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1.3: Understanding Stress.. in Two Sentences

Our third meeting with Sustainable High-Performance a.k.a. Super Coach.

In two parts:

  1. If the Amygdala Could Talk: The quickest most accurate and helpful way to respond when you get stressed. (In short… and longer… versions)

  2. A Two Sentence summary.

If the Amygdala Could Talk(Short version)

If the Amygdala could tell the difference between our worries about a high stakes test - and a charging Grizzly Bear... And if it had some sense that physical survival, while foundational, is only a small part of a truly human life...

Then it might apologize for tagging big tests, long papers, relationship problems, and money issues... and urge us to disregard the adrenaline it pumped into us… and urge us to dismiss the Fight, Flight, Freeze, etc. reactions that it shoved in front of us… And then it might say: "Hey, just think of your stressed feelings as a 'Check Engine' light." PB

If the Amygdala Could Talk – (Complete version)

-- 1st half: What the Amygdala would say if it had words... but still had zero insight about what is really helpful to us when we deal with important issues.

-- 2nd half: The enlightened and repentant Amygdala utters its apology to us. (Same as the short version). PB

The 2 Sentence Summary – (plus unavoidable commentary):

1. You can use how bad you feel as an accurate evaluation of the quality of the thinking the amygdala just shoved you into.

2. Our stressed “feelings” then become a helpful “Check Engine” light.

Until now, we were certain that the tight, reactive, stressful thoughts (and the feelings that accompanied them) regarding challenges in our life came directly from those “stressors”. It seemed obvious that our thoughts were giving us an accurate and necessary evaluation of the “stressors” we faced.

It seemed like a no-brainer. But now we see how the survival brain not only: 1) Provides a dramatically misguided interpretation of all our “stressors” that are not about immediate physical danger, but also… 2) Makes it intensely difficult for us to access our higher thinking capacities – with their less reactive, more accurate, and wonderfully more helpful perceptions, insights, and solutions. (The way we experience “stress” has surprisingly turned out to be the real problem… not the “stressors” themselves. )

And… Michael Neill’s 2 Sentences, in chapter 5 of “SuperCoach” (pp 105 & 112) : “Your thinking is a variable guide to reality, but your feelings are a foolproof guide to the quality of your current thinking…”

“Urgency is nearly always a signal to slow down and/or take a break.”

In the next several emails: We start… a quick chapter by chapter tour of “SuperCoach”, a leisurely set of reflections on the best animations re Innate Health & SuperCoach, and we, finally, get around to considering “Procrastination”.

(Actually, as the pandemic came on, it seemed good to offer some simple, family-friendly ways of de-stressing and letting the amygdala know we are OK. - So the plunge into Super Coach is taking place in the Late Fall and Next Spring! .)

If you wish, feel free to contact me.

Thanks for your time and attention, Peter Buck

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