How Do We Learn?

We all have the power to create the images that will guide our feelings and ultimately create a stress-free life. Regardless of circumstances, we can always control our feelings in this simple way. It is important to begin practicing this technique as often as possible, and over time there will be a great difference in your feelings and in an overall sense of contentment. The reason the change occurs gradually is simple. It is all in how we learn.

The conscious mind gathers information and makes judgments, which it gives to the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind is designed to execute whatever we think. It is given information according to our random thoughts: both positive and negative. If one thought is positive and the next is negative then the unconscious executes both, causing one to neutralize the other. Regardless of whether the information is true or false, the unconscious mind creates a reality of whatever information it is given. In that way the unconscious mind is like a big room and the conscious mind is like the door to the big room. Whatever is allowed into the room is what will create a person’s reality. Our unconscious mind doesn’t know what it should change or if it should correct the information. It only follows what our conscious mind is saying. And because our conscious mind is not controlled but rather affected by whatever is around us, we become consciously incompetent.

All the information we have collected is at the unconscious level, and the unconscious mind learns instantly. Whatever we have learned, it will retrieve. Example: If you ask a question of the unconscious mind and if the answer is not already at the unconscious level, it will take all the information it has and it will come up with an answer.

Once we become aware of how our mind works, then we can consciously control our thoughts. Now we become consciously competent. And as we control our thoughts and repeat only good thoughts, we are becoming unconsciously competent.

Unconsciously competent is the most exciting part because it is the seed of inspiration and transformation. Now we have learned how to become far more powerful, and we are able to overcome all stress and every fear. We have learned that our minds control our feelings and ultimately our lives. The unconscious mind is now able to go into “auto-pilot” and create every reality that we have intentionally planted into our lives using our thoughts. This enables us to learn how to live much more fulfilling lives through the power of manifesting.

The process of continually creating positive pictures will transform our energy such that we are no longer affected by stress. The potential for us to not only live stress free lives, but to actually design our lives with much greater wealth, health and happiness can begin simply with learning how to master our thoughts. This reality is not only an exciting new frontier of self-discovery, but has its evidence in science more and more as research has started to create tools that can measure the energy created simply from thought. One example of measuring energy was discovered by Masaru Emoto in his book, The Hidden Messages in Water. Mr. Emoto studied wave fluctuations in water, and also did photography of ice crystals when he discovered that sounds of either words or music drastically changed the appearance of water.

Harsh words or angry music made the microscopic water crystals appear dark and jagged, while beautiful words and music caused the crystals to form beautiful ornate shapes similar to snowflakes. The ramifications of this type of research are incredibly exciting for us and future generations.

Knowing that we can have a hand in giving ourselves every success in health, wealth, and happiness is an entirely liberating and inspiring thought. And once it’s a thought, we have the power to turn it into a reality. Once you learn how to control your thoughts, you can do anything. You are ready to manifest your life!

If you are suffering from personal stress, emotional stress, relationship stress, work stress, or any other stress contact Flavio to find out how his services can help you find inner peace and happiness.

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Communicating With Your Emotions

The intention of these monthly articles is to take complex events that happen within our mind and body and try to explain them in a simple manner. The purpose of this is so that you, the reader, can have a better understanding as to why you are either proactive or reactive to what is happening inside you and around you. For this issue, we will discuss how to better communicate with your emotions in order to have a happier life.

Understanding the way our bodies function on a chemical level is very important because it demonstrates clearly the essential bond between emotions and physical health. Therefore, if we can learn how to effectively communicate with our emotions, rather than being randomly guided by them, we can effectively be in control of our emotional health and physical health.

The unconscious mind is capable of initiating new emotional responses, which can trigger new chemicals in the brain and throughout the body. In other words, the entire endocrine system of hormone production can be controlled positively through the use of suggestion to the unconscious mind.

Positive emotion is a powerful tool that can reverse all negative effects of stress on the body. This means that the possibilities of positive transformation are very real, very easy and very effective, and not just in the area of eliminating stress but all kinds of other areas as well!

