Danger ahead, public speaking, a lover’s tiff……panic, anxiety, stress! Can you control your physical reaction? Clammy hands, butterflies in your stomach, we have all been there.
Each of us holds hundreds of chemicals, and hormones throughout our system which are responsible for how we feel, act and respond to situations presented to us. But according to a new book, Physical Intelligence: Harness Your Body’s Untapped Intelligence To Achieve More, Stress Less And Live More Happily, we can manage these chemicals in our body to our advantage and health. By understanding our individual reactions to certain situations we can alter our state of mind, mood and confidence. Mind boggling perhaps but easy when applying simple mind and body techniques.
From rays of sunshine, relaxing baths, to smiling, dancing and breathing techniques, there are simple, natural techniques which can help us use our chemical reactions for our benefit. Check them out below:
Cortisol at high levels causes anxiety, anger and impatience affecting performance. Correct breathing to increase oxygen in the lungs can lower this, so try rhythmic breathing. This is easy, count in for four, hold for four, breathe out for four.
Serotonin is the happy chemical. This affects our feelings of confidence and wellbeing but high levels of the chemical cortisol can reduce it. To maintain and boost positive feelings smile more, meditate and be more mindful in your actions and feeings.
Adrenaline can boost energy due to the increase in heart rate but it can cause nervousness which impedes communication so try mobilising the body – walking, dancing and exercising to redistribute the energy.
Oxytocin is the social chemical, affecting relationships. It is important that this is balanced to avoid over dependence or isolation. Communication can boost this chemical so call a friend, help a stranger, it will repay you with warmth and a feeling of wellbeing
Testosterone drives competitiveness, achievement and confidence. It’s about risk taking. Self image can affect our internal messaging so holding your head high and being positive can increase it whereas introverted behaviour can lower it. Speak up, stand up, be strong.
Dopamine can give lift our spirits and give us confidence but is reduced when we receive disappointing news. To overturn our reaction, look on the bright side, discuss the situation with a friend and take a walk in fresh air and sunshine.
Acetylcholine is the balancing chemical. Relaxing activities such as listening to calming music a soothing bath with aromatic oils or salts can boost levels.
Equipped with natural techniques, try managing your reactions to what life presents. It’s just chemistry.
Physical Intelligence, written by Claire Dale and Patricia Peyton, is now available on Amazon.co.uk