Teleconference Part 3


When Pushing Stops Working
Awareness Day 2008 Teleconference

The Take Home Messages - Part 3

J. Gilbert and Elly B.

Our Common Message, Reiterated

    1. Having “no standard treatment” or having “no official cure” is not the same as people don’t recover. Some do. Fully. And they remain well.

    2. There are things out there that help. If you haven’t found them, keep looking. You are worth that investigation. We cover some of what we’ve observed to be helpful.

  1. Part III: “E T Phone Home, Gratefully” -- Elly Brosius

    1. How can one begin to reverse flipped stress response?
      Handling stress becomes ever so more difficult after pushing to the point of symptoms, after pushing through to collapse. But it isn’t hopeless. There are many things to do. It takes time and commitment, self-compassion, patience, and curiosity. If you have symptoms, its serious. You have to spend more than a few minutes per day on your health. No one else can help you as much as you can help yourself.

    2. The flipped stress response state has extraordinary physical components.
      I live measurable evidence of that everyday. And nothing said today about attitude, gratitude or changing behavior and so on is meant to diminish that..... in fact it is brought up because the body is speaking so loudly, pleading so desperately about the imbalances it faces, that we must consider all strategies including tools of the mind and spirit that can support the body.

    3. Remember this
      Even after one has given up many things, even if you have had to avoid stuff because it felt difficult and tended to shut down your brain, even if  you have to give up more food or work or sex for a time, that isn’t the end. Things can change for the better again. It probably won’t be a straight line toward better, but more messy, with fits and starts. Keep going.

    4. Become an More Accurate Observer of Yourself.
      Having an observer in any experiment changes the result. We need change. Using the mnemonic “E T Phone Home Gratefully” is how I remember the strategies I use.

    5. E - Energy Envelope; Examine Expectations; use Everything

      - Know and Respect the Energy Envelope
              push less everywhere possible
              examples: the 50% solution - do only 1/2 what think you can
                              use a jar of marbles to represent the day’s energy

      - Examine Expectations
              “should statements” are very stressful
              rephrase, use different language to be gentler with self
              example: change “I should make dinner.” to
              “It would be nice if I could make dinner, but I am not up to it again and that
              makes sense because I have a chronic condition. I am so grateful for mixes,
              take out, frozen foods, delivery. They can nourish me, too.”

      - Use Everything that Helps
              which includes doing less of that which doesn’t
              The Everything could include supplements, diet, medications,
              alternative treatments, behavior changes, support hose, so, so many
              things, which tend to be different for everyone.

    6. T - Talk, Type, Talk and Talk somemore

      - Talk and Type or otherwise write
      - Talk some more. Use that voice.
      - But Talk with people who are accepting and interested,
         with the idea that the talk is for processing, for healing,
         for mind-body, to be evolving, and for your own understanding.
         Receive the talk of others in the same way.

    7. Phone

      - Use the telephone as a tool.
      - Communication by phone is very different than face-to-face.
        Callers reveal more because they may feel safer.
        I am talking to you differently because this is a teleconference.
        I am sitting with my feet up, I am using notes.
        In person, I use no notes, I pace, I share differently, tell different stories.
      - Use teleconferencing to multi-process with a few friends from your support group.
      - Use voice mail reminders to help you remember fun things, not just appointments or meds.

    8. Home

      - Stress may relate to not feeling at home with one’s self, one’s life.
      - Look around your home for clues about what you may not feel “at home” about.
      - Ask yourself little things you could do to make yourself feel more at home.
      - Feeling at home may have much to do with a comfort level with one’s spirituality.

    9. Gratefully

      - Gratitude is a wonderful tool for dialing down the “always on” stress response
      - Gratitude can break the spiral downward of “collecting more symptoms
      - Gratitude can bring more laughter, deeper joy
      - A gratitude journal is an effective tool. In it, write 5 things daily one appreciates.
      - Sharing our gratitude, to inspire each other and give a place to compare experience, with the goal of climbing out of flipped stress state, has been the focus of newest support groups.

    10. Elly’s Gratitude Group (EGG) for people with CFS, FM, and OI has been meeting by telephone for over 2 years. For our info, links, meeting summaries, and more, see

    11. Started in 2008, The EGG Dish is a Yahoo Group conversation for the experiment of group gratitude journaling for people with CFS/ME and similar.

    12. Gratitude Group members report unexpected and amazing changes.
      While no one claims it was easy or overnight, no one in our group wants to go back to the way things were. The experience and changes of more gratitude has affected them deeply. The changes include being able to tolerate more stress, having a vacation that felt like a vacation, tolerating foods once given up, successfully being around smells that used to sicken. People report being happier, even happier than they before becoming symptomatic, being happier than ever!

    13. Thank you for your time and attention.

    14. Home

  2. Go back to Notes for Part 1
    Introduction & “Making Connections” by Elly B

Go back to Notes for Part 2
“Stress Talk” by J. Gilbert and Q&A

Contact Us

    1. Contact: or visit

    2. Listen to the Teleconference at “2008 Awareness Day”

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