Dear Nurse Karen,
You are a good friend and sister to hang in there and keep trying with these stressed out “hard cases” of yours!
I do have a few thoughts.
First of all, it’s not true that tough guys don’t do guided imagery or related forms of meditation, breathwork and relaxation. Rest assured, this is not a male patterned response. We’ve got all kinds of guy athletes, soldiers, first responders, type A Masters of the Universe and generally testosterone-loaded uber-dudes using it to great effect and with satisfying results. So it’s not about being a guy, per se.
But it does have to do with running so much adrenaline and related stress hormones, that there’s just too much of a gap between the racing in their heads and the buzzing in their bodies, and somebody’s ridiculously calm voice and soothing musical chords coming in at a nice, slow pulse rate of 60 beats per minute – makes adrenergized men or women just want to jump clear out of their skin!
That’s why First Sergeant (Ret) Dave Rauls had us create his version of an intro, to get his fellow soldiers into it from where they’re at. You can check out the whole story and Dave’s intro here.
And you can get that intro for your friend and your bros, if you think it might help, either on our Stress Mastery CD (which also contains relatively brief relaxation exercises that they could maybe tolerate – at least after my friend Dave gets done with them) - or as a separate track over on iTunes.
Another thought: Forget about guided imagery and give ‘em a machine!! Jack Fowler, a retired Marine, brilliant PhD psychologist and biofeedback mavin over at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (used to be Bethesda Naval), works magic with some unbelievably traumatized and injured patients.
Jack recommends the user friendly, portable, self-administered and low-cost GSR2 for introducing de-stressing to guys like your friend. The GSR2 precisely monitors their stress levels by translating tiny tension-related changes in skin pores (galvanic skin response) to a rising or falling audio tone. By resting two fingers on the sensing plates, they learn to lower the pitch and their stress levels. More and more, they adjust their breathing, muscle tension and pulse rate and thus gain the eminently gratifying skill of self-control and relaxation. It’s a good method for your hyper-charged, sleep-deprived guys.
Hope this helps!