Friday, February 25, 2011

Training Your Mind to Avoid Stress

We all have a molecule of comfort of about 21 inches around our body from head to toe. The best way to be able to step out of that zone and feel comfortable in doing so is to prepare for the surprises you will encounter. Mind management is something everyone can do! You just have to train your mind to plan your steps.

Over the past 19 years I have been training people of all walks of life to learn how to improve their lifestyles by just planning their steps through mind management. The primary tools used are the attention/focusing of their memory. USA today published an article in the mid nineties that reported that most individuals spend 1 complete year looking for lost misplaced or hidden items. I say hidden meaning they didn't plan to hide it they just did. Now that's one year of 24 hour days, a 365 day year of looking for lost misplaced or hidden items.

If I could save you half of that unproductive time and if you are already through half of your life wouldn't you want to know how? Of course you would, unless you are mentally challenged and can't understand what I am referring to that is. Now when they conducted that study it was considered a longitudinal long term study. Meaning it was conducted over an 18+ year term and represented a mortality rate of around 78 years of age. So let's see if you are half of that age or 39 years or older and you could change your habits to reduce that lost time for the next 39 years you would want to know how wouldn't you?

Ok here it is plain and simple. Mind management is just exactly what it says or sounds like, managing your mind or being more focused or attentive to your ways of doing things. Now if you are a person who walks through life blaming everyone else for your screw ups you may not be able to adjust your habits the way I am going to explain to you. Not that you can't it's just that you probably won't. Now If I have offended you I am truly sorry, not. Let me say a new habit is formed by doing something for 21 days then the old habit is replaced with the new one. So for the interested party here we go.

I believe we all possess the ability to change ourselves, short of some form of dementia or debilitating problem.

That being said mind management is simply controlling your ability to be in the moment. That is a statement that is so profound that many people walk through life without ever knowing exactly how to do it. Impulsivity and just plain being arrogant or rude is another matter, so when I talk about mind management I am speaking to the person that really cares to be self managed.

The way we wake up every day or the selection of our daily menu for life is something we all can determine right out of the gate. I strongly believe that everything in life is what you make it; it's not what is that counts but simply how you take it. Positive views of situations will go a long way in helping to manage your mind. Short of unbridled ADD or ADHD you can be attentive, controlled and positive everyday. It's a concentrated effort that makes you a positive person in your outlook of things.

Stress is something that can be controlled in your life to a great extent. Some stress is inevitable and you can learn how to harness your periods of stress to a great degree. That being said let me say that some stress is positive and only you can determine what that level is. Some people work better under stress others don't.

Here are some techniques on how to lower your stress levels when it comes to remembering what, when, where and why. The article I mentioned above centered on looking for lost misplaced or hidden items. You know like when you come into your office in the morning and you lay your keys down on the table, desk, bookshelf or hopefully not some final resting place. You work a while slaying those dragons that raise their ugly head and got your attention when you walked in. Then, it turns out to be a couple of hours of dragon slaying and now its 11:30 and you have to rush out to your lunch appointment. Uh oh now you are late for that appointment you made because not only do you stress out looking for your car keys over the next ten minutes, but you have the whole office stressed out helping you look as well.

Well here is the simple way to avoid that happening to you ever again. I call it the F.P.G. system. F=File. a mental location or somewhere to store information, P - Stands for picture, because your mind works in pictures and G- stands for glue it's the bonding agent to keep the picture in the file long enough to transfer from your short term memory to the long term memory. Just to clear up that statement let me say your mind works in pictures, for instance, do not think of an elephant. What just happened, when you read that last sentence did you see a big grey body, big ears, long trunk, fat legs huge body. Sure it did you didn't spell e-l-e-p-h-a-n-t out you can do that if I ask you to but no your mind threw up a large animal picture into your mind of an elephant. You see your mind works in pictures! Your remember when you were in kindergarten, 1st grade etc and above the walls on a border you saw the alphabet and under A was a picture of an apple B a boy or a bat, C a cat or a cow, D a dog or a deer and pretty soon you learned enough pictures and alphabet to come up with words, then sentences, and paragraphs and on and on.

So see your mind works in pictures. So if that's how it works let's give it pictures or learn to picture our way through life not memorize our way through life. You see memorization causes stress. Rote, recapitulation stresses us out believe me.

Now let's get back to the scene where you and your associates are scrambling around the office stressed out looking for your keys. In that scenario our formula of FPG the keys are the pictures, the Desk etc is the file and all you have to add to the formula is the glue or the bonding agent to keep the picture in the file long enough to move it from the short term memory to the long term memory. Now action active action drives the glue, and the larger than life more animated picture the better it will bond.

Let's go back over when you came into the office and laid your keys down and reconstruct how to not lose, misplace, hide them or forget where you put them ever again. Here's how I would do it. When I come into the office and lay the keys down on the desk in my mind I fly the keys through the air 90 miles and hour and make them stick into the top of the desk. That way when I start looking for my keys at 11:30 in preparation to go to my appointment I just reconstruct the scenario in my mind, let's see where are my keys oh when I came in this morning they were flying through the air at 90 miles and hour and they stuck up into the top of that desk. Then when I walk over to the desk and no matter how many papers, file folders, books etc that are laying on top of my keys I simply just move them aside grab my keys and off I go to my lunch date.

Simple mind management is what I use to remember where I put things. Some people might make the desk blow up or melt down or grow little animated feet and run off with your keys. No matter what action you use the action of File Picture Glue will bond the process so that you can recall where your keys are every time. Well unless you have a daughter like mine that when she found out when dad grabbed his keys an went to work yesterday she remembered that and so today she hides your keys, you see then no system will work for that.

Stress can be controlled if you discipline your life positively. You can step out of the molecule of comfort every time and know that you are prepared. This is just one simple way to help your recall, there are many more techniques to use for your steps in life to lower and many times eliminate the stressors you commonly encounter.

Another one I use is a set of body files. These body files are predetermined files on my body that I file information on to recall where, what, when and why. Let's say I get up to go into the kitchen leaving my easy chair at a commercial break to get a snack and come back with it. Oh you know the scenario you are hungry you go into the kitchen to get a snack. On the way to the kitchen after leaving the safety of your easy chair, a phone call comes in or one of your family members yell something at you. Now that requires you to go into thinking mode about what the question is that they asked. You answer after logically reconstructing what they needed in your mind and you offer the solution. They go on about their way leaving you standing in the kitchen wondering what you came into the kitchen for. All of a sudden the show comes back on and you scamper back into the den to see what is happening on your show. A little while later that hunger pain hits again and you think well heck you didn't get what you wanted in the kitchen and when the next commercial comes on you will get up and go back in there to get something to snack on.

I know I used to do the same thing, but not anymore, I simply put the FPG system to work. I simply file whatever I am going to get up and get in the kitchen on my toes with a lot of visualization imagery and action, before I do get up to go to the kitchen. Then, no matter how many interruptions I have on the way to the kitchen I look down on my toes after the problem or the interruption is solved and see the snack on my toes. I visualized it and I put on my toes before I came in to the kitchen to get it and am on about my business before the show starts again. Simple mind management goes a long way in life believe me.

I use my body files to store my things to do list for everyday events for work and play, believe me when I say I am not going to use the last six months of my year looking for lost misplaced or hidden items in my lifetime! I am going to live in the moment as much as possible and by using the FPG method lower my stress levels every chance I get. Remember mind management is attainable by everyone if you just learn how to plan your steps and step through your plan. Preparation is the name of the game, just do it!

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