Dec. 20, 2022

Practical Solutions to Help Unresolved Stress that is plaguing our Lives


Christopher Maher is a former Navy SEAL who endured intense physical, mental, and emotional stress as a child. By combining a “seal mindset” with modern stress management strategies, Christopher taught himself to free his body and mind from pain by developing mental and physical tools for eliminating unresolved stress. Christopher studied Traditional Chinese Medical Practices at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and at Yo San University before continuing his studies at The Universal Healing Tao System. He is a student of Grand Master Mantak Chia at the Universal Tao Master School in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and is currently pursuing his Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Connect with Christopher here: https://www.truebodyintelligence.com

Try this exercise to remove unresolved stress from your life: https://truebodyintelligence.com/bestercise/

In this episode we cover the following topics:
-Living With A Lifetime Of Unresolved Stress: The Signs & Physical Symptoms Of Unsolved Accumulated Stress
-Stress Management Vs. Stress Resolution: What’s The Difference & How To Find Permanent Solutions
-Escaping The “Fight Or Flight” State Of Mind: How Incorrect Perceptions Of Reality Fuel A False Dichotomy Between “Fight” & “Flight”
-Modern Day Stress Management

Check out The Bright Side of Life Podcast here: https://www.thebrightsideoflifepodcast.com/

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Transcript

Christopher Maher:

You mean stress manifests as tension in the body. And if I removed the tension, I could actually remove the emotional distortion from the trauma as a child, and that would simultaneously remove the stress that caused the trauma.

Melissa Bright:

Welcome to The Bright Side of Life, a podcast where people share their personal stories of struggles, pain and grief. But through all of that, they are still able to find the joys in life. Hello, hello, everyone. Before we get started with today's guest, I just want to tell you since we are five days away from Christmas, and this is the holiday season, I just want to tell you that I hope you guys have a happy whatever holiday that you're spending. And that you get to spend time with loved ones and friends and family and whoever it is that you're spending time with. And I also want to say that if you're not feeling it this year, if you're struggling, if you're not happy, please know that you are you're not alone. And I know sometimes that doesn't help. But what this time of year does is just kind of put this facade when you see commercials and Facebook posts and all these things that just seems like so isolating, like, am I the only damn person on the planet that that doesn't feel happy or, you know, isn't struggling when everybody else seems so happy, I can assure you that that is not the case. There's so many of us, myself included that is still struggling, you know, with things going on in my life. And this being my first Christmas, you know, without my boyfriend and six years, and there's just so much going on in people's lives. And so I just want to say that you're not alone. And I promise you know, I do see you and I know sometimes it doesn't help when people say that, you know you're not alone and you're like well, I still feel alone. It's not helpful, but if I can just offer offer that that don't have expectations of what you should feel like and what you should be feeling right now feel whatever it is that you need to feel and if it helps to write down these thoughts, then write them down just get them out and try to do something that you enjoy if you just want to lay on your couch and watch Christmas movies then so then so be it you know there you only need permission from yourself. Not from anyone else. So I just wanted to say that today. And we will now bring on today's guests. All right guys. Hello everyone and welcome back for another episode of the bright side of life. I am your host of course Melissa bright and today we are talking about the fun topic of stress. Yes, we all know stress and what it is and especially this time of year can be quite stressful. But today, my guest is going to be talking about this topic in great depth. And you will be getting lots of takeaways such things like looking for signs and symptoms of unresolved accumulated stress, stress management versus stress resolution and so many more things. But before we get started, I'm gonna read a little bit about my guest and then I'm gonna bring him on. Christopher Mar is a former Navy SEAL who endured intense physical, mental and emotional stress as a child. By combining a seal mindset with modern stress management strategies. Christopher taught himself to free his body and mind from pain by developing mental and physical tool tools for eliminating unresolved stress. Christopher studied traditional Chinese medical practices at the Pacific College of oriental medicine and at yo son University. Before continuing his studies at the universal healing Tao system. He is a student of Grandmaster Montauk Chia at the universal Tao master school in Chiang Mai. This is a mouthful to Thailand and is currently pursuing his master's and doctorate degrees in traditional Chinese medicine. Christopher, welcome to the show. Thank you for being here. How are you doing today?

Christopher Maher:

I'm doing great. And thank you. It's a rainy cold day in Los Angeles. So I had a quite a long drive to get here. Yeah, happy I made it safe. Because it was really pouring down. Man. I was up early and it's cold here in LA. I mean, it's 42 degrees. And everyone thinks clay. Yeah, I mean, everybody thinks it's it's sunny in Southern California. That's like a total myth. Yeah. Okay if you're near the ocean, that cold wind and breeze hit you. It's it's, it's as cold as it is in cold places in the United States right now. So

Melissa Bright:

yeah, that is so true. My so my brother was in the Navy and he graduated in Chicago. And from boot camp, and literally his graduation I think was on Christmas Eve and from the lake in the wind. It it literally made it that much more cold. I so when you say like being around the ocean, it being colder. Yeah, it definitely makes it feel so cold.

Christopher Maher:

Well, I went to boot camp there as well. And in December also, and I remember how cold it was in Chicago in those tiny toast me, the bell bottom pants that they give you to walk around in the Navy, the wind is coming. I mean, yeah. Oh,

Melissa Bright:

does every does every Navy person go to Chicago?

Christopher Maher:

No, no, there's a there. Well, when I was in, like, obviously the military, it's changing the way it does things all the time. So I've no idea how they do things. But in 1988 There were a few places you could go. You could go to Orlando, you could go to San Diego or you could go to boot camp in Chicago. And I have no idea why I agreed to go through boot camp in Chicago, obviously had other choices. But I listened to my Navy recruiter, and I went with what he presented me with without without doing proper investigation.

Melissa Bright:

Okay, and where were you in? 1988? Like, where were you living? Were you in California then?

Christopher Maher:

No, I'm from Pennsylvania. Okay, gotcha. So born in Philadelphia, went to boarding school in Hershey, Pennsylvania. My mother's from the coal regions of PA. Okay. So what do we say sort of like mid to southeast, Pennsylvania. Okay, I grew up in Hershey. Lovely, beautiful place, went to boarding school there and a Milton Hershey School. Got a great education and it got socialized in a very unique way. Was powerful experience.

