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The Silva Method

Welcome to our Silva Method Thought for the Week.


Banishing Stress

By Dr. Aretoula Fullam

One of the primary benefits of the GuideMind™ training in Dynamic Meditation and Mind Development is learning to reduce stress in daily life. The destructive effects of stress on one’s health have been well documented for years. Science tells us that a percentage as high as 99% in all illness is stress related. Stress is also highly related with substance abuse, fatigue, poor intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships, absenteeism, low productivity poor social support, lack of morals, low school performance, absence of resilience and enthusiasm in one’s job and life in general. All these are common symptoms due to ineffective stress management and ignorance in how to cope with stressors. Stressors are always going to be present and even increase in frequency and severity as technology advances and life changes. However, the key, the smart, is to develop the expertise and knowledge to deal with stress constructively. Be responsive, not reactive to the environment and other threatening stimuli. The genius functioning is to be present in the moment and do not succumb to the noise that is created by the stressor. Knowing how to deal with the stressor is what makes the difference between a successful individual and a not-successful individual! The genius is not the one who strives to change the environment, but the one who is able to find ways or solutions to use the circumstances to advance to a higher level. Knowing to bend with the wind and advance is the skill of successful people. This is one of the many benefits that participants learn in the four segments of the Mind Development Training. The crown of graduating from the four segments seminar is the ability to “know that I know,” and objective evidence of one’s intuition. This is huge, yes, huge, and every participant leaves the seminar with a new perspective about who they are!

The ability to effectively handle stress and to control and direct one’s biological and physiological states with mind or mental energy is a fundamental secret of improving almost any situation in life. This is the secret’s secret. The law of attraction as presented in the secret is incomplete without teaching you self-mind control or self-mind discipline, in order to stay focused on your goal and attract what you desire to have in your life. It is very important to be clear about what your priorities are and make sure that stressors and negative feelings and beliefs do not sidetrack you. Stress can exacerbate symptoms, or cause medical conditions such as emotional distress, depression, hypertension, heart disease, anxiety disorders, headaches, insomnia, gastrointestinal distress, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis and many other health-threatening conditions. A longitudinal research study 2-3 years ago at Pittsburg University showed that in less than two weeks a new plaque was found in the brain of people with Multiple Sclerosis after experiencing a stressful event. Dr. Glazer, at Ohio University, found that wounds would take 10 times longer to heal in stressful people compared to non-stressful people. There is powerful scientific evidence that the regular practice of deep relaxation or meditation has profoundly restorative physiological effects that can counter and reverse the impact of stress on your health and personal life. A recent study found that stress during pregnancy can have unfortunate consequences for children born under those conditions, such as slower development, learning and attention difficulties, anxiety and depressive symptoms and possibly even autism. That stress during pregnancy can cause developmental and emotional problems for offspring has long been observed but now the objective evidence shows that after controlling for the genetic factor. Offspring of stressed rat mothers were shown to have impaired learning and memory abilities, less capacity to cope with adverse situations, and symptoms of anxiety and depressive-like behavior, as compared to those in control groups that were born to unstressed mothers. All of these symptoms parallel the impairments that have been observed in children born to mothers who were stressed in pregnancy. Further experiments showed that excessive levels of cortisol that is released by the adrenal gland during stress and reaches the fetal brain during critical stages of brain development could cause structural and functional changes. In humans, above-normal levels of cortisol can also stimulate the release of another hormone from the placental that will cause premature birth, another factor that can affect normal development.

Although nobody and nothing can eliminate all the stressors we encounter in life on a daily basis, you have the power to change your attitude about a seemingly and profoundly stressful event. What that means is that you, as a human being you have the ability to react to the stress as you permit it to affect you, or the power to respond to the event in a wise manner that will not have an effect on you. This and more powerful techniques to cope with all kinds of stressors constructively and find solutions to problematic situations that cause stress, you will learn when you attend the Dynamic 4-unit Meditation seminar. You will learn to look at things and events from a different perspective and learn powerful techniques on how you respond to encountered stressors. You will become so proficient in eliminating stress from your life it will seem to you as if stress disappeared. Well, it is not that stress disappeared, it is that you became better equipped and more efficient and effective in finding solutions to what used to be unsolvable problems; so, what was before a stressor, now that you know how to approach it and deal with it, it is not a stressor anymore, but a challenge that was easy to find a solution. Dealing effectively with stressors can have a positive effect on your health. By being able to cope constructively with stressful events that you encounter in your life you are eliminating the experience of stress and the result is that you enhance your body’s natural healing abilities. Your immune system is your ally in keeping you healthy. In fighting all the microorganisms that invade your body as you breath, as you speak, as you remain upset. Your immune system is a system with learning and memory and can recognize an earlier invaded organism, and through the memory cells create the relevant antibodies to get rid of the invader. Your immune system destroys free radicals, cancer cells, and all sorts of unhealthy agents that lead to illness. When the immune system is weak, then the invading agents are having the upper hand so to speak, and cause the symptoms to start appearing and illness to start developing.

