In a past life, I used to work as a fitness trainer, and I would prescribe exercise and nutrition to work with people. And then my boss at the time, my mentor at the time was like, "Well, these people need to deal with their stress, because if their body is not dealing with their stress well, then it's not worried about them losing weight, or gaining muscle, it's going to put the fire of stress out before it repairs the body, or repairs the mind." So if you wanna change anything in your life, you got to be able to manage stress. You look at professional athletes, high level performers who perform well, and well, and well. They are very adapt. They have the synaptic processes in their brain of being under the spotlight and being able to deal with a lot of that positive pressure. Whereas, you get a typical person is not typically good at dealing with that, they can go to shit.
An example of this is Tiger Woods. For many, many years Tiger Woods was the greatest golfer in the world, perhaps of all time, maybe still is when you look back at the ratings. However, he hasn't been playing his best game in five, six, seven, eight years since all these tabloid stories comes out and all the divorce and stuff like that. In the past, Tiger Woods was great at being able to deal with stress, and actually his caddy was a hypnotist for about...these caddy was waiting for about 20 years and interestingly enough, remember a time that you find his caddy was about the same time that all those stories came out with Tiger Woods having sex with lots of porn stars and his wife finding out, I believe getting very, very upset with him.
Tiger Woods' ability at that point of dealing with stress got worse, and worse, and worse, too when he performed at the PGA Golf, and then the month and so forth. Yeah, he'd win from time to time, but was before all these things happened, his ability to win was most of the time, you know, you're against Tiger Woods, you may as well kind of check out now, because you're against the God of golf. Yet the more of these traumas started to happen to him, and him not being able to deal with stress, the more his game regressed, and regressed, and regressed. And he's no longer regarded as the best golfer at this particular time of 2018 and probably not even in the top five now, which, then 10 years ago was unspeakable, but he lost the ability to be able to deal with stress, or stay with that positive pressure, and it's starting to become very toxic for him, driving off of it.
You can use that stress thing as one of two things. You can use it to literally eat you up to fill that internal trash can to make you a toxic person, and to interact with the world at a toxic level or you can put the perimeters to have the foresight, to have a hindsight, to realize, "I've got a test coming up, or I've got a vacation coming up, or I've got this presentation coming up. I've got ample time to work with this, so you know what? I'm gonna make it the best possible presentation. I'm gonna get the best possible showing of me in this test. When I'm on the beaches of Los Angeles, I'm good looking, my best possible shape, because I have time to prepare."
You don't leave it to the last minute where stress then takes over, that cortisol runs through your system, you feel shitty. "There I go, there I go. Now, I got to lose 20 pounds in the next day," and you feel absolutely horrible. You feel absolutely toxic. And has a huge, huge effect on your body. We already talked about earlier, it makes you stupid but with the cortisol release. lt literally shrinks the size of your brain and reduces the electricity between the neuros within your brain and your pre-frontal cortex.
So, how do you deal with stress? How do you deal with stress? Well, a couple of the most proven ways of dealing with stress, of emptying out the internal mental garbage can, garbage pile, by doing things like exercise. That doesn't necessarily mean you need to be lifting huge weights at the gym. It might be walking, it might be running, it might be doing the Zumba class, it might be doing an MMA class, it doesn't matter. But regular exercise every day is a good way of shaking out the stress from your body. It's been proven time and time again, to clear it out from your system.
Another thing that's been proven is meditation. There are many different types of meditation out there, whether it's transcendental meditation, which has a lot of science to back it up, or if it seems like the passion in meditation, which I'm a self-plan this, or Oshawa meditation which is very, very popular now as well. Open proven to literally help to diminish stress inside your life. You'll never gonna completely not have stress in your life, ladies and gentlemen. Sorry to tell you that. If you're alive, you're gonna have stress on some level by you actually moving your body in any form, any shape or form. That means you have some kind of stress inside your body, this is life.
It's only when it became toxic, and you start to spread those toxics around you and the environment of you and it starts to become bad, and you start to get caught up and this habitual vicious cycle. Exercise is good. Any form of meditation is good. Visualization is good. Visualizing how you want your life to be. A lot of my clients when I ask them what they want, they're like, "Well, I don't want to be..." "Yeah, but what do you want?" "Well, I'm..., I'm..." They don't know. The client comes in who's obese, they come and I'm like, "Well, what do you want?" "Well, I don't wanna be fat." "Yeah, but what do you want?" The client comes in and his anxiety in themselves all the time, I'm like, "Hey, what do you want?" "Well, I don't wanna have anxiety." That's like me saying, "Don't think of a blue tree."
Your unconscious mind does not process negatives. You have to think of the very thing you don't want to do in order to not do it, and guess what? Law of attraction, it makes it more inclined and inevitable you're going to keep doing the stupid behavior over and over again. But visualizing what you want in your life, how you want your life to be, how you want your mind to be, how you want to maneuver for the world can help.
Hypnosis, whether that be with me and have a change worker, or even an audio cassette, or their cassette, well, we're in the 1980's now, or Mp3 or some you can get off of YouTube for free that you can listen to can help literally start to reduce your interaction with that head trash and how you deal with stress out there. So doing some form hypnosis.
And I wanna give you a couple of tangible things from my own practice today and when I work with people who have an awful lot of stress. Now, I've made videos about this. If you look on my YouTube channel, which is YouTube/lukenosis, you'll see these videos and it's called Finger hacks, no it's nothing rude, right, it's nothing rude. It comes from ancient Chinese medicine. And these probably things are better to be seen rather than me describe, but I will use my words to paint pictures in your mind right now in case you do not watch these videos.
