Stressed Out: Release, Renew and Relate

One big change that has occurred with the downturn in the economy has been an increased communication and connection in the grass roots community.  For example, two years ago, none of my neighbors had a garden.  Now they all do.  Previously, I would search the phone book for a repair man, now the repairman is easily accessed right in the neighborhood.  Rather than connecting with impersonal corporate businesses, I much prefer connecting with local businesses.

Reduce Stress: Try a One-Minute Happiness Shift

Have you ever noticed that you tend to make dumb decisions when you are stressed out?  That is, you might talk excessively or lash out angrily. By contrast, when you are calm and peaceful, it is much easier to find creative,insightful solutions. One way to move from stress to calm creativity is to shift to a happier state. 

Achieve Success by Composting Your Stress

Do you see change as a source of stress?   Often we have aspects we want to leave behind, like garbage, that we see as stress. Thich Nhat Hahn, well known for his wisdom, suggests we might want to compost our stress. He says:

Stay Cool: Know the Three Brains of Success

Would you like to stay cool in times of stress? Would you like learn the hidden keys to happiness and success? Then check out some of the work of Dr.Paul Dobransky. He has written two most interesting books: The Secret Psychology of How We Fall in Love,and The Power of Female Friendship. A third book is forthcoming, The Three Brains of Mr. Right.

The One-Minute Happiness Shift

Successful Relating:
Fulfillment through Connection and Community
Alice Vlietstra, Ph.D.  Editor
The One-Minute Happiness Shift

In this issue:
1. Welcome
2. Stressed Out?
3. Try a One-Minute Happiness Shift
4. Announcements

1. Welcome
Welcome. Wow! Where has the time gone?  We are now ready to March into April. This month, with all the stress of the economy, there has been great interest in shifting to happiness.

I was asked to appear on a TV show "Great Day St. Louis." People are very interested in finding ways to release stress. In this e-newsletter, I am providing a one-minute stress reliever for you.  It is most helpful for staying calm in times of change.

2.  Stressed Out?   

Have you ever noticed what happens when you are stressed out? Your decisions are not your best. You might talk excessively, angrily lash out, or gobble down extra food. By contrast, when you are happy, calm and peaceful, it is much easier to be creative, insightful, and find solutions.

When we are stressed out, our higher brain, the cortex, shifts energy down to the lower instinctual reptile brain.  It reacts in primitive reptilian ways. The only problem is that a primitive reaction, like snarling or lashing out, does not work in the modern world.

Actually, it is quite easy to train the brain to calm and shift to higher functioning.  In fact, there is a simple three-step process that allows you to shift to greater
happiness in as little as one minute.  Rather than react instinctively, it helps you to find a solution.  I first learned about it from my sister who studied Heart Math.
Then one of my colleagues, Lynn Johnson, developed it as "A One-Minute Happiness Shift. It has three phases: Shift, Recall, Ask.

3. Try A One-Minute Happiness Shift

Here are the three steps:

Step 1: Shift

Shift your attention away from fear-talk to your breathing and your heart.  Breathe slowly. Celebrate being alive.  Notice, -- your heart is still beating. Continue to breathe and calm yourself for about 30 sec.

Step 2: Recall

Reflect and relive a positive emotion when you felt peaceful, confident, and secure.  Think of a time when you felt genuine love for someone. Let it fill your heart. The memory of this feeling will activate the frontal lobes of your cortex. Do this for 30 seconds.

Step 3:  Ask

Ask yourself:  What is the highest and best way to handle this situation?" Listen carefully to the wisdom that comes from within.  When you take time to quiet yourself with positive emotion, it activates your frontal lobes. This is the brain center for creativity and insight. Trust what comes and do it.

Sometimes it is hard to shift when the mind is very active. There is a difference between thinking and sensing.  In the shift, focus on changing from fear-based thinking to quiet sensing.  The sensing mind is more observant and notices without inner commentary.

Often we look for answers outside of ourselves that are better found within. The shift up process helps you to gain access to the vast resources of your higher brain.  Try it several times a day, and make it a habit. It will help you find your heart's wisdom in solving daily problems.

Have a Great Day!

