• Posted in February 2015 - written by Michael Carroll

Stress reduces the quality of for many people. Stress is the label of an over generalised kinaesthetic response. The physical response is increased heart rate, adrenaline the release noradrenalin hormones, blood flows to the muscles and joints for increased physical activity. Some people feel nauseas or strong internal sensations as consequence of the rapid heart rate and adrenalin in the body.

Some people are ‘like stress junkies’ find the stress response motivational, they have a pattern to procrastinate until the response arrives and then with adrenalin they are highly motivated. These people do not have choice in their lives; they can only be motivated when stress is in their body.  The limbic part of the brain needs to be activated for these people to get into ‘fight mode’ where they become highly focussed. These people thrive on stress and when it not present they create it. When I coach the ‘stress junkies’ the goal is to create choice, so they can be proactive when they choose, rather than waiting for the stress response to arrive in order for them to feel motivated.

Other people freeze at the stress response; they are overwhelmed at the sensory level.  The feelings their body are very intense choice is lost. They become inactive when the limbic part of the brain sends its stress signals though the body.

And others run, they get as far as way from the stress as they can, which may be inappropriate in many contexts.

Stress is your response to external events. People experience stress at work, financial matters, worry about family, concerns about relationships Whist the events may be external, ultimately people who experience stress will internalise the external events. This means they can have the stress response on constructed images and sounds of events that have yet to happen as well as recalling events that have occurred. The brain does not differentiate between fiction in the mind and real events so stress is present even when there is nothing in the external world to be stressed about.

What is important to recognise is stress is signal from the unconscious mind; there is something to pay attention to. In other word stress is a message from the unconscious mind. I suggest you pay attention to the message and release the stress.

    Examples of messages
  • Get the report done on time
  • Do a very good presentation
  • Take care of your health
  • Pay attention to your children’s needs

For every stress situation there will be a trigger point, for many the trigger point is way before the stress response itself they are not aware of it. The trigger points are sensory based and in stress situations are external events.

    Examples of trigger points:
  • The tone of the bosses voice in the early morning meeting
  • The image of the traffic
  • The volume of children crying
  • A certain look your partner gives you

The stress may not happy instantly with the above trigger points; accumulation will lead to the stress response. For example having heard d the bosses tone all day, the stress starts in the afternoon. Having said that as the response generalises even the thought of the trigger point (the bosses’ voice) will initiate the stress response.

Below is an easy to implement exercise that helps you indentify trigger points and the message of the stress response so you can release the pressure from your body. 

From observer position, create the movie of when you experience stress, pay attention to what you see/hear and feel in the context. Notice the earliest trigger point of the stress.

Step into the position of stress relive the experience, notice the trigger point and when you do, breathe and jump to the third position.

    From observation position ask: 
  • ‘What is the message of the stresses?
  • ‘How can I pay attention to the message and let go of the stresses
  • ‘What would be a better response at the point?’

Created a different physical response at trigger point Watch and hear the movie with the different response. Make sure you pay attention to the message

Step into the movie, and experience the event without the different response at the trigger point.

All your behaviours are learned. Some of them you learned through experience and others you learned through modelling. Human beings are very routine, once we learn pattern it creates what Gregory Bateson referred to as redundancy. This means a singular response in a given context and all other choices are redundant. NLP is about creating choice in life, so many options are available to you at the stress triggers. Enjoy!

About The Author

Michael Carroll is the founder and course director of the NLP Academy and co-founder with John Grinder and Carmen Bostic St Clair of the International Trainers Academy of NLP.

He is the only NLP Master Trainer in the world certified by John Grinder and Carmen Bostic St Clair and he works closely with them in developing and delivering high quality NLP training.