One of the very best things to do is if you know you are in that shit cycle of stress, you ask yourself on a scale of 1 to 10, how much stress am I feeling? Ten is almost stressed, and zero is no stress.
Then what you can do from there is literally grab your thumb, yes, grab your thumb. So you put your non-dominant hand out and move your dominant hand, you just wrap it around your thumb making like a fist. And oftentimes, what happens automatically is the hand that's wrapped around the thumb... So for me, my non-dominant hand is my left hand, my dominant hand obviously would be my right hand. My right hand wraps around my left thumb, automatically without me thinking about my right thumb sticking out. And just literally by holding this is an acupressure point that comes from ancient form all oriental energy systems and medicine.
I want you do this, and you can do this now. One of your stress one to ten. Hold your thumb, and then just wait there for about 10 seconds check in with yourself. What happens is one of three things. Number one, all your stress will melt away. Yes, it will literally melt away. Do not take my word for it, just do it. Or your stress will reduce drastically as you let go. Or your stress will only reduce by two points on that scale of one to 10. That's okay as well as just so I need to hold it for longer. But some of the science behind this and the theory behind this is, is as your medulla, the emotional part of your brain scans for your body, it sees that one of your thumb is up, or one of your thumb is being held.
And it goes back to when we were babies and we were self-nurturing, self-soothing, if you will. What do we do? We put our thumb inside of our mouth unconsciously. And I'm not saying that you need to be all weird and strange put your thumb inside your mouth, and if you choose to do that, I'm not judging you, all right? Even if you are a 40-year-old just put your thumb in your mouth, I know a good hypnotist that could help you there. But that's a cheap, I can write that. But making the thumb around your finger, it tells your medulla to self-soothe, to release some more oxytocin inside your body. And when your body releases oxytocin inside, the neuro transmits the brain chemical, it literally floods your body, floods your mind and you can't get stressed at the same time.
And other times we're told to do this. And, again, there's videos on my YouTube/lukenosis L-U-K-E-N-O-S-I-S.com of me actually doing this. You got a forehead, right? You take the two fingers, index finger, middle finger on, let's say, your right hand. You start in the middle of your forehead, and then you very softly start to draw a big infinity sign from one side of your forehead to other side of your forehead, taking your time, and doing it very softly. After doing this at about 10 or 20 times, what it does is it signals from medulla to release oxytocin, which is the neurotransmitter, which is the brain chemical that lets you know you are safe, you are calm, you are loved. A lot of people call it the Love brain chemical, or the love hormone.
When that floods into your system, ladies and gentleman, it shuts off your brain's ability to release cortisol, to technically, you can't get stressed at the same time, because you can't dump out any cortisol to make you feel that way. So there's two, three tangible things you can do. Last thing I wanna give you here today, is what I call 7,11 breathing. I believe I originally got this from Tony Robbins or a version of it, then I believe it's Derek Chapman who recently reminded me of this, and then I listen to Mike Mandel product to me reminded me of this, and I believe he coined the phrase 7,11 breathing.
Basically what it is, is you got a resting heart rate. And what happens your resting heart rate is not always the same, it goes up and it goes down. But I don't just mean in physical activity and/or when you're meditating or sleeping. I actually mean when you breathe, it goes up slightly, and when you breathe out, it goes down slightly. So as always you should give yourself, you qualify yourself, you quantify, I should say, 1 to 10 how strong is my stress. You got the number? And then what you do is you breathe in softly for a count of seven, then you breathe out softly for count of 11. And what that does is it has this effect of slowing down your whole system and going from you been in parasympathetic nervous system, excuse me, from sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for stress and process in stress, and releasing cortisol and adrenaline, and it switches you into parasympathetic nervous system, which releases more oxytocin in your body that makes you feel better, safer, calmer.
So all you do... Let's have a go of it now. Let's breathe in for a count of seven and you breathe out for a count of eleven. Already, on that one breath, I feel a lot calmer. I'm not bull shitting you, I actually test this out. And you might do that a couple of times, two, three, four, five times, maybe a little more to ten. But that one breath actually just changed my physiology.
So there you have it. Stress is bad. Positive pressure is good. And dream is shit unless you put a time frame on it, which then becomes the goal. Stress, if you got stress, everyone gets it every day. You can't stop yourself from having stress, but what you can do is multiple times a day, release that stress inside you head by taking out your head trash, your head garbage. I've given you a couple ways of doing that. I've given you the holding the thumb technique. I've given you the infinity sign on your forehead technique, and the 7,11 technique, tangible things that do work. I do with my clients, I do it myself, and they do make a profound impact.
And the more you do this, and when you catch stress when it's small, if you catch it, "Oh, I'm getting stress." And you get it straight away then you going to infinity on your head. Or you catch it straight away, and you go into holding your thumb. Or you catch it straight away and you go into 7, 11 breathing and you start to literally turn off that neuro pathway that you've been going down for so long getting more and more stressed, and you start to open up new possibility, of a new pathway where it triggers you, but rather than, you get stressed and then automatically take that road down of release in a dumping oxytocin inside your body, feeling loved, feeling connected, feeling safe.
And as you sleep at night, our brain synapses, it proves those old synapses that you don't go down anymore that highway of stress is starting to literally prune it. So that highway, that freeway, literally, becomes back to how it was originally, which was grass, and moss, and land, there's no road deck, there's no staggering down anymore, and it starts to open up the new neuro pathways because it's traveling down it more, and more, and more of dealing with stress in a far better way.
Luke Michael Howard PhD