Ask Flavio: How Stress affects the Body and Mind

In the beginning, when I started to do therapy, clients were coming to my office and complaining about stress. It was difficult to work with them, as the comment “I’m stressed” did not tell me what the actual problem was.

First of all we have to understand that everything we do or don’t do is because we want to have a feeling – either we want to feel good, or we want to prevent ourselves from feeling bad. Understanding this, I began to ask my clients what emotions they were feeling during the time that they felt stressed. Their response was either, “I’m angry, I’m nervous,” or “I have fear.” Knowing what emotions they were experiencing enabled me to easily do the necessary work to help them overcome these negative emotions.

The emotions you feel, whether good or bad, actually cause a chemical change in your body. So to answer the question, “What really is stress?” – stress is the response a person feels when experiencing one or more negative emotions at one time. Although stress is a major cause of illness, it is often misunderstood, and consequently many modalities used to treat it are ineffective and temporary at best.

The thought process of how emotions are caused is very simple. Again, I want to reiterate that we must remember that everything that we do or don’t do is because we want to either experience a positive feeling or move away from a negative feeling. How do we at times become anxious? It is simple… fear + fear + fear = anxiousness + more fear = panic. The good news is it does not matter what the negative emotion is that you are experiencing; it can be easily changed into a positive one.

Cause equals Effect

The cause of every effect is your thoughts. The effect is always the feeling, either good or bad.

Good Feeling

Happy, Excited, Passionate, Peace.

Here we live in the light; we are creative; and we are proactive. Here we are healthy.

Bad Feeling

Fear,  Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Frustration, Resentment, Hurt, Sadness.

Here we are reactive; and if problems are not dealt with, they could lead to sickness.

Whether we feel good or bad, we must always go back to the cause, which is always our thoughts. We must be consciously aware where we are in thought at all times. If you think something good is about to happen, you will feel good and if you think something bad is going to happen, you will feel bad. Just by knowing this, you should be able to begin to control your thoughts.

If you control your thoughts, you control your feelings. This process is a great start, it sounds simple but it works. But sometimes what gets in the way are limited decisions and beliefs that come from passed experiences, which are stored at the unconscious level. If there are in fact limited decisions or beliefs with a simple process, they can be changed in a way to support your conscious desire. We will talk more about this in the future.

Next week, I will talk about the signs of stress, and I will explain about the primary, secondary and behavioural signs associated with it. So until next time, always focus on what you want, NOT on what you don’t want. When you focus on what you want, what you don’t want will take care of itself.

Flavio Iammarino holds a Ph.D in Behavioural Science and practices Clinical Hypnosis.

He is a published author, motivational speaker and clinical counselor with more than 30 years of experience in the field of personal development and mental enhancement performance, achieving remarkable success with patients at his Niagara Post-Traumatic Stress, Anxiety and Pain Management Centre.

Visit to book an appointment, or call 905-684-1717, and make a positive step towards your emotional health and well-being.

His office will be in touch within 24 hours to discuss your concerns and goals so that a positive outcome will be attained for you.

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