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Podcast 367: Managing Stress
Scott Paton and Martin Pytela in a discussion about mental and emotional states and how we can manage our responses and reactions. Do we have a choice? Can we stay calm? Who or what controls our behavior?
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SCOTT: Hi, everybody! This is the Life Enthusiast Podcast, restoring vitality to you and the planet. I am your co-host Scott Paton, and joining us, as usual, is the health coach at Life Enthusiast, Martin Pytela. We have a very, very disrupting episode today. I want to warn you that if you are easily triggered by people smiling at you or giving you innocuous advice that you asked for, then please turn it off now, because we are going to be delving deeply into the emotional reasons for the massive amount of unwell people in North America in particular. We are going to be looking into the emotional morass that causes people to just flip out over the littlest thing, and cause huge damage to their bodies. So without any further ado, let’s welcome our life coach, our health coach, Martin Pytela. How are you doing today?
MARTIN: Hi Scott, Martin here, and yes, on a good day I am a health coach, and on a bad day I have to be a life coach. There is stuff that comes through the phone, through Skype, and through Facebook that just has me shaking my head in disbelief. Thank God I have all the training that I have taken. I mean, just so you get the picture – I am trained in neuro-linguistic programming, I am trained in clinical hypnotherapy, and I am trained in modes of communication as a sales professional, as a health professional, and as a high-achieving human. So I can actually access the tools that help me manage my own TV, the transformational vocabulary, the stuff that I say to myself in my head in response to whatever is happening outside that my five senses bring me. I believe that you have done a good amount of that work yourself, right?
SCOTT: That is true. I spent years and years and years between meditation, physical courses, the weekend retreats, going to therapy, EFT, all that, to get my subconscious and my conscious mind aligned, because if those two parts of your mind are not working together, then life doesn’t work very well in my experience for most people.
MARTIN: And so, despite me trying my best in my communications with my clients, and even some of my relatives, I find myself become a trigger to people. I will tell you a short story. About 20 years ago, I was in a line-up at a trade show, and up comes a guy, whom I vaguely remembered, I knew that I had done some business with him, I used to work in the computer field, he was coming up, and he was visibly agitated and somehow angry. And I looked at him and said: “You look like you want to punch me in the face.” He says: “I do. I hate you. You are the most miserable, awful person that I have ever known.” And I thought: “Well, thank you for sharing, I barely remember your name. Who are you?”
SCOTT: Well, I have a trigger story too, that I want to share now that you’ve shared yours. I was living with this gal about 18 years ago, she was with me pretty much all day, every day, and so when I am answering the phone, she would be hearing me on the phone. If I was doing something, she was there. She was someone that knows me very, very well. Her best friend calls on a Saturday morning, we are just sort of hanging out, doing nothing, when the phone rings. So I pick it up, and I go: “This is Scott, how may I direct your call?” And it is just like a joke, right? And she says: “well, can I speak to blah, blah, blah.” I said: “Sure” And I hand the phone to my girlfriend, and the girl on the phone rips a strip off of my poor girlfriend at the time, goes up one side, goes down the other side. Finally, when she can get a word in, edgewise, my girlfriend says: “Scott never answers the phone like that, he was just sort of goofing off. He didn’t know it was you, we don’t have a call display. He didn’t know anything.” So this friend of my ex-girlfriend was a person who installed phone systems in large companies and then trained them on how to answer the phone, how to use the phone. And she hated the words “how may I direct your call” with a passion! And as soon as she heard that, she blew up “for no reason!” That is one of the things that seems to be happening a lot. We have road rage on the highways, we have kids going into schools with guns and shooting, we have people bombing churches and mosques, we have got a lot of overreaction happening in our world these days.
MARTIN: I remember being at one particular seminar, Wayne Dyer was a speaker, he put forward a question: When you squeeze an orange, what comes out of it? And the logical answer is orange juice. And he says, well, why is that the logical answer? Because it is full of orange juice! So just remember, when you squeeze a person, whatever comes out of them, that is what they are full of.
SCOTT: Ooh, that is a good one, Martin. I am going to remember that!
