James Elliott Mental Resilience Coach - Q & A

LLB

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Hi mate.

Well, for starters we don't want to avoid triggers for the rest of our lives. It will do nothing but give you limiting beliefs and restrict your ability to find fulfilment, so what we want to do, is learn how to remove ourselves from these moods or ideally, learn the source of that reaction and change how we think about that trigger to prevent that slump in mood from ever happening.

Now, without the proper counselling time, practices and processes it would be hard to conduct the necessary CBT to establish the source of the negative emotion, although, I would suggest evaluating it yourself. Why do you feel the way that you do? What caused it and why? Also, as an aside, before you consider this a psychological issue, be sure you've actually had enough sleep, drank enough water, eaten nutritionally satisfying foods and aren't spending too much time with nobheads. Most people's emotional slumps,

Thats the golden fix, to be in a position whereby you can manage all your own reactions, to be completely balanced, resilient and almost stoic (almost, because I'm not a massive fan of stoicism), but that's called self actualisation and that's a double confusing and complex idea. Another time, maybe.

So then, that leaves the alternative of essentially, an effective coping mechanism. I find, depending upon the situation, when I am struggling that I am only ever one work out away from a great mood. Which is a form of self care, take the necessary time to find yours and utilise it. If self care isn't an option, visualisation of a happy memory, a planned event or a more pleasant present moment, might be effective. Controlled breathing and mediation is also a very successful form of scientifically backed mood regulator. Try box breathing, its a US Navy SEAL technique, breathe in for 4, hold for 4, out for 4, rest for 4, with each stage being visualised as an edge of the box, this will relax the activation of your amygdala (emotional centre) and put the control back into the prefrontal cortex (reason and logic), allowing you to rationalise yourself out of that negative state.

Lots of info there, lets summarise?

Look after your physical well being, your lifestyle is extremely important to your mental state, don't @me that your in a foul mood if you eat rustlers burgers for breakfast and only drink pop. If that's not the issue, challenge the source of your behaviour, why are you feeling this way. Then, thirdly, find a decent coping mechanism, from box breathing, meditation, cracking some physical or all of it at once, learn to bring yourself out of it.

Don't deny your emotion, its not how cortisol is managed, cortisol is the stress neurotransmitter, which is also a catabolic chemical, which means it catastrophically effects protein synthesis. In plain speak, it messes about with existing muscle fibre, including the brain. The more stress, the more breaking down of neutrons in the prefrontal cortex so the less rational you become, the more emotionally unstable. Its the science behind why we need to learn, as men, to embrace feeling shit so that we can learn to manage it better.

Best of luck, fair to say, you are not alone.
Thank you so much for this @jameselliott !!
 

LLB

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What about goal setting @jameselliott ? Not sure if that’s even a good question but mentally setting goals whilst preparing for 4 PARA is important I think. Is there a good way to keep goals focused and on track? Especially when motivation dips? Sorry if this makes no sense!!
 

jameselliott

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What about goal setting @jameselliott ? Not sure if that’s even a good question but mentally setting goals whilst preparing for 4 PARA is important I think. Is there a good way to keep goals focused and on track? Especially when motivation dips? Sorry if this makes no sense!!

Well, lets talk about goals.

Now, in previous posts I talk about the dopamine spike in anticipation for reward, being a good indicator that as humans, we are wired to strive for things, and not to just be given them. You are wired, auto-tuned- engineered to strive for goals and to enjoy the process, rather than the spoils.

On top of that little bit of comforting neuroscience, lies the psychology of goal setting.

It has a few, fairly obvious benefits. The increase in confidence, as you achieve each small step in pursuit of your greater goal, you push forward, ever eager for that next accomplishment to inch you closer to the coveted maron machine and of course, wings.

Not only that.

The measurable increase in your abilities and the decrease of distance to your end goal will fill you with motivation, enthusiasm and an infectious optimism.

Not only that.

Spiritual resilience is not a part of resilience that I spend too much time upon, often, spirituality, religion, faith and confrontation can go hand in hand, but in this case I may risk it slightly to emphasise the point that often, spiritual resilience refers to an existential sense of purpose, a feeling that you are here for a reason and pursuing your subjective journey to achieve what you need to in your life. For the deterministic amongst you, your "destiny" (I'm not a fan, I make my own fate), the point is, the more you complete on your path, the more enjoyment you will take from it and the more likely you are to achieve.

