The Power of Positive Remembering
How to reduce the effects of STRESS by releasing the power of your MEMORIES

. . . over my head was a full grown snake moving toward me

One Saturday a couple of years ago I was going through an old storage shed on my property when I heard a sound, looking up directly over my head was a full grown snake moving toward me.

Immediately that flight or fight response sprang into action in my body.

My heart raced, my breathing rate increased, my muscles tensed - and I ran. A little while later I could feel my heart rate go down, my muscles relaxed, and my breathing slowed.

On Monday, I woke up late, I couldn't find the car keys, and I was stopped for another half-hour on the Interstate because of an accident. When I finally make it to work there is a message from my kids saying they missed the school bus, and to top the whole morning off my boss comes by to remind me that I left that report he needs in an hour at home. My heart rate goes up, my muscles tense and my body goes through a mild version of the flight or fight response. Only in this situation I can not fight or run.

Our bodies are designed to be ready for action immediately in the face of danger. The sympathetic nervous system springs into action and if we actually fight or run we use up the energy and return to normal. But in the stressful situations of modern life, the effects of stress tends to stay with us all through the day. Our heart rate, breathing, blood pressure and muscle tension in our arms and legs are all increased. Blood is moved to our muscles and away from our stomachs causing us to digest our food more slowly. This is why your legs or arms ache at the end of a stressful day, they've been tense - ready to fight or run - all day.


What Stress Can Do

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, two-thirds (66%) of office visits to family doctors are prompted by symptoms related to stress. Some doctors believe the figure may be closer to 80% of visits are from people showing physical signs of mental stress.

  1. The National Academy of Sciences reported a study which showed that people who have recently been widowed, fired, or divorced are more vulnerable to disease.

  2. A study of 96,000 widowed people in Finland found that the risk of death doubled in the week following their partners' death.

  3. High blood pressure is common among people who live in America's urban ghettos.

  4. Stress causes the body to take blood away from internal organs like the liver and give blood to the muscles of the legs and arms. (blood flow to the arms and legs increase by 300 - 400%)

  5. The liver removes cholesterol and fat from the blood. So when blood flow is lessened to the liver because of stress, blood may contain excess cholesterol and fat that later get deposited around the heart.

  6. Stress can turn down your immune system. When the brain releases the hormones which turn on the fight or flight response, those hormones tend to suppress those samurai T-cells, macrophages and B-cells which release antibodies that fight bacteria

  7. The immune system being suppressed causes us to be more susceptible to diseases such as infections, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, and asthma.

  8. After losing a spouse to death, bereaved men's immune cell response drops during the first 2 months leaving them more susceptible to disease.

  9. Cancer occurs more often than usual among those who are widowed, divorced, or separated.

  10. Stress does not cause cancer but rather affects its growth by weakening the body's natural defenses against a few malignant cells.

So you understand that stress is natural and the flight or fight response is designed for your protection against danger. When you run or fight your body uses the tension and returns to normal. But in today's world, most of the time, you can not run and the energy is not used.


The ill effects of stress are caused by two main factors

Thoughts - Things, people, and events are believed to be a threat whether they really are or not.

Muscle Tension - The tension in the body causes the mind to remember other thoughts and memories of stressful events

This is a vicious cycle which feeds on itself and eventually, as we've seen above, causes great harm to the body


How You Can Break the Stress Habit

You can break the stress habit with the Power of Positive Remembering. You have learned throughout this book that it is better to not fight a thought you don't want. Instead, it is better to think another thought or do some activity which reminds your brain of another group of memories. For example when you're sad you can simply smile and sit up straight which will automatically give your brain the orders to recall memories which agree with what your body is doing.

Your brain only has so much attention it can give, so when you divide that attention between two opposing thoughts, one of the two must lessen.


YOGA,
the oldest study of how the mind and body works

This point of opposing thoughts has been studied for thousands of years by the ancient people of India. The ancient people of India began studying the human mind several thousand years ago. In fact, YOGA was perhaps the first systematic "scientific" study ever undertaken to determine how the mind itself worked. For many centuries the students of Yoga worked to develop specific techniques to be used to control their minds.

What I want you to remember is what the Yogi's called the mind, we call memories; and what they called control we call Positive Remembering.

About two thousand years ago one of the great yogi's (or teachers) named Patanjali wrote a book of basic instructions that summed up the practice of Yoga. This book became known as the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Pa-ton-ja-lee) and his been memorized by students of Yoga ever since that time.

The Mind - a swirling whirlpool of thought-waves

Patanjali described the human mind as a swirling whirlpool of thought-waves. Thoughts swirl around like a tornado in an uncontrolled mind. He said the person who fails to control this whirlpool ends up identifying herself with it.

The conflicting and random swirl blows the person in every direction because she believes she is those thoughts.

She believes she is "happy," she is "sad," she is "mad, "she is a "failure".

