Did you know that if your body is fully at ease, it’s biologically impossible to lose your cool?
That’s because, at the very core, your body has two modes,
- the sympathetic mode, the fight-flight-freeze mode, where cortisol is released into your systems, blood is channeled to the muscles, and the body is better focussed to meet the ‘threat’ – to defend or attack or run; or
- the parasympathetic mode, which is when your body is at ease, and is better able at taking in the “big picture”, feels compassionate and confident.
That’s why athletes jump-up and down to ‘pump’ themselves up before a competition – opera singers are known to slump on a chair to fully relax their bodies (not only the vocal chords) before a performance.
What’s the easiest way to calm down instantly? Totally relaxing the body and ‘zen-ning-out’.
This is biohacking at work.
You don’t need to be an athlete or opera singer – or a zen master – to benefit from it: you already have all you need: your body.
The key is activating or deactivating the right chemicals within – you have a cocktail of chemicals at your disposal: cortisol for action, oxytoxin for soothing and testosterone for confidence to name a few. With the right practice, you can activate… and deactivate… them on demand.
As Wendy Palmer writes,
“How we sit or stand can change the way we think or speak.”
That’s the inner chemistry at interplay.
But if you’re like most people, the cocktail is just not mixed quite right….
… leaving you either drained or hyped-up at the end of the day, impacting your mood, sleep patterns and relationships.
That’s why, habit #2 of the 5 micro habits for ease, is to label.
The sooner you practice HOW to label … the subtler and subtler pleasant and unpleasant signs…
.. the greater the chance you can remain at EASE, be the patient, confident and calm person you have access to within. even when you’ve been triggered.
But miss, dismiss or suppress the signs, and that’s when triggers can overwhelm you, creating DIS-EASE (aka disease).
The key is to catch the subtle signs – as and when they occur – so instead of your system unconsciously giving your cortisol shots – and getting surprised when you’re hammered and act out…
… imagine what your day, week, month.. life … could be like if you’re able to mix the cocktail in just enough to …
… stop unnecessary tension inside from escalating,
… start self-soothing in real-time and on-the-go by switching to ease on demand,
… keep calm, patient and confident, even under pressure.
Want to try out a micro exercise?
Step One: think of something or someone that recently that got you irritated, frustrated, annoyed or anxious. Go ahead – really think hard and imagine the situations for a good five or six seconds. OK?……
Did you notice what happened to your…
… facial expressions
… body language
What was the shift? Where was the tension? All of that was releasing cortisol into your system.
Now shake it off (ala Taylor Swift).
Step Two: Now imagine a cat sleeping in the sun. Ever so slowly, the cat stretches. Stretches just a bit more. Yawns. Then rolls over and flops to the other side. Watch the contented form rise and fall. Relax. Become the Cat. (This releases those ‘feel good’ chemicals.)
Step Three: Recall that same something or someone that made you irritated frustrated, annoyed or anxious in Step One. Notice a difference in intensity of the experience now?
HINT: There’s ALWAYS a subtle shift somewhere. It’s a matter of your level of somatic awareness.
BUT, here’s the deal.
You probably KNOW this stuff, right? But it just doesn’t stick. Here’s where the 5 micro habits comes in.
This method is designed to integrate seamlessly into your routine habits… from something as ‘simple’ like sitting and standing … so you’re gaining somatic awareness on-the-go, instead of waiting for ‘some other time’ to unwind, be mindful or meditate.
That’s because, sitting and standing BECOMES the meditation practice.
Micro-habits breaks the process down … into micro levels… so you can become more aware of how you are showing up in everyday life. It’s like pressing the slow-motion button for self-awareness – in our ‘fast’ paced world.
Master this technique for ease- and it’s practically impossible to lose your cool.
That’s because by reading your inner subtler and subtler signs – you will learn how to get your body to work with you – and not against you.
So the next time you feel unnecessary tension building-up inside remember to channel a little of that sleeping cat, basking in the sun. Notice how you’re sitting or standing… observe your face, body and breath … and stretch-out a little. And maybe, just maybe, also give yourself permission to discretely yawn. And see whether that calms you down, even just a little. As Eckhart Tolle writes,
“I have lived with several Zen masters — all of them cats.”
That’s bio-hacking at play.
And remember, all it takes to make it stick, are just these 5 micro habits.