From that peaceful place I asked myself, how do I deal with all the stress in my life? This is what came to me as the answer. The thought was that my mind is like a tea kettle and it is boiling and full of steam. I need to let the steam out, a little bit at a time, and I need to do it all day long. I realized that I don't really have all that much stress, no more than millions of other people. It's just in the way that I handle it, or more accurately don't handle it. No one situation is beyond my control, it's just that when you put them all together, they feel pretty overwhelming. The solution, I realized, is to handle one thing at a time. After doing that one thing, then it's time to take a minute or so to relax and let go of all the stress, all of the physical tension and emotional anxiety. Just by imagining that scene on my grandparent's farm, for a minute or so each time, I let my body and my mind relax. This leaves me better equipped to be the best I can be next time."
In the most intense forms of stress, such as life threatening situations, we have a fight or flight response. Less frequently we have a freeze or faint response. These responses are automatic and originate in the very core of our brain.
The relative importance of any given situation determines the intensity of the response. Stress motivates and stimulates us into action. Without stress we might not even get out of bed in the morning. Stress allows us to respond to life. It is our response to those things that we encounter in life that really matter. Stress can push us forward towards life's greatest successes. Too much stress can also debilitate us. Stress related illness (dis-ease) is our number one killer. Many people relate well to stress and perform their best under pressure. Some professional athletes and many other entertainers need the performance anxiety to do their best. Some people rarely perform at their best unless they are under pressure. Other people tend to choke under pressure. The harder they try the harder it becomes.
Responding negatively to stress results in creating tension and anxiety. Stress affects each of us in different ways. Two people may experience the exact same stressful situation, but they might respond in their own unique and individual ways. When "the game is on the line" some do better, some worse. The ability to perform under pressure is the key to success in many areas of life.
Those who consistently do better under pressure reap life's rewards while those who consistently do worse under pressure learn to avoid it. They rarely reach prominence in any field that involves performance or competition. It is not so much the nature of the stress that matters as much as it is the way that you respond to it. Usually we react out of habit. We can instead reprogram our responses and use the pressure to motivate us to do our best in those situations that matter the most.
Alpha can become your most effective technique for getting rid of excess tension and anxiety that you carry in your mind and in your body. Whenever you face a task, you automatically build up the stress that you need to face that task. All too often, however, we are still carrying the stress left over from our previous task. We move on to the next stressful situation having not released the stress we built to face the last one. Alpha can become the hole in the top of the tea kettle of life. It is a way to release excess stress before there is a chance for it to accumulate and become potentially dangerous. DIS-EASE is one result of failing effectively to handle the stresses of life.
It is absolutely essential to spend some of our time at ease, in order to avoid dis-ease. It doesn't take a lot of time at ease to counteract the negative effects of stress. What it takes is a lot of times. Lots of repetitions of closing our eyes, taking a deep breath, and going to your peaceful place. Frequent and yet brief experiences of being at ease will make a significant impact on your over-all levels of tension, anxiety, and stress.
Focus brings to bear the power of the conscious mind, and Passion brings to bear the power of the subconscious mind. When the two minds come together in harmony, something magical happens. They create a third mind; a higher consciousness. This is literally a second level of thinking. With Focused Passion, all the power is in the second level of thinking. You get to think about your individual thoughts and feelings, and choose to empower the positive ones, and choose to release the negative ones. In this way you come to enjoy all of your thoughts and all of your feelings. Do this and you will discover that there is a side effect. It is called happiness. Happiness is not about your particular circumstances. Happiness is not about your initial thoughts. Happiness comes from what you think, about what you think.
Here is a simple and powerful technique for creating the state of Focused Passion. Focus comes when you move away from stress, just a little of the way toward sleep. Passion comes when you enjoy what you are doing.
Focus Passion is moving from divided attention (multi-tasking) to paying attention to just one special thing. Do this and you slow down your mind. You move toward stress when you feel endangered. To move into Focused Passion you need to feel safe.
Close your eyes.
Most of the input that comes in through your five senses comes in through your eyes. Close your eyes and you slow down your mind. It's the first thing you do when you want to fall asleep. Focused Passion can be reached with your eyes open, but closing your eyes cuts out many of the potential distractions.
Take a deep breath and imagine that you are in a very safe and peaceful place.
By making this safe place, a place that you love to be, you add passion to your state of focus. When you feel stressed you tighten your muscles and hold your breath. Release your muscle tension and let go of your breath and you will begin to feel safe. Choose this place with your intuition. Let it be the first safe place that comes in to your mind. Imagine that you can see this place, or that you can hear the surrounding sounds. Simply pretend and get the feeling that you are there. If your mind goes off to a different place, just notice this and then bring yourself back to your first place. Always return to this same place each time you wish to re-create this state of Focused Passion.
With Focused Passion you can solve the only two problems that you face. One problem is that you know what you want, but you don't know how to get it, and the only other problem is that you don't know what you want.
When you don't know what you want, you go to your place of Focused Passion and you ask. Then you listen for the answer. This is called meditation, introspection, reflection, or prayer. If you believe in a higher power then you might believe that the answer comes through you. If you don't believe in a higher power then you might believe that the answer comes from you. Either way the process is the same. You ask, and then you listen for the answer.
If you do know what you want, then you tell. You imagine what you do want, as if you already have it, over and over again, with GREAT PASSION! This is called mental programming, visualization, self-hypnosis, or auto-suggestion. It is an application of the amazingly powerful law of attraction.
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