Friday, March 23, 2012

Can NST Produce Positive Outcomes?

 "Our goal isn't a life without stress," Stanford University neurobiologist Robert M. Sapolsky says. "The idea is to have the right amount of stress." That advice applies particularly to external stressors that are short-lived and manageable. For example, a friend says you're a lot of work, another rejection letter arrives from an agent, your computer crashes, you have a bad toothache or headache.

Those external stressors become short-lived and manageable only if the internal stressor of negative self talk is managed. Often NST hangs on long after the external stressor is gone. E.g. even after the friend has apologized for her offensive comment, the whirling mind still wonders, "What did I do that made her think I'm a lot of work?" "Am I demanding, obsessive, a pain?" "Maybe I am. I know I talk too much."

Eliminating negative self-talk is essential to coming up with the "right" amount of stress. External stressors will always exist, daily, for most of us: work, money, relationships and breaking appliances, electronic devices, and shoelaces. Lots of past posts have focused on  eliminating NST and specific techniques. (Check out the red topic boxes) Right now, I'm finding psychological distancing of all kinds works best: waiting to act, reallocation of attention, distraction, detachment, actual physical distance. What works best for you?

I don't know anyone, client, friend, or family member who has benefited from the stress of NST. If you have, please let me know. I'd be very interested and would like to publish your experience. Or you could write a guest blog.
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