The person becomes so identified with the thoughts swirling around in her head that she eventually gets a feeling of helplessness. As she quits trying to give direction to her life and allows herself to go with the flow of the whirlpool, she is eventually overcome by the signs of what we call depression and the physical symptoms of stress.

Signs of Stress

Patanjali lists the following as the symptoms of a person who has let the thoughts in their head control them:

"sickness, mental laziness, doubt, lack of enthusiasm, sloth, craving for sense-pleasure, false perception, despair, grief, despondency, trembling of the body and irregular breathing."

Patanjali says this whole situation is caused by a person identifying herself with the thought-waves either by default or by fighting them directly.

  • When you give up -- you end up being swept away by the waves accepting whatever comes your way as your fate.
  • When you fight the thought-waves by trying not to think or feel them, you actually make the thoughts and feelings stronger. All your attention is given to the fight only to find the whirlpool gaining strength-your strength.

The only way, Patanjali says, to control the mind and therefore direct your life is to choose some object, some idea or truth, or some person to concentrate your attention on. His whole idea is wrapped up in the name of his philosophy because the word "yoga" literally means "union".

So to unite yourself with an object, an idea or another person is the way to calm the whirlpool and its affects. Instead of giving in or fighting you ignore the swirl of thoughts and raise a wave of your own, concentrating all your attention on becoming united with it.

By one-pointing your attention on something good the distractions are deprived of their energy without direct action against them. Remember your brain only has so much attention it can give. If you use this limited attention to tell distracting thoughts to go away - what you are really doing is giving those thoughts energy.

The famous biologist Hans Selye agrees with this, he writes,

" To give meaning and direction to life we need a lofty long-range purpose . . . a long-range aim offering us permanent directions throughout life can eliminate many of the frustrating doubts that cause distress about the choice of our actions"

Selye believes we are biologically constructed to perform a work that has a purpose. He believes the only way to maintain physical and mental health is to work toward a long-range aim that we feel is worth the effort.

"Just as our muscles become flabby and degenerate if not used, so our brain slips into chaos and confusion unless we constantly use it for some work that seems worthwhile to us."

Patanjali admits that even the simple exercise of paying attention to your breathing can tame the whirlpool but he recommends you choose something greater than yourself to concentrate on. To assure long-term success he taught his students to concentrate on such things as :

God, prayer, a single eternal truth, or some great person like Jesus, Moses, or Buddha. This choosing something or someone to unite with gives direction to life and starves the whirlpool to death.

Like a boat adrift on the sea you set your sights on some clear destination, put your oars in the water and constantly paddle toward your goal. When the winds blow you off coarse you immediately row your boat back keeping only your objective in mind, desiring only to be united with it. This constant repetition, this deep longing for union with your dream gives purpose to your life, meaning to your existence, and hope for the future.

And best of all it REDUCES THE HARMFULL EFFECTS OF STRESS.


Modern Science and Ancient Yoga

Modern science has proved Patanjali and Yoga right. Scientists have discovered that the body has a natural opposite response to the flight or fight response. Dr. Herbert Benson has named this the relaxation response. At the first of this chapter we talked about the sympathetic nervous system and how if activated it almost instantly caused our body to gear up to fight or run. To oppose this reaction scientists have discovered that another system called the parasympathetic nervous system causes the body to relax.

Parasympathetic Nervous System

  1. Causes the body to relax
  2. Decrease blood pressure
  3. Decrease rate of breathing
  4. Even out blood flow
  5. Decrease in heart rate
  6. Increase in blood flow to digestive system,
    which stimulates the stomach
  7. Activate the immune system

How Do You Get This System to Activate?

Dr. Benson and Patanjali both say that if you one-point your mind the parasympathetic system will activate automatically. When you stop and breath slowly and deeply, when you pray, when you think of some truth, even when you concentrate on crocheting or repeat one word like "peace" to yourself - you rob the whirlpool of its' energy and cause the parasympathetic nervous system to give your body its gift of relaxation. By doing this everyday you can counter the effects of stress in your life and on your health.


How You Can Use Positive Remembering to Relax

When you are stressed your brain orders the lungs to take rapid shallow breaths. Remember this is one of the changes the Sympathetic Nervous System causes when it is activated.

1. Slow, Deep Breathing to Reduce Stress

If you want to turn on the brains relaxation you can force your lungs to take slow, deep breaths. You do this by paying attention to your belly. When you breath in your belly should push out. When you exhale your belly should push in. (Watch a baby breathing and you will see the baby's belly rising and falling as it breaths.)

This is a way to order the Parasympathetic Nervous System to give you relaxation.

2. Group A Memory Word or Phrase with Breathing

While you are doing this exercise say a single word like "peace" or a phrase like "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want". You can use any word or phrase you want as long as you remember to say it over and over again during your breathing exercise.
As you say your word or phrase over and over while breathing your brain will GROUP the memory of relaxing breathing with this word or phrase and eventually you will only have to say or think the word to release the Power to relax.

