Workshop Handout: Stress

10 August, 2011

Thank you to all those that attended the free talk last night, for you input and your invaluable feedback.

Next week (2 of 3) we will be talking about: What Keeps Us From A Balanced Lifestyle And How Can We Find A Working-Living Balance That Works? On Tuesday 16th August at The Powa Centre 7-8pm. Please register your intent to attend here.

Here is a copy of the handout as presented last night - How does stress affect us physically and what can we do about it?


  • Cause of 90% of health problems in NZ
  • Difference between “being stressed” and “being in a stressful situation”
  • Make the distinction between Outside Stress (triggers) and Inside Stress (thinking)
  • Stress is a part of life and short term can be useful
  • It is our response to it and how we manage it that makes all the difference
  • The Pointing Exercise - our whole physiology responds dramatically to our imagined thoughts as if they were real
  • Managing stress in our lives is a combination of learning to manage and control Outside and Inside Stress, instead of allowing the environment and your thoughts controlling your State of Mind
  • You have a Central Nervous System (CNS) and an Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)
  • Your ANS is of two parts - Sympathetic (SNS) and Parasympathetic (PSNS)
  • Fight or Flight response is your SNS responding to “threats” (oxygen, blood, adrenaline) priming your whole system for short-term energy
  • The secondary response is Stress - a release of Cortisol - spiking your blood sugar for further energy
  • This short-term “priming” is all at the expense of your long-term health functions - immunity
  • When the body relaxes - it knows the “threat” is over and can return to long-term goals
  • When the body doesn’t relax it thinks it is still in mortal danger, and believing it needs to continue dealing with the “threat” keeps releasing Adrenaline and Cortisol
  • This keeps the body in a prolonged Stress State which it cannot uphold long-term, and the system starts to collapse and health problems arise.
  • It will do this with Outside triggers (stressors) and Inside triggers (unhelpful ways of thinking, imagined thoughts) and of course, a combination of both
  • You need to learn to apply conscious awareness to this ANS response and teach your system it is not in mortal danger, it is safe, and it can relax now to get on with long-term health functions and outcomes:
  1. Know Thy Self
  2. Change Your Body To Change Your Mind
  3. Bring It Back To Now
  4. Learn Your Relaxation Method

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