How do you manage stress and change? Your Emotions, Stress, and Reacting to Sensations

Remember the last time you felt stressed? Did you feel the knot in your stomach, the rapid beating of your heart, or the crimping pain in the back of your neck?

Stress does not have to control you, and we all live in an ever changing life, while many try to cling to something that doesn’t change, which is the past.

After completing my first LiveStream webinar with Marilyne Woodsmall, my friend, author, and NLP trainer/expert for many, many years, I came away understanding that those sensations are actually what many of us call emotions, and define as being stressed out, sad, or even happy, which are all illusions.

Here’s an excerpt from our interview (you can listen to the full hour interview here) where Marilyne and I explore how you manage stress and change:

What are emotions really?

Marilyne put it so well, “Emotions are a very specific configuration of sensations in our body to which we attach a label”.

Just like a matrix, or a computer code, these sensations are a configuration between your heart and mind.

You label these sensations to identify, and maybe even objectify, the feeling. By doing this to basically detach yourself from the feeling, you disconnect the very power that these sensations give you.

Those sensations are within you and are within your control. By labeling them happy or sad or whatever, you miss the point that they are just that, sensations, with no judgement or lasting value.

So why do so many of us define ourselves this way? It’s part of the detachment going on from your inner self, the voice inside and the reason you are here.

Before you think I’m telling you to go hug a tree, consider this; most of us accept stress as a way of life, and those sensations add up to degrading your body and your health.

Stress is one of the number one killers, and it is a configuration of sensations. You can change the configuration, reduce your stress, and improve your health.

All it takes is a new point of view to what your emotions are and what causes stress, because the answer lies inside of you.

Stress is a Translation

One of the most powerful sounds you’ll hear in our recording is a thunderstorm and rain in the background, the electricity of nature providing a backdrop to the talk about stress and change.

What Marilyne shares, that whether good feelings and bad feelings we are interpreting the sensations, while translating them linguistically through our bodies and thoughts in our heads, should be required listening to anyone running a business, or living a life in these “stressful” times.

Who calls them stressful?  The media, your neighbors, your significant others…all giving validity that stress is a condition of life, outside of our control, and managing stress means working out, or doing something else.

While all of these suggestions are helpful, understanding that stress is merely a configuration under your control, and not conditions outside of your control, is key to both your feelings and emotions about yourself, your health, and your ability to cope and grow.

So do me a favor this weekend; the next time you feel the sensation you think is stress, try this:

  1. What are the specific areas of the body you feel this stress in?
  2. Describe the stress as if you were speaking to a young child; how would you let them know what it feels like, because children have never felt stress like this, have they?  (Or for that matter, did you until your adult configuration defined it this way?)
  3. Write down the thoughts in your head, next to the descriptions of your physical feelings.
  4. What you are looking at is your own configuration of stress, and all you have to do is change the way you describe it, your  thoughts, and the way that you feel it, your sensations.

We give stress way too much power. Invest in knowing yourself and you’ll find that the source of the stress is, after all, you.

Do that, and better sensations will be the result, better thoughts, and peace of heart and mind.