Have you ever been stressed waiting in line for something? Did you ever wish you could destress in just a short amount of time? Well, now it’s possible to destress in 60 seconds or less. The 60 Seconds Fix is the newest book by Dr. Regalena Melrose. It is her response to people who want quicker and easier solutions to their stressful lives. When stressed, there might be no time to see your therapist, which is why Dr. Regalena Melrose has the right tools for you.
Join Alicia Dunams as she talks to this stress and trauma specialist about her book. Learn how your body works under stress and what you can do to alleviate that. Understand that you can’t fix anything in less than 60 seconds, but all it takes is 60 seconds every day to bring your body back into balance.
Listen to the podcast here
The 60 Seconds Fix With Dr. Regalena Melrose
I am very excited to introduce my next guest, Dr. Regalena Melrose. I would love to share with you a little bit about Dr. Melrose. She’s an author, educator, trainer, and consultant dedicated to providing Self-Regulation Training, SRT, to individuals and groups worldwide. She’s the bestselling author of The 60 Seconds Fix and Creator of both Brain Charge: The K-12 Curriculum and SRT.
Additionally, Regalena has authored other noteworthy resources, including the groundbreaking books You Can Heal Your Child and Why Students Underachieve. She’s an accomplished international speaker and consultant specializing in the application of current neuroscience to educational practice and parenting. Welcome, Regalena.
I’m so glad to be here. Thanks for having me.
It’s wonderful to have you here. This is a full circle moment for us because we worked on your book, You Can Heal Your Child. How many years ago was that?
I’ve written five since then, so it has to be a long time ago because I’m not that prolific. I don’t work that quickly.
That was such a fun book because I remember we came up with the title of the book. This is the essential question that parents want to be able to access answer, “How can I heal my child?” We are going to be talking about You Can Heal Your Child and the book that I would love to share with the audience called The 60 Seconds Fix. This particular book is a timely response to our collective calling for quicker, easier solutions to our stressful lives.
Keeping up with our fast-paced, technology-driven world stresses us beyond tolerance. We are tired of not feeling good and our kids not feeling good. I’m excited to jump into The 60 Seconds Fix and talk about other books that you’ve created. Your commitment to the world is to heal children and heal those children when they turn into adults. I want to welcome you to being here. Thank you.
Thank you so much, Alicia. It is a question that parents have, “Can I heal my child?” It’s the reason that that title was so important for us to come up with, You Can Heal Your Child. Thank God. That came to you in a moment of inspiration. It answers that question. Yes, we can as parents. As committed as I am to healing children, I just celebrated 30 years of doing what I do for a living. What I learned over those 30 years is that it’s by healing parents that children heal. It is through us.It's by healing parents that children heal. Click To Tweet
Our emotions, regulations, and capacity as parents are absorbed by our children. The healthier and better off we are as parents, the more they benefit from being in that space, energy, atmosphere, and feeling. It’s a feeling to be around a parent who’s healthy, whole, productive, and functional. We can’t be those things all the time, so we are all being challenged. My commitment is to healing probably the planet because I happen to be a little hopeful. Through us as adults, our children will be healed.
That brings us to my first question. We worked together years ago on You Can Heal Your Child. You are prolific. You write these books. They are dedicated to healing children and adults alike. I want to jump into your next book, The 60 Seconds Fix. What made you write this book?
It was time for a mainstream book. Even though it is the most mainstream, it isn’t the most recent. I’ve focused a lot on providing resources to educators and mental health practitioners. I wanted a book that was for your hairdresser and auto mechanic. I have the privilege of doing a wonderful keynote out in Beaumont. That organization wants me to speak to all of their support staff, meaning their technicians and people working in their cafeteria. All of the employees of this organization need to be supported. They need answers. We are all tired of feeling powerless.
That’s why that title, going back to, You Can Heal Your Child, is so important. You can heal. We’ve got to get our power back. The 60 Seconds Fix book addresses that for everybody, no matter who it is that is searching or needs relief. What are some simple, effective and on-the-quick side things or tools that I can use whether I’m working on my job, in front of my child, waiting in line or feeling road rage? I was fascinated by those things and the people that have a hard time waiting in line or being in traffic.
It’s like their nervous system is highly aroused in some way. In anything, comment or someone not turning on their turn signal sets them off.
That’s understandable, given everything that everybody has been going through these last few years. People have been pushed to the absolute edge. We don’t have the time, patience, and capacity to commit to long-term solutions. I don’t think we do. We need on-the-go, on-the-run, in-the-moment, and seconds-long tools that are effective, not a cheap idea that we can do quickly.
