The following process combines moderate to brisk walking with integration processing and memory review exposure. This process provides all the benefits of walking and integration or memory review exposure.
Bilateral emotional processing, which efficiently uses both sides of the brain through walking or other similar exercises like stepping, jogging, cross country skiing, biking, treadmills, stair climbers, elliptical machines, or cross country ski machines, limits emotional resistance and speeds emotional integration/desensitization. Like writing emotional experiences out, exercising the body, while emotional processing, utilizes both sides of the brain and a dual focus of attention. Humans have used walking while reviewing emotionally charged events for thousands of years.
Warning: Folks with a history of mental illness, PTSD, or panic are urged not to use these techniques without a therapist. If you decide to do these processes you will agree to absolve the webmaster, the webhost, Emoclear.com, and Steve Mensing of any responsibility for the application or misapplication of these processes. There is always in any process the possibility that someone could experience some discomfort.
1. Walk (Or exercise using: Stepping, jogging, cross country skiing, biking, treadmills, stair climbers, elliptical machines, or cross country ski machines) Begin walking with a comfortable stride and with whatever breath rhythm that emerges. Your pace can be from moderate to brisk. Walk for a half an hour to an hour. Once you have settled into a good pace, then move to step (2).
2. Fully feel an emotion/feeling/physical sensation with no intention of getting rid of it or keeping it. Let the emotion/feeling/sensation intensify. Fully feel your Emotion/feeling/sensation and allow it to be there with no intention of getting rid of it or keeping it. Let it intensify. (If you want to intensify the feeling, briefly recall events where it appeared. See those events. Hear those events. Feel those events. Smell and taste those events.) Anytime you think of something instead of feeling your feeling, simply bring your attention back to the feeling. The feeling will grow in intensity as you allow it to be there with a sense of openness and welcome. No need to question whether the process is being done correctly. Just feeling it is good enough. No forcing a feeling or demanding it to be there. (This may demonstrate the intention of getting rid of a feeling that creates resistance). Just allow the feeling to be there and fully feel it. Let the feeling permeate all your attention. Continue until the feeling is as intense as it can get. Go to step 3.
Attention: Your feeling (Emotion/sensation) may integrate spontaneously during any of the steps. This isn't a problem. You'll notice your feeling (Emotion/sensation) no longer has any emotional charge (Loses it's intensity). As you gain practice you'll likely experience this spontaneous integration taking place as a subtle felt shift in your body.
3. Breathe into the emotion and notice it's edges. Explore the emotion and feel it into acceptance: Breathe into the emotion and notice it's outermost edges. Explore the emotion with your awareness and feel it thoroughly to its edges. Notice where it's most intense and where the intensity dies out at the edges. Continue to breathe into emotion/feeling/physical sensation and experience it while a sense of tranquil detachment begins to grow. Some of us may experience a subtle separation from their emotion/feeling/physical sensation as they observe it and it's edges (Where the emotion/feeling/physical sensation begins to fade out). You may feel as if you are outside the emotion/feeling/physical sensation and are observing it. If you don't experience the subtle separation, no problem. Your emotion/feeling/physical sensation will integrate-desensitize with steady experiencing. Take as long as you need and keep breathing into or toward the emotional target area. No rush. The object is to allow the emotion/feeling/physical sensation to be there. It will naturally lose intensity with steady experiencing and allowing it to be there. When it's integrated-desensitized it will no longer draw your attention or feel uncomfortable. The emotional target will be acceptable or okay. The intensity will have drained from it. You're more comfortable with having this feeling.
During this final step you may get an intuitive sense about any issues connected with your emotion/feeling/physical sensation. You may get a sense of "what to do" or some other emotional insight.
1. Ask your body for an event: Simply ask your body for an event you would want to desensitize. Give yourself time. Recall the following and quickly write your responses down with no censoring:
Where it happened.
How long it occurred.
What was happening during that event? Have a rough idea.
