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Stress Free Holiday … Easier than You Think!
Holidays can be overwhelming…presents to buy, wrap and ship, parties to attend, family issues to contend with and that’s just the start of the holiday stress list!
We all know stress isn’t good for our bodies, emotional state and, in some cases, those close to us. When triggered, we may feel out of control, act irrationally and/or over consume (aka the holiday weight). This is because there is a physical as well as emotional response to stress.
Over 1,400 chemicals are released into our systems every time we are triggered by fear or stress. This hormonal chemical dump is only a part of the human “Fight/Flight Response”. Our subconscious mind, which is 1,000 x’s faster than our conscious mind, also tells our liver to stop detoxing, our digestion to shut down and sends oxygen to the large limb muscles getting the body ready to run, fight or hide. Because our subconscious can’t distinguish between a real threat (bear chasing you) or a perceived threat (thought of a bear chasing you), it automatically triggers the “Fight/Flight” reaction every time. Self-preservation is always the subconscious’ top priority.
The brain also creates a chemical barrier keeping your thoughts trapped in your amygdala or fear center. This is why it isn’t always easy to think our way out of a stressful situation. Basically, the ‘danger’ alarm has been pulled and your subconscious is running the show. It’s not your fault, this is a primordial and evolved subconscious program which is very powerful. (As humans, we have lived many more years in caves fighting to survive than we have driving around in our SUV’s.)
The good news is that you can override this reaction and even program in a new response to stress. It’s called the whole brain body posture, it’s simple and usually takes two minutes to do. (Exercise is a great stress reducer but it’s not always practical or an immediate fix…you can’t go for a jog whenever you feel “triggered”.)
So when things get tense…politics at family dinner or your mother starts giving you unsolicited relationship advice…instead of going for another glass of wine or plate of food, take a five minute “time out” and try this technique to transform stress.
WHOLE BRAIN POSTURE:1) From a seated position, simply cross your feet at the ankles, right over left and then hold your arms out in front of you parallel to the ground, palms facing outwards. Next, cross your wrists, left over right, now your palms will be facing each other, clasp your palms together and interlace your fingers. Now place your hands in your lap or roll up into chest and relax. Place your tongue at the roof of your mouth and breath in through your nose. 2) Close your eyes and imagine the stressful situation, person or event. Allow all thoughts and feelings to come up and process. (Allow the conscious mind to let go, there is nothing it needs to fix or figure out because the subconscious will do the work automatically.) Continue doing this until you feel yourself shift to a place of peace, detachment and/or relief. 3) Unlock ankles and wrists, put your finger tips together (thumb to thumb, index to index, and, so on) and lock in that new feeling of peace/detachment/relief for 5 or more seconds. This step is like the save button on your computer. Remember to save your good work!!!
The action of having your limbs cross over the central meridian of your body connects the two hemispheres of the brain. Putting your tongue on the roof of your mouth, completes two merdians and allows you to retain the energy from your breath. Breathing in through your nose, activates the parasympathic system. You will instantly feel your mind and body begin to relax.
Bonus: You can use this technique to transform stress in any situation, for example, before making a sales call, asking for a raise or try teaching it to your child that suffers from test anxiety. Holding the relaxing whole brain posture for a while will also help students study, learn more effectively and improve their grades in school.
SCIENCE BEHIND THE TECHNIQUE:
"I know PSYCH-K's energy-balancing technology is effective because it radically changed my life...new 3-d brain-mapping studies employing quantitative EEG and low resolution electromagnetic tomography have provided measurable, objective data that reveal significant and lasting changes in brain behavior following a single ten-minute PSYCH-K session."
*taken from Dr. Bruce Lipton's "The Honeymoon Effect - The Science of Creating Heaven on Earth" (page 99)
Our brain has both right and left hemispheres each with specific functions:
|Creative, Intuition, Pictures||Logic, Reason, Words|
|Synthesize: Puts Together||Analyze: Breaks Apart|
|Identifies w/Groups||Identifies w/Individuals|
|Simultaneous: Holistic||Sequential: 1-2-3, A-B-C|
|Spontaneous & Free||Order & Control|
Also, the right hemisphere controls the left side of the body and the left hemisphere control the right side of the body. Between the two hemispheres is a band of fibers called the corpus callosum which, when relaxed, acts as a bridge allowing both and the right and left brains to communicate and process information.
When researchers autopsied Einstein’s brain, they were expecting a significantly large pre-frontal cortex. What they actually found was a highly developed and thick corpus callosum which they theorized, allowed him to use both sides of his brain simultaneously to solve problems.
The whole brain posture relaxes us out of the higher frequency beta brain waves into the slower alpha waves which is a super-learning and creative problem solving state. Most adults operate in the beta state and have a difficult time obtaining the alpha state except when dreaming or right before sleep. (There are many methods of accessing the different brainwave frequencies. Meditation and hypnosis are common but usually take more practice and time).
CONCLUSION: Practicing the whole brain position will allow you to use both left and right hemispheres so that you respond rather than react to stressful situations. Imagine smiling while you calmly listen to the in-laws’ comments about disciplining your children vs stuffing that last piece of pecan pie in your mouth. You will do yourself a world of good and bring peace to your holidays!
Susan K. Stone, Cht is a Hypnotherapist, Emotional Intelligence Instructor and PSYCH-K Facilitator.
Contact her at Susan@S2Evolution.com or call: 561.512.4760.
Whole Brain Position