Yes, absolutely! Not only can you be healthier and happier in 20 seconds, you can get rid of stress. You can improve your most important relationships. You can even rekindle the flames if the passion in your relationship with your partner has cooled.
Wow, that seems to be a lot. You ask, you are not kidding me, are you? No, I’m not kidding. In my research for the SciStress techniques I am occasionally coming across some other techniques which are very powerful and very fast.
In my mind, fast and powerful are the important criteria to combat stress. Reducing stress will improve health, well-being and performance. Yes, there are lots of great things you can do to improve your health, your well-being and be better at what you do. These are meditation, mindfulness, exercise, yoga, good nutrition and so on. They are all wonderful and important but they take time and effort.
I am looking for things you can do quickly and easily right now. I am looking for simple techniques which are yet powerful and fast in their effectiveness. So here is one a dear friend, mentioned to me. I did more research. Judy and I and a few close friends tried it out. Here is what we found:
It works fantastically well. It really takes only 20 seconds. It is helping improve life every day.
Here is the secret
What could be that powerful and fast? The secret technique is the 20-second hug! Yes, you are reading this correctly. A normal hug has been measured to be exactly 3 seconds long. The 20 seconds make a huge difference. In 20 seconds your nervous system will switch from activity and stress to sensitivity and relaxation. You really can feel and appreciate the other person on a very basic sensory level. That is powerful.
Set a timer
When you first try this out you need to set a timer. The first dozen times 20 seconds seems an awfully long time. As you get used to it the 20 seconds will become shorter and shorter. You might even be tempted to linger a bit longer … maybe 30 seconds.
Try it out now
As soon as you get a chance, try it out. You will feel better right away. It will work no matter how you feel before. And the great thing is that the other person will feel the same way. They too will feel better and more relaxed. They will feel closer to you.
Why is a hug so powerful?
Because a hug is a purely sensory thing. There are no words, there is no logic. Therefore a hug speaks directly to your powerful emotional brain, the limbic system, also called mammalian brain. A hug sneaks around your thinking brain, the neocortex. Your emotional brain instantly communicates that good feeling to your instinctive brain, the reptilian brain.
Your instinctive brain then switches your autonomic nervous system from the stress mode into relaxation mode, from sympathetic to parasympathetic. Meanwhile your thinking brain, the neocortex, doesn’t really know what’s going on because your two old brains function subconsciously. The only thing your neocortex knows is the feel-good signal which the limbic system is sending up to it to the conscious level.
Here you have it, a brief summary of the brain science behind the 20 seconds of hugging. Obviously, there’s a lot more to say about this emotional signal processing. You can read about gruesome details in my breakthrough book about the neuroscience of stress management: “The Girl Who Couldn’t Laugh.”
In a way it is really funny, if something makes us feel good, happier and healthier and improves our relationship it is still not good enough for our “thinking brain”. Our thinking brain doesn’t believe it until there is “scientific research”. Okay, I am an engineer after all and I certainly value scientific research. Yet sometimes I wonder whether in our modern society we have forgotten to value our personal experience and common sense. We feel good deep down. And what a miracle, the other person feels good deep down too! Isn’t that proof enough?
But fortunately we also have some solid scientific research to back up the personal experience. Researchers at the Carnegie Melon University in Pittsburgh found that hugging protects against stress and infections.
Another study on partner support found that “warm contact” between partners reduces stress hormones and blood pressure and increases the pleasurable bonding hormone oxytocin. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16046364
2 further studies show that brief warm social and physical contact improves blood pressure and cardiovascular health
Now you know for sure, it doesn’t only feel good and make you happy, it is scientifically proven! Now finally your neocortex can believe it!
Prescription: Hug your loved ones at least 3 times a day for 20 seconds - it will make you both happier and keep the doctor away.
With a long hug and the warmest wishes for a stress free life,
Fred and Judy
Fred George Sauer, MS, MS Eng, Stress Reduction Coach, Business Process Improvement & Productivity Specialist
Judith Lynch-Sauer, PhD, RN, Clinical Professor of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
Fred with some of the attendees
On June 19, we presented the keynote address at the monthly dinner meeting of the American Business Women’s Association, ABWA, a delightful group of energetic professionals. Women in business have special stress issues which we discussed.
Women’s Special Stress Issues at Work
Then we offered and demonstrated a powerful solution:
SciStress Quick-Help Process
We demonstrated the “Stress Now” Quick-Help Process a couple of times to give ABWA members an opportunity to experience how the technique can be used and what the effects are in a short time. Unfortunately there is not time to provide adequate training in a brief presentation. However, the ABWA Board has expressed interest in offering a workshop for the techniques to members.
NOTE: the SciStress “Stress Now” Quick-Help Technique is detailed in the book “The Girl Who Couldn’t Laugh” page 177.
