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Want To Live Longer, Happier, Healthier?

Avoid This #1 Killer!

How often during your week do you feel stressed out?  If more than a couple times, you are above the national average.

A 1996 Prevention magazine survey found that almost 75% of people feel they have "great stress" one day a week, with one out of three saying they feel this way more than twice a week. Job stress tends to be the leading cause of stress for adults. It has been estimated that 75 - 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related problems. No doubt this number will keep rising as the decade’s progress.

Hans Selye father of the “stress theory” describes stress as “the non-specific response of the body to any demand made upon it.” Stress can be either physiological or psychological in nature. Stress is the response to events in our environment. First come the stressors (cause) and then the stress (effects). If stress isn’t controlled or alleviated it can literally be stored up in the body and may lead to physical and emotional disruption such as sicknesses, cold, flu, headaches, insomnia, or more severe symptoms such as chronic pain, depression, heart attacks, cancer, or even suicide.

The fact is it’s not the ‘stressors’ of our environment that cause us to stress out, but how we respond to the events in our life, never the events themselves. How can the same experience such as losing or transferring a job garner such a different response from two different individuals?

In simple terms, it is the meaning we place upon the events which create the emotional reactions we experience. All the clinical research has shown that stress is “the perception of not being in control.” Since we cannot control our outside circumstances or events, the only way to regain a sense of control is to effectively manage our emotions. YES?


Within the technology of NLP neuro-linguistic programming, there is the understanding that two things predicate our behavior, Focus and Physiology! Focus is what we choose to focus on internally or externally and the meaning we place upon these experiences. Then, our physiology is how we interpret the experience within our bodies to respond to the outside conditions.


Here is the best kept secret! Once you learn to control our emotions, we learn to control our world! If not, we allow our emotions to control us! So, which is it for you more often? If you completely grasp this concept of how the brain works, you can begin to control it! The fastest, most effective way to handle stress or anxiety is to change your physiology, specifically your body posture AND your breathing. Your state of mind is tied directly to the positioning of your body; how you stand, sit, lean, and move! Think about it. How does someone look when they are depressed - slumped and slouching, breathing shallow and restricted? Then, how is their body posture when they are happy or excited, upright and open, breathing full and deep, YES? So, if you really want to take control of your life, you need to manage your emotional states! Next time you are confronted with a challenge in life, STOP, and ask yourself; “what am I focusing on and what does this mean?” Chances are you have placed an unrealistic meaning upon it. Now ask again: “what ELSE could this mean?” Choose a more empowering meaning; something that motivates you to take a more positive action. Then... IMMEDIATELY change your posture and your breathing. Remember, each emotional state of mind has a specific physiology associated to it. So, it stands to reason that if you shift your physiology to a more resourceful posture then your emotional state will change, leaving you feeling more empowered to deal with the experience!   We are not taught how to effectively deal with life. This is just the beginning, start here, gain emotional control, make better decisions!

Article by John James Santangelo PhD

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