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The KEY Questions: How can I be less stressed?

30 September 17

The subject is stress.

What could be more thought-generated than anxiety? After all you can’t see it, hear it or touch it. There’s no denying it’s a response to external stimuli, but so what? There is nothing mandatory about it. In other words no one has to feel it. There’s no law says you must be stressed when faced with something that our society has decided is stressful. In a so-called stressful situation the enlightened human being – and I make no special claims for myself at this point – would not feel stress because he or she would not think stressful thoughts.

Many people find it hard to accept when I tell them that there is no such thing as stress, and I can understand why. It seems completely counter-intuitive, especially these days when life can appear random and hostile at times. What’s more, sharing and comparing our stress levels with friends and neighbours is pretty much a national pastime. “You think you’ve had it bad? Wait ‘til you hear what happened to me!” This sharing has a short-term therapeutic effect. We are relieved to ‘get it off our chest’ and feel a little better for it. But in fact all we are doing is creating more thinking – and therefore more stress – for ourselves. The act of sharing makes it real, when in fact it is all just neutral thought that has been ‘stoked’ into life. The fire was happily going out until we put another log on it.

What are the four classically stress-filled life events? You probably have your own list but in most surveys people name moving house, a death in the family, job loss and divorce. You tell me you had all four in one weekend? Ouch! That would surely be a ‘special case’ where stress is absolutely unavoidable? It certainly looks that way. But let’s look a little deeper. Right away from a personal point of view I can discount the last two. I’ve ‘suffered’ job loss and divorce and in each case the end result was very welcome. I’m not saying I enjoyed either but in fact what came from them was ultimately a more fulfilling job and a more fulfilling relationship. Good things.

And the first two? Well it’s true that we have a complicated conveyancing process in this country, with many people caught up in ‘chains’ and suffering frustration as a result. Armed with that knowledge the wisest thing to do is to see the whole process as a game, with the final outcome as unpredictable as the throw of a dice. People suffer needlessly because they look around their prospective new home and seduce themselves with the thought, purely imagined, that they already own it. Crushing disappointment follows when what was never theirs in the first place gets taken from them. Do you see how it works?

We all do it. But we do it innocently. We do it because we have been programmed to think that way.

Then there’s death. To say goodbye to a loved one can be painful and upsetting. There’s really nothing good to be said about death, especially sudden death. But we should all remember that it’s a natural and inevitable consequence of being alive and fearing it achieves nothing. The wise man points to road-kill and reminds us: that is our fate. But we can banish morbid thoughts. If you’ve ever cried at a funeral you know that there is love in those tears, there is hope and faith. In saying goodbye we affirm our deepest conviction that life is beautiful and precious.

Some go as far as to say that we need a certain amount of stress, that it’s good for us. It motivates and strengthens us. ‘Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ as they say. Is there any validity in this argument? Let’s see…

Lentils are good for you. Porridge oats are good for you. Bran Flakes are good for you. Those things exist in the world. But stress can only be said to exist in our minds, if it exists at all. Can something made of nothing but thought be good for us? No. Stress is not a thing. Therefore… stress cannot be ‘good for you’.

I’ve spoken about an incident where my daughter Claudia seemed to suffer some kind of a fit during lunch when we were on holiday. It was brought on by heat and she recovered fully. The point of the story was that I was calm at the time and only felt stressed later, recalling the incident. This is borne out by many, many people caught up in traumatic, life-threatening events, people held up at gunpoint, survivors of plane crashes, automobile pile-ups, fires and so on. Under extreme circumstances the body and mind seem to enter a trance-like state that evolution or our God-given spiritual intelligence dictates offers the best chance of our getting out alive. There is no thinking going on. We act in our very best interest. (I prefer to say that Mind has our back). Then what happens? We come away from the terrible event and we think about it. We wonder what might have happened …

And only then do we fall apart.

The injunction: ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ is in itself stress-inducing. It tells us we have every right to be fearful. Try explaining it to an enthusiastic seven year-old, full of life, bursting with possibility and potential, loving life.

It is only a thought. Do we need it?