We all can see why it is so important to manage our stresses consistently!
At the end of the meeting, Judith was inducted as a member of the ABWA
We thank the ABWA for the honor and opportunity to share our work with them.
If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to send them to us:
Enjoy a low stress life with SciStress!
Fred and Judy
Fred George Sauer, MS, MS Eng, Stress Management Coach, Business Process Improvement & Productivity Specialist, Author
Judith Lynch-Sauer, PhD, RN, Stress Scientist, Ret. Clinical Professor of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
Hey, what has the New Year to do with the one to 80 advantage? Advantage over what?
Okay! This has something to do with New Year’s resolutions. It has also something to do with how your mind works.
The new year just started and very likely you’ve made some New Year’s resolutions. The new year seems to you like a great opportunity to make a new start and do better this year than last.
Now here is it where you can improve your chances to be successful by a factor of 80. Sounds pretty unbelievable, right?
How can you make your chances to succeed 80 times greater? Naturally you have some doubts. And yet there is research and practical experience which shows there is a workable system to do it.
Want to find out more? Then read on.
What is this system? What can make it 80 times more likely for you to achieve your goals for the new year? There are basically 2 steps:
So here is the math of success: 10 times 8 and voila here is 80! When you write down your goals and read them at least once every day out loud your chances for success improve 80 times. That is 80 times over just thinking about some goals for the New Year and not writing them down or reading them out regularly.
What do you think? Is such an advantage worth a little daily effort???
Here are 2 more tricks to make your goal setting work even more effective. The key here is that it is the subconscious part of your mind which will do most of the work for you. Therefore, you have to make your goals easy and convincing for your subconscious:
Make your goal a powerful statement – “Affirmation”
Picture your goal vividly – “Vision Board”
Pictures go directly to your subconscious and stick there. Your goals automatically get support. A fun and easy way to do this is with a “Vision Board”. Find photos and artwork from magazines, the web or newspapers which make you feel good and represent your goals in some exciting way. Take these pictures and clue or tape them to a bulletin board. Hang the board at a place which gives you some privacy but also where you can see it easily and frequently.
A workshop participant in Germany told me she did this for several years each New Year and each time succeeded achieving at least 80% of her goals.
OK, now get going to start your New Year out with a powerful initiative. That’s how you get control.
To your SUCCESS! Fred George Sauer
Holiday STRESS can ruin it all
The holidays are coming. That's exciting, so much fun and joy! And yet this can also be one of the most stressful times of the year. Stress can suddenly jump up right in front of you where you least expect it. Something important doesn't work the way you planned, somebody who has hurt you shows up suddenly, or worse nothing happens and you are all alone. We'll talk about a few of these to get you well prepared.
Good stress, bad stress
Let's not forget that for most people the holidays are a wonderful experience. There is excitement, anticipation and preparation. Even if there are some big stresses with the season, much of the time it can be a great experience. And just as well one single bad thing can ruin it. So what is this thing with good stress - bad stress?
Hans Selye, the Austrian-Canadian genius, researched and defined stress. He talked about eustress and distress. Everybody knows what distress is all about. It's something which makes you feel bad, unhappy, scared or angry. A lot of distress will even make you sick. Eustress is just the opposite. "Eu" comes from Greek and means good. So eustress literally means good stress. With good stress you feel excited, challenged, motivated and fulfilled. So for the holidays you want the good stress and not the bad.
Your old brain causes all this stress
You want the good stress, the excitement, the good feelings with family and friends. It's important to know that bad stress comes from your old brain. The big problem with the old brain is that you don't have direct control over it. That part of your brain sits deep down in your skull below your thinking brain. It pretty much does what it wants.
Its function is to keep you safe, but that was created for very different circumstances. Your old brain was created for you to survive as a hunter and gatherer tens of thousands of years ago. It can't change quickly enough for modern life. But it is your old brain which runs your decisions, your feelings and your automatic reactions in your life.
Your old brain and your holidays
To keep you safe the old brain "thinks" that any change is dangerous. It basically tells you to keep things the same. It actually doesn't think. Your old brain is subconscious and has no logic.
First and foremost the nature of old brain programs say, "you have survived this far, therefore we don't want to change anything." This is the main reason that even the unfortunate things you do in your life are so difficult to change. That's true for example for too much eating, drinking, smoking, etc. and worse!
The second thing your old brain does, it keeps score of all the bad things which ever happened to you. It actually controls our long-term memory.
E.g., your dad or teacher criticized you, somebody hit you, treated you badly, anything like that will be recorded. Here are two examples of how this works.