Mental Pictures

With mental pictures, it is very easy to change your feelings instantly. Your body gets used to or even addicted to whatever chemical is produced as a result of your thoughts. (i.e. If it’s drugs, then your body needs more drugs). For example, cigarettes are not addictive, but the illusion of what smoking does to your feelings is what makes smoking appear addictive. It’s an addiction to the feeling that smoking gives. Whether the addiction is good or bad, the craving is for the feeling that the addiction offers. The body’s cells want the fix of whatever they are used to getting.

Emotional Patterns

In order to create a change, the cell must be retrained to accept new chemicals. It can be retrained by creating a “feel good” response and thus creates a new pathway in the hypothalamus. This new pathway must be repeated over and over in order to effect a permanent change.

Simply put, there are only two kinds of feelings you can possibly experience: good feelings and bad feelings. Every kind of feeling you might have will be one or the other.

For example, take a moment in time when you feel happy and you say, “Wow I am really happy right now.” Once you recognize that you are happy, you let it go. You don’t even think about it anymore. The unconscious mind is trying to communicate to the conscious mind the action you were doing that made you feel good without you even realizing it.

With your conscious mind, you must ask ,“What was I doing that was causing me to feel happy?” The unconscious mind will reveal to the conscious what action to do in order to have those happy feelings again. Instead of flowing with the random pattern of emotional ups and downs, knowing what to do will give you the ability to create these “happy” feelings whenever you want to.

In the same way, feeling sad can cause you to focus on the opposite of what makes you happy. It might be that you focus on what is missing in your life. As you focus on what you don’t have, your feelings change from “happy” to “sad”. However, once you learn how to identify the “negative” thoughts that are making you “sad”, you can learn how to quickly change your thinking and focus on what makes you feel good, and your “sadness” will evaporate effortlessly and immediately.

Why “Positive Thinking” Doesn’t Always Work

Positive thinking is a good habit because it is a way of focusing on good things. It also creates a sense of thankfulness in the thought process, which contributes to a balanced mindset. But if you are trying to think positively without having identified the “sadness” or “tension” that is at the root of your thoughts, then your attempt at positive thinking is not effective.

Neuro-Pathways

To effectively rid yourself of any kind of “sadness,” you must fully understand it. Emotions and feelings create neuro-pathways in the mind. The neuro-pathways are like well-worn grooves of habitual thinking that have been established over a period of time and much repetition, like a well-worn path through a field of grass. If that neuro-pathway for sadness is deep and well worn, then it will always eat up the positive thoughts. The only way to eradicate old neuro-pathways is to not only establish new ones, but to carve them just as deeply into your psyche. This process takes a lot of time and work.

Creating Better Neuro-Pathways

There are always two ways of doing things: the hard way and the easy way. Using our conscious minds and our constructed, well-thought-out ideas to attempt to understand our own behaviours is usually the “hard way”. It takes a lot of time and effort and often leads to more questions than answers.

Our unconscious minds, however, operate far more quickly and effectively because when we use our unconscious minds, we can access a much greater intelligence than with our conscious minds. The unconscious mind is the birthplace of inspiration, creativity and enlightenment.

Likewise, there is a much faster way to solve the problem of “sadness” than remembering to work at creating new neuro-pathways by repeating them over and over again. The faster approach is simply to go right into the feeling by asking yourself these questions:

  • What am I feeling?
  • What is the purpose of this feeling?
  • What is the message this feeling is telling me?

If, for example, a close relative or even a family pet dies you experience “sadness”. The sad event is framed in a mental picture of the death. You think about the event of the death and also the lack of their presence in your life. The mental picture is created both about the present and the future. By changing your mental picture about the event, you can change the feelings associated with it. So instead of thinking of the “death,” you create a mental picture of all the moments of joy that were shared. As you picture those moments with a sense of gratitude for having experienced them, you are able to instantly lift your feelings into a more positive state. You know logically that death is an inevitable part of life, but you were blessed to share wonderful moments with another human being or animal. Your feelings are dictated by the choice of mental pictures you choose to focus on.