Melissa Bright:

Okay, now it's funny you say San Diego because my brother then went to San Diego to finish? Well, no. He was West Virginia at 1.2. But then wound up in San Diego. Lucky him. Yeah, he enjoyed it.

Christopher Maher:

He enjoyed San Diego's beautiful. Yeah, exactly. All

Melissa Bright:

right. Okay. So, before we get started, I know, you know, I already read a little bit about your bio, but I would really like to unpack a little bit of that story more, just so people can know, you don't have to go into great detail, but just what it meant to really endure that kind of stress as a child. And this is of course, and always just to kind of see if my listeners can relate to this story to say, okay, you know, I might have the stress too. So if you wouldn't mind just telling me a little bit more about your childhood?

Christopher Maher:

Yeah. I mean, it's, it's easy. Yeah. I mean, one of the first things for me really is growing up in a household where you had a mother who was really stressed. Right? And so, being birthed to a mom who is having some emotional challenges. And, you know, if we, if we catapulted her forward to today, she would be diagnosed with being having mental illness, right? She committed suicide by the time she was 29. And so she had a lot of struggles from things that she experienced in her younger years in terms of trauma. And, you know, I had a babysitter who was, how do you say, she had a break from reality, she thought that the best way to teach me to not play with matches was to put my hands on the gas. So while the stove was on, and, you know, that created a significant amount of physical trauma, but also energetic and emotional trauma, where by the time I was a certain age, you know, I was already displaying high display displaying outwardly that I was in a high stress state. And the way that was happening is I was a stammer. I was stuttering. And I was already wetting the bed on a semi regular basis. I was super super, super shy. Yeah. So you look at me today. I'm the opposite of those things because I chose to do something about it. I decided that, well, you know, the things that I've been through, those are not going to be my story. Right, I decided to go in and make significant change.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. Now, before we address that, I wanted to ask you, because I did say today's topic was stress. And without being assuming, when you talk about stress, are you talking about trauma? And if not, if you can differentiate the two, and it's not that I don't know these things, I just want, you know, listeners to understand and if they are the same, and you're like, No, they're one in the same. You can say that, too.

Christopher Maher:

Yeah, I mean, I'll give the listeners a really, in depth education. So you have daily stress, right. And daily stress is all the stress that you consume that day that you didn't recover from, with a good night's sleep. Okay, so now that daily stress gets plugged into what's called your lifetime accumulated stress, right? So a daily stressor could be having to sit on a road for 60 minutes in your car. Okay. And if you got to sit there for 60 minutes, and your low back starts to get tight, right stress could be you've got a six month old baby who is up at two o'clock in the morning, because they're severely stressed, and they're screaming and yelling, and, and you get a poor night's sleep stress could be you didn't get a meal that day, because you're so overworked and so focused, you don't have time to eat, or you you more appropriately, you didn't prioritize eating, okay, or you didn't get enough water that day, or you had a terrible communication experience with your husband, or your brother came and took something out of your closet without your permission. Jimmy, like any one of these instances, can cause you stress you go to work and to your co workers have been fired. Right? Or let go. And you know that one of them is already living paycheck to paycheck. And they're, they're, they're single mom, right? So any one of these outer instances that you fail to recover from fully in a 24 hour period is called your daily stress load. Okay. And again, your daily stress load gets added to your lifetime accumulated stress load. If you don't do something to remove that daily stress, right. And so, daily stress that goes unresolved for a long time, every day, you put in a little more, the next week, you have a chunk more than next month, you got a bigger chunk, right? And it keeps growing, that eventually turns into what I call Strama. So Strama is stress plus time, right, that transforms into trauma. And the reason why I created that term is because there was nothing in modern society that I read and investigated that talked about how we move from accumulated daily stress into a traumatic state. So for instance, you could have a woman who's 43 years old, and she has let's say her, her menstrual cycle pain has doubled every decade, right? Well, there has to be some way for accounting for that so much so that when it hits, she can't get out of bed for three days and go to work. Right. So I would call that traumatic. Okay. Okay. And so for me, there's distress. And if you put distress on a spectrum, right, it would go from Strama. That eventually over time, right, stress plus time that goes unresolved is trauma that eventually turns into trauma. So it's the same as if she had been in a car accident and had a somebody hit her bumper a little bit too hard. And now her neck and her shoulders are a little bit stressed. That might be a one time event. But let's say you have a woman who works at a sewing factory, right? And she's sitting up here with her shoulder super high, or biceps are short every day her hand is locked in his specific position. And now she has the same pain that the woman has that was in a car accident, but she has it because it's something that she accumulated slowly over time, that eventually turned into the same thing that the woman is experiencing that has a traumatic Car accident, right? So. So there has to be a new term that's developed to understand what people actually have it. That's why because you talk to a lot of people that think why I don't have any trauma, because they associate trauma with like, oh, well, my dad never came home on a drunken Bender pulled me out of bed and beat me up. Okay? Yes, every person you've ever met, at some level has a significant amount of trauma that's being held in their body, okay, in their brain and their nervous system. And so if you're a listener on the call, guess what? You have Strama, you have distress, and you definitely have trauma that's turned into trauma if you're old enough to be listening to this call. Okay. Yeah. So everybody has it. It's whether or not you fit into one of three categories, right? And for me, there's three major categories. There's stress, ignorance, which is where most humans are, right? There's stress management. And so there's two forms of stress management, there's positive stress management tools. And there's negative stress management tools, and then their stress resolution, right? I literally own the entire market share of stress resolution. Because I've searched high and low to see, is there anything out there that actually resolves your daily accumulated stress, your lifetime accumulated stress, or any level of trauma that you've been through from womb to 13, when your mind was still in a pre cognitive state of function? And the truth is, there isn't. So I had to create it. Because for me, I had a deep desire to change the narrative to change the story. It's so fortunate. For me along the way, I met a lot of amazing people that knew a little something. And none of them had actually put it all together, because none of them was driven, driven up, the benefit of me going through SEAL training. And being in the SEAL teams is my determination. And my ambition was met and challenged constantly when I was in SEAL training in the SEAL teams. So I walked away with the ability, knowing that whatever came in front of me, I would be able to resolve. Yeah, right. It's like if if you want to get something done, right? Ask somebody in the SEAL teams. Just literally, it's like, even if they don't even know anything about plumbing, right? Again, if SEAL teams will come to your house, and he will figure it out. Because we are determined. Yeah. So I used the pain that I had in my body, right? The loss of vision, the loss of hearing, the restriction and my range of motion, the poor sleep, the constant waking up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. The emotional disconnection, the dissatisfaction in relationships, I use those as opportunities to look deeper inside of myself and go, Hey, how did I get here? Because there was a point where my vision was great. My hearing was great. My sleep was perfect. My relationships were good. What happened? Something must have come into me. That's not part of me. That isn't who I actually am. And all these things happened to me when I was severely young. Yeah. Okay. So you would expect this kind of story? Yeah, guys in his 50s. In his 60s, he starts to experience some aches and some pains and some restriction is, he's getting up in the middle of night to go to the bathroom one or two times, even according to Chinese medicine, that would be understandable. But for that to be happening to somebody when they're 29, when they're 30, when they're 31. Okay, now that needs to be checked, that needs to be investigated thoroughly, to see what's going on. Lucky enough for me, I was super young. And I had a lot of core energy. Because I had all that core energy, with my determination and discipline. I could take this, and with my mental aptitude, I could figure it out. Right. And again, like I said earlier, I was fortunate enough to come across a bunch of people that knew a few things. And then I took what they had, and and I decided to build something that actually worked from the ground up was foolproof, and answered the call every time.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, so I want to bring it back to you. You have honestly answered a lot of questions I was already going to ask so thank you for that. What made you choose to be a Navy SEAL? Well, first of all, I'm going to ask a question you. You have, do you have to get chosen? Or do you just decide I want to be in the military and navy seal is what I want to be?