Say your mom made each holiday perfect. Everything was beautiful and every detail was perfection, for example from Thanksgiving turkey to table settings, from guest list to menu and drinks. Perhaps she didn't go to work and had the time or she ran herself ragged to make it perfect. Perhaps now you are the working parent already stretched to the limit.
Be honest, having her example can you relax and have a simpler holiday? Can you now change, make dinner easy, use paper plates and buy the turkey already cooked? You see this sounds so simple but is not easy. This would be logical for you to do and yet your old brain has no logic and says no. It just wants you to do things the same way your family has always done.
Or let’s look at something worse … On holidays your family home was not a happy place. There might be tension, opinionated righteousness, then sharp words, too much alcohol and verbal fights. And some of you may even have experienced violence. Unfortunately your old brain thinks that is okay. You did survive and thus the old brain programs say that all that happened is important to help you survive now again. Those subconscious programs need a lot of effort and commitment from you to change. You might need help from people experienced in such work, well qualified and familiar with modern techniques which help you fast.
What do you want?
This is important. Take inventory. Write it down. What do you want? What worked well, what did you like in holidays of past? What did you see others do that was both easy and was fun? What else would feel good and make it fun for you and yours?
To get control over old brain impulses it is important you start with what you want and what you like!
Why is it a good thing to write it down?
Again, it is your old brain. As you move to write, get your paper or tablet - hey, not ancient stone tablet - your old brain gets activated and starts to pay attention. Actually, the stone tablet was only half a joke; to carve it into stone really would get your old brain really involved. So write down what you like. Write down some features of the happy past. That will give both your thinking brain and your old brain focus. Your emotions will be positive and strong.
Try something different
Now think of things you don't want, past events on holidays which led to pain. Next think of ways to plan your holidays which will make sure these don’t recur. Write down specific ways for each problem not to happen again. Some examples:
Now cross off each item on the list that you don’t want.
Your old brain wants some action, so crossing it out makes it more real.
This will tell your subconscious it's not needed anymore. Next read out loud all the good things you are planning. Again your old brain hears it and will change with greater ease.
Old wisdom and the new
Why is your old brain so powerful? Why does it make you do things you don't really want anymore? Why are you not even aware of it?
Old wisdom: "If you do what you always did, you'll get what you always got."
How does your old brain stop you from trying something new? It will cause stress! And stress will pull a lot of blood automatically (up to 70%) from your new brain where all your thinking happens. Your thinking brain has no more oxygen, you feel fogged up, anxious and not clear. Actually, we wrote a special report with all 10 dangers caused by stress, click here and get it free.
Easy way to manage old brain stress
Your brain is fogged up, no clear thinking, procrastination, indecision.
That is what happens without oxygen in your "new" brain, the only place where you have logic and can think. What can you do? How do you get oxygen and blood where you now need it most?
There is a simple answer your old brain likes.
Get out and move! Take a brisk walk, go to the gym, do your favorite workout! Get breathing deeply, work up some sweat. Now your blood flows full of oxygen. Your thinking brain works well again. Clarity, energy and focus have returned. Now you can make new decisions and take new actions with success.
This is the best time to make new plans, be well prepared and now create your holidays to be refreshing, full of fun. Leave out the drudgery, complexities and stress. KISS, Keep It Simple Smart one,
Make your holidays simple, easy, fun. Create new memories for your old brain to be proud of!
Best wishes for a great Thanksgiving and all the coming holidays from your still not totally stress-free stress coach,
Fred George Sauer
In July we had planned a Focus Group to find out what participants would think about our SciStress training and what results they could achieve in a short time. We concentrated what normally would be a full day’s training into 2 ½ hours. I felt that was a challenge. Also, everyone had indicated in a pre-survey that they were quite skeptical to begin with.
So I was pleasantly surprised how much we could pack into that short a time. I was even more surprised about the results our participants could achieve. Now take a look at the brief videos to find out what some of them had to say after the training.
"Afterwards, I felt more relaxed and peaceful. I’m excited to go home and build it into my daily routine." - S.H.
"The first time I had a really strongly troublesome memory like a 9 or a 10 on the troublesome scale and just doing one quick round it had come down to about a 4 and we did it again and it was about a level 2 or 3." - V.M.
What are other participants saying? You can watch the rest of the videos here.
Want to get the same results for yourself?
Here is how you can find out! You can learn the SciStress Techniques and why they are so easy and work so well from the book "The Girl Who Couldn't Laugh: The Neuroscience of Stress Management."
This book tells you how your mind really works, how it creates problems for you at times, and how you can manage those problems more easily. We make that bit of science easy and fun to understand. We do that with personal stories of people’s experiences. It’s a journey of discovery into your own mind.
>> Learn More
Enjoy the journey!
Your stress coach, Fred George Sauer
Fred George Sauer Founder of SciStress
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PO Box 396 Ann Arbor, MI 48105