Answer: Pace and Balance

As the Posture Doc, the most relevant theme that I have come to understand, treat and educate is the subject of balance. In order to offset the effects on gravity and physical stress on the body, it becomes necessary to isolate regions of body strain and imbalance in order to provide measures to apply counter forces that shift the body back to a state of equilibrium. This must be an ongoing dynamic process as the body is seldom static and is always in a state of motional change. A measure of physical health can therefore be defined by the capacity for the body to adapt to change.

How does this theme expand to other areas in life ?

By design, humans tend to struggle with change. The stress of the unfamiliar or unknown is perceived by the primitive brain as a threat. If the threat is not life threatening, then the manifestation of this fear or discomfort is typically avoidance. By limiting exposure to the threat of change, stress levels will consistently be lowered. However, like our bodies muscles, by not challenging them, they tend to weaken. The ability to tolerate environmental and emotional changes also weakens. This can lead to a decreased resilience and an increased resistance to change. Long term effects can include perpetuating fears and phobias, lack of coping mechanisms and mental stagnation.

Conversely, too much change at once can also be perceived as a threat If a person is placed in sudden extreme environmental cold conditions, the body does not have time to adapt and it is forced to go into a survival mode. This can lead to frostbite injuries. Another example would be mentally. If a person is presented with too much unprocessed information, they can go into a state of mental overwhelm. This may also lead to avoidance mechanisms to lower the stress of information overload.

So what”s the best strategy to achieve balance and raise our tolerance to stress and change ?

There are two approaches and solutions.

1.Pace yourselves slowly, incrementally and consistently
In order to stabilize and adapt to changes, especially those that involve overcoming a resistive force, it is important to go slow. Always come back to muscular training. When weights are lifted , multiple repetitions are initiated with light weights at first in order to build strength slowly and avoid fatigue and injury. Over time, the body adapts and the resistive load can now be increased. The progressive struggle allows the newly strengthened muscle to adapt and accept the increased resistance. Afterwards, it is necessary to rest and recover the muscle.This formula can not only be applied to all forms of physical sports training, but also to mental and emotional training as well. I call it the “figurative muscle”. When the neuroplastic brain attempts learns new subjects and skills, it needs time to recover in order to process and file and store the new information. That is why sleep is such an important part of recovery. It is more effective to learn in smaller, bite size intervals.

Remember NAOO means Not All At Once.

Give yourself time to stabilize and adapt before you introduce the next variable. When it comes to building resistance, increasing tolerance and improving resilience to change, SLOW AND STEADY ALWAYS WINS THE LIFE LONG RACE.

How can you put this in practice the next time you feel like avoiding something? Might I suggest the following

    – walk for 2 minutes outside
    – open up one letter in the mail
    – do 2 push ups
    – read one article
    – clean one plate
    – write one paragraph
    – eat one piece of fruit
    – pick up one thing off the floor
    – call one person
    – pray or meditate for one minute

These are all easy wins designed to positively reinforce your mindset, lower your perceived fears and prepare you for future more challenging tasks. Remember, certainty and competency come only from consistency and repetition, so whatever you do, do it every day! Lifestyle habits can only happen from a reinforced nueral pathway. That means repetition over and over again. Practice , Practice Practice and then rest and recover.

It is such a simple formula that it is often overlooked or taken for granted. The only way to judge the merit of this method is to put it to the test in action. HERE IS MY CHALLENGE FOR YOU! For 3 weeks, try one suggestion . Pick one that is the most important to you. Try it once and than track your streak for 21 days without missing once.

Very Important! You will need to give yourself a daily REMINDER. Establishing a new pattern requires a daily visual or auditory CUE before it can take over. Initially, there will be too many existing distractions that may interfere with your ability to recall performing a new action that you have not been doing regularly A phone app notification,alarm or strategic visual placement usually works. Then give yourself a small reward for keeping the streak going each day. You’ll be amazed at how much initial momentum you gain once you pull it off. From there, a newly developed rhythm will give way to a new groove.

2. The second way we sustain lifestyle change comes from creating balance in areas of life that are stable, predictable and reliable vs those that are novel, new and exciting.

This is a very detailed strategy to understand so I will devote an entire blog to that next week. Until then stay tuned and please share your thoughts.