New Oceans' Stress Management
New ways of being


 
 

The Secrets to Stress Free Living!

What percentage of your life do you actually enjoy?

Or let me put it another way…… how much of your time is spent pressurised into worrying, being fearful, feeling you’re just ‘not up to it’ – whatever ‘it’ is?

How many times a day do you feel stuck? Or pulled in opposite directions and consequently not going or getting anywhere, because one part of you fears, one part of you wants, another part of you also wants but something different!

How often do those little voices inside your head make you feel scared, guilty, pressured? Until not only does your head feel at bursting point, so does your body….. indigestion, headaches, backache, sleeplessness and overtiredness; maybe building up to blood pressure increase, panic attacks – even heart attacks.

We are each of us a biofeedback system, and disease is just that – dis-ease, or in NLP terms, incongruence. It’s one of the direct results of inner conflict between the “must do’s” and the “want to do’s”, the pros and cons in any situation.

Stressful, yes. But let’s be clear about one important point…… stress itself is neither positive or negative. It is simply energy under force. How we USE that force of energy is what makes it limiting or empowering.

When we are resourceful in our directing of that energy then it flows, motivates us, for example, to achieve our goals and outcomes. Indeed some of us actually wait until a deadline becomes really close before setting about a task, in order to get the impetus of empowering stress to drive us to its completion.

Sometimes this is the strategy of ‘away from’ metaprogram types, pushing them to move away from the painful results of NOT doing something, waiting ‘til the pain gets really bad before they do. However it can also be used by those ‘towards’ people whose time preference is ‘Now’…… when the deadline is close enough is time enough to act. They’re using stress as a resource, getting the adrenalin pumping, living on the edge and enjoying the heightening of all the senses that that brings.

That is Resourceful Stress. Unresourceful or Limiting Stress on the other hand impedes energy flow, causing blockages, dangerous build-ups, and these are what can harm us, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Sometimes it is the fear engendered by ANTICIPATING something, which does the damage; our individual perception about what might happen, which more often than not DOESN’T – but by then it’s too late………. Those old False Expectations About Reality have already done the damage!

And yet this potential for self-destruction is really the ‘minus’ reframe of our potential for survival:- both come from what is called the Fight or Flight Syndrome. When we feel threatened in any way our innate instincts are to combat the danger or run from it.

However, in our modern world very rarely is either one a practicality externally. Yet our inborn responses are still there, so it’s almost as though we internalise them, and trapped inside our heads we battle ourselves to a standstill.

Just take a moment to imagine one of your own Limiting Stress situations…… maybe you’ve got to go to work but can’t leave the house because the kids are sick and you don’t have anyone to leave them with; or perhaps you’re late, no time for breakfast, the car won’t start, there’s talk of redundancies, the mortgage is crippling you, and so on and so on.

So what’s happening inside you, just imagining all these things? Not only is your mind all over the place – one part of you saying ‘run’, another part ‘stay and fight’, another part scared, another part angry; but your body is also reacting to these imagined situations – heart racing, hyperventilating, sweating, feeling sick to your stomach.

Of course we all have strategies for dealing with stress, but some are not as effective as they could be, because basically we don’t ask ourselves the right questions to diagnose actually at which logical level we are stressed.

By using the NLP Robert Dilts model of logical levels in the context of Stress, we can discern the appropriate areas of someone’s Limiting Stress; what triggers it (events which might not happen or anyway haven’t yet happened); how does that person perceive it? i.e. everyone has their own map or model of the world, created by their unique set of ‘filters’ – VAK, beliefs, metaprograms etc; and in what way have their body and Inner Teams reacted to the stress-trigger, whether real, or feared in anticipation?

WHY HE WHO LAUGHS LASTS

Pessimism raises blood pressure; laughter lowers it.

 

Laughter boosts the Immune System. It also increases the concentration of salivary immunoglobulin A, which defends against the entry of infectious organisms through the respiratory tract.

 

Laughing provides an aerobic workout for the body's diaphragm.

 

Get a good belly laugh going and you'll reduce stress ("fight or flight") hormones, many of which are associated with a long list of harmful conditions such as stomach ulcers and a weakened heart.

So let’s address the whole subject of Stress, at the different logical levels.

ENVIRONMENT

Look around you, at where you live, work. What’s happening in your immediate and personal environment? Are other people affecting your life too much, or maybe even controlling it?

Worrying about what you can’t alter is just wasting your energy – use it on a different option, one you own or can take ownership of. Be more proactive, less reactive. Take back control of your life.

BEHAVIOUR

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got – so if this is causing you to be unresourcefully stressed, DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT!

If your behaviour is actually creating your Limiting Stress, think about this :- there have been times in your life when it wasn’t the case…. go back in your mind to one of those times. What were you doing differently? What was the difference that made the difference, that brought about motivation in you, not restriction and disempowerment?

Notice what the strategy was that you used then, and ‘map it across’ to a stress-related situation. When something works well for you in one area of your life you can apply it to other areas. This gives you more choice; being aware that you do now have more options creates more opportunity for flexibility; being more flexible in your behaviour will create more options; the more options, the less stress.

CAPABILITIES

You are brilliant at imagining the worst scenarios, at seeing trouble ahead, hearing the words you most dread, experiencing emotional pain in advance! What if you were to re-direct these wonderful skills? Now you will see blue skies and calm flat seas instead of storms; hear birdsong rather than thunder; feel confident and in control – by creating in your mind the outcome you want, and living it in your head, experiencing it, literally, IN EVERY SENSE!

