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The Writers Block - with Ron Knight
The Writers Block - with Ron Knight

Episode · 10 months ago

Relax with Robert Lawrence Friedman

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

How to Relax in 60 Seconds or Less? Join us as Ron chats with Robert Lawrence Friedman, MA, president of Stress Solutions, Inc. author, professional speaker/trainer, and psychotherapist, who has appeared on national and international television shows, including The Discovery Health Channel program, The Morning Show on Today (NBC), Fox News, and E! Television. Pandemic stress, or any time stress, Robert's books provide a wide range of relaxation techniques, strategies, and tools to help you develop a greater level of relaxation, health, well-being, and even awareness.  

Hi Everyone, it's your best palroun night with me today, Mr Robert Lawrence Freedman, who is the authorof how to relax in sixty seconds or less. Many of the books byRobert Lawrence Freedman include how to relax in sixty seconds or less, the healingpower of the drum gee. Robert, it's been some time since we wereactually together in New York at one of those drum circles when we were broadcastingon the air. How are you? Yeah, I'm doing okay. Imean it's been a challenge, I think, but you know, my goal isto is to explore how to use this time in as positive a wayas possible, and I know that there's a lot of families that are suffering, five hundred thousand of them, and so I certainly feel great us,you know, empathy for those folks who have lost individuals to do to thiscrisis. But for the most part, my wife and are doing fine.We're COVID free and I've been spending a lot of my time working with hospitalemployees trying to help support the front line staff in dealing with this stressors andthe challenges of this crazy, crazy time. Yeah, well, that's great.Let me give us, our listeners, a little background on you. Forthe past thirty years, Robert Lawrence Freedman, who has been a corporatetrainer, a psychotherapist of course, an author, a professional speaker and amusician, as we've mentioned, has provided his dynamic and interactive rhythm based programsto audiences throughout United States, Europe and Asia. In two thousand and fourteen, Mr Friedman, was awarded the First Scholar Award for your innovative work inthe area of rhythm based exercises and their...

...effects on health and wellness. SoI'm certainly glad that you're here today and as we were chatting, because thispandemic has certainly taken its toll on so many levels. You know, whenyou were known for a stress reductionist. When we had our careers, peoplehad too much on their plate, people were working like crazy. It waseasy to see how people could get completely stressed out by having too much goingon. Stress Reduction was necessary. This pandemic, I think, is createda different set of circumstances where now it's like nothing is going on. We'retold that we have to stay in the cave sit on our hands. Imean it's getting better now, thank God, because the vaccines are coming and people, I think, are getting a little bit more back to the modeof wanting to get reactivated and get back in play. But I think it'sbeen a very stressful year just because loss, emotional loss, fear of death,fear of illness, all this stuff has been going on. So maybeyou won't want to touch a little bit just to get us going. Howthe stress has been different as compared to when we have maybe too much goingon and that was a different level or a different kind of stress. SoI mean, you're making a good point. Run I will share with you thatin the environments that I am working in now, those levels of stressstill exist. I've just work with forty managers who are in the healthcare industryand their issue is is biggest issue with multitasking during this so there is asector of the population that clearly is overwhelmed and burnt out and stressed, andit's our healthcare workers. So those are the folks that mostly I'm working within terms of individuals who like my wife, for example, who has not workedfor a year. You know, it's interesting. There's always two waysto view things. There's always at least two ways. Two are more ways. So do you look at covid and staying home as an opportunity to takecare of yourself, to give yourself a moment, a respit, an oasisin which you can enjoy simply being rather...

