How Your Mind Creates Stress

How Your Mind Creates Stress
How Your Mind Creates Stress

Hello, I’m life coach Peter Winslow. Lately we’ve been learning about stress and how it can cause severe illness and disease. Now let’s look at a definition. Wikipedia defines stress this way:

“Stress refers to the consequence of the failure of an organism— human or animal—to respond appropriately to emotional or physical threats, whether actual or imagined.”

Did you get that? Stress is not only caused by an actual threat, it’s also caused by nothing more than your imagination. As a life coach, I hear many examples of this from my clients on a daily basis.

Know why some people cry when the hero tragically dies during a movie? They know perfectly well that nobody really died, but their subconscious minds respond to the stimulus as if it were real. This is because the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between what is real, and what is vividly imagined.

This is critical information to take advantage of if you’d like to improve your health. And by the way, without this inborn subconscious function, going to the movies wouldn’t be nearly as much fun!

We know that stress is a mental state that creates an emotional response in the body, which means it’s a mind-body phenomenon. And what is an emotional response? Emotions are electromagnetic signals sent out from the brain to communicate a particular message to the body at the cellular level. Then, neurochemicals and hormones kick in to provide what we feel in response to the mental information we’re busy processing.

Medical textbooks state that over 90 percent of all illnesses in the U.S. are due to stress and other mind-body factors. This means that nine times out of ten, there is an emotional stressor underlying the disease. Worry, frustration, anger, resentment, unworthiness, loneliness, anxiety, depression, and other emotional factors are known to cause the symptoms of stress, and lead to stress-related illness.

–Peter Winslow

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Negative Or… Not?

I’m life coach Peter Winslow. Recently, someone in the life-coaching group advocated the exercise of rejecting all negative thoughts as they occur and accepting and acting upon only the positive ones. Could one do this for a week uninterrupted, she told, one’s life and fortunes would certainly change for the better.

Would that we could only entertain and act upon our likes and loves rather than being pushed and pulled by our fears or by worries and concerns over daily challenges. Some may think it naive to do so; that it may not be possible to live in a world where negative influences are not addressed or even acknowledged. However, there are others who live with the mindset that everything serves in some way or another and therefore nothing is truly negative.

These people vow that to adopt this philosophy for a week (or better yet—a month) will release us from ailments and suffering. They also suggest that in so doing we become a magnet to attract the people and resources we really desire. Do you buy it?

I’m going to do this for a month and I challenge you to join me:

Let’s believe only those thoughts which add to our faith and conviction in the goals we have set, and in ourselves. Immediately dismiss all others. The conflicting and challenging thoughts that often occur are only temporary and lacking any power to manifest in the world of form without our permission and belief.

We’ll check in with ourselves daily by using the practices of meditation and contemplation, remaining steadfast in the knowledge that what we put our beliefs in must come to pass. We now create from within and are never the “victims” of external circumstance.

– Peter Winslow

The Best Way To Get Over a Breakup Part 3

I’m life coach and counselor Peter Winslow. In this series of posts your assignment was to write a short story about your past relationship from beginning to end, and then close the story on a high note.

The next step is to make a list of “reminders.” One of the best strategies to seal the closure is to make a list of all the reasons your ex was not the right one for you. If you’re having a hard time letting go, this is the thing to do. And it’s okay to be a bit ruthless—now is not the time for namby-pamby, wishy-washy sentiments.

Look at your story for guidance. List the hurtful things you wrote about (and others that you forgot to include in the story) and how they made you feel, being absolutely clear about those things you never intend to feel again. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and be stone-cold honest about what it was like to go through those events.

Imagine that these things had happened to a dear and trusted friend of yours. How would you feel about it? What would you say to them? Now ask yourself “Why would I ever put myself through that again?”

When you come to a moment of weakness, remember your list of reminders. Pull it out, read it through, and remember exactly why the relationship had to end. It simply had to dissolve, because you deserve better than that.

Before you know it, the relationship that once bedeviled you will be left right where it belongs—in the distant past. You will soon agree that it was all for the good, because it all contributed greatly to your own personal growth.

– Peter Winslow

The Best Way To Get Over a Breakup Part 2

I’m life coach and counselor Peter Winslow. If you are like many of my life coaching clients, there are things about your last relationship you know you absolutely never want to go through again. In the last post I gave you a writing assignment to empower you to get through the pain of your breakup, and move forward in a positive, healthy fashion.

You were to write a short story about your past relationship from beginning to end, and then close the story on a high note. That positive finish is an important key that will take you one giant step closer to your goal of emotional closure.

If you were honest with yourself, you came to face many meaningful emotions, both pleasing and challenging, as you wrote the story. You were probably amazed to discover the many insights that were revealed as you poured it all out of your mind and onto the paper.

Patterns may have appeared to you, and you found it much easier to identify and understand the valuable life lessons you learned from the whole experience. It became obvious that the relationship was really an opportunity to learn about yourself in ways that you could not have discovered alone. In this sense, your ex was a very valuable part of your life experience.

Realize that no relationship is ever a failure if you manage to learn something about yourself. Even though it didn’t work out in the end, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an important part of your journey.

In Part Three of this post we’ll shake it up a bit. You’ll reference the story you have written and learn how to bring it all together for meaningful closure.

–Peter Winslow