You’ll immediately be aware of the positive shift in you that has come from using your fantastic sensory strategies in a solution-based, rather than a problem-based, way.

VALUES, BELIEFS, & META PROGRAMS

The main thing to realise is that we get most of our main beliefs and values very early in life, by taking on – modelling – those of the adults around us. These beliefs and values become the ‘whetstones’ on which we hone our inborn VAK preferences, and our metaprograms which are a result of nature and nurture.

We form our maps of the world accordingly, forming our strategies for survival: and they serve us well, until some big event happens in our lives, and causes us to begin doubting, panicking because we seem to have lost our ‘survival kit’.

Now the inner struggle grows – one part of us with the ingrained pattern and habit of the old belief, another part doubting it. Result? Incongruence, leading to Unempowering Limiting Stress.

On the other hand, strong beliefs and values, underpinning our metaprograms, our personality types, give us the sense of being in control of our own lives, and energise us. Result? Energy flow = empowerment = less Limiting Stress!

We can change our beliefs, re-prioritise our values, and develop wider metaprogram and VAK preferences, which will all help to ‘un-stick’ us, to INcrease our options and thereby DEcrease Limiting Stress.

IDENTITY

The five senses that we use to filter all the information entering our minds, of which one is usually our preferred sense, are Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Olfactory, and Gustatory ( Smell & Taste).

However, it is the sixth sense, the Sense of Self, which is most connected to our potential for Stress, either Limiting or Empowering. Because the Sense of Self is linked directly to the Auto-Immune System, and to our internal representative parts – our Inner Team members.

So how we think of ourselves affects how we talk to ourselves and directly impacts on our health, mental and physical. Which is how statements like “I can’t…”, “I mustn’t…”, “I’m depressed”, “It’s all too much for me”, “It’s driving me mad” etc. – all first person statements – affect us so deeply.

All of them are at Identity level, at which we’re associated into all the emotions of a situation, and it’s therefore very hard to shift. However, by ‘dissociating’, i.e. moving down from Identity level to a lower one like Behaviour, an impactful positive shift becomes much easier to achieve.

For example, “I am depressed” is an Identity statement; whereas “At the moment I am experiencing depression” puts it at Behaviour level. ‘Depression’ becomes a nominalisation, a process, implying it has a beginning, a middle….and AN END! It has a finite time, underlined further by the use of the words “At the moment”.

BEYOND IDENTITY – MISSION/PURPOSE

This is where we are in the higher realms of ourselves, this is the level of our spirituality, our inspiration. It is where we function less for ourselves and more for others. It is our sense of purpose, and our point of connection to all Creation.

Developing at this level dissociates us from our problems to where we trust in our potential for solutions. Becoming more congruent – aligning all our Inner Team members – raises us to this level, and diminishes Limiting Stress. It is at this level we become aware that Limiting or Unempowering Stress is a result of our Inner Team members in discord, pulling us in opposing directions.

Empowering Stress is when they all agree to do different jobs to achieve a joint outcome on our behalf. This is what I call Active Congruence: Passive Congruence is when all agree to do the same thing, and is like a meditative state. It is a state we naturally and healthily move in and out of – if we were permanently in it there’d be no external action! And if all our Inner Team members were always doing the same thing what would have been the purpose of having a team at all?

 

SUMMING UP...

Stress Management is about taking a holistic approach…… mind and body are one interdependent whole. We are what we think feel and do, three parts of the ‘pie’ which make up our state. Change any part and the others must change too, thereby altering the state.

NLP also has many wonderful tools to anchor a desired state, one which you would find useful and empowering to re-experience at will. By going back in your mind to when you were in a resourceful state you’d like again, building the pictures sounds and feelings to their optimum levels, then linking this internal set of sensory experiences to an outside trigger, you will be in control of summoning back and re-experiencing that empowering state – calmness, peacefulness, confidence etc, whatever you choose – whenever you choose from now on.

If you find a particular colour is dominant in your mind when re-living a great experience, link it to your desired state. Or it may be a sound, a particular piece of music, that increases your sense of well-being, of being in control. Use it, play and hear it in your head whenever you’re stressed. Unempowering Stress will ease away, Empowering Stress will be energised further.

Or create an image of your Limiting Stress situation in your head; make it become dimmer, smaller, further away. When it’s the size of a pin-head, ask yourself what you’ve learned from it….. and then blow it away. What used to be a heavy situation has become as light as a speck of dust, and been blown away on the wind of change!

Remember now how you used to be stressed in a limiting way, when you used to make it an Identity issue?

Then how you learned that it was actually easier to move on when you brought it down to the level of Behaviour?

It was all a matter of realising that everything, including limiting beliefs, habits, stresses, really is “all in the mind”. So therefore you know that it can be vastly improved, eased away, really helped in major ways, by CHANGING YOUR MIND!

This will have a truly empowering impact on you, and on your world…………

Remember, the person who never changed their mind never changed anything!


For more information on New Oceans services contact
New Oceans House, 39 Jennings Road, St Albans Herts AL1 4NX
Tel: 01727 869782 Fax: 01727 842181
Email: [email protected]
www.new-oceans.co.uk