is not the absence of problems,
it is knowing how to deal with them.' Anon.
This first section is extracted from - 'Stress Control with Biofeedback' by Stephen I. Sideroff, Ph.D (Part of 'The Science of Biofeedback' Nightingale Conant)
We all experience excessive stress in our fast paced society, yet we were never taught how to cope with this problem effectively......You'll learn to eliminate unnecessary stress, or where stress is unavoidable, you'll learn to develop reactions that are appropriate to the given situation. You'll be guided through exercises that will help you identify your sources of stress, also known as stressors and stress triggers. You will also learn the difference between good stress and bad stress. For example, moderate stress can actually help you think better. On the other hand too much stress can hamper your ability to make rational decisions and can seriously affect your health.
Self Statement: "I am paying attention to my physical and emotional well-being."
Symptom Questionnaire: Noticing How Your Body Feels.
Rate each stress-related symptom below according to how often you have it:
Noticing Your Time Pressures
During the day, take note of instances in which you feel that you do not have enough time and feel pressured. Do this whenever you see your Health Cue. Then take a stress management break and answer the following questions about each stressor.
Your Unfinished Business Creates Stress
Because all of us have a natural tendency to complete what is left undone, we waste energy on an unconscious level worrying about all our loose ends. This creates stress.
Noticing Your People Pressure
During the day, take note of any situation in which you feel some "people pressure", such as a conflict with or an unreasonable demand by someone. Then, during a stress management breaj, answer the following quesrions about each stressor.
Noticing how filtering creates stress
Do you perceive a threat, disapproval, or conflict before you have all the facts? In other words, do you interpret information improperly or prematurely? Answer the following questions with respect to your "filtering system."
Other Sources of Stress
Change as a Source of Stress
Any change in your life will cause stress! The larger the change - such as illness or a death in the family, divorce, a move, loss of job, promotion, marriage, new baby - the greater the level of your stress.
More info on Stress
Experts say stress increases cortisol hormone levels.
Stress is often caused by a feeling of lack of control.
A little stress and pressure is healthy and often a part of most jobs.
Psychologists have found that there are several different types of personality's
Type A & B
Depending on which type depends on how stress affects you.
Type A - people are often slower, take baths and take it easy.
Typer B - people are often in a rush, running late, stressed, anxious etc.
Effects of stress -
Too much stress happens at the expense of our immune system, healing, digestion & repair.
When we get angry our immune system goes down for up to 6 hours
Many people stay in a loop - trying to combat stress by further stress - fear of facing self inside -
The key is to become conscious and aware of the mechanisms that play a part in you getting stressed.
Notice the different roles, personalities & dramas that people play out to gain energy from you.
Practise exercise such as T'ai Chi or Qi Gong
Dealing with Difficult People
According to stress expert Dr Chandra Patel, dealing with difficult people is one of the most common sources of stress. 'We call it "people-poisoning"', says Dr Patel.'And we describe the culprits as stress carriers, as they give others stress without suffering it themselves.'
But help is at hand. Behavioural Scientist Dr Robert Bramson has identified seven key personality tyoes who cause difficulites for those around them:
As the theory goes, work out which category your tormentor fits into and you can find coping strategies to reduce stress they cause you.
Personality Types & Coping Strategies
A. Know it all Expert
These people can be divided into two tyoes: those whi might actually know what they are talking about and those who 'become' experts on the basis of little imformation, but present it with such authority that's its hard not to be overwhelmed by them.
Superagreeables come across as good humoured and willing but never deliver. They are exasperating because they agree to everything in an effort to be liked, but constantly let you down.
C. Indecisive Staller
No matter what you say or how you present it, these personality types always respond negatively. And they often respond with such conviction that it's difficult not to believe them, especially as they don't offer alternatives.
E. Silent Unresponsive
These people purposefully use silence to control situations, which can be very undermining. It can even be a form of aggression or a spiteful refusal to co-operate.
Basically these people are bullies. They aim to get their own way by being hostile, even using ridicule, humiliation or sarcasm to undermine you. Criticism tends to be personal. Stress is induced by confusing, frustrating, even frightening you.
Complainers constantly whine without taking steps to change the things they're complaining about. They induce stress because they ignore helpful situations and waste your time.
Often people use
In order to get us to do certain things. We feel bad when we let them get their way.
Why are people so annoying?
It is important to recognize differences in the way people behave in order to communicate more easily, says Christina Osborne, management consultant and chief executive of Business Solutions (bsol.co.uk).'While some people are very theoretical others are action-orientated, for example. Both may be valid but if you have a tendency to take one approach, its alternative may seem frustrating. Although people are different from birthm they also learn from childhood to behave in ways that work for them. For example, if you get what you want by being loud and assertive, or conversely very passive, then that becomes your model of behaviour. Other people might find you difficult, but you go on doing it because it achieves results. What also happens is that people have different tolerances, so while one behavioural type might drive you mad, it doesn't bother someone else. In a social situation, you can choose whether or not you continue to see a person who causes you stress, But in a work situation - where different personality types in a team can actually improve it's performance - it's important to find ways to deal with it.'