What does work quickly? That’s what my research was all about. I tested on thousands of people over the years. Can this 60-second toolkit, where we set a timer, and it truly is 60 seconds and no more, can be effective after 1 time, 2 times, 3 times or 10 times? What is it? We set out to do this research and discover that in 60 seconds, in the beginning, when you apply these tools, eventually they kick in 40 seconds, 30 seconds or 20 seconds. It becomes a gestalt where your whole brain-body is used to what you have been practicing for only 60 seconds a day.
It’s there for you in those moments when you need something that’s going to kick in even quicker than 60 seconds. It took a lot of determination to find the answers. Can we heal quicker? Is there something that we can be doing that doesn’t take up as much of our time and commitment because we have so many other things going? We are finding out that yes, there are simple and quick things that we can do a little bit each day so that it builds up inside of us and makes a difference.
I want to jump into some of those tools that we can access anytime, anywhere, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week these, 60-second tools. I want to speak to something that you said. There is this long-term fixing. I don’t know if you are referring to therapy, inner child work or things that could take months, years, and decades that people invest in. Do people feel it can’t be as easy as 60 seconds?
True. Who can blame anyone for assuming that? That’s a good assumption to make because we are not going to heal in 60 seconds. We are not going to use this toolkit 1 time for 60 seconds and heal. It is very important to address that. It’s about the strengthening of neural pathways over time, 60 seconds at a time. We become a master through practice, no matter what it is, whether it’s playing the piano, going to yoga or some of these longer-term things that are very helpful. Even therapy helps us to question our thought process and make sure that we are challenging some of the debilitating thoughts that run through our heads sometimes.
All of what we need to do is practice healthier habits until those healthier habits are grooved into the structure of our brain. Once we are able to do that, then we get somewhere with short, quick, and accessible tools that we’ve practiced. They are kicking in. It is quick and easy. There’s a payoff. The thing is that we want and need a payoff for our effort. What I don’t want is for people to feel that the effort they have to make is carved out at least 1 hour, 3 times a week, to go to a yoga class that’s 7 blocks away. They have to find a sitter.
It can be complex to get to therapy regularly, to a yoga class or that basketball game because you are on a team. Thank God. It helps to play basketball as often as you can if you are trying to de-stress that way. I’m very interested in how much easier than that can it get. How much quicker, easier, and more accessible can it be? Can it just be while I’m sitting right here with you? Can it be when I’m doing the dishes and have to make my son’s lunch? Can it be where I’m in my home or in bed? Can I learn something that’s going to help me fall asleep so much easier than having to do something more complex?
Those are the things I got curious about. As one of those busy people that was juggling it all, I was struggling with my stress levels. I have genetic conditions that challenge my capacity to handle stress. There are genetic components, biological components, and hormonal components for those of us that are going through menopause. There are all kinds of components to this. How is it that I could find something doable and practical? I’m wired that way. How can I make this the simplest and the most practical for people? I compiled a lot of stuff, and it turns out you can get it into something simple and effective.
What are some of your top ways to self-regulate? When people are feeling stressed, and their nervous system is aroused, what are some of these tools that are in your book?
Here’s where it’s a process of. It’s a process of stealing, paying attention to all the research, listening to all the brilliant people, trying everything, putting it together, and going, “I’ve pulled everything from all these different wonderful places.” Putting and using them together turns out to be powerful. It’s that word gestalt, where the totality of the tools is bigger than any one tool on its own.
A medical doctor, for example. They’ve said it to many people that I’ve worked with over all these years. If you are having trouble falling asleep, wiggle your toes and pay attention to your feet. The more you pay attention to your feet, and you wiggle your toes, you start to lower your heart rate and blood pressure. You are bringing your energy down. It’s fascinating.
If you go to get your blood pressure taken and don’t remember to uncross your legs and put your feet flat on the ground, then you get a higher blood pressure reading. You are in a higher state of stress, agitation, activation or whatever word you want to use. A good nurse who knows his or her stuff is going to say, “Could you uncross that leg for me? Get those feet flat on the ground.”
Learn about breath and the importance of a breath going in through your nose as opposed to your mouth. Unfortunately, when people don’t know their stuff, they may say to somebody quickly, “Take a deep breath. That will calm you down.” People start taking deep breaths but they are breathing in through their mouths because they are having an anxious, panicky moment. When we do, we often gasp in through our open mouths because we are in distress.
