Paul giving a session

PaulsRobot3   1st: Rub & Yawn

My dream is that you use free Rub & Yawn stress-release procedures today and in the future to improve your life — Paul


What is Rub & Yawn? It is a simple procedure which releases stress. Most people can learn it very easily. It is made up of three parts:
  • vigorous rubbing of the body, and
  • visualization in various specified ways of one's hot (unpleasant or stressful) topic, resulting in
  • yawns or other clearly visible physical discharges and a greater or lesser feeling of relief.

Exactly how it works is open to question. However, not knowing exactly how gravity works doesn't prevent your iPhone from hitting the ground if it slips out of your fingers.

How it seems to work is covered below on this page. In reality, this may not be completely accurate. What matters is whether or not it does work, not whether or not the theory satisfies some authority somewhere.

It seems to work for most people. Read the testimonials at the menu tab.


Putting one's attention on unpleasant events or situations or relationships in one's life tends to activate the harmful energy associated with the unpleasant topic. This can lead to a feeling of stress. It may even cause unwanted sensations or pains or other physical effects.

Stress management activities work by directing one's attention off the unpleasant topic and on to something else more acceptable. Whether it is getting stuck into some gardening or going to the movies or getting drunk the principle is the same. Usually the unpleasant topic is still around to bite you the next time.

Rub & Yawn is a Stress Release activity. The second part, the guided visualization, does not involve lying back feeling overwhelmed by it all. Instead you should find you can get on top of the unpleasant topic, bit by bit, at a pace that is comfortable, which you choose as you go along. You have to work at it, of course. It doesn't simply happen while you are asleep or drinking a beer while on the couch watching TV.

Actively recreating willingly the aspect of your topic that your attention is on — not meekly viewing it while feeling crushed by it — tends to release from your mind the harmful energy associated with it. This is the third part of Rub & Yawn. This release will often be accompanied by visible bodily discharges such as yawns or sighs, maybe tears or sobs, muscle twitches and more.

However, to release this bad energy, one must have an overall surplus of energy available. If the body is short of energy, it will try to hold on to all of it, both good energy and harmful energy. Energy is energy.

Rubbing the body seems to energise it, to give it more energy. This is the first part of Rub & Yawn. So you rub away furiously, rubbing your hands together, rubbing your arms and legs, rubbing your stockinged feet on the carpet, stamping your feet on the floor, squeezing your chair hard, thumping your fist on the table, in order to create this energy surplus.

With an energy surplus, and you willingly and actively visualizing the most prominent part of your hot topic, the yawns should come and the harmful energy, the stress, should bleed off. Like magic.

This is Rub & Yawn.

There are more details to become familiar with, exactly how to do this and that, but that is an overview of it.

Get a Rub & Yawn session from PaulsRobot

It is best to get familiar with Rub & Yawn first using either of the methods in the right-hand column. --->

When you are ready for a PaulsRobot Rub & Yawn session, start with the Core module. Read the preliminary pages before starting the session. It will go much better if you follow the instructions. You have to work at it to get a result. It is similar to not lying on the couch drinking a beer while watching an exercise video, but actually doing the exercises.

External articles on letting go of stress

A brief quote, but there's lots more there, from an article called Discharge:
Letting go (i.e. discharging) is necessary for relieving stress. If your nervous system has trouble letting go, the excess energy gets stored in your body, through holding patterns in the muscles and fascia [connective tissue surrounding muscles].

Another brief excerpt from Counseling and Having a Good Yawn (really!):

We want discharge to happen. We feel calmer afterwards. As your comfort level increases in your counseling, you will find it easier to yawn.

It's a good way of tracking your progress in therapy. Finally, being able to have a good yawn in front of your therapist is therapy working well.

You might find it useful to read both articles, especially if you are having trouble with Rub & Yawn.

Alternative discharge mechanisms

There are probably other natural mechanisms to discharge stress. A dog, for example, has three obvious ones, namely:
  • Yawning
  • Stretching
  • Shaking, similar to the action of shaking off water.
How does this apply with people? Probably the most therapeutic action for things that make one really ANGRY is highly physical, subject to the clarification below. Taking care not to damage anything important, do something like smack hell out of a sofa with a baseball bat or your fists and boots and teeth etc. Yell at it. Whale away at it with your attention on the topic for as long as it takes to cool down. The topic is probably discharging all the time that one is doing this.

And this is probably why intense physical activities can be so relaxing (assuming no injuries): the stress-release factor.

Important: moderate the activity

If you merely let yourself go and act out the aggressive dictates of your topic exactly, this may actually reinforce the topic despite some temporary release. Instead, like in all PaulsRobot modules, a large part of the session has to be you knowingly controlling your topic and manipulating it in various ways, rather than simply letting it control you.

An example, perhaps, with the 6-direction process: "Put your topic above you." [Does so + Smack!] "Thank you. Put it below you." [Does + Wham!] "Great. Put it to the right of you." [Executes command + KaPOW!] "OK. Put it to the left of you." [Complies + BLAMMO-Grrrr-Throttle!!] etc.

