30 Day Challenge/Day 6: Opening to the Uneasy

When we really look at this idea of having an Uneasy feeling we normally consider the bad aspects of a particular moment. Instead, we should recognize that being uneasy is not only natural but actually very helpful. Since the earliest days of humanity, the approach of predators and incoming danger sets off alarms in the body and allowed for evasive or defensive actions. These alarms become noticeable in the form of a raised heartbeat, sweating, and increased sensitivity to surroundings.

The danger causes a rush of adrenaline, a hormone and chemical messenger in the brain, which in turn triggers these anxious reactions in a process called the “fight-or-flight’ response. This response prepares humans to physically confront or flee a potential threat.
The issue is that often times we have not experienced this physical response enough so that when it does occur we are not prepared mentally and emotionally to understand what is going on physically. This is the value of training for “self-improvement through self-defense.” It gives us a safe place to simulate situations and we can recognize our responses and work through them.

For Example: In the book Originals by Adam Grant, he describes a study in which they took a group of speakers and asked them how they felt prior to their speeches those that stated negative terms such as “worried”, “nervous”, etc. showed lower levels of success. Those that used positive terms such as “excited” had much higher levels of success. They then worked with a different group of speakers and got them to simply keep repeating that they were excited rather than negative terms to describe their feelings prior to the speeches and the new group was able to replicate the higher levels of successful speeches.

In our training, we have the opportunity to simulate unfamiliar situations and work through them. Which will allow for familiarity to be developed through repetitive experiences. We learn to recognize the situations and recognize the physical responses we are contending with. In time we can start to connect responses and tap into the “pain/pleasure” aspects of our psyche. Ideally we can then re-frame negative aspects into a positive experience. Sort of like a massage. Often times with sore muscles, a massage can be quite painful. We learn that it’s going through that pain that is ultimately going to relieve the soreness of the muscles. We then also enjoy the endorphins that have been stimulated due to the massage and these culminate into a unique euphoria.

Then like the massage, as we understand its purpose, we can increase the intensity of our simulations to push our comfort levels and learn to successful overcome greater levels of uneasiness. In time we start to recognize the positive side of our uneasiness. We know that getting through the situation will allow for a wonderful sense of accomplishment. The opportunity to fulfill goals and reach greater levels of self-improvement without worry or anxiety. Through our experiences we become more connected and can embrace our natural physical responses. Using them to guide us towards success in our everyday encounters.

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