Christopher Maher:

Well, when you go to a boot camp or when you go to a military recruiter, right? Their job, it's a slot you in, where they have deficiencies in the military, right? Ah, okay, so the guy that I went to, in in reading PA, he was just trying to get bodies in the door, he wasn't really interested in what I wanted to experience. But I told him, I wanted to go to SEAL training being a SEAL teams. And of course, probably in the back of his mind, he's like, Haha, I've heard this before. Right, right. And I went there with one of my one of my brothers from boarding school. And guess what? He sent me into the military, but he didn't put me on the right program to get there. So now I'm at boot camp, they go, Hey, we're gonna show you a film to show us a film about about the Navy SEALs, I think it was like a 45 minute pace. And I was like, I already said, this is what I came here to do. And so then I had to go down and take a physical evaluation test, right? You got to swim, do some push ups and pull ups and do a run, all those kinds of things were really simple. For me, the thing is, I only weighed about 116 118 pounds at the time. So I was very, very small. And I was still only like five foot six. Okay. And fortunately for me, I started to grow, I got up to about almost five foot 10 165 pounds. So that really changed the narrative for me, because as I started to eat, and train, my body started to grow quickly. All I needed was a little bit of stress and, and the right program. Yeah, yeah, that wasn't all that was required, you had to take what's called a piano to test. And then you had to do all these other physical, all these other physiological evaluations. And then you have to go, I had to go to a ship. First, I went to the USS Fulton, in New London, Connecticut, which was what you call a sub tender. And I went there, and I had to I had to endure what it was like to be in the regular navy. Right. And it's, it's not that that's not an honorable job. It just wasn't what I signed up for. So I wasn't happy to be there, to be honest with you. So I went into town and found a job. Right. So I was on the ship during the day, but I had a job at night. And then eventually enough time passed where I had, I went through evaluation board, and I was able to send off my evaluations plus all the other tests, right. And then it's called, I forget what it is like is 60, no, two dash seven or something. And you send us off to Washington, DC. And then there's a stack of these and they pick from that stack who gets to go. And I got my orders. And I was off to Coronado. And so that was from the time that I started. That my focus that would have been in July 1988. And by the time I got there, they got my orders. It was 9090. Right. So in my mind, I'm already thinking I'm two years behind schedule. Yeah, yeah. But looks sometimes I don't know if you have a relationship with God. But the way that I think about things is that everything happens the way that needs to happens for a reason there's purpose behind it. And so that's always been my motto. That's always been my belief system. Maybe I created it to help me understand or get beyond my own stressors and limitations in life. Or what we will call my, my, my genetic and environmental predisposition. Yet, that's what's worked for me. And so I had good feelings by the time that I got there. And then I started to training and the training is no joke, right? Like buy from the time you get up in the morning. Like you're constantly moving. Like everywhere you go, you have to run, there's no walking. Like there's literally no walking, take that out of your

Melissa Bright:

vocabulary. It does not exist anymore.

Christopher Maher:

Yeah. And and it was a good place. You know what, when you're young, and you have a lot of energy, and you're a goal oriented person like I was, and you're result oriented and focused. That's a place you go to get challenged other people. They had different ambitions me. I looked at SEAL training and SEAL teams as an opportunity for me to grow. And I wanted them to challenge me and challenge me They did. And they found my weak point. And my weak point is I was super, super lean. And so I was highly affected by the cold water. Right? Other guys, they couldn't swim fast enough. They couldn't run fast enough. They weren't smart enough. That stuff was easy. Being athletic. That stuff was easy for me, right? Being smart. fortunate. I always had a high aptitude. That was simple for me, but the cold water. Now that was a challenge. Okay, not because I wanted to quit, but because I literally almost couldn't move sometimes.

Melissa Bright:

And that's out of your control out of my control. Yeah. And that's hard. Yeah, that's

Christopher Maher:

hard. And it was hard for me to let go of control. Right. Yeah. Which is probably why I stayed when when I was freezing.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. No. Oh, my gosh. So Okay. When you talk about your childhood, and you had all this stress and trauma? Were, I don't know if you use this word healed? What did you already have an awareness that you wanted to be? Not better, but you wanted to resolve this stress before you even got into the seals thing? Because it sounds like you already had a great head on your shoulders before you even join the military. And if you did, what is my question? It wasn't that the Navy, it wasn't that the Navy? Like, that helped catapult it but you already had like a great head on your shoulders, even though you had I had this trauma from your childhood. Does that question me?

