to crave, the bad stuff, and you're not going to give it energy by thinking about it directly. That's one of the most effective ways, of changing your diet. Let me give you one other example before we get into the one that really matters here, just to make it clear, and I always thought this is a fun one I give to my class they always like it. Let's say, you are a new parent, and you have a young child. We'll call him little Johnny, and let's say little Johnny is, I don't know, about four years old. At one point, you had friends over, in your house, this wasn't during COVID. You had friends over at your house, and for whatever reason, little Johnny runs out of his bedroom, and he's naked. He's not wearing any clothes, whatsoever. What do your guests do? Well, they probably laugh, and snicker, and they create a positive experience. When Johnny comes out, now and he's greeted by all of these smiles, and laughters, and isn't he cute and blah, blah, blah, that's a reward, for him. The next time he hears people out there, he might say, "I'm going to strip down and go right at it again, because maybe they'll all like it". Now you as the parent, might say, "I don't like it. I don't want my child doing this". What are you going to do? Let's call that the bad behavior now, running out naked. You could focus on that, and you could reprimand little Johnny, and say, "Don't do that. Whatever you do, don't do that". Now, what's he going to be thinking the next time you have friends over and he's in his room and hears friends? He's going to say, "She doesn't want me to go running out there naked", in which case he's thinking about, running out there naked. Chances are pretty decent that, once he has that thought, he might go ahead and do that. Here's the other option. The other option is to say, "Johnny, I'm going to have some friends over, this afternoon, and if you come out fully dressed, like a young man, then I am going to give you a peanut butter cookie", or some reward like that. Notice, what we're doing now, is ignoring the bad. We're not even going to talk about him running out naked, we're going to redefine a good." Here's what I'd love you to do. I'd love you to come, out fully dressed, and if you do that, I will reward, you for doing that". Now, of course, if he does do that, come up fully dressed, you'd better reward him, and reward him quick. But if you do that, it's a very easy way to get rid of that bad behavior without even talking about it, without even focusing it, without even giving it energy. This is a general principle that we use in psychology quite often, and it's what I'm going to apply to this discussion on relaxation. Let's just go for low. Let me remind you of this slide, from the understanding anxiety lecture. If you recall, I was saying anxiety, activates this fight or flight response. I told you that the fight or flight response is, really, in every way, opposite, the rest and digest response. If pupils constrict here, they dilate here. If the breathing gets slower here, it's faster there. If the heart rate's fast here, it's slow there. They're all opposites. When you're thinking, I don't want to feel like this, I don't want to feel that fight-flight feeling, another way to say that is I want to feel like this. I want to feel this relaxed feeling. This is like naked Johnny. This is like Johnny perfectly dressed. I don't want the naked Johnny, I want the Johnny perfectly dressed. This is the notion, if we're feeling anxious and we want to feel less anxious, we cannot focus on the anxiety. We cannot say, don't feel anxious. Why am I anxious? Why am I sweating? Why is my handshaking? If we focus on the anxiety, we're going to empower it. We're going to give it energy and it's going to become worse. But instead, if we can say, "I want to be relaxed, I'm going to focus on becoming relaxed," that's the opposite state of anxiety. If we can learn to empower that relaxation, that other branch of the sympathetic nervous system, the rest and digest, if we can bring that forward, then the anxiety will go backward all by itself, and we won't give it the energy by focusing on it. That all sounds nice. All I got to do is relax then. That's what you're saying and that's what I'm saying; all you have to do is relax. However, you have to learn how to relax. Most of us don't know how to relax. We think just sitting on the couch and putting our feet up and we call that relaxation. I'm going to talk about a deep body relaxation, a real feeling like you were totally, utterly comfortable, and that there's a feeling of your body that comes with that; a lack of tension, a lack of stress. That's what you have to feel. That's what you have to learn to bring over your whole body. How do you do that? Let's start with an analogy if we will. Star Trek, for any of you guys who watch Star Trek, and I'm old enough that I insist on using the old Star Trek characters; they had something called the transporter, and the transporter would allow them to stand on these little pads and somebody would put in coordinates of some other place and they would dematerialize from here and they would rematerialize at that other place. They could transport their body through space from one place to another. In Star Trek, it was pretty easy. All they needed was the coordinates of where they want to go. I'm going to tell you, you can transport. Your mind has