Tag Archive for brain

Good Stress Or Bad Stress – It All Causes Problems!

Exam Stressed David

Exam Stressed David

Your body and mind do not realize there is a difference between good and bad stress! 

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, NLP, RPCc

Tracy Joy, NLP, RPCc

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. 


Presupposition#9: Mind and body are part of the same system and they affect each other

The mind and body are not separate entities. They function as an interactive system and influence each other to such an extent that there really is no separation. Our thoughts instantly affect our muscle tension, breathing, feelings, and more, and these in turn affect our thoughts. When we learn to change either one, we have learned to change the other.

Even when you interact with another person, you affect their experience-at the moment as well as through time via their stored internal representations. It is very important in the practice of NLP to learn to recognize and observe others as well as yourself. The greater the ability a person has to observe another, the easier they have the ability influence and to create change in that person.

Perceptions, emotions, thoughts, and outward behavior occur simultaneously through time. Each influences the response of all the other elements. None is separate nor without impact on the other elements. 

Everything influences everything, and does so all the time.

Many people are incongruent with their messaging. They saying one thing and their body says another and maybe have third intention. If you miss something consciously you have missed receiving the information because of the way our brains have been taught to delete information. If you delete information the entire message could be misunderstood.

In fact if you are on the phone your brain makes up the missing body language based on your past experience. If you are reading only, you miss both the body language and the tonal information and your brain makes up the difference from your past experience. If you get in the habit of texting and emailing instead of communicating with others face-to-face, you can loose your unconscious ability to sense danger properly… which means your fight-flight-freeze response will be continuously going off with false positives or everyone will start feeling unsafe.

Tracy Joy is an NLP practitioner, author, and speaker in Vancouver, Canada. She is an international business expert in the area of human systems analysis and thinking change. If you have brain questions, send them Tracy and she’ll answer them on this blog. She can be reached through www.TherapeuticNLP.com

Presupposition #1: The map is not the territory

A map is not the territory it represents, but if correct it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for it usefulness.

– A. Korzybski, Science and Sanity

We are map makers constructing representations or depictions of our experiences. The mental maps we create of the world are not true or reality – they are based on reality. As human beings we do not respond directly to the outside world but we do to our mental maps, representations or depictions. We make our maps and models by using our sensory representations–pictures, sounds, feelings, smells and tastes. The models that we create to guide us in the world are based on our conditioning and experience. Each of our models, or maps, of the world are unique. We experience our own personal reality, and then we respond to and deal with that reality accordingly.

A representation is not what it represents; one is a symbol for the other. This distinction may been insignificant on the surface. However, as we explore the process by which maps, models, and representations are built, it will become clear that the relations ship which exists between map and territory, when examine din detail, has an effect on the very structure of reality as we may know it.

 – A. Korzybski, Science and Sanity

No two people have exactly the same experiences. So our representations of the world determine which experiences and responses we will have. Some aspects of our maps may are out of our conscious awareness. Still, they determine how we will perceive the world and what choices we will have available-or not-as we interact with and within that world.

This is key. This what is available out of learning and being able to do NLP – having the ability to change your experience in any area of your life. If you are aware of your map of reality, you can change it and have exactly what you want.

To change our experience we must change our maps!

When interacting with others it is very important to remember that we operate from within our own maps of reality. Our personal maps form “bubbles of belief” around us. These bubbles filter our experience. They organize the meaning of our experience in relation to what we already know. Our bubbles of beliefs separate us from and connect us to the reality of others (Connect if our beliefs are similar, separate us if our beliefs are different.). Frequently, when we look out from inside our personal bubbles, we only see our own reflections. 

A model is a symbolic representation that depicts structure of our reality. Each of us builds models or representations of the world. And, it is through these models that we organize and communicate our personal experiences. The process of modeling allows us the ability to have an infinite variety of experiences. And if we are using a model for our personal realities then those realities can be interpreted, understood, and utilized. Modeling is way we transform the chaotic into the structured and make sense of our worlds.

A model is neither good nor bad, right nor wrong, but can be evaluated only as to its usefulness in making available specific outcomes. Models inherently provide both limitations and resources. 

– Kostere and Malatesta, Maps, Models and the Structure of Reality

The magic lies in the very structure and syntax of our words, pictures, sounds, sensations, smells, etc. Because our maps govern all our experiences, if we change the map, our experience changes. This means our personality, awareness, emotion and abilities to do a new skill come from our maps. These maps also drive our ability to influence, persuade and transform.

Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson did not work on the everyday life experiences of people. Instead they worked on changing these people’s internal models of the world. As a NLP practitioner this is the charge. This is why it is so difficult to quantify what can be accomplished through NLP because the change is so deeply personal. 

Our maps occur inside our mind-body systems. So to create influence, persuasion and transformation in others we must be able to change the receiver’s neuro-linguistic maps.

It is Korzybski that we can thank for his observations of our internalized maps realty. He analyzed how our nervous system interacts with our worlds at various different levels. He figured out our sense receptors are designed to leave out many characteristics and generalize about the information missing. He even showed how different levels of the brain made different kinds of mental maps about things.