Christopher Maher:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it makes sense. This is easy to answer for me. I think because I endured so much from womb to seven. That probably from from seven to 18. I had 11 years, right of observing myself. Right. Okay. And my limitations. And so I was able to observe myself, every year speech getting a little better. My comfort level with other people getting a little better, my ability to perform getting a little better. And by the time I graduated, and I was I think it was 17 when I graduated. I had already outperformed my predisposition.

Melissa Bright:

Wow. Okay.

Christopher Maher:

So. So when I went into the military, and I looked at the SEAL teams and SEAL training, that was only going to push me further. Yeah, right. Yeah. And. And so my, my goals, I think, what was like 18 1718, I think at 18, I wrote down a list of all the things that I wanted to experience. And when I wrote that down, now, they call that a bucket list, right? Yeah. So so let's say, let's say I wrote the original bucket list, I think there was like 25 things on it. Right. And one of the things was once I read the biannual magazine about SEAL training, and SEAL teams, you know, that was going on my list. And I felt like that was if I could get through that experience, and get into the SEAL teams. I knew somehow deep inside that that was going to be the thing that allowed me to know that no matter what came in front of me, I was going to be able to address it.

Melissa Bright:

That was like your number one answer.

Christopher Maher:

Yeah, that was that I knew I would have the confidence in order to address and deal with what was ever, whatever was presented to me.

Melissa Bright:

Okay, by light. Did you ever because that's, that's a great way to put that. Did you ever do it to prove to yourself that like, has some, a lot of my perceptions are always coming from this not enoughness? I need to achieve to feel like I'm enough. And I'm, I'm worthy of

Christopher Maher:

for sure. I mean, I wrote a whole book about it. The book is called Free for life. And as I go through my buyout, the first part of the book is a biography. Right. Okay. And then the second part of the book is the philosophy and in the philosophy, I go over, you know, looking for the gold star to say that I was winning at life. And I think kids who are traumatized at a very young age, are looking to prove that they have value, because whenever you're traumatized, the external suddenly has more value because it's too heavy to spend too much time inside. And so I became outward focused. Okay, yep. Okay. And you know, when you don't have a dad that's around On a regular basis, you know, walking you to school town, they knew how important you are showing you consistent states of affection and love. And that's not happening from your mom. And you're getting at at a boarding school that's really run more like a functional institution, then, you know, because in the student homes that I was in, there was two House parents and over 16 kids. So to imagine there's kids right now, right? They're 25 to 28 years old, it just got to college, you're going to see a therapist, because they don't feel like their mom gave them enough love. Right? Yeah. So imagine being in a boarding school, one of 16 students, and you got to house parents, and they have to show you enough affection and love. And at the school, the house parents are taught to not favor any children, right? Because you don't want dissension amongst the ranks, because all those other kids are going to pick on that kid. Right? Yeah. And the house parents are gone in their apartment, that we're going to beat that kid up. Oh, you think you're special? Let's show you show you how special you are. Right? So I think for me, I, I crave that affection, right? I crave that recognition. And so I got a lot of recognition for being smart, I got a lot of recognition for performing really well in sports. And so I was going to take avenues that allowed me to continue to to get that recognition. Okay, I would, my assertion, my my, my looking back over everything is that if I had been if I had grown up in a household, and I had a mother and a father who had displayed, you know, high states of affection and care, and gave me enough space to make mistakes, without without ridicule or punishment, then I believe my focus would have been very different. I would have been looking, what value can I add to the outer world? Versus what recognition can I get from the outer world. And I think that that juxtaposition, you know, would have been far more valuable, yet for what I was sent here to Earth to experience and provide and offer in these challenging times that we are. And as a culture, as a community, as a nation as a globe, was to go through those experiences and because I have the mental aptitude, and the ability to to look from neutrality across my existence from moment till now and look at it objectively and subjectively, you know, I can use those experiences to go hey, how about I teach you had a dis destress. From the lifetime the daily accumulated stress, trauma and trauma that you experienced, so that you could actually move through life, as if you were raised by parents, who were consistently affectionate, and loving, and caring, and nurturing and inspiring. And now that's available. So through the, through the work that I've created, I can take someone regardless of how stressed or traumatized they've been, and I can get them to operate from a place of neutrality. And for where they see the world as they want to add value, regardless of what their history was. Okay,

Melissa Bright:

you explain things so well, wait, you literally paint this like perfect picture? And I'm just like, listening so intently.

Christopher Maher:

Well, you'll be able to go over the recording. Yeah, I've dropped a lot in here. One thing that I I gave three categories, right, I gave stress ignorance. Right that your callers obviously are shifting from stress ignorance to in the know, right. Yeah, but the thing that they have to know is stress, ignorance versus stress management, right. And positive stress management tools would be tools like meditation, exercise, clear communication, authentic self expression. Yoga. Journaling levels, yeah, journaling, you know, deep I consider journaling, like deep levels of internal honesty, right? Oh, yeah. Right. And then you have deep levels of external honesty. And then what you have are negative stress management tools and if your listener on the call Then you want to listen to these. So your negative stress management tools would be excessive exercise. This gets highly overlooked, right? How many times have you been driving? You see some, like 65 year old guy, he's running and both his knees are banded. I mean, bandaged, right? Yeah, they're they're heavily rat, or you go to the gym and the guy's shoulders wrapped and his elbows wrapped. Okay. Okay, so excessive exercise, and then you have excessive work. Right? Do you have the workaholics and then you have the people who are like, they just lay in bed all day, right? Or they get home from work. And they play video games from like 6pm till midnight. Okay. And then you have these stress management tools that are negative in terms of chemicals, right? So you got nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, refined white sugar, refined brown sugar, recreational drugs, pharmaceutical drugs, food colorings, and preservatives. Okay, so these are your negative stress, stress management tools, okay? Or yelling, screaming and punishing other people, right? Judging harshly. Criticizing harshly disapproving harshly, getting in an overly moralizing position and preaching at everyone. Right? These are other stress management tools. Well, those are great, right? Yet, at the end of the day, what if you could shift from your negative stress management tools into positive stress management tools? And I feel like that's where we're, you're accurately are at in the world today. People are able able to own own right, that they're stressed, like, go on a flight, sit in the first row next time, right? And walk from the front of the plane to the back and see how many women that you see have thinning hair on the crown of their head now.