Due to the increasing advances in technology today our family style has changed. The way business is conducted has changed and this fast pace in everything has created situations in which we are required to do more in less time and of course to use a lot more of our mind than in the past. In this fast changing environment it is the people who know how to deal with stressors effectively, who are flexible and who learn quickly, that are highly valued—those who can motivate themselves and can use their creativity in a variety of circumstances. It is people who demonstrated leadership skills, resilience and clear thinking who thrive and become successful.

Every time we experience a stressful situation, it triggers the fight-or-flight response. This is a natural reaction to perceived threat or danger to which our entire being responds psychologically and physically. Think of a stressful experience you may have had recently. It could have been because the shower water came out too hot or too cold, or maybe you couldn’t find your car keys before going to work, somebody cut you off in the road or something that someone said to you that you allowed to have power over you and become upset.

How did you react to these stressors? Was your heart beating faster? Did your stomach feel knotted up? Were your muscles tense? These physiological responses and feelings are associated with the fight-or-flight response. This is the response that has helped the human race survive by giving all the necessary energy enabling the body to deal with the threatening situations; but this response can also harm us. This response in not only in humans, it is also in all the animals. They instinctively, or reactively respond to the stressor by either fighting back or running away from the threat. However, when the threat goes away, they totally forger about it and continue to graze as if nothing happened to them. We do not have to run away from animals to survive any more. We are thinking that we are running away from the stressors that we meet every day by ignoring them or by dealing with the stressors impulsively. Some of the stressors in today’s life are bullies, bosses, traffic, illnesses, high taxes, injustice, aggression, discrimination, and so many other things. The ability to either react or respond to stressful situations is still in us. Our response to stress is really a pattern of reaction, either in a constructive way or in a distractive way. The choice is in every person. It is not the presence of stress per se that is bad. It is the inability to respond to the stress effectively and the chronicity of stress that breaks down the immune system.

The first symptoms of stress are expressed as headaches, colds, tension headaches, minor pains, memory failures, moodiness, etc. Second degree weakening of the immune system is associated with more serious symptoms such as migraine headaches, chronic pains, ulcers, diabetes, allergies, heart problems, etc. Third degree weakening of the immune system is associated with more severe symptoms and illnesses such as cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Glaucoma, leukemia, Parkinson’s, etc. The Dynamic Meditation and Mind Development Training is a must and a priority for anyone who desires a simpler and a healthy oriented and productive lifestyle. Not only it gives you techniques to deal with all of the above malfunctioning conditions, it gives you also a step-by-step method to eliminate once and for all the cause of the problem, the cause of the illness.

By learning to center yourself, you can interrupt that pattern at the initial stage and create a new pattern of response that is going to empower you instead of harming you and/or weaken your immune system. Right at the onset of stress, your body gives you a feeling that a shift is taking place. It may be heaviness in the chest area, a feeling in your stomach, tension in the muscles or a clenched jaw. As soon as you notice the stress sensation, at that point stop, take a deep breath, and while exhaling, say to yourself, "Relax". Some situations may require you to repeat these steps a second and maybe even a third time. As a graduate of Dynamic Meditation you can use the Three-Finger technique to stay centered, to stay calm and not react like a thermostat up and down. Then ask yourself what is behind your reaction to stress. How did you feel the moment you felt stressed-up? Did you have a feeling of helplessness? Did you have a feeling of hopelessness or did you feel fearful as if the situation was something out of your control? These ‘negative experiences’ were triggered, by simply perceiving the event as stressful resulting to the experience of stress with measurable physiological results that are measurable. Even though we may not be able to control everybody and everything in the world, we definitely can control our attitude and our response to the world. After all, we created our attitude, and if we created it we can change, it, we can modify it. Nobody else can do it for us! When you have the skills to manage and choose your attitude emotions become under your control and the whole process is easy. The way you perceive and label the energy in motion defines the feeling you will experience. Furthermore, when your aims are towards trying to change your attitude by changing your behavior, or by manipulating the environment or others, it will be very frustrating. Nobody has ever been successful in changing another person, unless the person desires to change. Go to level three times every day, program your day in the morning to unfold the way you want it to be. Go to level after lunch if you have time, or take a quick break using the three-finger technique. And go to level at night to shed off the stressors of the day, and program your next day. Affirm to yourself, "Positive thoughts bring me all the benefits and the advantages I desire." Use the Mirror of the Mind and create an image of yourself at the end of the stressful event or day as happy, peaceful, content and full of vitality whether things have gone according to your wishes or not. If you know in advance that you are going to have a meeting that might be stressful for you, rehearse it the night before and visualize the end-result, as you desire it to be.