MARTIN: Indeed. So whatever comes out of a person is what they are filled with. We have to understand the balance of the autonomic nervous system, which has two branches, the sympathetic and parasympathetic. The sympathetic side is the fight or flight, also known as ‘piss and vinegar.’ And the other one, the parasympathetic, which is the rest, repair and digest, should be probably also known as ‘honey and snooze.’
SCOTT: So a person, when they get triggered, is either going to be yelling and screaming at you, or they’re going to be going away.
MARTIN: Well, one is ‘attacking,’ and the other one is ‘yielding.’ If you could imagine yourself, you are primary alkaline, primary parasympathetic, and when somebody comes at you, your first response isn’t to punch back, your response is to ask a question, or just question the situation. Whereas an acidic person in this sympathetic state of mind, if somebody barks at them, they will bark back even harder. That is the physiological side of things. That is how it happens and why it happens. So let’s just get into that.
SCOTT: We have a group on Facebook that we started a few years ago for people dealing with fibromyalgia, and we have over 65,000 members. So as you can imagine, these are all people that are pretty much in pain all the time. And not that that is funny, it is not funny at all, but to expect them to have much of a sense of humor about anything is not really realistic. They get triggered by very small things. And one of the things that they do when they get triggered is reporting a comment, and then some admin has to go in and decide if that complaint or comment was okay. If it is not an okay post, it gets deleted. And we had an occasion where someone made a fairly innocuous comment on a post and it got reported because it just triggered one of those 65,000 people.
MARTIN: Yes, and sometimes we ask ourselves why are they reporting a post that is actually suggesting something positive?
SCOTT: Just to read this one example, it says: “Push through it.” I guess most people just read the first three words, and they’re either triggered or they aren’t. So I think that is what triggered this person. The comment keeps going like this: “Get up once an hour, for whatever reason, stretch even if it is sore, if it is your arms, move your arms more, don’t let this disease win.” It is fairly innocent, right? Mostly what we expect to be reported is mean comments, hate speech, slurs, or things like MLM promotions or something along those lines, and because we have 65,000 members, just imagine if 10% of them reported something every week! That is 6,500 reports that we as admins have got to go through! Fortunately, it is less than that, but it is still something that can get out of control. Anyway, I just wanted to say that this is what we are seeing. When a post is deleted like this, a lot of people don’t understand why it was removed. This particular one was not removed, because there was really nothing wrong with it.
MARTIN: Well, actually this poor person who reported this post ended up feeling horrible for some reason, and was reporting that we were being insensitive and that we were ignoring her needs. Her conclusion after a few hours was that she is feeling unsafe in this online space, just because we did not delete a harmless quote somebody else posted.
SCOTT: Yeah, and this whole post has nothing to do with her! It is amazing how she makes it about herself, and how she works herself up into such a state that she doesn’t get any sleep for a day, she feels worse, and everything else. And this is the part that I wanted to mention: we get stimulated by something, and then we turn it into such a huge, huge event. And if we are doing this constantly, what impact is that going to have on the physical health of our body?
MARTIN: This actually reminds me of an interview we did with Ashok Gupta, who was explaining how fibromyalgia works. He was explaining that it is the misprogramming of the amygdala, the center in the brain whose job it is to interpret inputs. It is interpreting minor inputs and presenting them as if they were major. I mean, if I stub my toe, it hurts, but I know it is a minor thing, and it will be over soon. A major input would be if I got shot, or I am being chased by a lion, right? This is not going away quickly, it is sustained until I reach safety, until I completely change my environment, until I end up somewhere in a safe room. So the interpretation of the misprogrammed amygdala is that it will take an initial input that has already stopped, but the reaction just stays on. It is like a doorbell that you would press once, and someone would stick a match in it, so it just stays on – ringing all the time.