Melissa Bright:

tons a lot more. Yeah,

Christopher Maher:

a lot more. So when I first got on the flight, that was one of the things that I noticed. I'm someone who's observed as I'm always checking things out. And now I walk from the front of the plane to the back. And it's like, it's astonishing how many women are thinning out? Right? Why? Because they're under high levels of stress that they were never under before. Right? So if you got someone who's got chronic headaches or even intermittent headaches, okay? Or they have intense menstrual cramps, or they have toothaches, or they're losing their vision, or they're losing their hearing, or they got poor sleep, okay? These people are highly stressed. Okay. Anyone who's using any one of these daily drugs, nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, refined sugars, recreational drugs, what they call plant medicines. Those are recreational drugs, too. Okay. And, and pharmaceutical drugs. These people are highly, highly stressed. Because if you weren't, you would never use those. Yeah. Because a person who's calm, grounded, centered and aligned, never wants to leave a state of neutrality. Because in neutrality, guess what you can access the brighter side of life. Yeah, you can access the brighter side of life when you're in neutrality. But when you leave neutrality, you're in what's called a state of vested interest, and invested interest. I need things to look like this sound like this and be like this, in order for me to be okay. In neutrality, everything around me can be chaotic. I can't allow all this chaos to happen around me. yet. I still maintain my alignment and my center line without judgment, disapproval, criticism, or from an overly moralizing position.

Melissa Bright:

Hmm, you're saying way too many things that I'm guilty of?

Christopher Maher:

Yeah, but it's good. Because when you hold up the mirror, right, like, the beautiful thing about you is you're willing to be honest, you're willing to go, Hey, I do do these things. Right? You go, Oh, you mean that's really caused by stress? Where's the stress held? Is there is there any Oh, you mean, stress manifests as tension in the body. And if I removed the tension, I could actually remove the emotional distortion from the trauma as a child, and that would simultaneously remove the stress that caused trauma. And allow me to consciously look at my limiting beliefs from a neutral position and resolve them. Oh, that might be Interesting. Yeah. Might I take a little risk? Right? And look, anyone who's listening on the call now? I think it's great. All right, here you are, you're taking risks, you're spending an hour of your day of your time, going, Hey, I'm stressed, I want to learn everything I can. To reduce it, what you need to understand is what it turns into. Great. Stress always turns into relative and reflective amounts of tension. Always gets turned into relative and reflective amounts of tension in the body, but also in the brain and the nervous system. Okay, though, it affects you electrically. Right? It affects you magnetically. It affects you structurally, it is it, it affects you, conceptually, right. It affects your perspective. It affects your mood, it affects your energy, it affects your ability to analyze, to feel to sense the thing to remote. And so neutrality is the place to get to because once you're in neutrality, you're able to take ownership of the things that you're saying, and the things that you're doing, that are going against your own internal set of ethics, morals, values and principles. Okay.

Melissa Bright:

Let me ask this obvious question. Okay. We've talked about a lot. And I just feel that my listeners are like, this all sounds great. But my stress the the things that are causing the stress, saying the commute to work, the I'm always at my typewriter, this is what I do I type all the time. These things are going to be here. I can't get rid of them, Christopher. So what do I do if they're still always going to be there?

Christopher Maher:

Perfect. It's an easy thing. So what I exposed earlier is that you need to understand what unroot your, your unresolved daily stress loads turn into, right? And I said they turned into tension. And so there's, there's only one solution like, look, meditation is great. The meditation will not resolve your lifetime accumulated stress load, not in a million years, not in 2 billion years. Okay. All right, if you believe that, okay. It's like fool's gold. All right. Now, how do I get at it? If I can't get it through meditation? And exercise? is putting more tension in? What's my solution? Is my solution yoga? No, because it's passive exercise, right? You can never passively remove something that was actively introduced. You can never really, you can never passively remove something that was actively introduced, right? You have to go through active removal strategies, right? And so I created a process called Best or size right. Now, what does best or size stands for it stands for best which are bio energetic self transformational sequences. And it allows you to utilize three forms of contraction, concentric, which builds strength, okay, isometric, which recruits more fibers write more muscle fibers. And eccentric, which removes tension, strengthen, recruit, stretch, strengthen, recruit, stretch, strengthen, recruit, stretch, keep doing that again, and again and again and again. And then what happens is you dissolve, you start dissolving daily accumulated stress, and every day you take out a little chunk of your lifetime accumulated stress. And now we're talking because 28 days from now, if you were to get on a routine, and I offer one of the best in a program that every one of your listeners gets to take for free. When they go to the website, when they go to true body intelligence.com They can email at support at true body intelligence.com And they will give them access to the free gift package and the free gift package. I give them one best or sighs right. Okay. And it's for the large intestine. The reason why I chose that one, is because most people complain of tension and stress around their head, shoulders and neck. Yes. So if they do that best their size for 28 days in a row, at the end of that 28 days, the tension around their head, neck and shoulders is going to have is going to have reduced itself severely. So much So that now when they're at the typewriter, right when they're driving and holding the steering steering wheel for an hour, and they get home at night, the next day when they wake up, they're not going to feel it. Because we use force, right? Eccentric contractions are 30 to 50%, stronger than concentric contractions. So when I access the eccentric phase of the best or sighs process, I'm removing massive amounts of tension. If you're a 48 year old guy, and you do that for 28 days, you may have moved decades, decades of tension and stress that have come into the back of your neck and shoulders. That is relief. Now suddenly, your coffee doesn't look as interesting. Suddenly, the wine it doesn't taste as good as it used to. You want to know why? Because those things look great when you're stressed. But when you're neutral, those things look like Yeah. Yeah. Think about the first time you tasted coffee where you're like, Oh, my God, this is so good. No, amazing. The first time someone handed you a beer, right? You're like, oh, yeah, well, when you're highly stressed, you know what the earth beer tastes like water. Okay, okay. Coffee tastes like candy. But that's because it matches your stress load. Right. So think of tension and stress. When you reach a certain load, it creates a vibration, it has its own form of intelligence now, right? And now it's attracted at a vibrational level, it's attracted to substances that match that vibration. Well, what does caffeine match caffeine matches excessive amounts of dopamine? Yeah. Right. So what's coffee? Take dopamine? Yeah, right? What's alcohol? Fake serotonin. Right. But they're fake. Because they're fake. They create more problems than they solve. Mm hmm. Like, if you go to mirror, go to the mirror before work, you look in your face and you got big bags under your eyes, you're highly stressed, you got organs that are robbing from Peter to pay Paul, to give you enough energy to get out the door. Like if you need two or three cups of coffee just to be present at work. What's that telling you? That talent that's telling you that you're actually way behind the curve? And now you're using a substance to pretend like you're present. And you're not, you know, it's present. Stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. Yeah, and you're driving off of those rather than real energy. So for your listeners that are thinking, Well, how do I change this, you have to have a successful pattern interrupt, with no pattern interrupt, you're going to keep on doing the same old thing that you've always been doing. And look. Until now, there weren't stress resolution tools. So I get why you're using what you've been using. Right? People are going to use what's available to them. But once you're in the know, you can no longer pretend that that's a solution. Right? It's a negative stress management tool. Yeah, that means it creates more stress. Right, marijuana. It's an anxiogenic What's it mean by anxiogenic? It's an anxiety causing agent, caffeine. It's an anxiogenic. And it's an anxiety causing agent, alcohol, it's an act. It's an anxiogenic nicotine. It's those are all anxious. Genex. Right? What I mean, that means they create anxiety. Yeah. Now, when you're on them, there's a false reduction in your anxiety, but the second you come off them, your anxiety starts shooting back up. Yes. So most humans are on a biochemical roller coaster. OPERS during the day, downers at night. What's their downer at night? Alcohol or pumpkin pie? Alcohol or pumpkin pie? I'm attacked. Right? What's what's their upper the approach or simple caffeine or soda? Yeah, right. Fake energy, followed by more fake energy. Do that for a couple of decades right? And then you go down, you got important business meeting you reach down to tie your shoes and bone. Your one of your discs slips out of position because your your tissues are so dried out and so dense in your body so toxic that now you've got a chronic problem in your body that you can't run away from.

Melissa Bright:

Oh, how okay. What part did you learn? Because I'm so curious about the Chinese medicine. What made you choose that Ave wasn't an experience that you had that worked for you that you're like I want more about.

Christopher Maher:

Yeah, for sure. So I worked with a guy's like, like an Asperger genius, okay. And he taught me some very interesting work. And I did that work on myself a lot. And I realized, as I was doing the work, that it was not only affecting me at a physical level, in terms of a massive reduction in the level of discomfort and stiffness that I had in my joints, it was affecting me at an emotional, psychological level. And he was someone who hoarded information, because all of his esteem was built from what he learned and figured out, right, so someone who comes from that position, it doesn't read social emotional cues very well. He thinks his value comes from what he created, right? So he's protecting that. And so I decided, look, you got some great information, why don't I and his a lot of his information was based on Chinese medicine, the roots of Chinese medicine, okay. And so then I said, you know, what, I'm not going to participate in a relationship like this. It's dysfunctional. I'm gonna go, I'm gonna break the relationship, I'm gonna go study traditional Chinese medicine on my own. I'll go to school and get a formal education, right. And then once I'm married those two bodies of knowledge, and I started to understand and really deep meanings behind Chinese philosophy and Chinese Meridian theory. And I started to put it into my own practice and my own investigation, because by nature, as I said earlier, I'm an observer, right? And I'm a scientific minded person. So I liked one I like to synthesize systems, I like to see what real value is in them. And then I like to add them to my own process to see if they actually do what they say and say what they do. And the majority of them don't. They promise you a mile, and they offer you an inch. Yeah. And this is why I think and understand why a lot of people have been frustrated when it comes to looking for a holistic solution to physiological, structural, emotional, and psychological and spiritual challenges that they're having. Because the tools that are out there and are available, they don't they don't offer enough punch. Yeah, right. They don't generate enough force. And I realized that the greatest thing about force, the more force, you have the greater change you can produce, right? Yeah, little force, little change, no force, no change, big force, big change, maximal force, we get maximal change. And so I've been fortunate enough to be able to take all that information from traditional Chinese medicine, and look at it from a very physical perspective, a very intuitive perspective. And then add in my scientific mind and my ability to research effectively, to produce repeatable, verifiable results every single time. And then to then teach others to do the same thing. So we've been able to impact the culture in a very big way in terms of stress reduction, right? Creating a successful pattern interrupt, and allowing, and then teaching others how to do so in the benefit of what we do at your body intelligence is we teach you how to do it to yourself. Why? Because the only way to empower someone is to teach them to fish. Right? Because if I teach you to take care of yourself, then when your challenges come up, you don't have to lean on me i I'm allergic to codependent dependent relationships, right? I'm into interdependent relationships. What's the only way to create an interdependent relationship with someone you have to teach them what you know? And you have to be willing to share? I was in a dynamic where this guy he was he was shared a little bit. But I wanted full access. And, you know, he where he was at an emotional level, he was able to provide that.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. And it's good that you saw that.