People often act like robots!
People are often unconscious of how they react. Reactions are ingrained learned habits which formed over time and a long time ago - and nearly always go unchecked.
So when somebody loses their rag - don't take it personal, it's an automatic response to a trigger.
And don't attack the other person or get defensive because it just adds fuel to the fire.
Remember, if other people react from past experiences, habit, negative ego, jealousy, envy, anger, hatred, greed etc. SO DO WE!!
Why do we get so stressed?
Dr Joshua David Stone
You'll find that many of your life lessons will repeat themselves over and over again.
*****Dr Joshua David Stone, Soul Psychology - Highly recommended
'The only constant is change'
This too shall soon pass!
All emotions are subject to change and eventually return back to balance / homeostasis.
Often aggressive, hostile outbursts are followed by sadness and crying.
'After pride came the fall'
The only true security is 'knowing thyself' - a disaster can wipe out your house, car, family, friends - but nobody can take that experience, memory or lessons learned away from you!
This is the play/ dance of life, the maya, samsara. Life is a stage!
Unfortunately most people only focus on their negative times / attributes and can get stuck in a rut.
We all know there's always a silver lining. Problems are just seeds of opportunity.=
I wonder what would happen if we only read positive news and 'miracles'
Dealing with emotions
Try to recognize what it is that grates,' says Osborne. 'What it is that triggers a reaction in you and where it comes from. Does this person's behaviour remind you of someone in the past who intimidated or irritated yoiu, perhaps when you were a child? Identifying where your response comes from gives you a chance to step back. Then it doesn't get you in the same emotional way, and you can deal with it more objectively,'
You don't like in others what you don't like about yourself!
'If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.' Herman Hesse
Life is like a mirror, - external environment is just a reflection of your internal envornment annoying friends / family are teachers of your self-mastery (see reality)
Be a Love finder, not a fault finder
Observing Body Language Helps
Research has shown that communication is 55 per cent understood through body language, 38 percent through tone of voice and only seven per cent through what is being said.
We react subconsciously to other people's body language, but we can actively use our own to improve communication,'You can mirror another's body language to establish rapport, which helps you take control of a situation,'Says Osborne.'Eye contact is key, and adopting an open posture with your arms uncrossed. It doesn't necessarily come easily, especially if you feel threatened or vulnerable - which is why self-esteem is important. People with strong self-esteem find difficult people easier to cope with because they don't take their behaviour so personally.'
Responding instead of Reacting
Taking a step back gives a short time to choose a peaceful response, rather than to react with a hot head.
In longer relationships we build up emotional attachments - we expect others to act in certain ways. We also react automatically after a while when we let down our guard and instead react from lower ego desires.
Be independent of the good opinion of others
you are your own authority - you don't need respect / energy from others to feel good) see ego
know you own level of self worth. Other people's perceptions of you can be insightful however of they are often based on their negative ego (jealous, envy, prejudice, experience)
Focus on solutions
A quick way to move on, is to look at the facts and then focus on solutions
Often it helps to restate or paraphrase what the negative person is saying and then move on, 'so what needs to be done?'
Positive Emotions -
Becoming a Master of Your Emotions rather than a victim
Stand up for yourself
This doesn't mean getting into a battle. Get in touch with your feelings and state them. 'You know what john, I don't feel comfortable with .....'
this requires one to be mindful enough of ones own state of being. This requires practice and women tend to be more in touch with their feelings. Although anyone can turn their attention inwards over time.
Build Up Self-esteem
People with higher self-esteem tend to respond quicker and better. However high self esteem can be confused with aggressiveness & competitiveness. Some people are just insensitive and react swiftly & negatively, in the name of 'high self-esteem'.
There are three ways to deal with emotions
1. Reject the emotion as it comes along - send it back or away. Temporarily put it on the shelf. This is useful if you are experiencing negative emotions in public place
the emotion - this is known as alchemy. You add positive emotions to balance
out negative emotions - add more compassion, acceptance, loving-kindness,
to an emotion to overcome fear & hate. Fear and doubt cannot exist where
there is love.
ie. Alchemy (see mantak chia books on Fusion of Five elements)
3. Liberate yourself and the emotions - The Dzogchen way - stop grasping, and drop your attahment to the emotion / problem / confusion. See the emotion bare as it is. Don't be attached to having it. The Buddha's way
One key is to take other people's point of view.
Realize that some people are just displacing/ transfering negative energy onto you because of difficult situations at home or work.
When you stop being the punch bag, and they realize you don't play their games, they'll move onto the next poor victim.
Acceptance is the key to a peaceful life
Acceptance is not giving in. Instead it is about being fully present in the moment -and similar to above. By accepting the limitations of ourselves and others we allow peace and creativity to rise instead of fear, anger, guilt or hatred.
Let the emotions & stress pass by.
Acceptance allows us to be spacious and let the emotions just rise and fall - while we are silently aware and detached from ego desires.
Imagine yourself as transparent - and let the critisism just flow through you.