...than doing, or do you viewit as a stress there because because you don't know what to do? Andagain, I think it's going to be individualist. I don't think there's ablanket way of viewing this. I do think that there are certain individuals whoare using this time at home positively. They are finding themselves doing things thatthey would have done during retirement. They are enjoying the creativity, the opportunity, the to just be rather than have to do. There are individuals whoare very stressed because they have fear of are they going back to work?That I would consider a worry, and a worry represents a moment not inthe present, and the moment you're not in the present, there's an opportunityfor stress if you project negatively the future. So you don't know. All inall, I think that I think learning how to stay present would bea really important tool and vehicle to practice now, because people can get caughtup in their fears, there worries, and I think this is potentially thiswas and still is a real opportunity for learning to grow, be creative,learn to love yourself, learn to take care of yourself and use this asas an opportunity for gaining greater self awareness. That is one piece of this.Well, that's probably very good advice. Let's touch on your book, howto relax in sixty seconds or less us and boyd the the header onthat alone sounds like a great idea. The book provides a wide range ofrelaxation techniques and strategies and also give some tools to help one develop a greaterlevel of relaxation, health and well being. What was the motivation for writing thebook? So the book came out of the work that I had beendoing in corporate America, and what was...

...happening was that in the audiences thatI was working with in terms of man helping them manage their stress, theywanted to know the fastest ways that they can learn to relax, which whichsounds like an Oxymora. I want to relax fast. Let me now,relax now. And yet that's what I was getting from the audiences. Theywere saying, well, this is great, but show me how to do itquickly. You know, I come from New York and New York is, well, was very fast paced. It's, it is still is insome ways, and so the folks in the corporations were feeling like they didn'thave time to relax. I want to relax and I want to learn todo it quickly. So the book was a reflection of what was being askedto me and that was the motivation for it. I guess we all livein that microwave world, you know. I want to hurry up and eatsomething throughout in the microwave. It's done in thirty seconds. I mean rightis that's that level of achievement in efficiency that this especially this nation, wasalways geared towards. True. So now, with the opposite and people, forgoing on a year now, being told don't go anywhere, don't doanything, you know, just kind of reevaluate. Obviously there's been an increasein things like baking. Maybe for those who have the tools, you know, maybe they go out in the shop and they do some carpentry. Youknow, would working. But on the opposite level of that would have beenand what are the biggest stressors? I think you may have touched on someof this during covid and what's going on on a molecular level or on acalled a psychiatric level. What are these biggest stressors going on during covid?I mean you touched upon them, and some of the biggest ones are fearof death, fear of family catching this illness, fear dealing with changing ofthe habits and the stressors of that, not being able to see loved ones. You know, the biggest one of the biggest stressors is habituation. AreThe habits that we keep, and one of the ways to reverse that isto is to challenge yourself, is to...

...learn to do things differently. Youknow, the question I would ask individuals is what are they doing to takecare of themselves? What are people doing to help to mitigate their stress?How aware are they of their emotional state? There were some research that show thatmany people are aren't even aware of what they're feeling emotionally. And soif you're not aware of what you're feeling emotionally, how can you then changethat? So there are many stressors. It again, out of think couldbe generalized well, can be kind of sort of generalize, because we aredoing some very different things as a society, with social distancing, with wearing amask, and yet people have started, at least the people in my spherehave have recognized how vital that is to do. And yet it's anew habit, it's different, and yet it's becoming more it's normalizing. Andthen, in terms of Covid it's just fear of the as a contagion,fear of the variance that are coming up now. Some people are afraid ofthe vaccine and it really just depends on what a person's world view is.I think that determines their level of stressor at this time, and I guessyou have to be very aware of what the problem is before you can startto address a solution. So your book, how to relax in sixty seconds orless, it does go into the concept of instant relaxation and, ofcourse, dissecting the negative ramifications of stress, but you do also offer concepts whichcan help people relax much, much more quickly. So that's said,do you have any specific quick techniques for relaxation? I do. I doyou know your we're both drummers and drum facilitators and I actually took one ofthe concepts of drumming and applied it to stress management. And the concept thatI work with is the concept of entrainment. And I'm sure you, for Iknow you're familiar with the cons oft and trainment to trainment, tendency tofollow a dominant rhythm. Rhythm, the...