Dr. Alice


Johnson, Lynn D. Enjoy Life. Head Acre Press:  Salt Lake City, UT: 2008.
4.  Announcements

Dr. Stan Fine and myself had great workshop last month "Secrets to Success."  We will be giving it again.  The date will be announced. Check out

We also had a teleseminar covering some of the principles last night.  If you would like to learn more about the teleseminars, just sign up at If you missed the call, you can listen to replay by
by clicking on this link:

On May 30th I will be having a workshop for women, "The Joy Spillover."  Email me for the flyer.


© Copyright 2009 Alice Vlietstra.  All rights reserved. The above material is copyrighted but you may retransmit or distribute it to whomever you wish as long as not a single word is added or deleted, including the contact information.  However, you may not copy it to a web site without my permission.


Disclaimer:  By reading this e-newsletter you understand that the information given in the e-newsletter, and related teleseminars, and blog are presented for informational entertainment purposes and "food for thought," not professional
advice. You are solely responsible for the use of the ideas, concepts, and content and hold Lifetree Solutions LLC, its members, affiliates, and
Dr. Alice Vlietstra harmless in any event or claim.

Newsletter Name: 
Successful Relating

A New Look at Stress

Successful Relating
Fulfillment Through Connection and Community
Alice G. Vlietstra, Ph.D. Editor

July 2006

In this issue:

1. Welcome
2. The Higher Self Stress Test
3. A New Look at Stress
4. Revolutionary Breakthroughs,
Evolutionary Solutions
5. Announcements
1. Welcome

Welcome. I hope you have been holding up through the summer
heat. Here in St. Louis we have had power outages.
It has definitely been a challenge.

In the last few e-newsletters we have been discovering
ways to grow into our greatness by tapping into our
values, character strengths and virtues. When we do so we
move into our higher self. We experience more flow, more
enthusiasm for life, joy, and well-being.

When we translate these values into our standards of behavior
for our relationships (our Code of Honor), they help us to rise
to the occasion to meet the challenges of life. How well we
handle these challenges, however, depends on our reaction to
stress. This will be the topic of the next two e-newsletters.

In our society, we typically see stress as outside
ourselves. It results from factors such as the heat,
the pollutants in the air, toxins, relationship upset,
and the demands of life. Prolonged stress is seen as
leading to disease, illness, and relationship breakdown,
and thus needs to be avoided.

In this e-newsletter, we are going to explore a different
approach to stress. What if stress was not the result of
life events, but rather our personal reaction to life events?
What if stress is something you can control? How would you
see stress if you could use it to learn and grow?

2. The Higher Self Stress Test

Consider taking the following test. It will help you see how
well you can handle stress.

What do you do when things happen differently than expected and
when life seems like storm? Read the following statements and
choose that which resonates best with you, A or B.

A. You go with the flow and creatively find ways to adapt to the
B. You get upset because things are not going your way.

A. You stay calm, cool, and centered.
B. You rant and rave, get mad, angry, and upset.

A. You feel confident and look forward to handling change.
B. You back off from change, fearing the unknown.

A. You generally have good health and experience few effects of
B. Stress gives you physical pain, illness, headaches and
stomach aches.

A. You take life's adversities as a lesson to help and serve you.
B. You feel that life is doing you in.

A. You use your spiritual resources to create new solutions.
B. You struggle in life, feeling you are a victim.

A. You can stay in the present, fully accepting what is happening
right now.
B. You don't like what is happening, talk about the problem or
daydream about a fantasy future.

A. You look at the situation and say, "Oh well."
B. You look at the situation and say, "Oh sh t."

A. You are compassionate with others, and also firm when
B. You like to think you are good, and when others give you
trouble, you give them "the bird."

A. You feel free to be authentic, the person you really are.
B. You go along with your image and who you learned to be.

If you resonated more positively to the "A" statements, you are
likely to use stress constructively in a positive way. You are
in your higher self and are more likely to create success and
manifest what you want.

If you find yourself resonating to the "B" responses, you are more
likely to experience stress negatively. You are frequently in
your "lower self" and struggle with the troubles of life.

The challenge is to be able to use stress to expand your higher
self and get past "the troublemakers." One of the masters in
understanding this process is Dr. Kurt Ebert, an internationally
known neuropsychologist and expert on stress.

3. A New Look at Stress

Dr. Ebert takes a revolutionary look at stress. Instead of
seeing stress as "out there," he sees it as our personal creation.
He sees stress as a pattern of response caused by our personal
perceptions, feelings, and thoughts. When stress is fully embraced
and understood, he believes stress can be used to improve our
health and well being.