SCOTT: So just to take this back to kind of an emotional thing, if you are a parent, and your child spills a glass of milk, what we would normally do is say: “Susie, or Johnny, you know, be more careful, don’t spill the milk,” and then you would get a cloth, you clean it up, and then you finish lunch, and go on with your day. But what you are talking about is the child spills the milk, and all you talk about for the rest of the day and the rest of the week is the spilled milk and how he shouldn’t spill the milk. And not only that, you are constantly wiping down the table, even though all this milk is gone.
MARTIN: Yeah. I was actually seeing an even more radical and inappropriate response, that the child spills the milk, and you choose to beat him up for it, and then you continue to beat him up for it every day for the next year, every day, “the beatings will continue on until your attitude improves.”
SCOTT: So in your subconscious mind and I guess your conscious mind too, if you are getting triggered by something and you are not letting it go, it is spiraling and spiraling, and you are emotionally beating yourself up for days and days, weeks and weeks, years and years, and your body starts breaking down because you are just constantly hammering at something until all of a sudden you are in pain forever.
MARTIN: Right! And so this is, again, the problem of the autonomic nervous system. If you are constantly on the sympathetic side, the fight or flight, no concern for repairs, you are damaging your body. Your body is in a constant state of emergency, which we also know as chronic stress. The other side of the nervous system, the parasympathetic, where the rest, repair, and digest dwells, is the only state where the repairs can happen. Then your oxidative stress will diminish. Then the frayed nerves can start repairing, only then. So as long as you stay in the triggered state of mind, you do not repair. You just continue to make things worse for yourself.
SCOTT: Let’s talk about a car! We all know about cars. You are driving your car, and the oil light comes on. You have got to change your oil. The engine light comes on. The change tires light comes on, you are basically riding on your rims. You run out of gas. You ignore all these lights, and then you are wondering why there is smoke coming out of your car. Things are not working very well, your eyes are itchy from the smoke, all that stuff. When in fact, all you have to do is stop the vehicle and take it to a mechanic who can put air in the tires, fix the engine, put oil in the tank, and make sure everything is running well. When we take the car to the mechanic, the mechanic doesn’t fix the car while it is running, you have to stop the car, turn the engine off, it can never be fixed unless it stops.
MARTIN: To further extend your metaphor – the warning light is there to warn you early on. If you carry on, if you continue driving on a flat tire, you will wreck the rim. If you continue driving the engine with the temperature too high, you will cook it, and you’ll blow it. To heal any damage in your body, you need to sleep every day, and you need to meditate every day. You need to figure out what the triggers are, and then untrigger yourself. Let me try and list a few of the ways how you can untrigger yourself.
There are minerals that will help you shift out of the fight or flight into the rest and repair. The number one tool is magnesium. You can take it orally, but that can cause an unwanted bowel flush. You can apply it topically, which means you can spray it on the skin, rub it in, or soak in it. You can get into a bathtub with magnesium crystals, and enjoy the relaxation. It is going to help you switch out of the fight or flight into the rest and repair mode.
You can also take a look at what you are eating. Depending on which body type you are, you could be either using carbohydrates or fats to calm you down. There are two main types of people, and you need to know which one you are, and you need to use the appropriate piece of nutrition to calm yourself down.
SCOTT: So just to jump in here, Martin, in case you were kind of wondering, let me just give an example. There are two people. They both eat a jam sandwich. One goes and lays on the couch and sleeps for two hours after eating that, the other one is running up and down the walls. They eat the same thing, but they react differently to it. One person gets tired and sleepy, and the other one gets hyped up. You can try this yourself, eat something, and notice how it makes you feel an hour or two later. Are you ready to have a nap? Or are you super hyper? When you start understanding the impact that different foods have on you, you will actually be able to make significant changes in your life. I happen to be the type of person that if I have a slice of bread with jam or something that is rich in carbohydrates, I will be sleeping on the couch for two hours. It just puts me right to sleep.
MARTIN: Yeah, you are autonomic dominant. If you were an oxidizer, it would just rev you up, put you into: “I want to go to town and pick a fight” mode. Understanding your metabolic type is very important. Magnesium and metabolic typing are the two easiest tools. The other thing that we have readily available is CBD from the hemp plant. It is very good at modulating, it is not addictive, it is not going to get you high, this is different from THC. If you are depressed, it will get you out of that. If you are anxious, it will get you out of that. It is just bringing you out of the extreme ends of the spectrum closer to the center.
