So the other day I asked my client, "What is stress?". Their response was "Work!".
And I thought isn't that interesting, that's what I would have said a few years ago too.
At other points in my life I would have said things like my relationships, feeling like I don't have enough time to get things done, money, and that's just to name a few.
My response to my client was that work was something out there, and that actually, the stress she felt was not the thing that was out there but more so her reaction to what she thought was out there, her reaction to how she felt about what was out there.
It was her perception of work and the thinking that her perception created, which in turn created the feelings of stress in her body. This made the experience real for her.
The Oxford English Dictionary definition for stress in the context we're talking about is this:
'a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances'.
I would re-write that definition as this:
'a state of mental, emotional & physical strain or tension resulting from seemingly adverse or demanding circumstances'.
Two different people with two completely different ways of looking at the world, will experience the same circumstances and one will find them adverse or demanding, while the other will not.
I think this is extremely important to understand.
When on a journey to getting better, feeling better and staying better, with the ultimate aim of of being in control of how you feel on a moment to moment basis, it will benefit you to have a deep understanding of what perception, thoughts, feelings and stress really are and how they work.
Whenever we think something, consciously or unconsciously, our brain fires off a lightening storm of electrical charges that in a split second journey down into the body so we can have a physical experience of what's been thought.
This will happen for us automatically and that is actually a good thing. When we think it's time to go to the bathroom, that thought in a split second brings into play the automated process of walking that we programmed in from childhood, and before you know it, we are in the bathroom. What a great system, imagine if you had to consciously think it through! "OK, so I need to go to the bathroom, so I gotta walk there, how do I do that again? Oh yeah, I gotta tense these muscles and then put this foot in front of the other" and so on. We've forgotten but once upon a time that's what we had to do.
Same with driving a car, at first we had to think it through consciously, after some years, we can hardly remember the drive it was so automatic, almost like we were in a trance.
And I'm going to suggest to you that the same amazing system that works, is coming into play with our problems too, an automated mind body response has been created and practiced and therefore programmed into our sub conscious mind.
So what am I trying to say here???
Our perception (our view of the world, our point of view) is created by our experiences, our proof, our history, our memories, our how too's & our feelings & emotions. All this is held in our mind, some consciously and most unconsciously.
Our thoughts get created based on what's held in the mind, our perception, and as each thought is fired off, the signals are sent into the body so we can experience them, feel them.
The body expresses what the mind holds, the body feels what the mind expresses, that's the thoughts being sent to the body so you can have an experience of them, whether it be good or bad.
Stress is that feeling in the body. Stress is the body's reaction to what is being thought.
You can try this now, think of a good memory, step into the memory, be you again, see what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt. You can feel it in your body right?
Now think of a bad memory, step into it, be you again, see what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt. I'll bet you can feel that in your body too right?
OK, go back to the good memory, I'll leave you with that one.
So yes, learn to control your thoughts deliberately and you will feel better, and the better you get at directing your thoughts in ways that produce good feelings, the happier you will be.
Once you know how, a little bit of good old fashioned practice, fueled by a healthy amount of persistence.
The best and easiest way I've found is to clean up what you hold about yourself and the world inside of your subconscious mind. Clean up the automated programs, keep the good ones, change the bad ones to be good ones.
Easier said than done I hear some of you say. Well, yes, once upon a time, it was easier said than done, but not any longer. It is becoming more and more commonly understood that you have more power than you've ever realised. You can clean up your perception of self and of the world and it is easier than you might originally think. You just need to want to feel better and be willing to learn how. And that's where I come in.
Stay tuned to further posts and videos and contact me if you want a one on one.
For the benefit of the reader who is in a hurry, I will highlight in blue the key words in this story, you can pretty much just read the key words to gain a complete insight into what was going on with me during that time of life. I look back and think Wow! No wonder I crumbled, I reached a tipping point of how much stress and negative emotion I could handle. With the gift of hindsight, it's pretty obvious what was going on but at that time I was still very detached from that level of self inquiry, I was looking for something, or someone outside of me to blame. I had already been in the Personal Development field for around 5 years at that stage and read many books, I guess I still had a long way to go!
About 6 years ago, my physical ability, livelihood and character where all called into question. This was a huge blow to my self confidence and self esteem. With the disbelief and resistance to what was happening, I became depressed and as an added bonus it all came with extreme physical pain like I'd never felt before.
It was just before Christmas & work became very busy. I was overwhelmed with the work load, feeling very stressed, and I was constantly worried that I had taken a job that was beyond my capabilities. Little did I know that I was about to embark on a journey that would change my life forever.
