Ivan Barzakov, Ph.D.|
Too many people in our modern world live with negative stress. They seek relief through pills, therapy, exercise and even mind-numbing hours in front of a television. While negative stress may be reduced, it returns because people have not learned how to address the underlying causes of negative stress. OptimaLearning® provides a specific mental technology that helps individuals not only reduce negative stress, but also transform it into increased motivation and working capacity which lead to super productivity.
Let me highlight several unique and systemic processes in OptimaLearning which create this transformation:
» Methods of Coping with Negative Stress
» OptimaLearning Method for Stress Transformation
» How does the OptimaLearning System approach negative stress?
» Critical Difference From Other Methods
» Enlarging to Transform
» Educative Feedback™
Some methods of stress control are logically grounded and possess a solid scientific base. These approaches are usually limited to reduction of negative stress and when properly applied yield very good results. Most of them do not include transformation of negative stress into positive stress, or to use Hans Selye's term "eustress." Selye is widely recognized as the progenitor of 20th century stress theories. The Relaxation Response appears to be one of the best techniques of this type. The well-known scientist, Dr. Herbert Benson at Harvard Medical School, developed it.
Other approaches rely on autogenic training, biofeedback or progressive relaxation in order to reduce the impact of negative stress. If these methods are appropriately used, they also produce good results. However, their impact on contemporary destructive stress and stress factors is considered incomplete.
Many authors of self-help literature give various recommendations, instructions and rules for eliminating negative stress and related complications. These recommendations, although sometimes useful by themselves, are not systemically connected. They demand usually too much time and considerable effort to perform or sustain. That is why they are rather inapplicable. Such "pieces of advice" and "admonitions" often rely on giving up some "pleasures," which have become or are perceived as harmful. These benevolent pieces of advice conceal some threat and bank and usually remain in the realm of good wishes. A great part of these pieces of advice suggest behavioral changes but do not show the way these changes could be achieved. A great effort of self-control is needed in order to overcome the emotional barriers. Such barriers usually remain and the person continues to "explain" and excuse the failure to follow such valuable advice.
These shortcomings are overcome to a great extent in the OptimaLearning system. Also the OptimaLearning system is not bound by any religious or philosophical beliefs. It is universally accessible and creates a spirit of tolerance and mutual understanding in interpersonal relationships. It has been accepted enthusiastically by thousands of people of various ethnic origins, religious and philosophical convictions or educational background.
First and foremost OptimaLearning reduced negative stress and transforms it into increased working capacity and motivation. It should be emphasized that this approach to negative stress is comprehensive, multifaceted and systemic. This creates a wider psychological base for elimination and transformation of both stress factors and negative stress itself.
The OptimaLearning system has been successfully demonstrated and utilized in seminars, teacher training, consultations and public presentations in more than 15 countries on four continents during the past 16 years. These experiences show its effectiveness in a wide age range and its potential to achieve positive results in a great variety of ethnic and religious cultures.
One of the most substantial features of this system is the unique integration of musical, visual and other artistic emotional stimuli into the rational-cognitive process. In this way "global and dynamic activation" of the whole brain is achieved, that is, a simultaneous activation of the neocortex (with its left and right hemispheres) and the subcortical areas (the limbic system and the reticular formation).
This purposefully orchestrated and synchronized brain activation releases hidden energy. The released energy is then directed through special techniques towards the individual's productivity and creativity, to better thinking and increased motivation. This enhanced productivity or super productivity, additionally reduces negative stress and transform it into positive stress, known as eustress.
Super productivity is a very important outcome of the OptimaLearning system. It distinguishes this system from other methods of relaxation. This phenomenon has been observed in practically all cases of successful application of OptimaLearning. Super productivity is defined here as the acquired ability to accomplish more in the same or less time, with a better quality of work, with less effort and with more creative inspiration and desire.
Super productivity is attained in OptimaLearning not just through the complex integration ("orchestration-synchronization") of rational and emotional stimuli and processes. The integration of acoustic, visual, kinesthetic and tactile modalities plays an important role also. The development and interrelation of the complex intellectual processes such as analytical-rational, intuitive-rational, artistic-intuitive and others are of special significance. All these elements stimulate mental activity globally, in addition to the physiological brain activation, which is strictly dynamic. The formation of an optimal environment as well as the acceleration of the unlocked creativity (creative potential in action) and the rising motivation contribute significantly to the optimization of the working or cognitive process.
One of the key OptimaLearning techniques, the Super Relaxation (reduction and elimination of accumulated stress) yields the same results as those by Dr. Benson mentioned above, that he labeled "the relaxation response." Benson has demonstrated that during a relaxation response (relaxation reaction), the oxygen consumption always goes down and remains at a lower level even after the meditation procedure has ended and until the end of the relaxation reaction.
During sleep, the oxygen consumption goes down more slowly than during relaxation of this type. The difference is due to physiological reactions related to relaxation, slowing of both heart rhythm and breathing, lowering blood pressure and muscular tonus, distinct presence of alpha brain waves. All these are important stress reducing factors.
This technique gives us a very good tool for acting upon and normalizing key physiological functions. Also this has been confirmed in the studies of Rossner, Benson, Marzetta, and Klimtchuk as early as 1978.
Many positive effects are also observed in another type of meditational relaxation, "with tracking out the thought" (John Kabot-Zinn, director of preventive and behavioral Medicine, University of Massachusetts. It is very similar to the OptimaLearning technique "contemplating the thought," and produces practically the same results. This technique enables us to effectively act upon fear and pain syndromes. Fear and pain are known to dramatically increase the negative stress in many instances.
It is interesting to note that the "hypnosis with suggestion of deep relaxation" (the Silva method, for example) yields, according to Benson (1975) inconclusive results with regard to important factors, such as lowering blood pressure. In contrast the relaxation response consistently shows conclusive results in lowering blood pressure.
Other techniques are also used to accomplish this, such as:
Furthermore, this OptimaLearning technique allows the individual to mesh the emotional and cognitive dimensions of professional improvement and to marry new physiological and psychological strengths. OptimaLearning helps persons cope with life's changes. Statistical studies carried out in different countries around the world have demonstrated that one of the most crucial stress factors nowadays is change or more precisely the anxiety caused by change.
The potential to attain an ascending spiral of wholesome and dynamic development of personality is also fostered. The more effective the reduction and transformation of negative stress, the more productive and creative the person, the better the quality of life. Motivated, creative, positive people become highly productive, super performers. The energy of negative stress is freed to move into super productivity.
(For consulting services and OptimaLearning training available, see Services)
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