Adopt a clear positive intention while allowing negativity

Let the negative feelings flow as needed, not only anger, but do it in the confines of a therapeutic setting. Always have the clear positive intention that you are allowing this for healing only, not merely "letting it all hang out."

Replace negative with positive

After letting out a bunch of negative feelings it is often a good idea to "fill the space left" with positive ones. The regular procedure in some modules will provide this automatically. Or one useful possibility is to visualize and "bring into oneself" the main positive bright colors using ColorBreathing (see the module), which can be done at pretty much any SUDS/SUSHI level (see glossary or SUDS/SUSHI page if needed).

Get a Rub & Yawn session from a YouTube video

You can see subtitles for what is being said by clicking on the CC (Closed Captions) icon underneath the video after it has started playing. The white CC icon is not visible before you start the video playing.

Alternatively . . .

Get a Rub & Yawn session using this write-up below

This is a shortened version of the full write-up at The Yawn Machine. By all means read the full version if you wish to know more about it.

Pre-session check

Are you not underage, not tired, not hungry, not ill, not under the influence, and not mentally on the edge? If you are, come back later as a session is unlikely to go well in any of these circumstances. Really! This isn't a joke.

Start rubbing . . . and yawning

Rubbing the body seems to energise it, to give it more energy. This is the first part of Rub & Yawn. So right now rub away furiously, rubbing your hands together, rubbing your arms and legs, rubbing your stockinged feet on the carpet, stamping your feet on the floor, squeezing your chair hard, this sort of thing. Don't just think about it, but actually touch stuff! And yawn. Yawn, yawn, yawn. This is just residual stress coming off. It is sometimes easier to keep the yawns going than to start them in the first place. They will stop after a bit (while you continue to rub), but it might take ten or even many more yawns to discharge this residual stress. You should also feel somewhat relaxed afterwards.

Locate a good topic to address

Now let's find a hot topic to address. It might be mentally painful. Don't say I didn't warn you. Have you lost something or someone? Trouble at work? Problems with drugs? Money worries? A sour relationship with someone close? Concern over a health problem? Something meaty has probably come to mind by now and may well feel like it is pressed up against your nose. It is often something long-term. Go with what comes to mind even if you know nothing could be done about it.

Two aspects to a topic

  • The persons and events and real-world out-there parts, and
  • One's internalized view of these exterior events — the memories and thoughts about them.
When putting the topic above your head etc., this obviously refers to the second one.

Shutting down

If you've suddenly started to mentally shut down, like you're losing focus or feeling sleepy, stand up quickly and touch stuff! Rub your hands together, rub your arms. Like before. This will wake you up again.

Putting your topic out there

If you're just feeling stressed and not shutting down, do this. Take whatever aspect of your topic is right in front of you demanding your attention, and put it out there. Mentally put it out there. Yawn. This should make you yawn more. Keep doing it. Put it in front of you, behind you, into the wall, into the supermarket, behind the moon, into next week, anywhere as long as it is out there. You want to produce yawns. It's OK if the topic changes a bit, but don't shift to something else completely until you have got all the yawns you can out of this one. After a few out-theres, touch stuff again. Yawn. If you're getting sleepy, touch stuff a lot. You have to keep recharging your batteries by touching stuff or you won't be able to yawn away the harmful energy.

You can do it

It might seem odd or very hard to put it out there. It might seem that it just sort of sits there and you can't move it at all. Almost anyone can do this, even if it seems impossible at first. If your topic is too heavy, kind of mentally hold it still and back away from it a fraction, a tiny, tiny bit. You want to put some distance between it and you, but not by putting it out of your mind completely. If you can't manage the whole thing, put a small part of it out there. You can put one molecule, or one electron of it out there, can't you?

Keep at it for a little while

Do this for a bit until you run out of yawns on this topic and you feel better. This might take ten or twenty minutes, sometimes quicker, sometimes slower.

Alternatively . . .

Get a session from PaulsRobot, as described in the left-hand column.

Residual discharges

These are yawns or other discharges that sometimes come off at the beginning of a Rub & Yawn session, formal or informal, that are not connected to any specific topic. These would occur anyway, whatever one's attention is on.

One possible explanation is that the normal functioning energy-exchange mechanism is backlogged, so to speak. Doing some intense rubbing "primes the pump," and gets things flowing again, meaning that now there is some fresh new energy into the system some of the stale old stuff can get out. People who lead an active lifestyle probably keep things working properly in the regular course of events, but those who are inactive for long periods of time can get behind.

Rub & Yawn tips

These 8 tips are expanded with further explanations here.
  1. Any Rub & Yawn is better than no Rub & Yawn
  2. Rub & Yawn has three parts — rubbing, visualizing, yawning. Do all three
  3. Go with the flow on what you are visualizing
  4. Go with what’s hot and dump what’s not
  5. Choose the best Rub & Yawn tool for the job
  6. Suddenly falling asleep? Stand up! Touch stuff! Hard! Right now!
  7. Don't confuse Rub & Yawn with other procedures
  8. Make Rub & Yawn a part of your regular life.