But Gregory Bateson in 1972 asked if we create internalized maps, what gets mapped on these maps? He later answered the difference. So that our mental world is just maps of maps of maps for infinity… the map is not the territory because the territory never gets in to our minds because the process of representation will always filter out the territory.

Tracy Joy is an NLP practitioner, author, and speaker in Vancouver, Canada. She is an international business expert in the area of human systems analysis and thinking change. If you have brain questions, send them Tracy and she’ll answer them on this blog. She can be reached through www.TherapeuticNLP.com

What is NLP? Definition #9

NLP is… the language of the heart and mind.

If you just apply three quick and simple NLP concepts, you will know how to use NLP to bring more positive and successful behaviors into your life.

1.) Make what you want in life into a positive statement. Most people I work with find it easier to start in the negative – so what don’t you want? or what’s not working as well as you would like? Take those items and switch them into what you consider your opposite. Most people associate the words “good” and “bad” as opposites… but I’ve had “bad” paired with “smart,” “loving,” etc. Use you’re opposites. Don’t worry about what others think… If you do, then you will miss out on the power of this exercise (concentrate on your heart and mind). Most people can’t get the positive out until they get out the negative or their complaint about how they don’t want things to be.

2.) To make what you want more vivid and attractive to you, figure out the details of the specifics of what you want. How will it feel to you when you have these things? When you accomplish these goals? Once you have that how can you make them more powerful? One of the things I do with my clients is I ask them to breath live into their desires. They tell me how it feels in their body when they achieved their goals – like is their breathing fast or slow? Is there tension in their muscles or not. If so, where? I have them tell me what are the conversations they hear around them and what are they telling them selves when they go there? Increase mental vividness of what you want to do in order to increase its attractiveness to you.

3.) Try these behaviors and feelings on. Use your imagination to explore these feeling that you came up with in #2. Mentally rehearse them, so they feel natural. The more you practice the more your brain will search for those feeling and experiences making your desires into your reality. Many years ago I was handed a story about a girl who grew up in a family who made a refrigerator list. What ever the family wanted they put on this list and every week they made what they wanted more specific. And, like magic what they wanted would show up. In NLP what you are doing is aligning your deletion, distortion and generalization filters around what you want. Once they are aligned there is no reason for you wants to go unfulfilled.

This step-by-step practical program approach to change is the hallmark of NLP. NLP is a how-to technology for personal transformation. The differences between traditional clinical psychology and NLP, is that psychology is mostly concerned with describing issues, putting those issues in categories, and figuring out the history of the cause of those issues. NLP is interested in how our thoughts, actions, and feeling work together right now to produce our experience now.

To do NLP, we need completely new principles of how the brain works in comparison to what is known. It doesn’t have to be the truth but it has to work. And, it has to be completely new for us. When we try and learn something new, there is a strong temptation for us to make it into something we already know. To be successful with NLP we need to be wiling to be indefinitely wrong.

To effectively study the patterns of human excellence and build the structure of this model of how our brain works, we need to hold certain beliefs or hold that certain facts are true. In practice of NLP the generalizations we believe for practice are called “presuppositions.” The presuppositions of NLP are observations that Richard Bandler and John Grinder and others made with respect to creating NLP. Just by holding even a couple of these belief systems in your life, they have a transformative ability…we hold them not because they have been proven but because when they are held in mind, they give us a much greater degree of freedom of choice and opportunities.

Tracy Joy is an NLP practitioner, author, and speaker in Vancouver, Canada. She is an international business expert in the area of human systems analysis and thinking change. If you have brain questions, send them Tracy and she’ll answer them on this blog. She can be reached through www.TherapeuticNLP.com

Ever wonder how do we process information? How do we learn?

We learn by processing information in patterns of senses (pictures, sounds, feelings, smells, and taste). No matter what it is, our brain uses our sense as triggers to go back to that memory… the more times the brain reviews the memory the easier it is for you to instantly access the memory.

So when we review or repeat our learning we are imbedding more and more sensory information. The more we review something the more true to reality that piece of information gets. Because our brain is always comparing the information that comes in with what is already stored. The more times you review the information you are trying to learn, the more time the brain can correct or alter the memory. This is also the reason why there is an issue with eye-witness testimony. The information in our brain is always changing. And, the way we are questioned can change our memories very easily.

Most people don’t have a problem learning, they have a problem accessing the information they have already learned. Our unconscious brain processes 200,000,000 bits of information per second. It’s our conscious brain (the one that  judges and tells us we’re not able to remember and sometimes tells us off) that filters only 40,000 bits of information per second… This means, consciously we are make judgements on a fraction of the available information. This also brings to light creating your own destiny – so if your conscious brain says you can’t remember a fact, in reality this is why you can’t.

My secret when someone tells me they can’t do something is to ask them: “… and if you could remember (or action they say they can’t) then what would happen” or “how would you accomplish the task.” You would be surprised how many people can fill in the blank after they feel heard – pretty much everyone!

