Psychological Solutions For A Better Life

Archive for the ‘Brain Research’ Category

Stress Is Bad For You!

openmind1Stress is bad for you! It is a major health hazard of our time. Stressed people don’t think clearly, make un-wise decisions, have strained relationships, and engage in unhelpful and unhealthy behaviours.

Contrary to popular belief we don’t have to contend with stress. There are very few areas that are as much ridden with myths as the area of feeling stressed. Can you imagine that sitting an important exam, being stuck in traffic, being late for work, facing a financial crisis, dealing with chronic illness, seeing your marriage under threat, or learning that your child is in big trouble is not leading to overwhelming stress but peace of mind resulting in wise and creative actions?

Let me show you in my 3 Hour seminar how you can put a stop to being stressed. There are no techniques to learn; just bring your open mind to understand how stress is created so you can un-create it. Whether you are 14 or 64, when it comes to being your best at school, in exams, at home, or at work, you need to be stress free to be at your best.

Book you place in my STRESS BUSTER Seminar. For the month of May I have a facebook page action offering this seminar for $49 per person. Get this ‘50% off ‘ voucher by liking my page. After April the seminar will be back to the normal price of $98.

The 3 Principles of Innate Health

The 3 principles of innate well-being are Mind, Thought, and Consciousness, whereby the

Mind represents the energy behind all life/creation, our life force, our default setting. When we are un-troubled, at peace, in harmony and balance, we are what some people call ‘in the zone’ and others call it ‘free flowing’. All is well!

Thought is our means of experiencing life. Without thinking we would not be able to part take in life. Through our thoughts we know what we believe, what our morals are, what we are going to do today, how we chose a mate, how to raise our children. (more…)

Lets Talk About Stress (2)

Thoughts Create Feelings

Everyone knows E. Roosevelt’s quote “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent” – we all know that “You can’t make me angry, only I can do that”. How come we lost the knowing that our thoughts create our feelings when it came to stress? Whatever we take in through our senses will be processed through out filters (history, memories, biases, etc.) and be given meaning by us – in the form of a conscious or unconscious thought. Upon that thought we react with a state, mood, or feeling. Therefore, feelings do not give you information about the circumstances of your experience in life. However, they are a reflection of your thinking.

What does this mean for stress?

When you feel stressed and out of control, you are thinking thoughts that don’t come from a place of balance and being at peace. Instead, you probably attempting to solve a situation with analytical thinking without having all the information. Lets take the following example: When you gave a presentation last week you colleagues did not agree with you and had different view points. You are now thinking that you don’t fit in, people don’t like what you are doing, you might not get the promotion you were hoping for, actually, you don’t like you job anymore and hate getting out of the house in the morning, wondering whether you should look for another job. You get more and more stressed.

The first step is to

  • realise that your feelings of distress signal that your thinking is off-balance.
  • Knowing that thoughts are just thoughts, and don’t reflect reality but you interpretation of reality, you can let them pass through you mind, allowing other thoughts to come up. Don’t pay attention to them. You are most likely using analytical, hectic thinking without having all the data – indeed, most of your thoughts are guesswork and catastrophic thinking.
  • Tell yourself with a smile and a chuckle “Here I go again, thinking weird things”.
  • When you are in a more balanced state of mind, you will see immediately that thoughts of a different quality will come to you. They always will, because we humans are thought producing machines!  🙂

You actually don’t have to do anything else.

If you want to explore how the 3 Principles can change your life, give me a call and we make a time to talk!

Lets Talk About Stress (1)

I would like to share an observation I made when was at a social meeting the other day. Almost everyone talked about stress. Most people didn’t have any problems identifying their source of stress: There was no shortage of problematic teenagers who either were on drugs, truant, or absolutely diabolical to their parents, husbands were overworked and came home from work late, work, housework, mortgages, young children, old children, fall-out with in-laws, the earthquake situation in Christchurch … the list was endless – and I didn’t even mention stress people experience because of past traumatic experiences that intrude into their daily lives.

