Butterflies, cotton mouth, and a pounding heart make the Best Playmakers smile—the smile of a person with an ace up their sleeve…
They definitely would agree with Tiger Woods, who has often said, ‘The day I’m not nervous stepping onto the first tee—that’s the day I quit.’
Back in the day when we needed to worry about saber-tooth tigers having us for lunch, that fight-or-flight response mechanism was helpful.
Unfortunately, our body’s evolution hasn’t quite kept up with our mind’s evolution and now a sideways glance from a teammate or having to wait a few minutes to pay a phone bill often elicits the same response.
Many of us our in this State. All. Day. Long.
That constant barrage takes a significant toll on our well-being.
And, researchers have discovered that our ability to induce its opposite relaxation response is G-A-M-E C-H-A-N-G-I-N-G.
Relaxation Response = Decreased metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure; a decrease or “calming” in brain activity; an increase in attention and decision-making functions of the brain.
PLAYMAKERS MAKING DECISIONS
Playmakers can make the right decision in the right moment, every single time, by being a second or two ahead of everyone else. This can only happen when you are prepared and relaxed.
MIND/BODY PRACTICES TURN ON THE RELAXATION RESPONSE.
Herbert Benson is considered a pioneer in mind/body medicine. In his book the Relaxation Response Benson tells us that we all have ~54,000 genes.
Scientists can map these out and see whether each gene is expressing itself positively/healthfully or negatively/unhealthfully.
Benson and his team of researchers wanted to see if mind body practices influence our genetics.
So, they ran a study and discovered that mind body practices do, in fact, influence the expression of our genes.
In their study, 2,209 genes were expressed differently (and more healthfully!) in the mind body practitioners than in the non-mind body practitioners. That’s powerful.
What’s even more powerful is the second half of their study. As Benson says:
“We continued our investigation by posing these questions: “What would happen if the participants in Adam’s group—those with no experience with the relaxation response—were instructed in appropriate mind body techniques and then applied them in their daily lives for a few weeks? In that short time period, would they show any of the same positive, anti-stress gene-expression changes that the highly experienced mind body practitioners had shown?”
What do you think?
Here’s what they found: “The results and comparisons for the final part of the study were startling and significant. First, we discovered that when we compared specific sets or signatures of gene expression, or activity, in Adam’s group before and after their relaxation response training, 1,561 genes changed expression from the first test to the second. Again, the probability of this being due to chance was less than five in 100. Even more striking, when we compared Adam’s group after their training with the experienced mind body group (9.4 years of practice), we found that 433 gene expression signatures were similar in both groups. The eight weeks of training had caused the gene expression signatures in Adam’s group to move close to the gene expression signatures in the group with more than nine years of mind body practice. The significance of these results came home to us dramatically when we considered how likely (or unlikely) it would be for these changes to have happened by chance in both parts of the experiment. We determined that the probability of the same gene signatures being involved accidentally in both groups in both experiments was less than one in 10 billion. It was virtually impossible that the similarities in gene activity of the experienced practitioners’ group and Adam’s group occurred by chance.”
There are a couple things to really dive into here. First, the simple fact that we can actually count, map and individually analyze each of our 52,000 genes is absolutely amazing.
Second, it’s Empowering that we can influence the expression of our genetic code by engaging in mind body practices.
And, third, it’s incredibly inspiring that we can significantly alter these genes in as little as 12-15 minutes of daily meditation for 8 weeks.
STOP TRYING JUST DO IT
When it comes to doing what it takes at some point you need to forget about trying because if you are just trying, then losing is still an option.
You want to be the Best?
Then you need to figure out how to turn your brain off.
You need to learn how to let go of the pressure to please everyone else. You don’t let your competition take your balls, you don’t let them set up shop in your head.
When all hell breaks loose on the outside, you barely notice because you are calm on the inside because you’re ready, prepared and Relaxed!
Everyone else is panicking and choking, and you say “No problem.’ You step on the other guys throat and finish the fight.
You can only reach this level of Ferocity by knowing when to Flip the Switch On and when to Flip the Switch off.
The Relaxation Response flips the Switch Off!