3. Exercise to Reduce Stress

The third thing you can do to reduce the harmful effects of stress is physical exercise. A short walk, a few minutes swim or any other physical activity can help your body use up the tension. It takes very little exercise to have a big effect - even a daily 10-minute walk raises energy levels and lowers tension for 2 hours.


You Can Do Something About Stress

The most important idea for you to remember in this chapter and in the previous chapter about how to overcome fear - is you can turn on your body's natural ability to relax with the Power of Positive Remembering. You are not a slave to fear, or the harmful effects of stress. You can do something about it. You can ORDER your brain and body to relax.

If you want to contact the owner of this site send e-mail to:
positiveremembering@gmail.com


What is stress anyway?

Can stress do ALL that?
- you won't believe how many things stress can do to mess up your life

The oldest cure-Yoga
- they knew how to calm the "whirlpool" of stressful thoughts thousands of years ago

Parasympathetic
Nervous System
- your body's natural valium


Chapter 1 Home
Arms, legs vs. memories
- your memories are real physical things

Muscles vs. Memories
- you can build muscle, can you build brain?

10,000 books are not enough
- you have a lot more "up there" than you think

ATM memories
- fingers seem to know the numbers when you don't.

The Whistling Tree
- can you remember where you learned to whistle?

Post Office memories
- How can thoughts "talk" to the cells of your body? And how can individual cells "talk" to your thoughts?

Mama,daddy, sister,
brother memories
- no man is an island and no memories are stored alone

It's impossible to think
of two things at once
- You cannot imagine yourself
getting sicker and at the
same time getting better.

Bugs Bunny™
& chewing gum
- imagining Bugs helps
a little girl stop bleeding


The Power to
Improve Your Health
- Chapter 2: How Remembering
can unlock your body's natural healing abilities

Doctor who painted warts
- paint activates the memories
that know how to eliminate warts

Voodoo Remembering
- how memories can KILL you

Change your attitude
- 400 people were totally cured because of this

Cells that blow up cancer
- your body has some "explosive" power

Who will live the longest?
- there are THREE kinds of patients, which one will survive?

Hopeless?
- Cheri Lewis, creator of "Lamb Chop", teaches how to activate hope when you feel hopeless.

Use your Crayons
- cancer patients draw pictures in order to activate memories that boost their immune system

Watch a funny movie
- laughter was the best medicine for this man who used movies to keep positive memories active.

The double strength
water cure
- how a water shot and newspaper can make a big difference in the outcome

Rocking chair
cures paralysis
- a seventeen year old with polio re-learns to move by remembering


The Power
to Relieve Pain
- Chapter 3: How Remembering
can reduce your pain

Your body's natural morphine
- the body knows how
to relieve pain if you know
how to order it with memories

Hello Mr. Pain?
- activate the right memories by talking to your pain

Watching the blowing wind
remembering a time before the pain

Chirping Crickets
remembering your childhood

Driven to distraction
get interested in something else

Good, red, strong blood
more driven to distraction


The Power to
Overcome Fear
- Chapter 4: How Remembering can help with phobias

What is the sympathetic
nervous system?
- this is your body's natural
flight or fight response,
READ THIS BEFORE CHAPTER 5 "STRESS"


The Power to
Create Success
- Chapter 6: How to use your Memories to attract success

The mustard seed key chain
- Dolly Parton learned the "key" to success

Oil filters, air filters
& BRAIN filters
- what your brain lets in and keeps out depends on the filters you set

Are you ignoring me?
- your ignoring a whole lot of stuff

The INVISIBLE piano
- he kept his memories fresh by playing a piano no one could see

Rearrange your Memories
- imagination is rearranged memories so go ahead a move them around

How to cash a $10
million BAD check
- Jim wrote this check to remind himself where he wanted to go

Napoleon's worthless
magic stone
- his grandma gave him
something that couldn't fail to activate the right memories

Are you talking to yourself?

Thank You for the FLEAS
- how to be happy all the time

Doctor who painted warts
- paint activates the memories
that know how to eliminate warts

Voodoo Remembering
- how memories can KILL you

Change your attitude
- 400 people were totally cured because of this

Cells that blow up cancer
- your body has some "explosive" power

Who will live the longest?
- there are THREE kinds of patients, which one will survive?

Hopeless?
- Sheri Lewis, creator of "Lamb Chop", teaches how to activate hope when you feel hopeless.

Use your Crayons
- cancer patients draw pictures in order to activate memories that boost their immune system

Watch a funny movie
- laughter was the best medicine for this man who used movies to keep positive memories active.

The double strength
water cure
- how a water shot and newspaper can make a big difference in the outcome

Rocking chair
cures paralysis
- a seventeen year old with polio re-learns to move by remembering


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