Breathing in through your mouth continues the activating anxiety-producing physiology in your body. The deep breath needs to go in through the nose. That triggers a branch of our autonomic nervous system that starts to slow everything down again. It starts to lower heart rate, blood pressure and glucocorticoids, which is a fancy word for stress hormones like cortisol or adrenaline. I pulled, put things together, did the research on them, set the timer for 60 seconds, and collected data to see if this was effective or not.Breathing through your mouth continues to activate the anxiety-producing physiology in your body. Click To Tweet
Can all of this combine to be something that works that quickly in moments of distress? It turns out that yes, in fact. Even now, if you notice your bottom and your chair, this is my favorite thing about this with old kids, young kids, and students who have to take tests, all they have are themselves, a pencil or pen, and the chair they are sitting in. You can wiggle your toes, breathe in through your nose, and focus on the chair that’s right there offering you support and find the part of you that feels the most anchored either to that chair or maybe it’s your feet on the ground. Do that for a few rounds. It only takes 10 or 15 seconds.
It doesn’t take long for you to start to notice that when you focus on the support, you are getting from your chair, you wiggle your toes, breathe in through your nose, and there you are in a test-taking situation bringing down the anxiety you are having from taking that test. It has been a miraculous discovery that has been a joy to share. You can do all this on my app. There are audio and video resources on there. Go to my Instagram. My Instagram was hacked, and I have to start over. I will do weekly little videos taking you through yet another helpful tool. It turns out that we can’t talk ourselves out of it.
It’s almost like a bodily solution that needs to happen. It’s not a mental solution. It’s breathwork, meditation, and movement. We can’t think ourselves out of it because our thinking brain will take us in all different directions.
It is the thinking brain that gets hijacked when we are in distress. We don’t even have access to a very healthy thinking brain. They call that stinking thinking. When we are in distress, that’s what happens. It’s hijacked and will take us down a black hole of yuck. We got to go into these sensory tools or this body solution because that is where the heart is racing. It’s the body that’s making you think you are about to have a panic attack and die. You got to soothe the body. This toolkit is about sensory tools for bringing the body into balance.
As you were going through the breathwork of breathing through the nose, out of the mouth, the feet firmly placed on the ground and feeling supported by the chair that I’m in. I sense my whole body calming through that moment. What I love about this is that when our amygdala is hijacked or aroused, we don’t have access to the therapist down the street. That’s $300 an hour. At that moment, we only have access to our bodies and ourselves. We can tap into these tools that you are sharing anytime, anywhere, and any place 24/7. They are free.
They are there for you when you are waiting at the bus stop, waiting in line at the grocery store or driving in the middle of traffic and somebody is giving you the finger. They are there all the time. That’s why I have found it so rewarding and exciting to know that it’s something I’m giving people that is always right there right now for nothing. They are secretive and private. Nobody has to know that you are doing that for yourself.
I find that very helpful for a lot of people who are self-conscious or have shame issues. For a lot of the people that I work with, there is this loading of shame that a lot of us feel in this world of social comparisons all the time, and there’s so much pressure. I don’t know how young people are doing it.
We both have one child. When I worked with you, my daughter was probably 10, and your son was 6 or 7 years old. We were getting caught up with where they were. Something that I have been doing for the last several years is I do a lot of leadership development work. I start my training grounding in meditation. I did one for the military. I led them through a visual meditation.
What happens is when people come into the room, they bring all this energy and stress. They got cut off by so and so to ground and be able to receive the learning of the day. This woman was crying in the meditation. She said she felt very vulnerable and stressed as she came in. It’s that slowing down moment. I always look towards you. What I remember when we were doing You Can Heal Your Child is that you would take children with ADHD, ADD, and learning disabilities into nature to heal them. That was part of the tool.
I teach that in my training. I say, “Take a MENTAL health break.” M stands for Meditation. E stands for Exercise. N stands for Nature. T stands for Talking it out. A is Altruism, giving back philanthropy work, and then L is Laughing and Letting it go. You have access to that at any time. When you are feeling aroused or stressed, walk on the beach, take a walk in the park or lay in the grass.
You brilliantly did it for your participants. They can do it right here like go for a walk on the beach or lie in the grass. It’s when we don’t have actual access to it. When we visualize it, we give them visual medication. One of the tools of the 60 Seconds Toolkit is a visual of a place in nature that you love to be, that is restoring, that you have a good memory of, or something you make up, something that would delight you if you could go or some of these wonderful places in nature that we can’t even get to. They can only show us an aerial view from the helicopters.