Everyday stress is not created by such dramatic events as “death”; however, these everyday events can play into a person’s general health. Most stress is created by an accumulation of small, irritating events that render you feeling powerless and unable to control them. However, now that you understand that you can actually control your thoughts, which in turn controls your emotions, you have the power to handle these stressful situations with more ease. By taking some time and practicing this new way or different way of thinking, you will find that it will actually help you to feel better about yourself and your surroundings, creating a happier life!

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Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Feelings

Let’s take a moment to review the previous articles. We started out by talking about “cause and effect”. I explained that the cause of every effect is the thought, and the effect is always the feeling, either good or bad. Also it is very important to remember that whatever we do or don’t do is because we want to have a feeling. Either we want to feel good, or we want to prevent ourselves from feeling bad. You must remember that the “feeling” you are having is always the effect, not the cause; the cause is always the thought. An example of this is, if you are feeling angry and if you go back to the cause, you are probably imagining things in your life that are connected to anger.

As we are now having a better understanding about our thoughts, let’s review the different types of stress and the signs of stress that we should watch out for. The worst of all types of stress is chronic stress, which is very harmful to us. This type of stress is constant, inescapable and accumulative in its ability to wear people out. When feeling the effects of chronic stress, you will notice that your body is affected instantly and you feel an accelerated heartbeat, perhaps cold chills, a nervous stomach, and/or sweating hands or feet. As these symptoms occur, you may not understand why, so the anxiety will increase. Then we start to see the behavioural signs of stress – people begin to avoid doing things, they procrastinate, withdraw, and begin to have relationship problems.

The most important thing is that the moment you feel any of these symptoms, you need to call your family doctor to identify the problem and assist you. Many times we fear our doctor’s news, but the problem can be dealt with much easier if addressed in the onset or early stages.

TV programs talk about chemical changes in the body, but we really don’t understand what they mean. I would like to give you a simple explanation of what really happens and how it happens in your body – the “simple” explanation of the endocrine system, and the function of the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland and their functions in the body.

The endocrine system consists of glands that release hormones influencing every cell, organ and function of the body. The endocrine system regulates mood, growth and development, tissue function, metabolism, and sexual function and reproduction. The major glands of the endocrine system consist of: hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenals, pineal body, reproductive glands and the pancreas. Although all these glands produce all the essential hormones, the body’s organs also produce and release hormones. All glands of the endocrine system are basically a group of cells that produce and secrete chemicals in the body. Endocrine glands release more than 20 major hormones directly into the bloodstream where they are transported to cells in other parts of the body. The reason the endocrine system is so important to understand in regard to stress is because the production and release of hormones is directly influenced by stress levels. These hormones affect every cell in the body; therefore, stress can also affect every part of the body, as it influences the endocrine system. The entire cellular system responds to whatever chemicals are released, and it develops a habitual response based on what it is accustomed to receiving. In other words, the cells of the body develop an appetite for the chemicals it is used to getting. Cells don’t differentiate between good or bad chemicals; they just want to get what they are used to getting. Just as we develop lifestyle habits, our cells also develop chemical habits. Therefore, the body responds to that “need” and automatically creates “feelings,” so that more of the desired chemicals will be produced on their own.

The hypothalamus, a collection of specialized cells located right below the thalamus at the center of the brain, is virtually the control center for autonomic regulatory activities in the body. It has been called “the brain of the brain”. It’s the primary link between the endocrine and nervous systems, controlling many complex emotions, feelings and moods, as well as state of hunger, appetite, food intake, and everything to do with pleasure, satisfaction, comfort and creative activities. Another interesting function of the hypothalamus is that it is intimately involved with integrating all of the senses, (taste, smell, sight, sound, touch) which it first translates, then distills and assembles into one discernable “package” which relates all the features of an “experience” into one harmonious experience. This results in creating a succinct emotionally satisfying memory or judgment of the experience itself.

