Judith Hornok

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Fitness program for getting The Paralyzing Fear to move

Week 3

“60 Second Grinning” Technique – At Least Once a Day

Many know this technique: You lift the corners of your mouth, to the right and the left, and hold this position 60 seconds.

The result (even neurologists are convinced of this): After 60 seconds, there is a “click” moment – you are immediately put into a positive mood. Feel happy and relaxed.

This made me curious. Because these are exactly the right exercises to stimulate the Paralyzing Fear character, to get it moving. That’s the goal of this training program.

And that´s the reason why I used this technique as a training step for week 3.

My personal experiences are noted here in my training diary.

  • The trainings unit are to be done daily and can be immediately applied whenever you feel “physical paralysis.”
  • To this training program you can also add exercises from week 1 and 2.

© „The Paralyzing Fear“ Judith Hornok

© „The Paralyzing Fear“ Judith Hornok

MY Training DIARY: Week 3

Monday: I’m already a little nervous – I have an important phone call in 20 minutes. The thought of it doesn’t feel good. I’m not looking forward to it. The last conversation was very unpleasant. I had the feeling the person at the other end of the line was not listening to me: that we were talking past each other. I do not feel like talking on the phone, but I have to do it! I have to stay professional! I feel my lungs cramp. I breathe in and out. The physical sign of paralysis is still there. Now the time has come, now I need to do the exercise: I lift the corners of my mouth, to the right and left, energetically. I hold this position; I begin to count: 1 – 2 – 3- … At 13, a thought passes through my head: “This is ridiculous. Why are you bothering yourself with this now? It would be much better to concentrate on the talk itself. The call is in ten minutes!” – the Aggressive Inner Critic character has apparently arrived; another one of The Emotional Hinderers, who likes to manipulate. But I ignore this thought, keep concentrating on my exercise. Hold the position – while breathing calmly and steadily through my nose, in and out, in and out… I continue counting … 28 – 29 – at 30. “This is ridiculous! …” there it is again, the criticizing thought. “Stay strong!” I order myself to be self-disciplined – “Just keep on holding that position and keep counting!” I lift corners of my mouth more; while visualizing the aggressive, nagging voice as a “person” – the Aggressive Inner Critic character now has a face, hair, clothes, takes on a shape. This makes me smile inside; makes it easier for me to hold the tension at the corners of my mouth. Keep counting… 58 – 59 – 60 – Done! I let my facial muscles relax. A few second later, the corners of my mouth lift on their own; it’s a yo-yo effect.

What do I sense in my body – there’s no physical pressure anymore. My nervous thoughts have disappeared as well. I feel happy and generous. I pick up the phone and dial. The call goes well.

Tuesday: I’m waiting in front of the bakery. The line is long. I’m late. I’m getting impatient, feel a slight pressure in my throat, “I hope I’ll make it…” Inside, a customer is chatting with the saleswoman, both are laughing. “What´s that?”. My body seems to be heating up – looks like the Incensed Anger Rascal has just arrived, joining the Paralyzing Fear. I get angry: “Hurry up! Everyone is waiting! And there the two of them are chatting away? Pure egoists!” I take a deep breath, the feeling of pressure in my body increases; as does my anger. Now I want to try something: To see if the fitness program for the Paralyzing Fear character works on the Incensed Anger Rascal as well, will I get this creature to relax? I abruptly lift both corners of my mouth and hold that position for 60 seconds – intensely. Then I let go. My facial muscles relax and again there’s a yo-yo effect – my lips automatically lift up. How do I feel now? The anger is gone; no matter how hard I try, I can’t be mad anymore. It´s exact the opposite: I have a natural smile on my face as I enter the shop – smiling to myself from the inside out. This fitness program seems to work as a relaxation program for the Incensed Anger Rascal character as well.

Wednesday: On the walk home after having done some shopping, my head is spinning with thoughts. I remember an uncomfortable situation. I start to feel a restriction in my throat – how can I go on? I search for answers, but can’t find any. Now it’s time for the exercise again: I breathe deeply in and out, lift the corners of my mouth. I hold that position. A couple passes by. The man looks at me – and then, in a second, drops his eyes to the ground. My huge grin seems to irritate him. The woman next to him looks surprised at first. But then she smiles; it seems to be an involuntary reaction to my facial expression. I keep the grin in place. Now I need to be disciplined – just a few more seconds to go … 58, 59, 60 – Done! I let go. An instant later the yo-yo effect sets in – the corners of my mouth automatically lift up. Now, I am smiling on my own – the situation with the couple just now was so bizarre.

I feel very good, don’t sense any kind of pressure in my body.

Let´s look at the thoughts I had before: Now I see everything in a much more relaxed way. What can be done? The first ideas and solutions come to mind.

