by Jerry Seavey

One of the primary benefits of the NLP Essential Mind Training™ is learning to reduce stress in daily life. The destructive effects of stress on an individual’s health have been well documented for years. Substance abuse, fatigue, poor interpersonal relations, absenteeism, low productivity and a lack of enthusiasm are common symptoms of ineffective stress management.

The ability to effectively handle stress and to control and direct one’s energies is a fundamental secret of improving almost any situation.

It is important to be clear about priorities and make sure that stress and negative feelings will not sidetrack you.

Stress can exacerbate or cause medical conditions such as emotional distress, depression, hypertension, heart disease, anxiety disorders, headaches, insomnia, gastrointestinal distress, chronic pain, and many other health-threatening conditions.

There is powerful scientific evidence that the regular practice of deep relaxation or meditation has profoundly restorative physiological effects that can counter and reverse the impact of stress on your health and personal life.

Although the Essential Mind Training may not be able to eliminate all the stresses of daily living, it can help you change how you respond to stress. You can learn techniques and skills to deal effectively with stress and enhance your body’s natural healing abilities. The Essential Mind Training is useful for anyone who desires a simpler and more healthful and productive lifestyle.

Due to the increasing role that technology is playing, today’s family and business climates have created a situation in which people are required to use a lot more of their mind than in the past. In this fast changing environment it is the people, who effectively deal with stress, are flexible and learn quickly, that are highly valued—those who can motivate themselves and can use their creativity in a variety of circumstances.

stress/manAnytime we experience stressful situations; it triggers the fight-or-flight response. This is a reaction to perceived threat or danger to which our entire being responds.

Think of a stressful experience you had recently. It could have been because the shower water came out too hot or too cold, or you couldn’t find your car keys before going to work, or something that someone said to you that got you upset.

How did you react to this stress? Was your heart beating faster? Did your stomach feel knotted up? Were your muscles tense? These feelings are associated with the fight-or-flight response.

This is the response that has helped the human race survive up to this point by readying our body to deal with threatening situations; but this response can also harm us.

Our response to stress is really a pattern of reaction. But you can interrupt that pattern at the very beginning and create a new pattern of response that is not going to harm you or weaken your immune system, but help you instead.

Right at the onset of stress, your body gives you a feeling that a shift is taking place. It may be heaviness in the chest area, a feeling in the pit of your stomach, tension in the muscles or a clenched jaw. As soon as you notice the stress sensation, at that point stop, take a deep breath, and while exhaling, say to yourself, “Relax”. Some situations may require you to repeat these steps a second and maybe even a third time.

Then ask yourself what is behind your reaction to stress. How did you feel the moment the stress set in? Did you have a helpless feeling? Did you have a hopeless feeling or feel like the situation that caused the stress was something out of your control? These are ‘core emotions’ that trigger a stress response. And, although you may not be able to control everybody and everything in the world, you definitely can control your attitude. When you have the skills to manage and choose your attitude the core emotions come under your control.

Affirm to yourself, “Positive thoughts bring me the benefits and advantages I desire.” Then, create an image of yourself at the end of the stressful situation as happy, peaceful and content, whether things have gone according to your wishes or not.

Have you ever heard somebody claim that they have a fear of flying? Don’t believe it! In the middle of a flight nobody ever says, “I hope this plane stops flying, right now.” Their fear isn’t that the plane is flying, their real fear is that the plane may stop flying… before they get to the airport!

Most of our stress comes from mental images and the meanings we put on things—even if that meaning isn’t very accurate. For example, in the situation of flying, as the plane lifts off the runway there may be a thump or a little noise as the wheels fold up into the under-carriage of the airplane. If a person thinks, “Well, this means the plane is on its way, and we’re safe,” they start to relax. But sitting right beside them might be a person who thinks, “What was that sound? Something is wrong!” And their body activates the fight-or-flight mechanism, even though there is nothing to fear. There is no way to fight or flee so it ends up as stress. And that stress has an effect on whether we enjoy the flight and look forward to the next one or feel anxious and try to find ways to avoid a next flight altogether.

It can even be as simple a thing as standing in a store checkout line. You may notice that the person putting their purchases on the counter seems to be taking longer than necessary and the cashier is chatting with someone and wasting time. Then, only after all the items have been rung-up, do they even begin searching for their checkbook— which you think is going to slow the line down even more. Meanwhile, stress is building. “I’m going to be late… I’ll be stuck in heavier traffic… There is something else I have to be doing.” And it gets more and more stressful as time goes on.

But think about this—In the same checkout line, maybe standing right behind you, is another person. The line is still moving at the same speed for both of you. They, too, have things that they could be doing, but they are taking the advantage of a little moment of time where they can relax a bit. They use the time to make plans for later in the day, or maybe they think about something pleasant from the past. And when it gets to be their turn to check out, they’re relaxed and at peace.

And the only difference between those two experiences is a thought. The value in attending NLP Essential Mind Training is plain and simple—the development of skills that produce the quality of thinking we all desire. It’s one thing to know ‘it’s all in your mind’ and quite something entirely different to know “how to use it!”