Have you ever heard somebody claim that they have a fear of flying? Their fear isn’t that the plane is flying; their real fear is in their imagination that something bad is going to happen to them while flying …before they get to the airport! Most of our stress comes from mental images and the negative meanings we put on things—even if that meaning isn’t very accurate. The physiological response to the mental image is what is causing the perception of the event as dangerous, because it was defined as dangerous by a belief held by the particular individual. For example, in the situation of flying, as the plane lifts off the runway there may be a little noise as the wheels fold up into the under-carriage of the airplane. If a person thinks, "Well, this means the plane is on its way, and we’re safe," they stay relaxed. Another person in the same plane might think, “What was that loud sound and the turbulence? Is there something wrong!" And immediately the fight-or-flight response is being activated in their body, even though there is nothing to fear. There is no way to fight the perceived danger nor to run away from it but to experience it as stress. And that stress has an effect on whether we enjoy the flight and look forward to the next one or feel anxious and try to find ways to avoid a next flight altogether.

It can even be a simple thing as standing in the store checkout line. You may notice that the person putting his or her purchases on the counter seems to be taking longer than necessary and the cashier is chatting with someone and wasting time. Then, only after all the items have been rung-up, do they even begin searching for their credit card or their purse, which you think is going to slow the line down even more. Meanwhile, stress is building. "I’m going to be late... I’ll be stuck in heavier traffic... So many things are waiting for me at home … I have to pick up my kids, my cat needs food, my dog needs to be walked, etc." As time goes, a few minutes seem like hours. Let us now change the scenario. In the same checkout line, maybe standing right behind you, is another person. The line is still moving at the same speed for both of you. They, too, have things that they could be doing, but they are taking the advantage of this opportunity seeming as a delay, to relax, to smile to the person next to them. They use the time to make plans for later in the day, or maybe they think about something pleasant from the past. The graduate of Dynamic Meditation takes advantage of the extra time to reinforce their programming, enjoy the end results of their goals, see themselves enjoying what they desire to have, so that delay was not really a delay but extra time to brush up on their programming. And when it gets to be their turn to check out, they’re relaxed and at peace. The same thing can happen in the road in the traffic jam, or at the red lights. I am always re-energizing my programming, I never feel upset in traffic jams, as I am always having things that I could spend time on energizing. So, being able to turn the adverse event, that could probably be stressful and cause anxiety, depression, anger etc, into something positive and beneficial that I enjoy, is simply put, acting responsibly and with wisdom.

The only difference between those two experiences is a thought. The value of attending the Dynamic Meditation and Mind Development Training, simply put, is the development of skills that produce the quality of thinking and living that we all desire. It’s one thing to know ‘it’s all in your mind’ and quite something entirely different, to know "how to use your mind to be your ally!"

We are equipped with this multimillion live computer and we use it just to run one program. Get up in the morning, go to work, return home, eat, watch TV, and go to bed. Get up in the morning, go to work, return home, eat, watch TV go to sleep. We have the ability and the potential to use our mind in unique ways to relax not in front of the TV and absorb all the negativity from the soap operas and the advertisements, but by centering ourselves with our mind. We have this super-advance technology called mind that we can direct at the inner level of awareness where there is so much more energy to heal us, to find the information we need to solve problems, to sleep without drugs, to reduce the extra weight we might be concerned, to eliminate headaches, pain, stop smoking, stop drinking, stop using drugs legal or illegal, to speed up healing, to control anger, depression, anxiety, and many other illnesses. Illness is not simply absence of health, but absence of being centered and has your mind, body and spirit work together in unity. When there is balance and harmony between the mental, physical and emotional bodies, then everything runs smoothly. When the psyche gets in between and does not allow the body’s wisdom to do its job, then stress builds up and the system starts to break down and we run to the physician. When we eliminate stress from our lives and we learn how to center ourselves every day for 15 minutes, then we will stay healthy. If we do have conditions that are unhealthy, then all you need is to practice centering three times a day, for 15 minutes each time. That’s all you need. And the body, which is equipped with everything it needs to survive, will find its way back to balance and harmony.

In Dynamic Meditation you learn to guide your mind to do things for you and others. You learn to guide your mind, to guide your brain which in turn guides your body to be healthy. The mind is the faculty of human intelligence. So we can say that human intelligence guides biological intelligence to restore your health. However, this requires disciplining the mind and having it under your guidance. So you get up in the morning, you go to work, your return home, you eat, you go create your tomorrows experience, you go to sleep. This is living a life of your design, a life of being successful, a life of being a leader, not the life of a victim. You define what your life could be like, not just react to whatever happens when it happens.

For more information about Dynamic Meditation and what you can do to change your life, contact Dr. Aretoula Fullam, 201-612-8200, or send email to URL:


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