He states, "It is what we think about an event, not the event
itself that matters. What bothers one person is easily
dismissed as meaningless by another." Stress lies in the
MEANING we give to events.

"Meaning is our personal creation derived from our history,
memories, beliefs, and values. Meaning frames the context
of our thoughts and research by molecular biologists clearly
indicates that our thoughts are directly related to our internal
well-being. . . thoughts are things; intangible and
scientifically un-measurable, but nevertheless impacts our
physical being. . . Stress does not cause disease, but rather
sets the context within which disease and dysfunction occur.
Similar to the power of prayer and acupuncture, stressful
thoughts can only be measured by their effect on the body or
the results that accrue from their use or misuse. To paraphrase
a well known sage, as you sow, so shall you reap."

Even more fascinating is the research Dr. Ebert cites to show
how our thoughts, conscious or unconscious, tune into what are
called energy fields, or "attractor fields." Like gravity and
magnetic fields, these fields are unseen, yet their energy
shapes our physical and mental being. For optimum health and
well being, we need to learn to tune into the high powered
positive energy fields of love, peace, and joy, rather than
to the negative ones that cause pain, relationship upset
and stress.

In order to do this, it is not enough just to focus and think
positively. Furthermore, it is not sufficient to know your
strengths and values, you also need to understand how to
handle the “troublemakers.”

Dr. Ebert believes it is critical to dismantle the negative
thought patterns and eliminate the energy fields that underlie
physical and mental stress. In order to do this, he developed
what is called the Attractor Field Technique (AFT).

4. Revolutionary Breakthroughs, Evolutionary Solutions

AFT consists of a group of treatment approaches that calm the
stress of our minds and undo the energetic distortions in our
being that result in disease, pain, and relationship upset.

At the same time, it is a psycho-spiritual approach. When AFT
is used to release energetic blocks, it increases spiritual flow.
We feel lighter, become happier, and experience more joy in our
lives. AFT does this by bringing about belief change through
forgiveness combined with the dismantling of the discordant
energetic field.

AFT is revolutionary in that it sees stress as our creation,
and thus is under our control, rather than outside ourselves.
It is evolutionary in that it helps us to experience our common
humanity by overcoming the judgments that keep us separate.

I find this most useful because AFT can be integrated with other
approaches to increase their effectiveness and to help find a
unique solution for each individual. Because it is holistic,
integrative, and inclusive, it paves the path for evolutionary
solutions. This is very exciting. We will explore this further
in our next e-newsletter.

Would you like to learn more about AFT? Dr. Ebert will be coming
to St. Louis to present a short workshop on August 20th and then
again for a longer two-day “Introduction To AFT “ on September
23 and 24. See the announcements below.

Warm Regards,

Dr. Alice

Dr. Ebert’s website:

Ebert, Kurt. From the Intangible to the Tangible: Understanding
stress. The Soul Esteem Edge, July/August, 2006.

5. Announcements

Dr. Ebert will be coming to speak in St. Louis on “A New Look
at Stress” on August 20. We will be doing an “A-Tractor Pull” to
unlock stress. It will be held at the Soul Esteem Center, from 2-5 PM.
The fee is $30.00 in advance, $35 at the door. Phone 314-576-5508
to reserve your place. Email me for a flyeror for any questions.

We will also be having a two-day workshop on “A New Look
At Stress: Introduction to the Attractor Field Technique" on
September 23 and 24, 9-5 PM in St. Louis at the Gathering
Place. Email me for a flyer or phone me at 314-729-2855

Copyright 2006 Alice Vlietstra. All rights reserved.

You have my permission to forward this newsletter to those
who might be interested.

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About Dr. Alice

Alice Vlietstra, Ph.D., formerly of the University of Missouri
St. Louis, was first trained as a researcher in Human Development.
This training provides the integrative developmental focus of her
work. Currently, she works as a family psychologist, coach,
and family business consultant. As a graduate of the
Authentic Happiness coaching program, she is trained
in promoting the positive. As a certified practitioner
of mind-body techniques, AFT and NET, she is also highly
skilled in understanding and releasing our blueprints
from early childhood conditioning. This combination leads
to high-powered strategies for enhancing our well being by
advancing our consciousness.

Alice Vlietstra, Ph.D.
12131 Dorsett Road, Ste. 220
Maryland Heights, MO 63043

Newsletter Name: 
Successful Relating
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