...tendency to follow a dominant rhythm.So when you are in stress mode, your adrenaline is high, your heartis beating quickly and what you want to practice doing is doing the opposite.What does that mean? You practice doing things slowly. So, as anexample, if a person notices their stress, change their rhythm, change the rhythm. What does that mean? Walk Slower, talk slower, right slower. What we have found is when you start to do that, when youstart to shift your bodily rhythms, your vocal rhythms, your gait, youwill not only slow those down but you will also start to relax and asyou're doing that, make sure you're taking deep breaths in. So that's oneof the concepts I work with. It's the power of slow. But aperson has to become aware when they're in the stress and then be willing tochange the rhythm in order to be able to down shift. Are you suggesting? And again, you and I are rhythmically oriented, so I get that. And for those who might want a little deeper clarification on what entrainment means, it's kind of like if you have a group of people or a community, or perhaps even people in Church. The idea is that some thing eitherrhythm wise, it could be even be melodic wise, it could even bejust, you know, Somebody's spoken word, or it could be just as simpleas a truck, if you will, rumbling down the street. But peoplekind of notice the sound and in trainment says collectively. People hear thatand they all focus on it together. It's kind of like a boat inthe water. If you look at where a boat is going, it leavesa wake behind it, but the rippling pattern is that it will actually bringin the other water elements around the way...

...can kind of suck it back upas it moves along, and that's what in trainment is doing for people incommunities. So when we talk about in training ourselves to a slower pace,just to be able to slow down, is there an actual exercise? Imean is it a count thing, a numeric thing? Maybe people count tothemselves and use like a numbers based system to slow themselves down, or doyou find that there's some other psychological aspect of a way to do it withouthaving to get so, you know, count and beat oriented. It's obviousyou are a drummer. Yeah, right, yeah, it's there a beat Ican do? Is there? What can I do? Cause I putthe Metro and on mine. You could do the men know, it's aprocess. Everyone has their own rhythm and so when I say slow down yourpace, you slow it down. So if you're going fast, you slowdown your walking. There's no rhythm based protocol for it. It's more ofa process base than it is a procedural based so I say slow down,you're walking. Slow down. Writing. So you mentioned a really good exampleof entrainment. One that I often use is when you're listening to music andyou're tapping your foot to the beat. That is in trainment. You're followingthat beat. That in trainment exist in organizations. That in trainment exists inour pacing, in our day. And so again you want to have anawareness, back to self awareness. You want to have an awareness of.First I'll ask yourself the question am I stressed? How do I know I'mstressed? What are the way? So there's mental ways of knowing it,there's physical ways of knowing it. There's it's called mixed reactors, where you'redoing both physical so maybe your stomach gets tight, maybe your shoulders go up, maybe you notice you get a headache when you get stressed. What arewhat's what I call your stress signature? What is yours? So once youbecome aware of that, then you say, okay, what do I want todo about it? I mean, in my book there are a numberof methods. One of them is entrainment.

One of them is using your memory, using your memory to think about what was the last thing you weredoing when you were relaxed. There's using objects as a way to relax.So, for example, for some people lavender relaxes them, so keep lavenderin your pocket. For other people it's a memory that relaxes them or apositive thought that relaxes them. He wanted to determine what are the resources thatwork for you, that you know will relax you. Then have those availableto you as your resource. Okay, so this is now leading me toanother thought, you know, is what is it? There's The Walt Disneyclassic of Dumbo where he carried the black magic feather in his trunk just sohe could fly. And then when he was plunging to his crisis at theend of the film and he lost the black magic feather, it was timothy, the mouse, who represented consciousness, who looked a at him as theywere plunging, look at him right in the eye, said you don't needthe black magic feather, Dumbo, you just open your ears and fly.Just open your ears and fly, and it's an interesting metaphor. That said, now, when we're talking about all of these whether it's a lavender,whether it's an amulet, maybe people use a mantra, but people can distressand if they are going to be stressed, let's say we get so wonderfully distressedbecause we're not attached to the material or the physical or the external thingsthat are literally stressing everybody out. And if everybody got so calm and sorelax do we feel like? Then then there's the doorway where, if themind starts probing for what's next, do you see? This is the possibilitythat a doorway opens up into what we'll call spirit or spiritual enlightenment or somekind of an awareness. And because of that, maybe even approaching that levelcan also help make people realize they don't need to be stressed because their consciousnessis moving into a different place. I don't want to sound to esoteric,but it's just leading me to say when...