SCOTT: So pretty much everybody should be taking some good CBD oil!
MARTIN: These days, yeah. Pretty much everybody should have it in their purse, in their backpack, wherever they are. We have it available in glycerin, and we have it available in hemp oil. For some people, glycerin is the antidote, glycerin is the quick carbohydrate. The hemp oil is the quick fat. That is why it is available in these two farms to match your personality, so we don’t push you in opposite directions.
SCOTT: So I want to jump in with one other thing. If you have got health problems, and you are watching a lot of TV, stop. Turn off the TV. TV programming is all about increasing stress. If you are watching some sort of drama and you get pulled into the drama, your body doesn’t know that is a fictional thing happening. It is acting as if it is actually happening. If you are stressed and you are watching the news and you see people getting bombed, it can stress you out even more. If you are having all this stress in your life, don’t add to it.
MARTIN: Right. Or you can teach yourself the mental ability to be an observer without being engaged in the world, but that is not easy to do. You can be in front of any sensory input and you can allow it to trigger you into an emotional state or not. The response is a choice. It is always a choice. But it is not easy to do if you are already under a lot of stress. What I mean is you have a choice in how you respond to the input. You have a choice of either becoming upset because somebody said something or not. If you don’t have the mental discipline to read stuff on Facebook and get triggered by it, don’t do it. Log off of Facebook. Don’t read the comments. Turn off notifications. People who get triggered and spun out of control by reading other people’s comments about something have no business reading these comments. It is like children playing with matches. Am I simplifying too much?
SCOTT: No, you are absolutely right. We did a post in the group about the emotional impact of our thoughts, our subconscious and conscious thoughts on the body. It was a video by Dr. Bruce Lipton. And it was interesting because the first comment that I read was basically: “I go to work, I do this, I do that, I just don’t have time.” And I thought: “well, you have time to be on Facebook, and I am sure you have time to watch TV, but you don’t have time to work on things that will help you get over whatever health issues that you’ve got?” I love what you always say, Martin, you know, when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you do is stop digging. So if I am in pain, if I am sick, the first thing I should do is stop doing the things that make me worse. I know that I can’t work in the afternoon, if I have a peanut butter and jam sandwich, because I sleep for four hours. What should I do? I don’t eat the sandwich.
It may be obvious to some people. But what’s obvious to other people, you may be totally oblivious to. I am totally oblivious to a lot of things. And then people tell me something I didn’t know, and they are like: “How could you not know, you do it all the time!” That is why it is really important to have people around you that you can trust, and who are willing to take a chance, right? So you have to be able to build trust with your friends in your circle so that they can tell you the truth even if you don’t want to hear it. That is another thing that I have noticed with a lot of people, they don’t want to hear the truth.
MARTIN: Yeah. There is a famous saying: When the student is ready, the teacher appears. Oftentimes the teacher comes to us in a very strange costume. It is coming in the costume of an irritant, and it is trying to teach us a lesson. You may be ready for the lesson, but you are not getting it. So this lesson will be repeated until you eventually get it. I have had a few lessons repeated to me, things that I have been slow at learning, and I tell you, it is not fun. Anyway, the point I want to make here is that if you find yourself in a place that is triggering you, please go inward immediately, and think: Is it me who is causing the reaction? The reaction is always on the inside. It is between your two temples, it is where the amygdala is, right underneath there, and it is triggering you. If you are into politics and would like to discuss whether this or that is the right choice, make sure that you are not one of those people who cannot detach from the outcome, because it may turn out that during the election, you are going to be on the losing side.
