“I wield it like a sword” was how firefighter Peter Reid described using his breath to propel his athletic performance to the highest level. He was a participant in the World Fire Combat Challenge, an event in which over 500 extremely fit firefighters compete to accomplish a series of physical tasks in the shortest amount of time. Reid finished the grueling event with the second-best time, a stunning accomplishment that he attributed to his empowered breathing. “All of the competitors are elite athletes”, he said, “but what made the difference for me was that through every stage of the challenge I was totally focused on doing your deep, breathing exercise”.
Most people are surprised that a simple breathing technique could enhance physical performance at such a high level. They are similarly surprised to discover that another easy-to-learn technique such as silently repeating a word could eliminate many of their medications. Or, that by imagining an imageless image like a “space” could cure their insomnia. I spent more than four decades locating, teaching and refining a range of practical methods to intentionally decrease the flow of stress hormones and alter the biochemical climate of virtually every cell, organ, and system in the body.
As you are guided into new, nourishing states of relaxation, you become better and better at letting go of baked-in stress patterns. After sufficient experience, the deeply relaxed state becomes transferred directly into your body and mind as both a muscle and state memory, making a return to it progressively easier. When the chronic stress state is regularly replaced by recuperative calm, even for just minutes a day, one’s physical health and mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being noticeably improve. It’s a powerful self-care practice that is easy to sustain and which produces life-changing results for many.
Individuals learn through experience which techniques best trigger their shift from “Fight or Flight” to “Rest and Repair”. Everyone favors at least one and usually a few specific methods that they can confidently call upon when needed. It’s no accident that these very same techniques are taught to the highest functioning people on the planet, astronauts going to the International Space Station.
As the magnitude of the Covid-19 pandemic began to unfold, I KNEW that if ever there was a need for simple, effective stress control tools, it was now! After seeing their effects on many thousands of people during my career, no one knows better than I just how helpful they can be to counter issues caused or made worse by stress. I felt compelled to put my money where my mouth was. “I wish I could give this away to everyone” is a sincere refrain that I told myself, family, and friends over the years but circumstances never permitted me to do so. Until Now.
A few years ago my best instructional processes, the fruit of decades of teaching in face-to-face workshops, were filmed and digitized for a comprehensive online program, Resilient Living. It is sold and remotely delivered to employees in large organizations all over the world, including most recently, a top-10 US Bank and the world’s largest maker of medical devices.
After witnessing the unprecedented suffering caused by the pandemic, my business partner, Dan Lang, and I, decided to extract the most popular instructional videos from Resilient Living and make them available, at no cost, to anyone in the world wishing to access them. They can now be found at the site created especially for this purpose: www.innercalmonline.com.
On your phone or computer, at any time of the day or night, you can anonymously go online and engage with any or all of the dozen half-hour guided experiences. Your personal data is not collected and you will not be solicited in the future. You just have to give yourself permission to relax and enjoy moments of real replenishment.
With consistent use, you’ll grow happier and hardier as you fortify your resilience. While you can’t control what’s coming at you, you can much more effectively manage your reactions to those things. It’s not a pill. It’s a basic skill-set that intentionally creates a healing response to counter excessive stress reactions in the body-mind. Surprisingly, you can develop reasonable proficiency by just doing the guided audio and video exercises a few times a week over a handful of weeks. Benefits can appear quickly, often emerging within a week or two.
You may soon feel comfortable wielding this new power like a sword. However, unless you are a super-fit firefighter, don’t even contemplate entering the Combat Challenge. Instead, locate quiet, comfortable spaces and use your “sword” to cut-through your own layers of stress and strain. Use it to repair some of the accumulated wear and tear in your body and to catalyze better health and well-being during the pandemic and its aftermath. Elizabeth, who started as a skeptic, was deeply grateful for how the skill cut through her “stuff”: “My parents thank you, my ex thanks you, my children thank you, and I thank you! I never thought that such sweeping changes could come from something so easy and enjoyable to do! De-stressing without pills! Imagine!”
Help us to empower 1,000,000 people with this skill-set before the virus likely rebounds in the Fall Please share the above link with your circles of influence.
Eli Bay is a pioneer in teaching relaxation for self-regulation. His corporate clients include many Fortune 500 companies and his two long-running television series, Well Being and Beyond Stress, have taken his soothing voice and unique guidance to audiences all over the planet. He has trained many tens of thousands to get out of their own way and gain access to their healing and other dormant capabilities. He started The Relaxation Response Institute in Toronto in 1978, and co-created The Resilient Living Corporation in 2007 to expand the delivery of his ” 21st-century survival skills”. He lives in King City, on the northern edge of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. www.elibay.com