the ability to transport your body and it can transport your body to that relaxed state of being. However, there's a difference. In order for our mind to be able to do that, it has to be intimately aware of what that feeling feels like. It's like in order to transport yourself to that destination, you have to know that destination really well. You have to be really familiar with it. If you're really familiar with it, then you can go there. But it's that knowing where you're going, that's really critical. So part of formally learning to relax is learning where you're going. I've hit the first two points here, but the bottom one is, how do we do that? Well, the first step is the hardest step. In order to come to know what relaxation feels like, we first need some external resource to help us get there. Luckily, there are lots of these around. I'm going to provide one here with my attachments and I'm going to tell you about something else at the end of this too that's even better. But there's this notion of what we're going to call guided relaxation. You're going to need a guide to bring you to that relaxed state the first few times. Then once you're there; imagine this is like a guide literally bringing you to some new location that you might want to go back to. But, you know, the only way I'm going to come back is if I really know that location. Once the guide brings you there, it's important that you really attend to what that place feels like and that you give yourself a door and that door will be what we call a trigger word. You're going to associate that feeling with a word and that if you connect those to enough, then the word will help you get to that place. This is almost like a Jedi mind trick. It's really cool and very valuable, very powerful. Just to demystify what I'm talking about a little bit more, because it probably sounds a little ambiguous right now, let's make it concrete. What is a guided relaxation audio and how does it work? This is just a taste of what we're going to call progressive muscle relaxation script. This is usually what people use to guide somebody to a relaxed state, progressive muscle relaxation. But let's just look at it really quickly to give you a sense. At first, it's just, "Hey, welcome. Make sure you're warm and comfortable, let your hands rest loosely, close your eyes. Fine. Now, by the way take a long, slow, deep breath through your nose." All of these relaxation inductions involve long, deep breaths that you let it slowly. Why are you doing that? That is the rest and digest way of breathing. The fight or flight way of breathing is like this. Short, fast breaths, get lots of oxygen ready to fight [inaudible]. The rest and digest is slower, deeper breaths. Simply by doing that, we're promoting rest and digest. We're saying we're going to mindfully, intentionally adopt the breathing pattern that's associated with the rest and digest mode and that's already one step towards getting there. You're empowering your ability to relax and you have a lot of these deep breaths to do that. Now, here's how this progressive muscle relaxation works. It starts with various muscle groups. Here we're at feet and toes. Breathing deeply, we're going to do those breaths all the way through and as you do, curl your toes down and tense the muscles in the soles of your feet. All through this, we can go muscle group by muscle group and we tense them first. We make them really tense right on the edge of sore, of painful, but not quite there, but as tense as we can hold it. Then the critical point is we then relax the tension, and as we relax the tension, we pay attention to what that feels like, to let tension go away, to let it be replaced by a relaxed feeling. We'll often do that a couple of times, say with our feet, and then we'll go up to our calves and our calf muscles. If you're sitting right now, by the way, try lifting up on your tippy-toes, but staying in a sitting position. If you lift up on your tippy-toes and you do it just the right way you should be able to clench your calf muscles so that they're really tight. If you're taking a deep breath and you clench those calf muscles until they're really tight and you hold them for quite a while, hold them as long as you can, keep them really tight, and then at some point, you exhale and you let that tension go out of your calf muscles. Again, same idea, feel the tension leave and associate that with a word. You're going to see I'm using the word rain and you'll find out why in just a moment. But you say that word rain and you let that tension go and then you move up to your calves, your buttocks, your stomach muscles, your chest muscles, your arms, your shoulders, your back, your neck, your face. At the end you're doing things like this probably [inaudible] , fun things like that to get all your face muscles, clench with all your face muscles, tensing them up, and then relaxing them. After you go through one of these sessions, just listening and doing what the person says, you feel extremely relaxed, just very comfortable. I'm going to recommend to you that this is something you consider doing just before bed because it's a great way to get your body into a comfortable place. Remember what we talked about the sleep, the importance of sleep, this is a great way to prepare for sleep. Now, some of these are 10 minutes, some of these are 20 minutes but they