2. Focus just before the start of the event: Briefly close your eyes and pay attention to right before the start of the event. Feel what happened. Recall as best you can how you felt just before the start of the event. What did you see and hear? If taste and smell were involved, allow them to enter your view of the start of the event.
3. Pay attention to details just before the start of the event: Notice any details occurring just before the start of the event. Don't go beyond this point until you have a very clear picture and feeling of what happened.
4. View event from just before the start to conclusion: Allow yourself to fully experience the event scene from just before the start to conclusion. Allow that scene to be there with no intention of getting rid of it or keeping it. Pay full attention while you feel your feelings and recall the event in increasing detail from start to finish. Let your event unfold in more and more detail.
Keep reviewing the memory until:
It has no further emotional charge (Your SUD Scale is all the way down).
You accept what happened.
You feel better about it.
The memory is no longer grabbing your attention.
You can take action if required.
Any distressing and distorted intentions, decisions, or beliefs, formed during the event's actual occurrence, lose their emotional charge and believability. Notice if there are any similar events or previous events that now come into your awareness. Allow your body to choose one of these events and review it in detail in your memory.
Have fun, Steve
*Keep yourself well-hydrated.
*Breathe normally during walking. Do not attempt to manipulate your breath.
*It's best to learn each individual segment or step prior to putting all the steps together and working with the process as a whole.
*Do a SUD Scale of your emotion or emotional event. Bring your attention to your event and feel any distress there. When you have a good handle on the event's distress level, rate the distress with a SUD scale (Statistical Units of Distress). Rate your distress from 1 to 10 with 1 being nothing happening and 10 being overwhelming. You don't have to be very accurate--you just want to have rough idea about how your event reviewing is progressing. You will perform another SUD Scale at the completion of each event review to see your progress or note if your have integrated your target.
*If you need a reminder card to refer to during the event review, have these reminder questions available:
-What did I emotionally feel?
-What did I believe about the event, myself, others, and the world at the time?
-Did I experience any physical sensations?
-What were my intentions?
-Was there anything I hid from myself or denied at the time or later?
-What decisions and choices did I make at the time?
-What was I doing? How did I feel about that?
-Was there anything I felt guilty about, ashamed of, or embarrassed over?
-Was there something I learned from this experience?
-Did I have any emotional or intuitive insights about the event? What did I realize or come to understand?
-What was meaningful or important?
*Allow your event to unfold in the order it happened.
*If you feel strongly overwhelmed during the process, then rub your palms and fingers briskly together for 30 seconds before placing a warm palm over your lower forehead and eyebrows. Suck in your lips hard. This will cool your flight/fight overwhelm down. Do this only for a short time, and then return to the process.
*After the memory review is concluded, are there actions you need to take? Are there things that need to be said to others? Is there any forgiveness required? See the Forgiveness Exercise.
*At the conclusion of the memory review walking you may have some remaining emotional charge. Allow yourself to fully feel it and allow it to be there without attempting to get rid of it or keep it. Observe it with acceptance or love.
If you know how to use an integrator you may use it to accept and integrate whatever emotional charge remains.
*Don't use it on a recent trauma where you are still disoriented. Let at least 5 weeks go by before you start writing about a trauma. Know how to use the "Shrunken Head" for emerging overwhelm or "abreactions". Have someone you trust nearby or a therapist when you work with very overwhelming experiences. This lends a sense of safety.
*If you're getting tired, feel free to halt. Seal yourself back up by writing down 10 or so enjoyable and pleasant memories.
*Sometimes there's extremely overwhelming areas in our life which we are not yet ready to face. Choose a less charged area to deal with. These can be a buildup to facing the more difficult when you're ready. If you believe facing something is going to be too overwhelming, step away from it for awhile. Come to it when you're ready or with a trusted therapist.
*Are there disturbing events, related to what you're presently experiencing, which happened earlier in your life? Go to them and re-experience them.
*Were there secrets or vulnerabilities that you missed which you might like to describe?
Take care, Steve