One morning I awoke with lower back pain, I couldn't get out of bed, and when I tried, I couldn't right myself, I had to stand almost at a complete right angle. It was obvious I couldn't go to work and I would have to call in sick. I was wrought with fear and even dread, and guilt at having to ring in sick, I was already paranoid that work were not happy with my performance, not that they'd ever said anything to me about it. I made the call and was literally guilt stricken from that moment. Come to think of it, I had been guilt stricken my entire work life whenever I had to call in sick which often was because of having a serious hangover! But that's another story.
My now husband, was working away at the time, I felt very alone, isolated, helpless & hopeless, I couldn't hardly move and walk around and had no-one there to care for me, I felt very sorry for myself. I visited a Chiropractor who luckily for me was directly over the road from my house, they helped me back on my feet, they diagnosed a pinched nerve in my lower back. In about 3 or 4 days I was back at work stilling feeling bad about having had to take time off during such a busy time.
The stressful work continued, I continued to feel under pressure. It was just after Christmas, I felt a pain come on in my left shoulder & neck during the day, by the end of the day I was in tears. I went home and didn't return to work for a week. I visited a Physiotherapist in this time. They treated me for a pinched nerve in my left neck & after a week I went back to work. The Physio explained to me that because the injury had occurred at work, that I was entitled to Work Cover. My heart sunk as soon as he told me this because I was still in a bad way, I still needed help and treatment and I knew it would be expensive if I had to pay for it myself. I was afraid to approach work about Work Cover because I thought they would think I was just trying to get money out of them. I opted to just deal with it (& pay for treatments) myself. After being back at work another week, the pain returned and again I was sent home, the Physio offered again to run it all through Work Cover. I accepted but I felt so guilty, like I was a bad person who was doing something wrong.
I think you probably get the gist of the story by now. To cut a long story short, this continued until I took pre-arranged leave for one month. My work relationships began to deteriorate dramatically, certainly from my perspective they did anyway. I eventually returned again to work but my work relationships had broken down so much I couldn't communicate, connect or relate to anyone in the office anymore (this was very out of character for me, I had always been a good-natured and dedicated employee), I became increasingly paranoid that no body in my department liked me, and I felt still more increasingly guilty about not being able to do more at work (my Doctors certificate had me on light duties, no typing and only half days), I had a complete emotional, nervous, psychological breakdown. My Doctor sent me to a Psychologist, and signed me of as unable to return to the work place. I heard from my direct manager a few times (the one I thought despised me, although she had never said anything like this to before), that was the last of it.
I was left with a high level of anxiety which faded somewhat over the years but only really left this year, when I started tapping using Faster EFT. This seemingly painful story was a successful creation of my unconscious mind. I am now tapping & flipping this series of events into a better story.
Truth be told, above is only how I perceived the events that transpired, the only reason I could have perceived events as I did, from such a victim mentality, is because I carried all that pain inside of me already. No one was actually out to get me, I was accidentally out to get myself. I held the resources inside myself to enable me to feel that way..
Thank goodness I know that now, & thank goodness I have a way of addressing my pain, past, present & future. Thank you Robert G. Smith for Faster EFT & thank you to all who inspired you.
I have had this chronic pain in my neck & shoulders and it's been around on and off for about 6 years. At first I thought this pain was a purely physical thing. But I had all the tests and the doctors couldn't find a thing wrong with me, and that is a good thing right? But the pain is real, I feel it, that much I know. Only after about 5 years did the penny drop. I had learned to manage this pain fairly well by doing yoga regularly & avoiding work at computers (which is what I had blamed as the cause of my pain). One day a friend came to visit and she was talking about the subject of racism. When she mentioned racism, this pain just re-appeared intensely after having been present but negligible for about a year since changing my line of work. This was my first introduction to the now obvious fact that the body expresses what the mind holds. My friend had triggered an emotional reaction in me, I was angry and my body expressed it immediately. After a week of this pain returning, I investigated EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). I tapped for an hour and expressed a lot of emotion from my past including anger and resentment. The pain went away. It returns every so often and I get the opportunity to explore my sub-conscious mind to see what I'm holding on to from my past that no longer serves me, old thinking patterns, limiting beliefs about myself and the world around me, and all that stuff that gets stored in our unconscious memory from birth till now. The pain returned today after I put myself out there in a video on You Tube, interesting as I was overwhelmed with fear of what others might think about my video.