When we visualize this, our neurons fire in our brains as though we have the experience. Our brain-body doesn’t know the difference. Our neurons fire as though we are there. All that brings down our glucocorticoids, stress hormones, heart rate, and blood pressure when we are in a beautiful spot in nature, whether it’s real or imagined, which I find so exciting and liberating.
You can buy Dr. Reggie Melrose’s book, The 60 Seconds Fix, on Amazon.com and any other bookstore like your favorite bookstore and Barnes & Noble, I’m sure. While you are there, buy, You Can Heal Your Child. If you are a parent of a young one or an older one, have these tools and access Dr. Reggie’s brilliant research and studies.
Even though I was supporting you with the book writing process, you were writing the book. We were doing all the publishing and the book cover design. I gleaned this learning from you. Who you be in the world is so powerful. On your email list, I see how passionate you are, especially around the youth, and how important that is as our youth become older. I would love for you to share another tip from your book for people to be able to access a tool and self-regulate at that moment.
Another wonderful tip is about how we feel ourselves separate from all of what’s going on out there. All of what surrounds us is not us, and we get mixed up. We absorb things and own things that don’t belong to us and do belong to others. Reestablishing a strong, healthy boundary container that is around us, protects our personal space, and helps us to feel separate from what is outside of us is not me. I see, hear, and feel it but it’s not mine. I’m not taking and owning it. I don’t want it.
In the book are some wonderful tools for how to develop a helpful container and begin imagining healthy boundaries. It’s tricky because our boundaries are not just something that we speak with our words. It has to be something fully owned and embodied inside of our whole being that, “This is a no. This is not mine. Keep it away from me. If you can’t, I will.” I know how to make sure to feel separate from what isn’t me. That takes some work, effort, and tools. These are tools that I lead you through in the app and my writings if you want. Part of you can heal your child. It is all about that.Our boundaries are not something that we speak with our words. It has to be something fully owned and embodied in our whole being. Click To Tweet
Here’s another tip I would love to share with parents. Know that they can anchor into their separateness from their child, not disconnection. We are not disconnected from our children. We can be as connected to them as we need to be. We are separate. We have our own bodies, emotional life, and degree of regulation and dysregulation. We certainly wouldn’t want them to own any of that, would we?
We are having a bad day. We are dysregulated. Our emotions are a little haywire. We don’t want them absorbing, owning, and taking that on as their own. This container and boundary work are important for us to appreciate that our separateness from our children is extremely healthy and important. It’s not unhealthy detachment, rejection, disconnection or any of those places that our stinking thinking will lead us to.
It’s healthy. I want to be my separate human being so that my child gets to be their separate human being. They don’t need to take on my stuff, as I do better as a parent when I don’t take on their stuff. We stay more regulated when we don’t own what’s theirs. It’s tricky. It takes some practice and tools. I lead people through that, whether it’s in my writings or on my website. I have that archive of blogs and newsletters with all the tips on there. Also, my YouTube channel.
Let’s use this as an opportunity. I usually ask this at the end. There’s such wealth. I’m on your email list, and I see your website. I know how prolific you are, the books you are writing, the work that you are doing, and the schools and corporations worldwide. Where can people find out more about your books and all of the resources that you have?
I’m glad you are asking because so many of them are free, and it’s a passion of mine. I keep my prices as low as I can. I give a lot away for free because I want people to have this. If you go to DrMelrose.com, it’s on there. There’s so much free stuff, low-cost stuff, and stuff that’s a little pricier because I hold people sometimes for a long time. You can see on there the online courses on.
Also, the YouTube channel, which is free. When you go to YouTube and put in Dr. Reggie Melrose, my channel will show up. It’s categorized a little bit, and you can tune into what interests you. The app is at your App Store, the Play Store. It’s called Dr. Reggie Melrose. It’s all my name. If you use my name, you will get lots of resources. I have been blessed to hear back from too many people to keep track of over these years with what it’s meant to them. It’s extremely humbling because, honestly, I’m the person that needed this. We teach what we most need to learn.People teach what they most need to learn. Click To Tweet
We talked about You Can Heal Your Child and The 60 Seconds Fix. Please tell us about your other books.
What a pleasure. Thank you so much. I have a little guide for parents called Hope and Healing, and by the same name, this activities book is called Hope and Healing Activities Book. You have to look on the website for either the guide or the activities book. This activities book is full of what we can do as parents with our kids, as teachers with our students, and as practitioners with our clients no matter what their age.
