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The ESR Technique

How does ESR work

A simple explanation of how these points work is that when under a stressful situation, our bodies go to ‘fight and flight’ mode which involves the stem brain at the back of our heads. Unfortunately, fighting or running away often are not the best solutions. What we need is to have a clear mind to access what to do next. When applying ESR technique, we redirect the focus back to the forebrain which enables us to think of solutions and choose how we react to the circumstances, rather than falling into ineffective survival patterns.

When I applied this technique to my clients or friends, they had reported that their minds seemed to clear up. Some of them said they were able to see the situations in a more positive way. Some said they felt the events didn’t seem as bothersome as before. Some felt ‘lighter’ and more hopeful. Some said they were able to make up their minds as to what to do, or they felt whatever it was, wasn’t important to them anymore and were able to leave it behind.

ESR can be used to release stress or emotions related to past events or traumas. It could be an embarrassing moment, it could be a past situation or event that left you feeling angry, frustrated, sad, nervous, or overwhelmed, it could even be an accident or natural disaster.


ESR for Future Events

It could be an upcoming event such as an exam, a presentation at school/work, an important phone call/email, a future confrontation, or any future event that is making you nervous or overwhelmed or keep putting off.

To apply ESR for a future event, visualize or imagine this event taking place, especially what you fear most, whether it is the outcome (e.g. exam result) or things that could go wrong (e.g. forget everything during a presentation). Apply ESR and go through this future event again. Continue this till you feel comfortable about it. 

We certainly can go through life without using this technique. However, when we do actively release the emotional stress related to a future event, we certainly can enjoy these events much better because even an exam can be an enjoyable experience, or at least, it could be seen for just another task that we have to do without it affecting our daily enjoyment.

This technique for emotional stress release can be used by anyone and only takes a few minutes to learn.


Surrogate ESR

We can apply this technique for another person whilst touching our own foreheads. To do this, you will be physically touching the person you are helping whilst applying ESR on your own forehead. An example is for a parent to do this for their small child in their arms.


The ESR technique is both simple and effective. It works best if you do it often and actively change your belief patterns and habits. For example, if you had built up a lot of stress from years of work-life, you probably need to release the emotional stress from many incidents as well as changing your mindset. So let’s use it often and early and not let the stress build up.

First, make an Assessment

Assess your stress level (or your emotional energy towards your ’day’) on a scale of 0 - 10.

Helping yourself with the ESR Balance:
  1. Close your eyes and lightly hold your frontal eminences. (On the forehead above the eyes - see the diagram.

  2. Focus on the event or problem.

  3. See the details. (Be aware of the colors, sounds, shapes, smells, and feelings involved.)

  4. Make it real. And as best you can, welcome in any, Thoughts, Feelings and Stories connected in with how you are feeling.

  5. Continue to lightly hold your forehead, breathe and relax.  Hold in mind the intention to allow the feelings to dissolve and evaporate. And allow any images to subside with them. You may notice you can see the images dissolve, or you might notice colors and shapes. Whatever your mind is doing is right for you.

  6. When your mind starts to wander you know the event is cleared.

       Now make a Re-assessment:
  1. on a scale of 0 - 10. Notice how your body feels?

  2. Repeat the process as different aspects of the stress comes to mind. It is okay to do it often.

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