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Michael Robinson's Hypnosis Education Center . A Mental Wellness Website .
Licensed Provider . Hypnosis Resource .

A learning center for hypnosis and self hypnosis education. A resource for finding professional referrals for hypnosis treatment of medical and psychotherapeutic issues. A learning center for hypnosis and self hypnosis education. A resource for finding professional referrals for hypnosis treatment of medical and psychotherapeutic issues.
Member: American Psychotherapy and Medical Hypnosis Association
What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis: Fact and Fiction
Is Hypnosis Dangerous?
Ideomotor Action
Semantic-Imagery Relaxation
Structuring Auto-Suggestions
Administrating Auto-Suggestions
Deepening the Hypnotic Trance
Testing the Hypnotic Trance
Emotional Behavior
Psychosomatic Disorders
Rules of the Mind
The Power of Creative Imagination
How to Set Realistic Goals
You Can Learn to Relax
Glossary of Terms
Finding a Hypnotherapist Near You
Certification: Licensed Professionals
Hypnosis Training For Professionals
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Hypnosis Learning Modules

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You Can Learn To Relax

This is a tense world, as many of us well know. We talk about "tension" and we read about it. It is discussed on the radio and on T.V. It is written about in books, newspapers and magazine articles. There is a growing realization of something excessive in our way of living that can lead to disorder and malady. As the pace of modern living continues to increase, almost every individual is obliged to meet demands on their nervous energy that would not have been made many years ago. As a remedy we are told to "take it easy, relax." However, most people are so busy living their daily lives that they rarely, if ever, allow themselves the opportunity of experiencing total relaxation. Many people claim that they "relax" by driving, playing golf, collecting stamps or by some other hobby. But, what they mean by relaxation is vague even in their own minds.

The real problem is that most people simply do not know how to relax. This is very unfortunate because the ability to relax in any situation is a tremendously valuable skill that anyone can learn in a very short period of time. Once the skill is developed, it is possible to remain calm and at ease in situations that normally produce anxiety or tension. For example, many individuals become tense or anxious when they meet new people, when they are in a strange or new situation and when they feel that they are being judged by others. Individuals who drink excessively, or who may be trying to quit smoking, become very tense and anxious when they have not had their usual drink, snack, or cigarette. Some individuals experience great anxiety in certain specific situations such as riding in airplanes, being in closed areas or in high places, etc. If these individuals could just learn to relax in the stressful situations, they could control or completely eliminate their anxiety.

Modern research has shown that "inner tension" depends for its survival on existing in a vicious circle. The circle may begin with fear, anxiety, or over stimulation and can build to include such elements as frustration, sleeplessness, fatigue, talkativeness, anger, etc. But one part of the circle that is always present is muscle tension. Relax those tense muscles and you break the circle. It is absolutely impossible to feel angry, fearful, anxious, insecure or "unsafe" as long as your muscles remain perfectly relaxed. Tension in muscles is a "preparation for action" -- or a "getting ready to respond." Relaxation of muscles brings about "mental relaxation," or a peaceful "relaxed attitude."

Tension is a rather vague word when it is used to describe inner feelings and emotions. But, muscle tension is a definite physical thing. Make a tight fist and note the tension. That is muscle tension. Now let your hand slowly turn limp. That is relaxation. The more slowly you loosen the fist to final limpness, the more surely you may identify the feeling of limpness, the more surely you may identify the feeling of relaxation happening -- and your control of it. Squint your eyes tightly shut and compress your lips. Slowly let them go limp. Get the feel of it.

If you train yourself over a period of time to repeat these simple exercises, first with the large, easily controlled muscles, then with the smaller ones whose tensions are subtler, you will find it possible to relax at will, all the way down to a repose quieter than normal sleep.

Thousands who have learned to calm "uncontrollable" tensions by relaxing controllable muscles find it works every time. But it takes practice, a willingness to keep at it. The process is progressive, not instantaneous. For every minute that you keep the larger muscles relaxed, more of the smaller ones will let go -- even if you haven't yet the skill to relax the small ones voluntarily. If you are either exceedingly or subtly tense, and as yet unskilled in the fine points, you are not likely to be wholly calm after five or ten minutes of partial relaxation. The process is like turning off all the lights -- the house won't be dark until the last switch is thrown.

Here are some things that you can begin to do immediately to help you to achieve a "relaxed feeling" and "relaxed attitude" while going about your daily activities:

  • Keep your hands and arms limp when not in use.

  • Keep your face -- especially your lips and brows -- placid when not talking and no more activity than necessary when talking.

  • Let your shoulders hang on their bones unless they have a load to bear.

  • Let go any needless rigidity in your legs and feet when they aren't carrying you.

If you do these four things, you will find a pleasant change toward serenity creeping up on you.

Try this: catch yourself, if you can, in moments of pressure, excitement, hurry, argument. Notice the muscle tension that always goes with them. Now relax every one of those muscles that you can without falling down or looking ridiculous. Maintain all the muscular relaxation you can while still playing your role in the situation. Try it 40 times, not just once. Then you be the judge of what seems to happen to your part of the tenseness of the situation.

No matter what you do in daily life, you will do it better, with less fatigue and better judgment, if you "hang loose." As you habitually relax needless tensions in your voluntary muscles, this state of relaxation will spread even to muscles that are not directly controllable, such as those involved in stomach tensions (Which is something to think about if you work under pressure that has your stomach "tightening up in knots"). As a part of this course you will be taught a method for inducing a very profound state of physical relaxation using words and visual imagery. As you continue your daily practice, begin to form a habit of mentally remembering the pleasant relaxed feeling that you induced. Stop occasionally during the day, it need only take a moment, and remember in detail the sensations of relaxation. Remember how your arms felt, your legs, back, neck and face. Sometimes forming a mental picture of yourself lying in bed, or sitting relaxed and limp in an easy chair helps to recall the relaxed sensations. Mentally repeating to yourself several times, "I feel more and more relaxed," also helps. Practice this remembering faithfully several times each day. You will be surprised at how much it reduces fatigue and how much better you are able to handle situations. In time, your relaxed attitude will become a habit, and you will no longer need to consciously practice it.

The instructions presented are from the personal collections and writing library of Mr. Robert E. Cutter, who died December 13, 2001, while in the process of completing the transfer of his work to the internet. These are offered as educational instruction only. The purpose of this instruction is the effective learning and use of hypnotic techniques for vocational or avocational self-improvement. This instruction is not offered as a substitute for, nor as a supplement to, any form of therapy concerned with physical, mental, nervous or emotional illness. Robert E. Cutter served as web consultant for American Psychotherapy and Medical Hypnosis Association for three years. His hypnosis education came through the training he provided at a school he owned in the 1950's in Los Angeles, California, along with his wife who preceded him in death in 1980. Robert Cutter was not a psychologist and did not practice psychotherapy, but his interest in hypnosis motivated him to provide free resources materials for others who wanted to learn to use the power of their minds to improve well being and health-related issues.
Michael A. Robinson, R.N.- BC Psychiatry
Licensed Texas State Nursing Board Registered Nurse
Texas State Nursing Board Certified in Psychiatry
In Honor and Memory of Robert E. Cutter, B.S. 1923-d.2001
From the Writings of Robert Cutter's Self Hypnosis Center
About Feelings Network
Texas . 78526
Phone (956) 203-0608
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