It is not too difficult to type, however, my fingers are still quite pale. The blood in my veins has rushed in toward my core to protect my vital organs. The extremities are just nonessential material compared to the heart. The brain knows this and will manage the priorities subconsciously. But, I believe that the purpose of this exercise is to change that.
Mindfulness helps to note different sensations, be it physical, emotional, visual or auditory distractions. Our brain has ways of dealing with these sensations. And often times our brain will subconsciously react to different stimuli in the same way. For instance, adrenaline production. Maybe you’re hiking in the woods and come across a mountain lion. Your adrenaline might spike up a bit. As the cat walks toward you, maybe you are able to refrain from running. You remember that a cat will chase. So you stand still, breathe. It’s still walking toward you. Maybe it doesn’t see you. Surprise it first and scare it off . . . you open your coat and lift your arms out in the air to appear larger than you are. “Hey cat! Get out of here!”
That was adrenaline you felt in that life or death situation. Note how that feels. Now, you’re stuck in traffic and some guy is trying to cut in front of you. Nobody can get around, and this guy is making this more difficult. Cars behind are honking their horns. But, you aren’t about to let this prick in. Suddenly he rolls down his window and starts yelling in your direction. You see him losing his shit. You don’t want to get into a fight, nor do you want to give in. This stress causes a similar feeling as with the cat. The good thing about this situation is that it’s not life or death. You can just shrug your shoulders, roll up your window, and breathe easy. Then again if you are not in control, maybe you get a bit of rage boiling up. That is adrenaline rushing through you.
Our brain just reacts. It’s only when we are able to understand what triggers certain responses in our brain, can we begin to control it.
Yesterday the feeling of anger while standing under the cold shower, the previous days thoughts of hunting. These are aggressive feelings triggered by the physical stress of cold. Maybe other people would have different thoughts based on previous life experiences when faced with the cold water. My attempt at being mindful in this situation has helped me to connect jumping in a cold shower with the panic felt when finding myself in a street fight, or some type of physical competition. It must be adrenaline, right? A host of neurochemicals are likely being produced when I step into the cold. But something about the way I feel is telling me that adrenaline is a big one.
Brief notes about the past 24 hours.
- Yoga and jiu jitsu last night followed by a cold shower at the gym
- The shower at the gym is not as cold as at home
- The yoga helped me to be more relaxed at jiu jitsu
- The yoga helped me reach deeper stretches this morning during yoga/meditation
- Breathing practice today
- Round 1 was completed in squat position
- Round 1 sucked and was followed by a 30 second breath hold
- Moving while holding the breath causes me to fail faster
- The diaphragm moves as my posture changes thus stressing the hold
- Round 2 was completed seated
- Seated breathing gives me better control of the diaphragm and will result in better hold
- Breathing deeply and more calmly more circular rhythm helped
- Holding was better at 40 seconds
- Hold will improve with better posture/control
- Cold . . .
- Entering the shower was much easier today (inevitable)
- Steady deep breathing and controlling gasps when hit with the cold helped to manage feelings of anger/adrenaline possibly
I find myself continuing the deep breathing after I step out of the shower for the next few minutes. Something I heard Hof say, was to breathe more than you think you need. I tried to work on this during yoga yesterday and will try and making breathing more a habit.