SCOTT: Yeah, really, when you look at politics, religion, or sports, it is all about them versus us. It is fine to talk about it all, but it is not fine to get so worked up that you can’t sleep over it until four in the morning because you are so upset because your brother or cousin or mom has a completely opposite opinion. There are no negative or positive attachments to most activities, it is our interpretation that causes the emotional situation. And you are constantly going from one emotional drama-filled situation to another, and you are not taking time out to meditate and relax your mind and body. It is one of the reasons why yoga and meditation have become so popular. It almost forces people to actually stop for an hour or an hour and a half and just focus on their mind and body. And if you think: “Well, I don’t know how to meditate,” read our blog post about meditation. But honestly, even a quiet walk in the forest or nearby park is a wonderful way to calm your mind.
MARTIN: I would like to plug in something really important. I have been listening to Dr. Zach Bush for some time, and he has been doing awesome research into how industrial agriculture is contributing to the changes in societal health. I mean, he has a phenomenal grasp of statistics and how things are progressing over time. Starting with 1996, when glyphosate was introduced into the environment, we have been gradually progressively at an accelerating rate getting worse. And he says: “leaky gut equals leaky brain and leaky brain is creating this emotional instability.” We see more of this is because we are actually more vulnerable because of the environment. And the number one tool that we have to help us deal with it is humic acid, either in the form of powder or concentrate. It helps greatly to protect the vulnerable parts of the digestive system, the single-cell cellophane-like layer of protection that we have in our gut that protects the vulnerable inside from the hostile outside. The humic acid helps the microbes that live there to properly maintain this barrier.
So when we supplement that, we create the ability and potential in our body to actually cope with the toxic onslaught of the poisoned foods and the environment that we are now living in. It is not that you have any chance of escaping it, it is everywhere these days, glyphosate is found now to be in the water! It is water-soluble, it has gone from the plants where it was applied into the water table, into the aquifer, into the creeks, but it also has evaporated and gone into the air. So these days, even the organic field is being rained on with glyphosate, the stuff that makes your gut leaky, the stuff that makes you more vulnerable. When your body is less than functional, you are going to experience mental illness symptoms, even though you would normally not be mentally ill, because your neurotransmitters are not being produced in sufficient quantities.
SCOTT: I have the image in my mind of us being like fish in the aquarium, and the guy forgot to turn on the water cleaner.
MARTIN: It is important to understand that we are not blaming anyone, but we have been able to identify the tools that can help us to get out of this. We have been able to identify the triggers, and how to deal with them. If you are feeling triggered, it is because you are out of balance, and bringing you back into balance is possible. We have the tools, and we are here to help you use them. Just remember this message: If you are being triggered, it is because you are out of balance.
SCOTT: In other words, it is not normal behavior, right?
MARTIN: No, it is not a normal response, and we can help you with that. But you have to want to make a change first.
SCOTT: Sure. A healthy human being will not be up till four in the morning because somebody said something negative to them. Someone who is out of balance is going to be thinking about that all night, and be furious and yelling and screaming about it. That is not normal behavior. And I think we just need to acknowledge that and understand that, and then say: “okay, that is a symptom of a problem I have, what can I do to fix it?”
It is also important to understand the relationship between your conscious mind and your subconscious mind. And the video I mentioned from Dr. Lipkin was really interesting because he basically said the subconscious mind is a million times stronger than the conscious mind. So you can be consciously thinking: “I am going to do this,” but if your subconscious mind is not on board, it is just not going to happen. That is one of the reasons why we need help. This is where the habits are stored, in our subconscious mind. We are very habitual people, and we need to be able to break those bad habits that are causing the downward spiral, and create some new, positive habits that are going to cause an upward spiral, basically.
MARTIN: Yeah. We also talked about EFT before, the Emotional Freedom Technique, like tapping, it is a wonderful tool, we also discussed neuro-linguistic programming and rapid pain elimination in the past in our chats with Dr. Mike, so make sure to check these out if you want to learn more.
SCOTT: Right! So Martin, any last words before we sign off?
MARTIN: If you want to take it out on me, my phone number is (866) 543 3388. I have the training to cope with almost any inputs to have you come and yell at me.
SCOTT: And if you want to take it out on me, call the same number and talk to Martin!
MARTIN: Visit our website, www.life-enthusiast.com. We are restoring vitality to you, and to the planet!
SCOTT: See you next time, everybody!