About stress and the quality of life

Stress has become so common in our time,

that it is close to be perceived as normal.

We often admire people who show the ability to stay calm and relaxed even in extremely stressful situations. What if this ability is something we can all attain, and learn through awareness and repetition?

One can easily feel powerless from the pressures outside, as well as the turmoil inside. The world expects something from us, and we expect a lot from ourselves. I often hear people tell me that they can no longer disconnect the internal engine. They lie ten centimeters above the mattress, feel tense and tired even when they have the opportunity to relax. Maybe they have mobilized and activated their tensions for so long, that this has become the new "normal state" in them? The experience can then be that it's just the way I am, or I just HAVE to finish this - THEN I will probably be at peace with myself ...

 

Anyone recognizing themselves?

We are not born that way. We are meant to have a natural variation between activity and rest. When something else has become common, it is not because this is natural for us, but because we have done so much of something that this has become an automated and unconscious behavior. This is how the subconscious works; things we repeat a lot are considered important, and are stored in a file in the brain to free up space in the consciousness so that we can concentrate on other things. That is how we learn; by conscious repetition and practice, until something has become so common that we can do it on autopilot. This applies to everything we do a lot of.

 

The brain does not know the difference between useful and less useful lessons, it stores what we do the most often as "important" so that we can do it automatically. This is how being able to walk, cycle or drive a car is something we can easily do without thinking about it consciously. The same can be said about stress, tension and restlessness. A learned state of mind we are walking around in without being aware of it, and without wanting to, because we have experienced it so much that it almost feels as if we no longer have a choice. Fortunately, what has been learned can be unlearned, and replaced with something new.

There are many ways to do it, and it's good, because not everything works for everyone. And it is important to remind oneself that if it is not impossible, then it must be possible. Even the Beatles were rejected the first time they applied for a record contract, but chose to believe that even "experts" could be wrong. Being open to new opportunities, daring to believe even when you have stumbled several times, is one of the most important gifts we can give ourselves. This is how we encourage our children to learn to walk, up again, you can do it. Giving ourselves the chance to try again when we feel we are failing, or that nothing is working, can feel more difficult. Then it may be important to remind oneself that it is not our fault, we do not do it knowingly and intentionally.

We do the best we can, and that's actually good enough.

 

It is usually easier to teach yourself. Raising oneself, as we raise our children, be able to create a completely different result than we have previously achieved. Hopefully, we reward more for what they do well, than to condemn and punish what they do not do so well. What if we chose to let our own inner critic retire, and be a little kinder and more understanding towards ourselves as well? My mentor once said that if you treated your friends the way you treat yourself - would you have any friends?

So if you have tried a lot, and for a long time, it does not mean that you cannot change. And that's an important point. Often we try to change what is not in our power to change. If the world economy makes you stressed, when will you have peace? And if it were to change now, would there not be other things standing in the way of your inner satisfaction? The extra pounds you need to lose before you can be happier? The uncomfortable health condition that needs to improve first? The debt that must be paid? Or the cohabitant who needs to understand you, and change before you can get better?

 

These are completely understandable thoughts and feelings and we probably all have them from time to time. If we stick to them, will we ever get well? Or is there something we can do ourselves, so that we can actually experience a better quality of life along the way? Feel better, even if life presents challenges, and things are as they are - right now? Who knows, maybe it's true that it is precisely from that point of view that we can spot other solutions and gain new perspectives? Perhaps we can create more changes in our environment, by instead using the energy to change the only thing that is in our power to influence; ourselves.

"We teach best what we

most need to learn"

Explanations of terminology:

 

Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI):

PNI is based on fields such as physiology, neurology and immunology, and describes the connection between what happens in the brain and the immune system. It explores thoughts like, "Can the immune system affect our thoughts and emotions? Can our thoughts and emotions affect the immune system?" (Henrik Vogt - The brain is not alone).