 Stress-free in an instant

The conventional treatment recommendation for stress is: Bang your head here! Maybe not literally, but as an analogy, stressed people are advised to take this, do that, breathe, visualise, change their environment, change job, take time out, go on holiday, ….. the list is as endless as there are people. If nothing helps you can go on antidepressants or worse on anti-anxiety medication. I read in the New Zealand Herald last year that job-stress in Australia costs $950 million per year.

You can see that there is a universal agreement that stress is caused by environmental circumstances, or better, by circumstances that are outside of a person’s control. Well, I am going to put the fox amongst the chickens by proposing, that this is completely wrong. On top of that, thinking that the cause is outside of people’s control is also the reason that stress is not getting any less but increases all the time. Simply because life will throw difficult situations at all of us. From pimples in the late teens to arthritis in the early sixties, difficult situations will occur. Wouldn’t it be better to deal with the cause of stress rather than with each individual incident?  I am pleading against my own economical interest here because the current stress theory provides people like me (therapists, counsellors, coaches, and all sorts of alternative ‘health’ professionals) with a steady flow of clients.

A new paradigm

I would like to introduce the notion that stress is caused by each individual through their thinking process, thus from the inside-out and NOT through circumstances and things thus not from the outside-in. The bad news about that is that people are causing their own stress – the good news is, once people understand how they produced stress in their mind, it is within their control to change that in an instant! Wouldn’t that be desirable?

Stay tuned for the next part of this article! PLEASE

Understanding Feelings

Many theories about feelings exists and it can be a little bit confusing to make sense of all the different opinions (see Wikipedia). I am going to present a view that is informed by NLP and has proven useful in my practice over the years.

Stripped to the bare bones we can say that feelings are just information. They are feedback that informs people about their experiences.

Seeing feelings in this light, it doesn’t make sense to label them good or bad. They just are. Feelings tell you something about what is going on around you and propel you to take action. The following is a schematic view of how feelings come about. 

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The Brain Loves Gossip

 

Gossip

Do you love to gossip and feel a little bit guilty about it? I do. Usually, gossip is connected with some inferior way of communicating with and about others, mother told us “You shouldn’t do!” Now, I found this delightful artlicle with a passage from the book “Your Brain at Work”.

Your brain is immensely social. If you were a wolf, large parts of your brain would be devoted to getting resources directly from the wild. You would have complex maps for interacting with the physical landscape, like maps for sniffing out a distant meal and others for finding your way home in the dark. As a human, especially when young, you get your resources not from the wild, but from other people. Because of this, large amounts of human cortical “real estate” is devoted to the social world. If you work in an office, you could probably close your eyes and describe ten people around you, how important they are in relation to each other and to you, how they feel today, whether they can be trusted, and how many favors any of them might owe you. Your memories of your social interconnections are vast.

Gossip is something that the brain likes to do. As neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman says, “Four out of five processes operating in the background when your brain is at rest involve thinking about other people and yourself.”

David Rock suggests that people love to go on social networking sites because they give them the opportunity to check out what other people are up to and spread a little bit of gossip. Kind of what I am doing right now: gossiping on about a paragraph that put the workings of the brain into words that put a smile on my face.

 

Uncertainty & Negative Emotions

Aquarium032Do Dom, Do Dom, Do Dom …. remember Jaws? I think I saw it more than 20 times and yet, I never saw it! Although being a movie lover I have to admit, there are many of my favorite movies that I've watch over and over again – and I never saw "it". By it I mean the moment when the shark attacks, the intruder slides through the dark house approaching the non-expecting victim to be, the ice is breaking underneath the child's feet, or the gun is about to get fired. I never really saw Bruce Willis getting shot in the sixth sense. I leave the room, get a drink, adjust my hair, file my nails …. anything really. Go figure!

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