Having a goal is useless though, without a plan. The SMART principles are the standard issue military goal setting principles and for good reason, they are effective and reliable (use google, "SMART") and help provide a plan to those goals, and it is certainly in no danger of being under deployed by the army. Having a goal is great, knowing how you intend to achieve it, makes you dangerous.

In summary, set the goal of becoming airborne, plan for it, allow for flexibility in that plan, be disciplined, take confidence from every successful step and be hungry for that victory. You'll be fine.
 

Lev

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Hi @jameselliott is it possible to learn how to mentally not freeze up in a intense/dangerous situation or is it an uncontrollable reaction that you could just be hardwired to respond that way?
 

jameselliott

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Hi @jameselliott is it possible to learn how to mentally not freeze up in a intense/dangerous situation or is it an uncontrollable reaction that you could just be hardwired to respond that way?

Hello mate

Yes you can learn. Anything that has been learned, can be unlearned.

So let's talk about the process, so you are in a dangerous situation, you have perceived it so. For ease, let us say that you have seen a danger, light photons have reflected off the objected, to your pupil, down your optic nerve, and own the axials into the amygdala. The amygdala plays a significant role in danger perception. It scans through about 3 terabytes of information every hour assessing threat, (you know when you double take when you think you see someone in your house, then realise it is just you in the mirror? That is your amygdala that works at an incredible rate), and the danger is seen by the amygdala. The amygdala doesn't have a huge amount of cognitive memory capability, what it does, is look immediately for a recognised pattern from other departments, to decide what the best cause of action would be. If you don't have the cognitive memory, or capability to manage the danger then you will do one of 3 things, fight, flight or freeze.

The amygdala fires glucocorticoids at the hypothalamus, instigating a response from the central nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system within it, creating a physiological response such as heightened heart rate, a rush of adrenaline, shortness of breath, reduction of blood flow to the digestive system (butterflies), all these physiological responses are only worsening your conscious acknowledgement of your fear.

Your decision making process is becoming increasingly erratic, the amygdala is not conscious thought, it connects to a part of the conscious thought, the prefrontal cortex and uses the conscious emotional decision making department within the prefrontal cortex, known as the ventromedial prefrontal cortex to try and consciously convince you to go somewhere safe immediately (its why people who are scared, rarely make intelligent decisions, because the decision making process is being heavily influenced by your fear generator).

So, what is my point?

Simple, you can understand the process of why you are struggling in the face of fear, it is nothing but an exchange of electrical and hormonal information in your brain.

So, when you notice the rush of adrenaline, the fear, the worry, then BREATHE, big lung-fulls of oxygen will calm that amygdala response, as well as instigating the parasympathetic nervous system (the calming feeling) and you will begin to make rational, calm decisions that will give you success. Not only that, but the success that you get, will be stored as cognitive memory and the more cognitive memory associated with success, the easier this process will become. The next time you face a dangerous situation, your amygdala will perceive this, look for how to cope, and it will find those patterns, you will not freeze or crumble, you will know what to do, and most of this will happen, without any conscious thought.

Best of luck.
 

TBK95

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This thread is amazing and shows a whole different side to joining. Fantastic to read!
 

Tony_m

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Hello mate

Yes you can learn. Anything that has been learned, can be unlearned.

So let's talk about the process, so you are in a dangerous situation, you have perceived it so. For ease, let us say that you have seen a danger, light photons have reflected off the objected, to your pupil, down your optic nerve, and own the axials into the amygdala. The amygdala plays a significant role in danger perception. It scans through about 3 terabytes of information every hour assessing threat, (you know when you double take when you think you see someone in your house, then realise it is just you in the mirror? That is your amygdala that works at an incredible rate), and the danger is seen by the amygdala. The amygdala doesn't have a huge amount of cognitive memory capability, what it does, is look immediately for a recognised pattern from other departments, to decide what the best cause of action would be. If you don't have the cognitive memory, or capability to manage the danger then you will do one of 3 things, fight, flight or freeze.