Thursday: It’s early in the morning – I don’t feel particularly good or bad. I’m on my way, getting some coffee. No one passes me on the street. But still I want to try something out: To what extent can I motivate myself with the grin-technique, already early in the morning? Am I able to improve my mood? Is this possible? I lift both corners of my mouth firmly upwards and, as always, hold the position. Today, it’s easy for me, I’ve had enough practice. And even when the thought “Is this really necessary? Why are you doing this,” passes through my mind – now it’s just a flash, over in a second. Because I have a strong counterargument: “Yes! It’s important! It feels right!” The 60 seconds are over – as always, I relax my facial muscles and, again, this is followed by the yo-yo effect. How do I feel now: Good!

Friday: I am on my walk. Two women come towards me on the promenade. They are walking in the middle of the street, taking up the whole space. If I don’t dodge them by moving aside, they will run straight into me. But that doesn’t seem to bother the women; they continue heading straight towards me, don’t swerve. Now I need to act quickly – either I will go around them or we will crash into each other. I feel the heat inside me: “Incredible, how selfish they are! Pushing me off the sidewalk like that! Who do they think they are?” I decide to go on the defensive, make a sharp turn, move into the road to avoid them. At the same time, I apply my grin-technique: I lift the corners of my mouth – tightly hold the tension. With this extreme grin on my face, I pass the two women. Both give me an anxious look. I look directly at them, into their faces – with my huge grin. That unsettles them even more. Now I need to be disciplined again – keep the tension in my face and breathe calmly through my nose, in and out. While I continue counting …58, 59, 60. Done! I let go. The muscles relax and the yo-yo effect sets in again. How am I doing now, how do I feel? There isn´t a feeling of “anger” towards the two women anymore. It´s just the opposite, I find the whole situation amusing and am totally relaxed.

Saturday: I’m in an impossible situation – a bottle has broken in my paper shopping bag. The liquid is spilling out, soaking into the bottom of the paper bag; suddenly it rips. Everything drops out. “Oh my God!! What am I going to do now? How am I going to carry everything home? I start to panic – my throat closes up. Then, I remember this week’s exercise: the grin-technique. Today I don’t have any difficulty, I know the exercise very well by now. Also the criticizing inner voice doesn´t bother me: “What are you doing? What’s this supposed to mean? Why don’t you worry about getting a new bag first!” – I promptly ignore the Inner Critic. Just concentrate on the exercise and breath calmly through my nose, in and out, in and out, while counting … 58, 59, 60. Done! My face relaxes, and as before, there’s a yo-yo effect. My nervousness is gone. Now it’s easier for me to think in practical terms. And I begin to wonder: What can I do now? Maybe some of it will fit in my coat pockets? And the rest of it I can carry in my hands! A happy ending: I brought it all home.

Sunday: I am sitting on a bench. A man walks by – we start talking. It turns into a discussion. In the middle of a very emotional part of the conversation, the man gets a call. He apologizes and answers his phone. While he’s speaking, he moves further and further away from me, and goes to get his bike. It seems that he is going to leave soon. I’m surprised and disappointed: “How can he do that, I was in the middle of a sentence! Our conversation wasn’t over yet. I really wasn’t expecting that! That´s so rude!” Here´s where the Frustrated Expectation character, another of The Emotional Hinderers, arrives first on the scene, I feel pressure in my chest: “Maybe I said something wrong?” (the Paralyzing Fear character). “This is no way to treat me! That´s just impossible…I, I, I…(the Bloated Ego character). I feel angry, resentful. It´s time, let´s do this week’s exercise: I lift the corners of my mouth up, hold that position – for 60 seconds.
How do I feel now, what’s going on inside me? I don’t feel any physical pressure, not even a bit of negativity towards that man. “Whatever,” I think, “He probably had his reasons.” I turn my attention to my book again. After a few minutes, I hear a voice: “Good-bye! It was a pleasure to meet you! See you soon!” I look up – I see the man standing there, he says good-bye and sends me a friendly wave. Then he gets on his bike and leaves. Now I am smiling – from the inside out.

Today, I’ve already exercised and calmed three of The Emotional Hinderers with the “Grin Fitness Program”: the Paralyzing Fear character, the Frustrated Expectation character, the Bloated Ego character – wait a second, the Incensed Anger Rascal character also stopped by for a second. So, in total, it was four; I keep smiling, and feel relaxed.

Results for Week 3

At the beginning of the week, lifting the corners of my mouth was very difficult for me. I was constantly questioning the purpose of this exercise.

But, through daily and consistent practice it became easier by the day.

And the results were always the same: I could immediately identify aggressive, negative feelings and emotions and The Emotional Hinderers such as the Incensed Anger Rascal, the Aggressive Inner Critic, the Bloated Ego, the Frustrated Expectation and of course the Paralyzing Fear. And I was able to manage The Emotional Hinderers better.

Because one thing is certain: This exercise put me into a very good mood – very quickly.

I will continue testing this exercise and will publish more experiences and results in six months’ time. Here on this blog.

Fitness program for getting The Paralyzing Fear to move – Week 1

Fitness program for getting The Paralyzing Fear to move – Week 2

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