Lesson 3 - what is this activation stuff?
So now I think it is time to add some more layers to the things we can do differently.
Having our mindset in a stronger place has a big impact on our body, but now we want to encourage our body to be firing in the best way possible in order to support our new focus in our lives.
When we think a situation is overwhelming and out of control, we believe there is nothing we can do. Well, working on ourselves is a very powerful thing we can do!
In this next session we are going to look at how we get our breathing in such a good place that it will help us melt stress and give us so much more oxygen, needed to make ATP (which just happens to be the energy system of your body). So now we have more energy, our body can can put that energy to good work for us.
When we are effective in our breath, our body moves into places where it can rest, heal and recover. This is called the parasympathetic state. Here our minds are more relaxed, more creative and we find states of flow and connection. When we are doing this work with athletes, we talk about this as a state of performance - part of that is bringing your best self to any situation and making good decisions in these challenging moments. Don't you think the world needs a bit more of this right now?
We will start this section looking at a graph that physiotherapist Sarah shared with us on a workshop in the UK. She had been monitoring her stress levels throughout the day. The red is stress, and not the place you want to be most of your day. Mom, wife, physiotherapist was experiencing a serious level of stress until she took the time - see my big black arrow, to have her husband do an activation session with her (he is not a medical professional). The irony is in her work with patients, most of her time is doing activations with them...
This is a good example of how we get distracted and forget to take care of ourselves.
You will see how she moves from red (which is not where we want to be) to green (where we want to be) as soon as the session was done. What is more important, is she stayed there, even though she continued in her same world. The only difference was her body and mind were now in a stronger, activated and resilient state, so she not only felt better, but stayed there. This is a great visual to see what is possible.
The environment did not change (and right now there are a lot of things in our environment we cannot change or influence), but how she was in her environment was different...
What are Activations I hear you say?
Thank you, I am glad you asked.
Activating our bodies, which someone can do for us, or we can do for ourselves (very useful right now!), is away of bringing our bodies back to the default state we are meant to be in, where stress and survival are not driving our worlds.
We work off the idea that the body has only two priorities, to breathe and to move. Both are imperative for survival, and so the body is willing to sacrifice anything in order to make sure you survive (survival on the graph is the red). The problem is that if the priority is only survival, quality of life, how you feel, pain and dysfunction, are all sacrifices our body makes in the name of survival (when I write that, I feel it is very similar to what we are seeing happening on a global scale).
But what if we did not have to live in survival mode?
What if there were things that we could do to reset our system and calm and quieten it? What if these things could nurture and take care of us, and what we are feeling, and how we are dealing with the world around us?
I put this short video here because we know the body is amazing and we know that when we do the right thing, our body responds immediately. And in the world of BeActivated there are stories that often sound impossible or even improbable - in fact, I will put a short one below...
This is what is possible for all of us, but if we do it in increments of 1%, that too is amazing and incredible. Sometimes we have to coax our body to a place of calm and strength. And you may be thinking... calm and strength together? Yes, the strength of our system is the very thing that allows us to feel calm.