...people use breathing techniques and they doget slowed down, it's almost like a function of yoga at that point andthen they can actually go to higher places of awareness. So I don't knowif you want to touch on other things that people can do, maybe breathingtechniques or other things as well. And then what is the advent of where, hopefully we can all get to. So that's a really, really goodpoint run and you know, everybody has their belief system and their perception aboutwhat is possible. I am a great believer in in the concept of spiritualityand meditation and alternate perspectives and I believe that you can use meditation as avehicle for deepening your sense of your own spirituality. There are many ways touse meditation and you ask me a bunch of questions, but I think breathingtechniques are very powerful. I'll give your listener as one of the keys tothat, and that is that it was by a medical doctor, Herbert Benson, who found I would call the antidote for stress, and what he foundwas that when your exhalation is twice as long as your inhalation, your bodywill move into a state of relaxation. And that formula is used throughout differentbreathing techniques. So basically the goal is to breathe in very, very deeply, get lots of oxygen in, and then breathe out at least twice asmuch slowly. You want to get all the CEO two out of your lungsand then you do it again. And what that does within a minute toa minute and a half, it slows down your heart rate, it normalizesyour blood pressure, begins that process, it increases your circulation, it changesyour brain waves from the Beta wave, normal waking consciousness, to the AlphaWave, a slow brain wave rhythm associate with the feeling of inner peace tranquility. And that's all by changing the rhythm of your breath. There are manydifferent types of techniques and something called diaporgmatic breathing, which use that same concept, except it's very formulaic. It's one...

...hundred and forty two. Breathe inon one holder for the count of four, breathe out for the count of twoor three, twelve, six, breathing deeper, holding it longer,blowing out slower, and so there are many, many tools that people canuse, breathing tools, sensory tools. It's just a matter of determining whatworks for you to relax you. But it does take some effort because Iguess you have to decide is it worth it for you, and there's lotsof reasons for it, because we know that stress has been linked to strokesand heart attacks and type tube diabetes and you're a narrattract infections and cancer andaging, and there's lots of motivation and incentive. The question is, areyou willing to put the time into yourself to learn it and do it?It sounds like a certainly good value. I know, if nothing else,if somebody told me, which you just have, that by learning to getthe stress and control breathing into your system and into your body and get thestress out, it could actually help people control things like their blood pressure ortheir high cholesterol levels. You know, and if they can get off thingslike I would love to get off of the M loadopine that I'm on forthe STATNS, you know. So maybe it's as simple as just remembering todo things like how to relax yourself and just watch your health levels just bydoing these techniques. How to relax in sixty seconds or less, written byRobert Lawrence Freedman. Robert, this has been great. Now if people wantto find you or find your book or, for that matter, maybe they're interestedin the ramification of, you know, the healing power of the drum,and maybe they're interested in that as well. But how to relax andsixty seconds or less, where would they find that? They can go tomy website, which is www dot dress solutionscom, and they can find allof my books and other resources for that, or they can go on Amazon aswell. Well, there you go...

...and you will find if you area listener and want to get into this, it's a great book featuring techniques whichyou can use to relax quickly, in sixty seconds or less. Robert, thank you for joining us today and hopefully these words that people have beenlistening to will be of value to them and hopefully we'll all get through thiscovid thing, and, you know, by the end of the year.But wouldn't it be great if we were all in a much better mental healthstate when we all come out? Indeed, Ron, really thanks for giving methe opportunity to talk with your audience. It's good to see you after seventeenyears. Yeah, hard to believe. Where does the time go? Wheredoes the time go to your audience is stay well, stay healthy andRon, thank you so much for the opportunity and I look forward to ussee you again soon. You Bet we will not let so much grass growunder our feet and by the time we get together again, sounds perfect.Thanks for being here, Robert. Thanks, thanks so much. Right.

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