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  • Having attended David's course and then had some one to one sessions with him my approach to my life has changed dramatically and improved. David has a very gentle and empathic way about him, yet managed to challenge my habitual way of being and thinking. As a result of our time together I now practice his "way of being" and I truly find that I am getting far better results in all of the relationships that I encounter. My inner chatter is under control, most of the time, and I am learning to pause and push away harmful thinking . It's surprising how habitual thinking can do so much damage and how, once you really focus on what comes into your mind you start to realise that you can be bigger than your random thoughts. So David thank you for putting me on a better pathway. Looking forward to sharing another journey with the Auspicium family!
    Rowena Wild

  • The course I attended with David Key was marvellous, every moment being filled with joy and laughter. David has a unique talent to teach, unlocking the full potential of every person he encounters. His course opened up an infinite number of ways for me to get the life I want, right now, today, and in the future. It made me realise that thought is fluid and that I can mould it the way I want to suit my day. I would highly recommend this course to anyone in search of a new professional career or for those who simply want a happier life. Thank You!
    Lucia Pohrebnyak

  • It took me about 5 years of 'dithering' before committing, and in that time I attended several introductory days from various training providers. David's accessible style and the unforced flow of the day is what persuaded me to choose his company. David provides a training model that helps you become your best self - as a student, as a practitioner, as a person. By 'best', I mean more open, less fearful, more confident, less judgemental - whether you attend the course to make a change personally or professionally, to build on existing success, or with no idea where it might go, simply because you are interested (that was me!) you will be impressed at what you are able to achieve with David's expert guidance showing you how to use your curiosity as a pathway to growth. In the first week following the course, I dealt with several potentially difficult situations both at work and home, coming from a changed perspective - resulting in no conflict, calmer colleagues, less stressed family. And this without actively using any techniques; the biggest change has been inside my own headspace. I can't wait to do the next course. Now that I know, unequivocally, the benefits to be had, I wish I had come down off the fence years ago! Added bonus, a bunch of fabulous new friends. And a final thought about cost; some of you reading this will be struggling to justify spending a chunk of hard earned money "just" for yourself. Well, I will be using these tools every day for the rest of my life - pennies a day investment! I am SO worth it. And so are you!
    Sue Bee

  • I first met David at an evening business club a couple of years ago. During his presentation something “clicked” with me and I felt compelled to further my understanding of NLP. I attended the Auspicium free trial day. My earlier feelings were confirmed. This guy knows what he’s talking about and has a passion for helping people. I duly signed up for the NLP and Hypnotherapy practitioner course. What a week. All in the class left in such high spirits with a very different outlook on life. Following on I have attended the NLP and Hypnotherapy Master Practitioner course. Again excellent. There was something about the Hypnotherapy element of the course that I loved so on to the Hypnotherapy Trainers Training (another absolutely brilliant week). All the courses that I have attended have been very well organised, have a great team of trainers and support volunteers. The documentation is well put together and the exercises are all structured to push yourself to show you have a grasp of the given subject. I now have a fantastic group of new friends who I have a deep link with. We still meet up when we can to catch up on what we are all doing. As of March this year I have been participating in the Auspicium Freedom Project. This is a yearlong “conversation” about the 3 Principles – Mind, Thought and Consciousness. It took me a while to “get” it but now just by “doing nothing” I find myself doing more with better results and no stress. There are no models or techniques to learn. We all have the Principles inside us. We just need to be woken up to how to use them. It’s a great journey that will take the rest of my life. David is a superb trainer and fully deserves all the praise he receives.
    Phillip Warris

  • Before going on David’s Practitioner course, I thought I knew what I wanted, where I was headed and how I was going to get it. All I wanted an additional skill to add to my portfolio. I thought my life was in reasonably good order, nothing that needed fixing. I can sum up my experience of working with David in two words: life-changing. Instead of just learning a new skill, David encouraged us to apply his teaching, our learning, to ourselves. In a very safe environment, I gradually dropped the barriers I had painstakingly built up over a long time. This change happened very quickly and I continued growing as a person, studying 2 more courses with David and joining him on the Freedom project. Why David? He is disarmingly honest, genuine and engaging. He has a very broad knowledge of human behaviour and passes his knowledge on with grace. As a result of working with David, I have changed, and my life has changed. In myself I am very happy and contented person. My marriage is better and stronger. My business plans have taken a different route - one that is exciting and feels very right for me.