Tag Archive for memory

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 #5: Experience has structure.

All maps/models have a syntax and structural elements. The structural elements are the building blocks of a model. For experience, the structural elements are made up of our words and spoken vocabularies. The syntax is the set of rules or directives that describe how the building blocks can be put together. For us, this is the set of grammar rules that dictate how we fit together words.

The structure of experience consists of sensory impressions – pictures, sounds, feelings, smells, and tastes – some are internally generated and others come from the outside. It is through these sensory impressions that we compare to what is already logged into our memory (our current internal map of reality) and create meaning and subsequently update our internal map of reality.

What was originally logged in that internal map of reality was information or impressions from two months before we were born and our physical brain, sometimes referred to as our critter or reptilian brain started functioning. It was during this time, we gathered our impressions from our mother’s feelings and experiences. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the experience that went along with those feelings to make proper meaning so we made it mean things about ourselves like, we are worthless, helpless, invisible, unlovable, etc…

If our thoughts and memories have a pattern to them, and we know that pattern, we can change them. When we change that pattern or structure, our experience will automatically change no matter what the original experience was like or how long it existed. We can neutralize unpleasant memories and enrich memories that will serve us.

When I was just learning NLP, I was the class demo for our anchoring class. My NLP mentor asked me to think about an experience that was fun and interesting. So I did, and as the feeling loaded up in my mind I looked around at the class and realized they were watching me, and I got self conscious and blushed. Just as I blushed he squeezed my arm. He then asked me who I considered a mentor – which I had none so I replied “the Dali Lama.” Carl had me think about the Dali Lama and then squeezed my other arm. Then he did the unthinkable… He squeeze the first arm and said “ now, when you load up this I want you to load up this too,” and squeeze the second arm. He continued talking to the class while periodically squeezing the first arm which, would immediately bring up my face blushing and then the Dali Lama would appear in my thoughts. This to me seems so wrong… so I begged him to do some thing. He asked if I knew who the woman was that sang the song Hello Dolly. I said “Carol Channing” and as soon as I said it he created another button on my back and he connect it the pattern.  So now, he could squeeze one arm and get me to blush, think about the Dali Lama and hear Carol Channing sing me hello dolly! Forever my memory of that initial fun and interesting experience was changed. 

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 #4: People already have all the resources they need

People already have access to rich internal resources and strategies, and therefore they can make whatever changes they want. Most change and development are simply a matter of effectively accessing those resources at the appropriate times and places. The problem, when there is one, is usually something that impedes access to these resources.

So think, tip of the tongue: You know, when you know something, you know you know something and yet you can’t form the words to present the information to another human being. This is an access problem. Think about the last time you misplaced your keys or something else. This is also an access problem. Now think of the time you wanted to make a smart remark at someone who pissed you off, and you couldn’t only to have the smart remark come to you hours later when it was useless. A George Costanza moment (for you Seinfeld fans…)… This is an access problem… but mild version of blanking on an entire test (like, I was used to having), or having a flashback so large and so vivid and not being able to access the common reality we seem to agree on… 

All behavior and experience has a positive intention… usually the negative stuff is to warn you of a potentially dangerous situation… just sometimes the pain is from the perspective of a 3-year old

People are always doing the best that they can…  just sometimes it causes us a great deal of re-hurt (or our brain to reviews a painful memory but we only feel the pain from the memory. The memories were practiced previously we don’t get the visuals, smells, tastes, and sounds.

People already have all the resources they need… they just have a bit of problem accessing those resources.

Our mental images, inner voices, sensations, and feelings are the basic building blocks of all our mental and physical resources. These were created in our lives from decisions we made that created our beliefs, values, attitudes and even life themes or they may just have affected our perceptions over time. We can use these resources to build up any thought, feeling, or skill we want, and then place them in our lives where we want or need them most. The problem with this is that the many decisions we made were made either unconsciously or at a very earl age and forgotten. And, this is what has shaped our current ability to access our resources.

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 your strongest sense?

The reason why most people don’t know their strongest sense is because we process information in patterns of smells, tastes, pictures, feelings and sounds. And, we don’t always use the same order for processing every thought we process. That means we switch or are shape shifters.

Approximately 80% of North Americans are visual oriented, with 15% making up sound oriented, and 5% are feeling oriented. Europeans are mostly smell, taste and feeling oriented. So what does that mean for you and me? It means that the likely hood of someone understanding what we mean by “pass the salt” is very slim and quite a miracle…

The best way to tell your strongest sense is to listen to the words you use in your conversations. You will find that in the words you use, your predicates will indicate your preferred senses… for example visual people say things like “Can you see what I mean?” but and auditory person would say something like “Can you hear what I’m saying?” If a person is dominantly auditory and you are speaking to them as a dominantly feeling example: “Can’t you feel how good it would be to have a clean room?” it will be as if you are speaking a completely other language to them.

In your communication, you will find you use 2 senses the most, but you will use one more than the other. This is your primary sense or the sense you go to first most often in processing information. This is also the sense you prefer receiving information in as well.


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