Christopher Maher:

That's right. And the truth is, is if he did what I have gone out into the world, and investigated thoroughly and traveled all over the planet looked over, under every stone that I could to find more answers, I probably wouldn't have I probably would have relied on him. And so in a certain way, his choice to withhold information allowed me to investigate thoroughly and to take on My challenge is as my responsibility. And that's what everyone who's listening here is understand your stressors are your responsibility, right? I gave you the four keys, the three paths that you need to understand stress, ignorance versus stress management versus stress resolution, what to stress resolution mean, it simply means that I have resolved my daily and the lifetime accumulate distress load is being held in my body, my brain and my nervous system. Okay, every day, are we accumulating more? Yes, we are. But when you have powerful tools for change, you can you can remove the daily stress that you picked up, like I just drove three and a half hours this morning, right? I can spend literally four minutes I got out of the car, I was like, Oh, this is a little tight. That's a little tight. Okay. I walked around for a few minutes up, I fell back to normal, but there's a part of me that knows, I need to spend five to seven minutes today at some point, removing some tension and stress from my body. Yeah. And I can do that I know exactly what to do and how to do it. That's it, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, and it's over. I'm moving on to the next moment. Right? I feel like

Melissa Bright:

this is going to be a bold statement. But I feel I feel like I'm on to something. There are different people that might feel that stress is only in a certain place, like where you talked about, it's only it's in the brain, it's in your nervous system, and it's in your body, where a lot of people are like, I'm stressed, they're thinking about it. So then it must only be in my brain, or, Oh, I only feel it here in my body. It's not affecting my mental health, my brain, when all three are absolutely connected, and you have to address all three before you can really see a change in that. And I think that's one of my biggest takeaways that I want people to know. Just like with trauma that we've talked about, I feel like many people don't realize that trauma is actually stored in your body. It's not just your brain, and it's just up here. And I can just think this away. No, it's It's in your body, too.

Christopher Maher:

It's in your body. Yeah. So even if you live in the Crystal Palace, which is someone who's the thinker, right? Most people's minds are running. They're spinning too fast, right? Or their thoughts are fragmented. Right. And if you're ungrounded, emotionally, which means you have anxiety, anyone who's listening, right now, if you have any measure of anxiety, if any measure of discomfort, stiffness, or pain in your body, if you have any measure of, of reduction of energy in your system, meaning if you're 55, and you have less energy than than when you were five years old, that's a reduction in energy. And if you have a mind that has fragmented thoughts was running, or is running too fast, you're highly stressed. Those are your four worlds physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, right? Okay. Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. So what you have to do is you have to engage in what I call the honorable quality. What's the honorable quality? Honesty, there's two versions, there's interesting as outer honesty, go to a mirror in your house, and sit there and talk with yourself honestly. Okay, do an honest assessment of what's actually happening in your life. Ask yourself, is my energy a 10? out of 10? Is my emotional wellness, a 10? out of 10? Is my Energetic Health a 10? out of 10? Is my physical health and wellness the 10 out of 10? If it's anything less than that, right? Yep, take a risk. Okay. And risk is very simple. Order the book I wrote. It's called Free for life. Right? Navy SEALs path to inner freedom and outer peace. Read the book, get a basic education. In the last section. I talked about the five systems within true body intelligence, right? Get access to one of these systems and start reducing your lifetime accumulated stress love day. I've worked with in on people for a long time. And whether you're seven, or you're 77 years old, people's lifetime accumulated stress load is on average and 86 out of 100. That's average Joe or averaging 86 out of 100. That's too much. Yeah, that's a lot. Right. If you could get that down to 50. Your aging process would stop up overnight, right, your face would still be attractive, your body would be strong, your energy would be abundant, your mind would be clear your emotions would be grounded, your sleep would be satisfying. Your food would taste amazing. Like when you continue to be dishonest with yourself, right? You reduce your ability and opportunity to have an extraordinary life. Okay? Because your perceptual filters, they change, they reduce, you have to numb, people are numbing out from the stress of life. And they're so numb, they think that they're not stressed, which puts him in a category of stress, ignorance. If you're using substances to avoid feeling, you're highly stressed. Right? And so the key is honesty. That's it, get in the mirror, have an honest conversation with yourself, look yourself deep into look deep into your soul and go look, why am I missing out? Okay, and again, if you have headaches, okay, if you have poor sleep, if you have discomfort in your body, if you have an overactive mind, if your emotions are ungrounded, and you're dealing with anxiety, if you have relationship issues with your mom, or your dad or your husband, or your children, or your best, all these are all of these are indications that you're highly stressed. And you've got to be honest with yourself. Okay, anyone who's listening, I get it. I was there. Okay. Having a clear mind is amazing. She said several times on the call. It's amazing how well you explain everything. Do you think this because I'm special? No, it's because I put a little bit of time in, right. And that little bit of time allowed me to have a very clear mind, I put a little time in. And that allows me to have a very comfortable body, I put a little time in, that allows me to have intense amounts of energy every single day. If I sleep three hours, it's not an issue. If I sleep two hours, it's not an issue. If I only get one hour sleep, it's not a problem for me, I could have three hours of sleep four to five hours of sleep every night for months, that I still function at a very high level. No nicotine, no caffeine, no alcohol, no sugar, no chocolate, no recreational drugs, no pharmaceutical drugs, I don't have any ArtStyle that my energy, I'm going to be 60s Pretty soon. And everything is functioning as it was designed to be. And if it's the opposite for you, okay, that's where you have to take a risk. Take a little risk, you're worth it, I promise you. Maybe your parents never told you that they loved you. Maybe your dad never hugged you the way needed to hug you. Maybe you had a teacher who kind of shut you down and humiliate you in front of other students. Maybe you didn't have a lot of athletic potential, but you're interested in sports and, and you never got picked for the team. You know, maybe you know your IQ is average. And but I don't believe any of that. I believe every human on the planet is extraordinary, and has access to some level of genius that they were born with, if they're willing to do the work to get in there and get it out because stress reduces your intelligence. That is the biggest thing that people need to understand. It reduces your intelligence. What do you mean by intelligence, your physical intelligence, it reduces your emotional intelligence, it reduces your spiritual intelligence, it reduces your analytical intelligence. Which then means if you reduce it, it does the exact opposite. It increases your emotional intelligence. It increases your physical intelligence and increases your analytical intelligence and increases your spiritual intelligence. And now, when you get to the crossroad of life, instead of turning left like you always do into self defeating behavior, you decide to turn right. Because you've had a successful pattern interrupt with no risk of sitting in front of the mirror talking with yourself. You're never going to attract anyone to you that can help you have a successful pattern interrupt and I have created a system that interrupts every pattern that I've ever known successfully.

