A friend of mine once said to me, "I don't know what God is, but when I look at a butterfly or a flower, I know that I can't do that." It is possible to view the world this way -- with the acceptance of uncertainty and appreciative curiosity for the mundane -- because of a set of networks in the nervous system that I refer to as the "growth function."
The oft-repeated saying that we spend a third of our lives asleep is largely true. Sleep helps us recover our energy; it regulates our hormones, allows our body to grow and repair, strengthens our immune system, improves our mental health and, perhaps most ironically for those struggling to sleep, reduces our anxiety.
We have two nervous systems. One is the sympathetic nervous system or the "on" switch for anxiety and the other is the parasympathetic nervous system or the "off" switch. We need to learn where those switches are and what turns them on and then what turns them off and let me tell you it's not simple either, but also not impossible.
It is as a teenager that we face the greatest test of self-esteem. We become aware of how we look, how others see us and worst of all we become aware of a world that judges us. From every angle teens are told to be prettier, sexier, skinnier, to wax, to colour and to fake it. Very few talk about anything other than they we look.
Placebo's and the mind body connection are one of medicine's hot topics right now. It's so popular it was even the subject of last night's hour long BBC horizon documentary. This is really exciting for me as it's a field I've been researching into for the last three decades. In that time I've stumbled across some really fascinating bits of research that make you think about life and health very differently.
For many of us there are only rare moments in which we do not think at all; when we are engaged in sports or indulged in a concert, for example. Besides these moments, the rational mind dominates the scene, one thought after another, until we fall asleep at night. In worst cases it even persists and keeps us from falling asleep.
I love to do my practice but I've managed to break free of that 'must do' mentality as it was driving me round the bloody bend. It was turning good stuff into bad stuff and what was practised to alleviate/manage the suffering actually became a part of the suffering. So some weeks, I'm a six day kind of guy and on others maybe one or two as I've got to do what's appropriate there and then.
As a coach and facilitator, I help individuals and organizations realize peak performance and wellbeing. This work centers on the application of an idea known as neuroplasticity. That is, how you respond to your circumstances not only shapes your experience in the present moment, it also builds pathways in the brain that facilitate that response in the future.