The pituitary gland is about the size of a pea and located just below the hypothalamus. It is referred to as the “master gland” and it’s the most important part of the endocrine system because it makes hormones that control other endocrine glands. The hormones are influenced by emotions and seasonal changes. The hypothalamus relays information sensed by the brain to the pituitary. This is a very important factor in regard to chronic stress because emotions are also influenced by stress, which in turn affect the hypothalamus, the pituitary and the entire endocrine system.

The power to control emotions can have an incredibly positive influence on the entire endocrine system. This has powerful ramifications in regard to many other functions of the body such as anti-aging factors, weight-loss, and breaking addictions, to name just a few. Once a hormone is secreted, it travels from the endocrine gland through the bloodstream to target cells designed to receive its message. Along the way it picks up proteins that act as carriers and control the amounts of hormone that will be applied to the target. Now that you have a better understanding of the function of the endocrine system and how the thought creates the feeling, you also now understand that along with a physical response, your body is also producing a chemical at the same time.

Next issue we will talk about how to communicate with our emotions. Until then remember, your thoughts = your feelings and then simultaneously your body will have a physical response and a chemical change as a result of those feelings. Change your thoughts, change your feelings – it’s that simple.

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The Signs of Stress

With an understanding of what stress really is – a response a person feels when experiencing one or more negative emotions at one time – it is now important to recognize the types, misconceptions and signs of stress. There are three different types of stress – eustress, acute stress, and chronic stress.

Eustress is a harmless type of stress. It comes from doing things that are exciting. Eustress makes a person feel vital and energized. People experience this type of stress from things like competing in a race, preparing excitedly for an event, meeting a deadline, getting ready for a first date, or riding on a rollercoaster. It’s excitement with a little bit of fear, but with a sense of happy anticipation.

Acute stress is momentary and can either be positive or negative. It’s a stress that occurs on a daily basis whenever stressful situations are confronted. Sometimes in a situation where action is required to avert danger people experience a rush of adrenaline and super strength in order to confront an urgent situation. This rush of adrenaline is caused by the acute stress. Things like averting a car accident with split second reactions, confronting a sudden outburst or confrontation, embarrassment, or public speaking — these types of situations all cause acute stress, which dissipates after the stressful event.

Chronic stress is the most harmful type of stress. It is constant, inescapable and accumulative in its ability to wear people out. Chronic stress is caused by constant exposure to a conflicted environment such as a bad marriage, a difficult job, or constant fears that cause anxiety in a person’s mind.

Although stress is a major cause of illness, it is often misunderstood and consequently many treatments used to treat it are ineffective and temporary at best. In order to better understand what stress is, we need to first clarify what it is not.

Let’s look at a few common misconceptions about stress:

Stress is inevitable and we can’t prevent it.

Not true. Many people have learned how to identify and eliminate stress through understanding their own reactions and reprogramming their own responses.

We can counteract stress just by relaxing.

Not true. Relaxation techniques are excellent and very good, but the underlying causes of stress are often something people are so accustomed to that they are unaware they are being affected by them.

A certain amount of stress is good for us. It keeps us alert.

Not true. Other than eustress, which is more about nervous excitement, chronic stress is never good for anyone.

The best method of dealing with stress is to calm ourselves whenever we feel stressed.

Not true. Stress is not necessarily a feeling or emotion that can be detected. Often it builds and is internalized, creating physical problems for us even though we may feel “okay” at any given moment. Because the effects of stress are cumulative, we need to develop techniques and habits that allow us to live completely stress-free lives, regardless of the environment we work and live in.

Stress is directly affected by emotional responses. The emotional response sends a message to the body, which in turn causes certain reactions in the body itself. Often the emotional root of stress is so buried under responses and many other complaints it is never addressed in terms of eliminating stress, and yet it is the single most important factor. If unchecked, emotional responses to tension will build up causing primary, secondary, as well as simple behavioural signs that give us an indication that our problems are actually stress related.