The amygdala fires glucocorticoids at the hypothalamus, instigating a response from the central nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system within it, creating a physiological response such as heightened heart rate, a rush of adrenaline, shortness of breath, reduction of blood flow to the digestive system (butterflies), all these physiological responses are only worsening your conscious acknowledgement of your fear.

Your decision making process is becoming increasingly erratic, the amygdala is not conscious thought, it connects to a part of the conscious thought, the prefrontal cortex and uses the conscious emotional decision making department within the prefrontal cortex, known as the ventromedial prefrontal cortex to try and consciously convince you to go somewhere safe immediately (its why people who are scared, rarely make intelligent decisions, because the decision making process is being heavily influenced by your fear generator).

So, what is my point?

Simple, you can understand the process of why you are struggling in the face of fear, it is nothing but an exchange of electrical and hormonal information in your brain.

So, when you notice the rush of adrenaline, the fear, the worry, then BREATHE, big lung-fulls of oxygen will calm that amygdala response, as well as instigating the parasympathetic nervous system (the calming feeling) and you will begin to make rational, calm decisions that will give you success. Not only that, but the success that you get, will be stored as cognitive memory and the more cognitive memory associated with success, the easier this process will become. The next time you face a dangerous situation, your amygdala will perceive this, look for how to cope, and it will find those patterns, you will not freeze or crumble, you will know what to do, and most of this will happen, without any conscious thought.

Best of luck.
Jim just wanted to say I’ve had trouble in the past with reacting badly when people show aggression towards me. I met aggression with more aggression. This approach you talk about works and helps you focus on logical thoughts. Well worth reading and understanding lads. Breathing and grounding yourself works for me anyway
 

jameselliott

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Jim just wanted to say I’ve had trouble in the past with reacting badly when people show aggression towards me. I met aggression with more aggression. This approach you talk about works and helps you focus on logical thoughts. Well worth reading and understanding lads. Breathing and grounding yourself works for me anyway


Glad that you like mate, thanks

Jim
 

BlightyBob

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Such a great thread. I’ve actually just sat and read all of @jameselliott replies here and got a lot out of it. Thanks for doing that @jameselliott
My question is about how best to challenge someone or deal with it in your mind if someone has a preconception about you? For example thinking you must be stupid if you are going PARA. How do you process that and what’s the best way to challenge it?
 
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jameselliott

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Such a great thread. I’ve actually just sat and read all of @jameselliott replies here and got a lot out of it. Thanks for doing that @jameselliott
My question is about how best to challenge someone or deal with it in your mind if someone has a preconception about you? For example thinking you must be stupid if you are going PARA. How do you process that and what’s the best way to challenge it?


Hi mate thanks for the question.

Simple reply "I don't".

I don't deal with people who have a preconception of me, it is a reflection of them, not of me. Anything from insecurity, jealousy ( a by-product of e down to their own internal processes and nothing whatsoever to do with you), their own regrets, their own failings are THEIR problem to deal with and not my own.

Listen to me, if you walk on water, there will be someone who says, "the only reason that he walks on water is because he can't swim".

Focus on you, don't let somebody else play on your insecurity, don't let them dissuade you, if you can understand that 90% of people's attitudes, behaviours and beliefs are a down to an internal process and not to you, the external stimuli, then you allow yourself to be at peace with them.

Stay focused.
 

BlightyBob

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Hi mate thanks for the question.

Simple reply "I don't".

I don't deal with people who have a preconception of me, it is a reflection of them, not of me. Anything from insecurity, jealousy ( a by-product of e down to their own internal processes and nothing whatsoever to do with you), their own regrets, their own failings are THEIR problem to deal with and not my own.

Listen to me, if you walk on water, there will be someone who says, "the only reason that he walks on water is because he can't swim".

Focus on you, don't let somebody else play on your insecurity, don't let them dissuade you, if you can understand that 90% of people's attitudes, behaviours and beliefs are a down to an internal process and not to you, the external stimuli, then you allow yourself to be at peace with them.

Stay focused.

Thanks mate. I really appreciate that. Love that saying! I’ll stay focused on me and the goal. I guess everyone who goes for something difficult will draw fire. I’ll block it out and stay on track. Thanks again mate!
 
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