Stress is defined as the body’s non-specific response to any demand or stressor. Stress gets the nervous system to assess the information coming in, recognize a safe or not safe situation, and raise an alarm if needed. If not safe, the nervous system instructs the body to respond through fight-flight-freeze.
Everyone has their own person stress threshold and when the threshold is met then problems start. Normally we can all live with a baseline of stress. But when we go beyond those levels we are not able to tolerate the increased stress no matter how fun or pleasurable an activity might be. Often we can’t enjoy the activities that we used enjoy to such as exciting movies, parties, a jog in the park or even sex.
The overload of city noise, computer and TV screens, electronic phones, electrical wires and electronic transmission adds to our levels of stress. Simply unplugging, taking a day off, or taking care of oneself before others always vying for attention can help re-center and refocus us. However, not everyone is so lucky. People with anxiety disorders, chronic stress and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) need a little bit more work.
The part of the brain that determines what happens in a stressful situation is called the amygdala. This structure signals to the hippocampus which records the event we are experiencing (like the event of reading this blog). The hippocampus allows us to recall a memory (or the context), know approximately how long the event took place and that the event has begun and ended. Our memory of the details in sequence are due to the hippocampus doing it’s job.
When a person has exceeded the their stress threshold (as with people with anxiety disorders, chronic stress, PTSD, and even phobias) the hippocampus can’t mark the end of the stressful event and tell the amygdala to stop the defensive action. Which means the event never ends leaving the body in a permanently hyper-vigilant state of fight-flight-freeze. Or the person can’t be moved out of the crisis. If we could stop this then we can stop the brain from experiencing the trauma and start the recovery process.
When arousal goes past a certain threshold the hippocampus completely stops functioning causing sequencing issues, memory issues, no real beginning to the trauma, no middle, and no real end. The amygdala continues to alarm the body as if the trauma is continuing, even if the danger has far passed. This accounts for loss of pieces of memory, the weird over reactions, seen with any person that is stressed. But because of the memory issues that occur with stress, there are flashbacks, disturbing dreams, and phantom body sensation and symptoms. With people experiencing mild stress they also seem to exhibit these symptoms but in a lesser extent.
With TNLP we can provide the sufferer with coping mechanisms that instantly give them power over their experience. Then we can go back, in a relaxed and clam frame of mind, and complete the memory. Finally, we can provide and amplify the individual’s own resources to help encourage the healing process. All of this in a single session resulting in huge, drug-free relief by the end of the session. When the stress is resolved like this, normal activities will feel again normal and in someone with chronic stress, this is a life saver.
Tracy Joy, MBA, MaNLP, RPCc is a Canadian NLP and human change expert and someone who believes everyone should feel comfortable in their skin. She’s also the girl who brings the cool Jedi mind trick party games. ; ) She wants to know how much longer you plan on suffering? Contact Tracy at www.NLPVancouver.ca for a session or www.TherapeuticNLP.com for classes starting September 14th.