Stress is at the root of all ‘dis-ease’ in the body.
Dis-ease: Lack of ease of flow; blood, lymph, nerve… energy.
To get your mojo back, your body needs to be in a relaxed state.
– This is one of your body’s ‘non-negotiable’s’.
Are you fighting with or listening to your body?
One of the most pivotal lessons I had to learn is that chronic fatigue is not something to be fought. Chronic or adrenal fatigue (reduced energetic functions) is your body telling you that it is struggling to cope with the current demands.
Yet, with any reclaimed energy, I was pushing myself to be as active as possible.
Passing my black belt grading and fighting full-contact Muay Thai in the ring.
…wading out into bloated rivers to undertake white-water rescue and capsize drills throughout the winter.
Barefoot, feeling every step on the hard, frozen ground as we raced towards the lake during an expedition training weekend and plunging into the icy, February water…
My hands coarse, after shredding them on the razor sharp cliff barnacles whilst coasteering, before jumping off the edge of cliff into the pounding, thunderous waves to climb and swim between the rock stacks.
Carrying a kayak on my head through the woods for miles, because I was too stubborn to share the load…
…the time spent upside down, underwater, learning how to roll a kayak and then running rivers in the floods.
I still hadn’t learnt how to ‘take it easy’ – So I ended up wiping out.
Want to change [your life]?
Different approach = different result
Sympathetic Nervous System
AKA Fight, Flight or Freeze
The SNS prioritises ‘now needs’ and is activated in response to threats (whether real or perceived) and during stressful situations to prepare your body for action.
- Stimulation of the adrenal glands to release adrenaline
- Increased heart rate
- Tenses muscles
- Reduced digestive function
Parasympathetic Nervous System
AKA Rest & Digest
The PNS controls your body’s equilibrium and devotes energy towards healing, rejuvenation, digestion and other functions necessary to sustain health long-term.
- Controls Homeostasis; maintaining a constant internal climate
- Decreases heart rate
- Relaxes muscles
- Increases rate of digestion
Both functions are play a vital role.
What we need to be aware of is which function is most active in our daily life.
So while you may not be facing grizzly bears on a daily basis, Fight, Flight and Freeze reactions can still dominate everyday modern life:
Fight = Resistance
Fighting against what you don’t want vs. channelling energy towards what you do want.
Every time I got a job, the first thing I would do is hatch escape plans – even if I enjoyed the work.
I just felt so strongly that being employed was not how I wanted to spend my life.
“If you don’t set your own agenda, somebody else will.”
So I had to change how I worked.
…Because there’s no point trying to run up a escalator that’s heading downwards. You may as well jump on that one that’s heading in the direction you want to go.
Obvious in theory, yet not always practiced!
When you are in the state of resistance, energy is disjointed; directed towards various fighting battles that don’t need to be fought.
So one way to boost your mojo is to stop battling what you’re against, and instead, channel that energy towards what you want.
In doing so, you maximize Ease of FLOW.
You may discover that you have more energy than you realised.
Flight = Avoidance
A constant state of busyness, ever-preparing vs. taking the time to relax.
There is always tomorrow, until there’s not.
I use the train regularly, and one of the nicest things for me is to sit and look out of the window as we weave along the river, past fields and woodland, spotting deer, rabbits, birds of prey and the occasional fox.
Yet as I look about the carriage, 99.9% of the occupants have heads down, blinkers on, hypnotised by their mobile.
Without this technology, I wouldn’t be able to work remotely, so I’m big fan, however, this is how I see ‘Flight’ playing out in modern day.
– We’re all hurtling onwards, busy, busy, busy, feeling the need to distract ourselves during any lulls, as if we may fall down a great chasm if we stop.
This leads to a state of hyper-activity, where we are switched on, literally, 24/7.
Chronic fatigue may be most commonly associated with low, ‘hypo-energy’, yet hyper-energy may be even more prevalent. You never realise how exhausted you are, because you never stop to find out. It’s amazing how far you can push on with momentum behind you, adrenals firing and large amounts of caffeine.
This is not a sustainable source of energy.
Relaxation gives your body the chance to restock reserves and get real energy flowing.
Freeze = Procrastination
Suspended between options vs. making decisions that move you forward.
I spent a great deal of time waiting to get good; ‘trying’ versus just doing. So this is where you make halfhearted attempts, but never truly put yourself out there to potentially fail. Because that would be life un-affirming/embarrassing right.
But you can’t make progress on something that you never start.
When you are in a state of procrastination, energy is dispersed to cover all bases. This leaves you suspended between all possible options – and that’s a lot more options that you could ever comprehend, let alone do something with.
…So you never really make any decisions (in case you make the wrong one).
This leads to stagnation.
Energy is available here too, it’s just currently spread too far and wide so little impact is seen or felt.
Conditions will never be perfect, so unless you’re at waiting for a weather window to go for a summit attempt, work with what you’ve got now.
Make a decision. You can always make another.
De-stressing means getting back to basics:
Nature + Movement + Breathing + Meditation