Emotional signs of stress are: anxiety, depression, fear, being on edge, worry, boredom, guilt, blame, and/or anger.

Primary and secondary signs of stress appear in physical ways and they affect people on an unconscious level. Although primary and secondary signs of stress are physical evidence of stress-related feelings; behavioural signs of stress are evidence of how stress can dramatically change a person’s actions even to the point of “behaving out of character.”

Primary signs are not harmful and may be due to nervousness about either positive or negative events. Secondary signs indicate more intense stress levels, which can cause negative health issues. The secondary signs must be viewed as serious and should lead a person to take preventative measures.

Primary signs of stress are: accelerated heartbeat, cold chills, nervous stomach, tightened muscles, cold hands or feet, shallow or rapid breathing, sweaty hands or feet, butterflies in stomach, and/or jittery arms or hands.

Secondary Signs of stress are: headaches, fatigue, insomnia, neck and shoulder tension, stomach disorders, chest tension, hair loss, and/or constipation or diarrhea.

Behavioural signs of stress are: avoidance, procrastination, withdrawal, hyperactivity, aggression, substance abuse, relationship problems, sexual dysfunction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and/or obesity.

The exercise of identifying the sources of stress will give you an idea of what is really happening in your physical body. Understanding this will not only reduce stress but you will be better able to explain to your family physician what is really happening within your mind and body. Next issue we will address the endocrine system and its functions. So until then, recognize the signs of stress to help you make the appropriate changes to live a happy and relaxed life.

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Stress – How it Affects the Body and Mind

As promised, this first article will address stress and how if affects the body and mind.

In the beginning when I started to do therapy, clients were coming to my office and complaining about stress. It was difficult to work with them, as the comment “I’m stressed” did not tell me what the actual problem was.

First of all we have to understand that everything we do or don’t do is because we want to have a feeling – either we want to feel good, or we want to prevent ourselves from feeling bad. Understanding this, I began to ask my clients what emotions they were feeling during the time that they felt stressed. Their response was either, “I’m angry, I’m nervous,” or “I have fear.” Knowing what emotions they were experiencing enabled me to easily do the necessary work to help them overcome these negative emotions.

The emotions you feel, whether good or bad, actually cause a chemical change in your body. So to answer the question, “What really is stress?” – stress is the response a person feels when experiencing one or more negative emotions at one time. Although stress is a major cause of illness, it is often misunderstood, and consequently many modalities used to treat it are ineffective and temporary at best.

The thought process of how emotions are caused is very simple. Again, I want to reiterate that we must remember that everything that we do or don’t do is because we want to either experience a positive feeling or move away from a negative feeling. How do we at times become anxious? It is simple… fear + fear + fear = anxiousness + more fear = panic. The good news is it does not matter what the negative emotion is that you are experiencing; it can be easily changed into a positive one.

Cause equals Effect

The cause of every effect is your thoughts. The effect is always the feeling, either good or bad.

Good Feeling

Happy, Excited, Passionate, Peace

Here we live in the light; we are creative; and we are proactive. Here we are healthy.

Bad Feeling

Fear,  Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Frustration, Resentment, Hurt, Sadness

Here we are reactive; and if problems are not dealt with they could lead to sickness.

Whether we feel good or bad, we must always go back to the cause, which is always our thoughts. We must be consciously aware where we are in thought at all times. If you think something good is about to happen, you will feel good and if you think something bad is going to happen, you will feel bad. Just by knowing this, you should be able to begin to control your thoughts.

If you control your thoughts, you control your feelings. This process is a great start, it sounds simple but it works. But sometimes what gets in the way are limited decisions and beliefs that come from passed experiences, which are stored at the unconscious level. If there are in fact limited decisions or beliefs with a simple process, they can be changed in a way to support your conscious desire. We will talk more about this in the future.

Next issue, I will talk about the signs of stress, and I will explain about the primary, secondary and behavioural signs associated with it. So until next time, always focus on what you want, NOT on what you don’t want. When you focus on what you want, what you don’t want will take care of itself.

 

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