Melissa Bright:

You're amazing. If people will check that out. They seriously that I want to get your book. I seriously want to get your book.

Christopher Maher:

Yeah. It's gonna be a game changer. When you get my book. You have my number. Yeah, easily. You call me. We sit down we have a conversation and and I'll do everything that I can help you. Perfect.

Melissa Bright:

Perfect. Well, you have seriously covered so much So in this hour, is there anything else that you want my listeners to know about stress? Or anything else? I know we've covered a lot, but anything that you

Christopher Maher:

Yeah, yeah, I mean, sure, like, Look, if you're feeling anxious, let's say you're getting ready to do a speech or, or you got to go up in front of class and present something, or you're dreading this emotional conversation with your why, or whatever you're under right now. Realize that, look, you're on a planet. And there's a lot of powerful tools in the world right now. Okay, and this is a time in humanity, where it doesn't matter how much money you have, okay? See, before, people who had resources, they were the ones who had access to all the good stuff. Right. Now, the let the playing field has been leveled, where the average Joe and the average Jane, as long as they care about themselves enough to grow beyond their own limitations are willing to take a risk. There's ways of interrupting the stress patterns. And the easiest one is if your anxiety is, let's write it from zero to 100, if it's at a 30, and that 30, feels overwhelming, sit down, and breathe really deeply for like three or four minutes, right? All the way out super slow, all the way in super slow. Do that for three or four minutes, I promise you, you're gonna get an immediate reduction in your anxiety level and your stress load and you will be able to perform appropriately. That doesn't cost any money. All it requires is a little bit of time. And there's people on YouTube that are teaching people how to do breath work, right? Yes, that's a nice reduction. Is that going to change your lifetime accumulated stress low? No, never, not in a million years. Anybody who tells you that is full of it. Okay, I'm into, see, I don't have the opportunity to pretend I can't live in fantasy, I have to live a reality. And in reality, you can have an interrupter for that moment. But if you really want to get the most out of this body, this brain, this gift that you've been given, you've got to reduce your lifetime accumulated stress load, and your daily stress load. Which means go to true body intelligence.com start to follow me, among a lot of podcasts that educate people. There's a book out there that you could read. It's inexpensive, like, look, it's LA, right. If you want to get a good burger, you have to pay 25 bucks. Yeah, right. The book is like 9097 or something. Right? You have to take risk. Like if you don't invest in yourself, how do you expect the universe to invest in you? Yes. Okay, obviously, you're on the call, because you care enough. Right? Yep. Take some risks.

Melissa Bright:

Such a good point. Such a good point. And I cannot stress no pun intended or pun intended. Oh, the breathing it is He is so spot on. It can it can change a lot for anxiety. And I say this every time on my podcast, like it all sounds great in theory, and you're like, Yeah, that sounds great. No, I've never tried it. Really. You're just going to tell me to breathe? Yes, we are telling you to breathe, because it is going to calm down your nervous system. And it will help you

Christopher Maher:

in the moment and we're saying what we're saying is in the moment. Yes, that's causing you to be in a state of overwhelm. Before the long picture. It is it will never be a substitute for reducing your lifetime accumulated stress level. Okay. We have to live in reality rather than fantasy. Yes. Okay.

Melissa Bright:

Exactly that. All right, Christopher, I have one last question that I asked all my guests and I'm going to ask you the same thing. In your own words, what does the bright side of life mean to you?

Christopher Maher:

The right side of the life means to me having an opportunity to experience what it is I really want in life. And to be able to share, right to be able to share the gifts be able to share the love that I have to be able to share the wisdom that I've gained over this journey in this life and to being able to have opportunities to explore the world around me with from a place of neutrality, right? Like I just I just I love people. I love humans. I love animals. I I love that I love mountains. I love oceans, I love lakes, I love traveling into all of it puts me in a brighter side of life.

Melissa Bright:

I love that. Thank you so much for coming on here and sharing everything I have learned so much. And I know my listeners, too. So thank you very much.

Christopher Maher:

Thank you. Thank you. And remember, learning is wonderful. But heartfelt action to your own benefit is where the rubber meets the road. You got to take action. It's nice for me to come in here and download you would information and understanding and, and provide clarity for you. You have to be willing to take action, heartfelt act and to your own benefit.

Melissa Bright:

Yes, that's exactly it. I say that so many times on my podcast, I they're probably tired of me saying that. Okay, so that definitely was probably one of my most favorite episodes. In terms of having an expert on my podcast, I absolutely learned so much about stress. Not that I didn't know that stress wasn't held in our bodies, it's just a different way. It's not even a different way of thinking about it. It's just a broad, more more in depth way that I learned about stress and trauma and Strama, which is a new word that we all need to start saying. But yeah, I hope you guys got a lot out of this. And please, please go check out Christopher's work. His epic or his website is in the shownotes. So go check that out, get the get on his email list. You guys can get some things that you guys can do to start reducing these stressors, stressors because we know that they're not going away. We are always gonna have things coming at us all the time. But he really wants to help people. And yeah, I just want to say thank you guys for listening. As you know, please feel free to send me any of your guys's questions if you guys have any questions about this episode. Otherwise, you guys know the drill. Please, please share this episode with anyone you know, that may need to hear Chris's story because you never know if this is the one that puts hope back in their heart.

Chris MaherProfile Photo

Chris Maher

Author & Former Navy SEAL

Christopher Maher is a former Navy SEAL who endured intense physical, mental, and emotional stress as a child. By combining a “seal mindset” with modern stress management strategies, Christopher taught himself to free his body and mind from pain by developing mental and physical tools for eliminating unresolved stress. Christopher studied Traditional Chinese Medical Practices at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and at Yo San University before continuing his studies at The Universal Healing Tao System. He is a student of Grand Master Mantak Chia at the Universal Tao Master School in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and is currently pursuing his Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Traditional Chinese Medicine.