would walk you through and get you to that place, and part of it is getting there. I mean, just getting there is going to make you feel better for now. You're going to be at that relaxed place, which will give you a break from anxiety which will be fantastic. But the bigger goal is to learn how to come back to this place any time you want to. With that bigger goal in mind, what we recommend is really pay attention to what that feels like, get very familiar with what relaxation really feels like. Associate that with a word, rain, relax, rain feels so good. That's an important thing and you would do this over and over, night after night. In fact, let me walk you through the steps that you would go through to build the skill. You would start doing exactly what we talked about using guided relaxation, get you to that place, and then attend to that place, associate it with a trigger word and do this as often as you can. You want to get really familiar with relaxation. When you feel like you've done this quite a few times and you feel like I have a good sense of what that feels like, try it without the guided relaxation. Just try laying down or sitting in your chair and either do it yourself, clenching all your muscle groups, which is fine. You can just do it yourself now but you may even find, I should call this 2.5, that at some point you may not have to do all the muscle tensing thing. You might just be able to get your whole body to that place it was after you've done all the muscle tensing thing, and so that it just comes and you can sermon relaxation, is what I would call it. Once you feel like you're pretty good at doing that, then I recommend just have some random alerts on your phone. Just put in some alarms in the morning at various times, maybe three or four times during the day, and then when those alarms go off. Use those as an environmental trigger. Whatever you were doing at the time, I'm just creating it. I'm going to pause and I'm going to take a moment, and put myself to the right relaxed state. Can I do this on command while I'm going through my life? Alarm just goes off. I try to see if I can pull this in. By the way, if you can't do anything, then you go back steps. I always go back to number one if you need to. Bu if you're getting good at doing this, then the final, and most important step combines this with what we talked about before, becoming aware of when you're anxious and remember, I said sometimes working with a buddy really helps you here. In fact, learning the skill with a buddy or with a group institutionally maybe would be a really good idea because then if a group, let's say everybody on your ward was doing this together, and now somebody on your ward is anxious, you can point to that person, and say. Rain, rain, rain, come on, rain, rain, and then rain in the anxiety, you can say that, and the person can then say oh I'm I anxious because they might not know, they were. Let me bring it back down. You can work with one another, and where you ultimately want to get to the point is when you recognize the anxiety in yourself, you recognize that anxiety building, and then you kick in your relaxation. You focus on the relaxation and keep in mind, that's what we're doing here, all the way back. We're not empowering the anxiety. We're going to say, oh, I'm anxious. Therefore, let me think about relaxing that I'm going to stop thinking about anxiety now. I'm going to focus on relaxing. Very powerful skill, but it is described here. You have to put some work into it some serious time, and effort to make this happen. But if you do then any time you feel anxious or emotional. It's more about emotional control. You get in some argument with somebody, and you feel like I'm getting really really angry. You can use this to put yourself into a relaxed state, and allow yourself to respond rationally instead of emotionally. Last thing I'll say about this is this is the hard step. Learning what relaxation feels like, getting intimate with that feeling. By the time you guys are seeing this, this is just about to be released. We're about to release an app called Little Rain that should be available wherever you get your apps. It's free, no cost. It's meant to give you that practice where you can listen to progressive muscle relaxation audios, short ones or long ones, which comes a number of different languages and it actually tracks your practice. You grow flowers when you practice, a beautiful garden grows, and you can give flowers to other people. We're game of buying all this stuff. What it's core is this, number 1, giving you practice so that you get to know that relaxation step, and then you can move on to two, three and four. Take a look for the Little Rain app. I'm also going to include a guided relaxation audio here with the attachments. Let me also mention they're all over the Internet. If for whatever reason, my guided relaxation thing isn't your cup of tea, look online guided relaxation or progressive muscle relaxation audio. You'll find a ton, and they'll probably be one that that suits you well. It doesn't matter which one you use as long as it gets you to the spot. Cool. The skill of summoning relaxation. It's a powerful different approach to managing anxiety, and one I highly recommend that you take the time, and energy to learn. It'll do you well all through your life. Thank you. See in the next one.