September 4, 2010 § Leave a comment
Young people deal better with stress than their older counterparts according to Nancy Pachana of the University of Queensland, Australia. In elderly people under stress “there is more low-level anxiety and depression”. Research on rats found that when put in a stressful situation, after two weeks, older rats had much higher levels of the stress hormone, corticosterone than the younger rats. Also, they showed increased activity in the area of the brain associated with anxiety. This may well be due to the NLP anchoring effect. Anchoring, happens when the unconscious mind is exposed to a highly emotional state, extreme happiness, sadness or stress for instance. At that point, the unconscious mind searches the fice senses for the trigger for this particular emotion and neurologically links it to that trigger. It is then primed for the next time. Essentially we get better at doing the emotional state. That’s great in an evolutionary sense if the sight of a tiger will produce an excellent fight or flight response, but not so good in our daily lives in the office.
Having nurtured this ability to produce a highly tuned stress response over the years, Hirotka Shoji of the National Centre for Geriatrics and Gerontology in Obu, Japan suggests that the brains ability to damp down the release of corticosterone is reduced with age.
Dylan Evans in his book “Placebo” highlights the research on baboons which shows that those males at the bottom of the social hierarchy have thickened blood and exhibit behaviours which look very similar to depression. One theory is that this is a prolonged acute phase response to being constantly kicked and scratched. The continual activation of this acute phase response then becomes a way of life. This may explain why humans who are under constant stress may also be in a constant state of acute phase response with the attendant symptoms of sickness behaviour (depression) and thickened blood. Could this be the reason why people suffering from stress and depression are far more likely to die of a heart attack?
The importance of decreasing the stress response in our lives must be our mission. If you are still young, to avoid setting up patterns of behaviour and if you are old because you have a reduced ability to deal with it.
For more information about ways to deal with stress –
February 24, 2010 § Leave a comment
If you have little confidence you may recognise this kind of self talk – I really don’t want to meet these people, I don’t know them, they probably wont like me, what if I say something stupid, what if they reject me…. and so on. My goodness your poor unconscious mind. No wonder its terrified. You have just mentally rehearsed a number of scenarios where the evening went terribly. You weren’t just politely ignored, you were wholeheartedly rejected and probably they were extremely rude and told you to your face. The chances are that you have never ever been treated so dreadfully in your adult life, ever. Chances are, you may have been rejected verbally and unkindly in school and that’s when this particular pattern of your behaviour began. However as adults we have grown out of being so blatantly rude in company but our unconscious mind is still that rejected seven year old and hasn’t grown up. That’s because we learn conscious polite social behaviours but do next to no work on our unconscious mind, we let it just run riot, thinking whatever it wants and not reining it in to serve our purposes.
Put it this way, if you had a seven year old child who was going to a party and you talked to them the way you talk to yourself what outcome would you expect. ‘Darling, at the party today, everyone will probably hate you, they will think everything you say is stupid… have a lovely time.’ You just wouldn’t do that would you and we really don’t need to explain why, it’s pretty obvious. And yet that is the way so many of us mentally prepare for job interviews, public speaking, meeting new people. Brilliant!
The thing you need to know about your unconscious mind is that it doesn’t really know the difference between a real and a vividly imagined event. So if you daydream about an event going badly your unconscious mind thinks it actually happened to a very large extent. You may repeat that process many times during the day so by the time the real event happens as far as your unconscious mind is concerned, you have had a number of similar experiences which went so badly that you ended up feeling awful, so no wonder it’s seriously concerned.
How many times have you come away from a situation which you had been worried about thinking how well it went compared to how you had imagined it. May I suggest that you change your pattern of behaviour and see what happens. Make a deal with your mind to only imagine a positive outcome for an upcoming event. You do not have a time machine, so you can’t ever know how something will turn out. You have two choices, think well of it or not. Which of those choices is going to make you feel better and give you more resources? If you do something successfully ten times then you relax and feel confident, it’s a natural response. Whatever choice you make it’s a fantasy so you may as well fanaticise in a way which leaves you better prepared.
This is about training your mind and not letting it run riot. You have had negative thoughts in the past which have become a habit and that needs to change now and it can with a little effort initially.
Imagine a musician preparing for a recital who plays one wrong note whilst rehearsing because that note is easier to play than the one written. Would they carry on rehearsing playing the wrong note because it was easier or would they spend the rehearsal time perfecting playing the right one? Sometimes its easier to think about all the things which could go or have gone wrong because that is the habit we have developed. But I am suggesting making the effort to make pictures in your head of all the things which could go well, speak to yourself in a positive way and feel in your body the feeling of a successful outcome. And when reviewing a past event only think about the things which went well. After a party for instance, only think about the people who made you feel good and completely ignore the others.
Give it a go for a month, a week , what have you got to loose. notice the difference it makes. Then please post a comment to let me know what happened.