Political posturing is happening already. Thank goodness for streamed TV and the ability to avoid those dreaded ads that will soon fill the airwaves!
We may not make policy or participate in debates, but we too can manage “states”. In fact, we manage the most important “state”….our own!
In the past two weeks, I have shared the POWER TOOLS I presented at the recent NCATA Summit. POWER TOOL #1 - choosing one thought over another. POWER TOOL #2 - using Ted Lasso’s approach to enhance our response-ability.
POWER TOOL #3 – MANAGE YOUR STATE!
All three of these tools are so closely related and EVERYONE you lead can get better at them and with them!
Managing our state can make our other power tools even more powerful! If we are able to manage our state, we are better at choosing one thought over another and being response-able.
The opposite is true, too. Choosing one thought over another and responding productively can enhance our state!
What comes first? I think it depends on the day and the situation.
Power tools 1 and 2 are “top-down” approaches. We think, feel and do. Power tool 3, for this discussion’s state, is a “bottom-up” approach. We change how we feel and think and do differently.
Unlike some of those who lead our States, we always have full control. Or maybe I should say we have access to full control. (I know I am not always in control, and I have a job because most others aren’t either 😊).
However, to manage our performance, we must first manage ourselves!
Remember the thoughts -->feelings --> actions --> performance --> results equation? Sometimes we can choose another thought to perform better and sometimes we can adjust the way we feel to do better as well!
Champions are pros at changing their states to perform at their best. It isn’t about how they feel. It’s about getting to the state that allows them to be their best!
The questions they ask are simple! “How do I feel?” How do I need to feel?” “What do I need to do to get there?” They know the answer to the third question because they have re-engineered their best performances and fully examined the factors that led them to their optimum state!
We all perform our best in a certain “state” and we need to be fully aware of what levels work for us and which ones don’t!
Peak performance is about getting ourselves to our peak state and staying there, regardless of circumstances!
The cool part is that we always have access to the most powerful “state changer” in our breath.
Need to get fired up? Increase your inhales.
Take THREE POWERFUL BREATHS focused on your inhales or try DOUBLE BREATHING.
To try Double Breathing, inhale through your nose with a short and quick breath followed immediately by a long and forceful inhale without an exhale between. Immediately after your long inhale, exhale through both your nose and mouth with a short then elongated exhale. Do this 5 times to fire up your sympathetic nervous system and become more alert.
As you inhale your diaphragm goes down, allowing more space for your heart to pump. More space equals more space for blood and the need for your heart rate to increase to move the blood through the heart. A faster heart rate means you become more alert! (There is a little more science as to why this fires us up, but this is all we need to understand to make it work for us!)
Feeling a bit out of control? Increase your exhales.
Research shows that the Physiological Sigh is the most effective breathing pattern to help us regulate our stress.
You have used a physiological sigh before. Remember that time you were ugly crying and you did the old inhaled “huh huh” deal? That’s it…without the crying, of course!
This ‘huh huh” double intake helps us regulate our carbon dioxide/oxygen levels. This is important because the build-up of carbon dioxide is not good for the body and when we are stressed and anxious, we often use short and shallow breaths that are not sufficient for feeding oxygen and discarding the CO2 waste.
The physiological sigh is similar to Double Breathing but it focuses on a full first inhale with a short, quick hit inhale when you think your lungs are full then a full and elongated exhale to slow the heart rate and all other functions of the body.
The extra “hit” or quick breath allows the collapsed alveoli to inflate…they don’t do this much during our normal daily shallow breathing patterns…and this increases the surface area of the lungs. (I hear if you laid them all out, they would cover a good portion of a tennis court!). Increasing the lungs' surface area, as you would imagine, allows for more oxygen intake AND it helps more efficiently removes CO2 from the body…in effect, getting more cell-feeding good stuff in and more waste out!
This practice, even done once, can help us regulate our stress VERY efficiently! (It is also a great way to relieve side stitches for those of you who push yourself to that place on occasion – listen about this tool on The Huberman Lab HERE, time stamp 1:33:56).
In future Tips, I’ll add a few tools, including a rapid relaxation (done in seconds) and how to use peripheral vision exercises to manage our state! Good stuff!
So whether you need to pump it up or chill out, you are the manager of your state either through top-down or bottom-up controls! Different circumstances call for different approaches. Being aware of what you and those you lead need, particularly under pressure, can change the game!
Here’s to managing our state better than our elected officials, no matter which side of the aisle you stand on!
Manage the moments and your state!!
P.S. My schedule 2023-24 schedule is filling quickly. Contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text 234-206-0946 and let’s put together a plan for your program!
Mental Performance Coach
email@example.com • 234-206-0946