It’s a wonderful activities book that helps us do this sensory stuff that’s so necessary for stress, anxiety, and trauma. If we try to do it with words, we don’t get merely as far but if we do it with sensation, sensory tools, and body-oriented tools, then we get somewhere with stress, anxiety, and the effects of trauma. That’s important. The textbook has been used as a textbook in universities and by so many educators all over the place.
This one is published by Rowman & Littlefield. It’s, Why Students Underachieve, and it is my first book from some years ago. I’m not going to count the years. This is The K-12 Curriculum. My latest publication is a teacher guide for the curriculum. You don’t need the curriculum to get over 50 sensory ideas for how to help your students with stress, anxiety, and the effects of trauma over 50 beautiful seconds long things. That’s a PDF. It was a demand where everyone was like, “We would love something to be an easily downloadable PDF.” You click and download the Brain Charge Teacher Guide. It’s a PDF. It’s also available on my website.
At this portion of the show, I like to ask the speed round or ask you questions, and you tell me the first thing that comes to your mind. The first question is, Dr. Reggie, what is your legacy?
I hope it’s to alleviate the world of its shame. I want to bring people out of shame states and love themselves the way they are. It’s a big one for me.
Your favorite book?
I am reading Eckhart Tolle’s, A New Earth. I keep reading and reading it.
It’s practice until it is ingrained in us. Your favorite author?
You are going to know the Canadian in me. I’m from Canada, and honestly, my absolute favorite author is a guy from Toronto, Timothy Findley. One of his best books ever is called Not Wanted on the Voyage. I had to plug it in.
Is it fiction or nonfiction?
It’s fiction and fantasy in the most exciting ways. It has beautiful metaphors and gorgeous poetic writing. He’s wonderful.
What are you reading next?
I have, Stillness Speaks, which is also Eckhart Tolle. It’s the tiniest little book and is so profound. It has a few words on each page but has a huge impact. That is the book that I’m reading that’s bringing me a lot of peace, joy, and acceptance of myself, just the way I am so that I can be that for others. I hope that people absorb that from me and that it helps them to do the same for them.
Here’s the final question, and I know you are a prolific author. What are you writing next, Dr. Reggie? What do we get to work on?
I am writing my next newsletter blog for the website. It is about my dear best friend in the world who passed during Covid from cancer. She had a long six-year battle but is my hero. She remains my hero. She was a phenomenal healer as well. I’m writing something beautiful to inspire others. I try to be the best Beth I can be. Her name is Beth. I always try to be the best version I can be of myself that is inspired by her. I want to do the same for my audience. I’m writing a newsletter blog that I hope will be very helpful to my audience. If people want to subscribe to my website, put your email there. Every now and then, I do not clog up people’s inboxes.
It’s only valuable information. It’s DrMelrose.com to get access to that new newsletter. I look forward to seeing that. I like to ask a question. What’s one thing you want to leave our audience with?
I hope that what I leave them with is a sense of hope. I don’t like to look back only to see how far I’ve come but if anyone is feeling from me a sense of peace and hope that we can keep working on this seconds at a time and we will find relief, more self-acceptance, and self-compassion, that’s what I would love to impart to people. Being that person that has been on this journey for this long, there’s hope.
Dr. Melrose, it was so wonderful to interview you for this episode. It’s great to have a full-circle moment with our work together a decade plus ago and to see you thriving and serving the world. I’m grateful to have you.
Thank you, Alicia. I love being here.
Everyone, thank you so much for reading this episode of Authoring Life. See you next time. Be well.
- The 60 Seconds Fix
- Brain Charge: The K-12 Curriculum
- You Can Heal Your Child
- Why Students Underachieve
- Barnes & Noble – The 60 Seconds Fix
- You Can Heal Your Child – Amazon
- Dr. Reggie Melrose – YouTube
- Dr. Reggie Melrose – Play Store
- Hope and Healing
- Hope and Healing Activities Book
- Brain Charge Teacher Guide
- A New Earth
- Not Wanted on the Voyage
- Stillness Speaks
About Dr. Regalena Melrose
Dr. Melrose is an author, educator, trainer and consultant, dedicated to providing Self-Regulation Training (SRT) to individuals and groups worldwide. She is a best-selling author of The 60 Seconds Fix and creator of both Brain Charge: The K-12 Curriculum, and SRT. Additionally, she has authored other noteworthy resources including the groundbreaking books, You Can Heal Your Child and Why Students Underachieve. She is an accomplished international speaker and consultant specializing in the application of current neuroscience to educational practice and parenting.