The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Hans Selye--the father of Stess?

The following is quoted, with minor additions:
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Although Selye was fluent in at least eight languages, including English, and could converse in another half dozen, his choice of "stress" to describe the non-specific response syndrome he discovered, was unfortunate.  He had used "stress" in his initial letter to the Editor of Nature in 1936, who suggested that it be deleted since this implied nervous strain and substituted alarm reaction.  He was also unaware that stress had been used for centuries in physics to explain elasticity, the property of a material that allows it to resume its original size and shape after having been compressed or stretched by an external force.  As expressed in Hooke's Law of 1658, the magnitude of an external force, or stress, produces a proportional amount of deformation, or strain, in a malleable metal.  Selye several time complained to me that had his knowledge of English been more precise, he would gave gone down in history as the father of the "strain" concept.
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The ability to handle stress is directly related to your capacity to achieve peak performance.  Stress is not to be avoided: STRAIN is.  biofeedback, meditation, massage, therapy and many other techniques are used in this effort, and I support them all.   The approach I personally use and reccomend is;

1) Learn the "Be Breathed" technique.
2) Use it in the "Five Minute Miracle" format, so that your body becomes a walking biofeedback machine.
3) Create balanced goals in the arenas of body, mind, and spirit, taking full responsibility for the results in each.  Not guilt, blame, or shame--responsibility.  In other words, the ability to respond.  Move toward these goals at a rate of 1% per week.
4) Meditate and/or keep a dream diary.
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that's it.  Simple, incredibly powerful.  There are infinite resources available to help you toward your goals--simply cluster them in a balanced matrix, and pay attention to the messages your body, environment and subconscious send you as you do.  YOU are the teacher.  YOU are the guru.  YOU are the therapist.  You need only pay attention.
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Do yourself a favor.  Order the FIVE MINUTE MIRACLE today.  Find a buddy, and practise together.  It is the cheapest education in the actual structure of your universe that you will ever find.  It's worked for thousands of people.  It will work for you.

Steve

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