Tracy Joy is an NLP practitioner, author, and speaker in Vancouver, Canada. She is an international business expert in the area of human systems analysis and thinking change. If you have brain questions, send them Tracy and she’ll answer them on this blog. She can be reached through www.TherapeuticNLP.com

Do you know how to control the pictures in your mind?

So if you have any doubts about the pictures in your mind try really hard now to not think of white bears. You can’t help but see them… and your picture of white bears is very different than everyone else’s pictures of white bears… feel free to ask them to describe their pictures…

Richard Bandler and John Grinder (our NLP godfathers) discovered this. They discovered that these pictures are part of our individual maps of reality. They also noticed that we hold these pictures in space…so right now, close your eyes and put your hands out and try and grab that picture of the white bear you just created.

Where is your picture located? Most likely it will be located on the right side and above the horizon. That’s because your brain creates new images on the right and it makes pictures above the horizon.

If you feel anxious the picture is too close to you. So for an example use a picture of stinky garbage. If you move that picture up to your nose, you get anxious (and your nose will probably crinkle!)… try a picture of something you have to do, like an exam or a term paper, or a work assignment or even planning an event. Putting the picture of it up to your nose will make you more concerned and anxious about accomplishing the task. But, if you move the picture back a little farther than where the picture originated, you won’t feel as anxious.

Back to the smelly garbage. The smelly garbage on your nose will make nose crinkle. What your brain is doing, is smelling the garbage, even though the garbage is not really there…if you drain the color out of that garbage picture, your nose will stop crinkling and your brain will stop smelling the garbage that’s not there… you can use this with painful thoughts too.

Find the picture that you are making with the painful thought for example the person you dread having a conversation with and drain the color out of it.
Let me know how this works for you…

Tracy Joy is an NLP practitioner, author, and speaker in Vancouver, Canada. She is an international business expert in the area of human systems analysis and thinking change. If you have brain questions, send them Tracy and she’ll answer them on this blog. She can be reached through www.TherapeuticNLP.com

Dissecting your fear… what if it could be this simple?

What is fear? Fear is an experience. And, as an NLP practitioner fear is the basis of most of the work I do.

Your fear creates the basis for everything you like and don’t like in your life. It was learned from your biological parents and the people that took care of you until you were about 3 years old… Most likely you don’t like the same things your mother or primary care giver didn’t like. This is because you developed this part of your brain 2 months before you were born to about when you turned 3. At this point your experience was shifted into your mother… almost like people say dogs can sense their owners feelings, as a child we sense our mother and/or primary caregiver’s feelings. After that, your brain just rehearsed and practiced that information as the other parts of your brain were developing until you turn around 21 years old.

Only if you had a subsequent traumatic event like death or disappearance of a parent  or some type of abuse before you turned 21 or other trauma later than 21 would you embed new changes in your like-don’t like system after the age of 3.

On the way to what we want, many times we are faced with new experiences that trigger those past memories from before we were 3. If we don’t like something our brain will trigger a painful feeling. The closer we get to some thing we don’t like the stronger the feelings our brain will trigger until we turn away to avoid the situation, or the threat is over. If we don’t remove ourself from the experience eventually our brain will trigger feelings of death.

If we are surprised by the threat like in suddenly seeing a spider or mouse, our brain might trigger us to stand on a chair or scream or even run away.

So one thing we can do, is go see a NLP practitioner to help us deal with our fear – be it getting on plane, spiders, heights, success, you name it.. and depending on the fear in about 15 minutes or so they can reduce the feelings associated with the fear. It takes a little bit longer to deal with the beliefs behind the fear and the bigger the fear, the more resolution you need.

But here is what you can do in the mean time… recognize your fear. Figure out where it came from and whose fear is it. Did it belong to your mother or father? Did you develop it? If so how? That may help you figure out your first memory of that fear. If you can get that, then in your mind, imagine putting your first memory of that fear into a black and white movie and see if you can watch it. If you can’t try moving the screen in your mind far, far away so the screen is very tiny.

Let me know how this worked for you…

Tracy Joy is an NLP practitioner, author, and speaker in Vancouver, Canada. She is an international business expert in the area of human systems analysis and thinking change. If you have brain questions, send them Tracy and she’ll answer them on this blog. She can be reached through www.TherapeuticNLP.com

When you read, where do you position your book?

If you don’t like to read, maybe it’s not you but where you place your book that’s causing problems. If you look down towards your lap (particularly down and towards you right) your brain receives all this information including every painful thought and memory you’ve had. Because you are looking down into the area where the brain accesses emotion you are programming yourself to feel bad.

Many kids that couldn’t concentrate on reading or had trouble learning how to read had many painful memories and thoughts attack them as they were trying to concentrate on the words on the page.

So what’s the simple fix? Move the book to place where it is sitting in front of you rather than below you. Even consider investing in a bookstand for your table so you don’t have to hold your book. Make sure that the area you are reading in the book is at where you naturally see the horizon or at eye-ear level.

Tracy Joy is an NLP practitioner, author, and speaker in Vancouver, Canada. She is an international business expert in the area of human systems analysis and thinking change. If you have brain questions, send them Tracy and she’ll answer them on this blog. She can be reached through www.TherapeuticNLP.com