 

Neuroplasticity:

Describes the brain's ability to change rapidly when used differently. When new learning / knowledge is repeated extensively, a new pattern of nerve cells is formed in the brain, which further sends signals out into the body. Everything you repeat a lot, for better or worse, becomes automated and unconscious behavior. This is how all learning happens, this is how we all learned both language and driving / cycling. At first we thought about how to do it, we concentrated heavily, but eventually we do it on "autopilot". Other things you think, say or do are repeatedly learned in much the same way, regardless of whether it is good for you or not. "Misunderstandings" can occur in that neuroplasticity which can automate useless patterns, because it is perceived as if we keep practicing something just because we repeat it a lot. Maybe conditions like stress and worries can be set on "repeat" in us? Plasticity can be understood as changeability, or ability to change. We can therefore in the same way learn to consciously practice new patterns and habits, which will unlearn and replace the old, inappropriate ones that do us no good.

 

We can learn stress management techniques on how we can influence the way the brain, nervous system and body communicate and cooperate, and understand more of how learning happens. Making mental changes may also have physical repercussions. The brain can form new neurology that enhances our innate abilities for recovery and rest, which can indirectly facilitate the changes we want to achieve.

 

Examples:

-  Awareness of inappropriate thought and reaction patterns that can cause the body to end up in

  locked and stressful states.

 

-  Establishing new and more constructive ways of reacting using the brain's ability to change and

   create new patterns.

 

-  Knowledge of how the brain perceives and gathers information, and how we can use our minds

 in a more appropriate way.

 

-  The connection between body and mind; how the brain and the body communicate and have

   a mutual influence on each other.

 

-  How the subconscious can be affected by language, unconscious thought patterns, body

   language, and what you say to yourself.

 

-  To distinguish between facts and beliefs (to question the accepted truths, and how they

  affect our perception of reality).

 

-  Learn to pay better attention to emotions and signals that could be healthier for you.

 

-  Practice feeling the good feelings, get in touch with them, and allow yourself to be IN them.

 

-  Distinguish between being efficient / busy and being stressed.

The body's stress response

When the body experiences something threatening, it defines it as stress. Stress thus involves much more than the "time squeeze" or that "it just sits in the head" in the form of emotional stress. It can be an accident, injury, a virus or a bacteria, an infection or inflammation, poor sleep over time, too much to do, trouble in private life, financial problems, uncertainty about the future, an emotional shock, etc. A physical response is then initiated which produces a number of hormones with a massive influence on both the body and the central nervous system.

This is often called "fight - flight", or the body's "physiological - stress - response" (or "physiological - emergency response" since the word "stress" has been mostly associated with mental, emotional or temporal stress - which is by far covering all the physical factors which in turn activate this reaction). The body reacts in much the same way regardless of whether the threat is of a physical or mental nature. It tries to combat the threat with a physical reaction. It thus has similar physical responses to mental stressors, thoughts and emotions - as if you met a tiger. In order to fight against, or escape from, what bothers it, the muscles are mobilized in the struggle to survive, and generates hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. The cerebellar reflex thinking takes over, while our rational brain is put on hold for a while. This worked great in our distant past when we lived in caves and the challenge was to meet a predator, and the only focus was survival. What about in our time, when the challenge may be a boss who treats us unfairly? Or a cohabitation that does not work? Conflicts within the family and circle of friends? Or a bad health condition that seems impossible to improve? A future becoming increasingly darker, with possible consequences like the loss of job/income and dire financial straits?

So what happens in the body when the "threat" can not be physically fought with flight or struggle, and is not over in a few minutes? (How long do you think it would take if you met a tiger, before you either fought it, fled away, or were eaten ...?)

If this activation of the "stress" response is left ON over time, the body will be left in a constant state of readiness which can cause bodily ailments and you may feel quite drained of energy. A "hang-up" in the sympathetic part of the central nervous system, which can also cause a general hypersensitivity throughout the system, so that even small stresses can create a strong reaction. Some may have experienced that tense muscles and joints have become sore, inflamed and exhausted from being on constant alert. Others that the digestive system or night sleep may be disturbed, while still others may have just felt that they are hanging around with a feeling of flu, difficulty concentrating and lethargy.

It can be difficult to say with certainty what the reasons are, but maybe we can agree upon that there are better ways to use energy than stress? Fortunately, everything that has been learned can be unlearned, and replaced with something new and more constructive by breaking these patterns and consciously giving the brain a different mission. You will find out more about this in the courses.

 

 

Welcome!

 

For booking, contact tel / sms (+47) 98062029

Ann Schifte

Telf: +47 980 62 029

Org. No: 981739132

Reg. in the organization NLH