Let GO -
Letting go is a very highly disciplined action. It is the action of training ourselves to see and know and be present with that moment of arising (thought). Then to see the compulsive cycle of buying into the incoming thought through the three modes of grasping: grasping desire by trying to grab, grasping rejection by trying to push away, and grasping negation by trying to block it out. All three of these constitute grasping becasuse every time we engage in one of these we get caught in whatever thought or feeling is there, because it is all reactive. Any reactive movement within the mind leads to bondage as it does in life.
Let thoughts pass, let it happen
The Buddha illustrated this point
One day when Buddha was giving a lecture and a Brahmin got up and began insulting him. He raved for while and when he had finished the Buddha said,
"If somebody laid out a banquet in front of me, to whom would it belong?
"Obviously it would belong to the person who put it there," replied the Brahmin.
"And if the person offered it to me," continued the Buddha, "and I declined to accept it, whose would it be?"
"Well obviously it would remain the property of the person who put it there."
"Just so," declared the Buddha. "just so."
In our external relationships if people insult us and want to fight with us then that's their banquet, It becomes ours only if we choose to accept and engage it. It is exactly the same with all our thoughts and feelings. They are arising and passing but are problematic only because we pick them up. We make them ours, thus bringing a sense of egocentric possession to a situation that could have remained neutral. Only when the decision is made to appropriate the thought to ego-territory does grasping arise. When we don't do that then the mind relaxes, it is no longer caught up with all the thoughts and feelings and we understand what is meant by freedom. Freedom from thought.
The mind is now becoming more and more stable because it is no longer possible for the average change in thought / feeling to overwhelm the mind. The basis for this instablility is no longer there. Once again the basis for instability is our compulsive conviction that whatever arises has to be experienced in the sense of being grasped in one of the three modes. We no longer have that belief. We've learnt that we no longer have to do that.
Above excerpt from 'Diamond Mind' by Rob Nairn, pp87 -89
Tips to stay at peace:
The key is to develop an awareness of when and why you get upset. One needs to develop self-awareness / mindfulness / vigilance and concentration through practicing meditation.
More Tips to reduce stress
Key is to become conscious of how we react to situations! - Know Thyself!
The quickest way out of stress, is to become aware of the stress in the moment - before you have calmed down with a splash of water!
Notice how you react to certain situations, stimuli & triggers. Notice how predictable we are.
Most arguments are power stuggles - who's right, who's wrong?!
Generally there are the following options when in an argument.
Next time you get angry, frustrated, anxious or stressed:
The name of the game is to take a few deep breaths, become aware of the emotion, then aware why you have the emotion, then release the emotion or transform the negative emotion into a positive one (Taoist Inner Alchemy)
look at why you are / were stressed:
In the moment or perhaps later: You might want to contemplate why it happened and what lessons might be learnt, what you'd do differently
Transforming the emotions
To transform emotions you can use sound, audibly or inaudibly
and use visualisation -
Or use action -
Generally I don't recommend smashing or hurting anyone or thing. And these techniques do not necessarily get to the root of the problem.
Use the table below for quick reference guide for transforming the negative emotions into positive ones. Visualize the coloured negative emotion leaving the organ (where it is said to be stored), down into the ground. Cultivate the positive emotion in the organ.
This is a basic version - for more details see 'Fusion of the Five Elements I ' by Mantak Chia and Maneewan Chia.
Permanent Liberation from Stress & Other Negative Emotions
Alternatively you can just grab a hold of the emotion and don't let it go, focus on it with your introspection until it transforms (see Barry Long no-thought meditations for more info). This is related to the above section on focusing on why the emotion came up - Information may come up from your unconscious & subconsious- eg. past experiences.
According to Barry Long, this method can eventually free you from the particular negative emotions permanently. However it takes time, and you may need to work on each emotion individually. It may be better to work in this way in a meditation scenario - when you are in a safe & peaceful setting.
With awareness & acceptance you get insight & inner peace!
Go with the Flow!!
Above document compiled & edited by Greg Barclay - http://www.sortlifeout.co.uk
related books & tapes:
*****Dr Joshua David Stone, Soul Psychology - Highly recommended
Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman - There was a time when IQ was considered the leading determinant of success. In this fascinating book, based on brain and behavioural research, Daniel Goleman argues that our IQ- idolising view of intelligence is far too narrow. Instead, Goleman makes the case for "emotional intelligence" being the strongest indicator of human success. He defines emotional intelligence in terms of self-awareness, altruism, personal motivation, empathy and the ability to love and be loved by friends, partners, and family members. People who possess high emotional intelligence are the people who truly succeed in work as well as play, building flourishing careers and lasting, meaningful relationships. Because emotional intelligence isn't fixed at birth, Goleman outlines how adults as well as parents of young children can sow the seeds. --Amazon.com Daily Mail 'An impressive arguement that excellence is more than IQ'
Research Taoist Yoga - Internal Alchemy - Fusion, Microcosmic Orbit, Inner Smile by Mantak Chia
Negative Feelings / States
Positive Emotions / States
Understanding Life - you get what you deserve - you sow what you reap, not you sow what you need!
(send me email with subject: 'Ali G stress relief' if you want me to send you a funny Ali G download)
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