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Achieve Ultimate Human Performance

Lesson 24 of 33

Stress Reduction for High Performance Pt. 2

Ben Greenfield

Achieve Ultimate Human Performance

Ben Greenfield

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Lesson Info

24. Stress Reduction for High Performance Pt. 2

Lesson Info

Stress Reduction for High Performance Pt. 2

Let's, talk a little bit about ty ci I actually have a dvd here with me that I really like tai chi's one of my more recent discoveries I do not claim to be a tiki master. I like this dvd tie chief for beginners there's also some really good tai chee or qi gong videos on youtube with free demonstrations and there's there's even a free four hour. I don't recommend you start off with a four hour youtube video, but for our training video of tai chee on the internet and there's there's some great little movements but tie chief, when you say you see people moving very slowly through these positions, and until recently, I never really understood what was going on there. But when I started to delve into stress reduction, especially for this, this book that I'm writing the evi mentioned earlier the beyond training book at beyond training book dot com I came across study after study that had tai chee always near the top of the list when it came to stress reduction and cortisol reduction. I means...

very, very simple to just do basic tai chee movements, for example, you can just draw a giant ball and you can kind of do this while you're in a seated position, you can bring your hands up. And inhale bring your hands towards the sky once you guys try this where you're sitting down and then push your hands out and down towards the ground very, very slowly trying to slap your neighbor in the face as you push down towards your hips and exhale if you're standing and kind of dip a little bit when you stand and dip very slow controlled movements and a lot of times when you're doing a tiki class you might stand and then you take a step this way dip as you step and it's just he's very slow kind of dance like movements that you go through, it seems really boring and kind of like cheryl and every noted it's very easy to become distracted as you go go through one of these sessions, but if you're able to make it, for example, you know this has a great like begin or twenty minute session. I went through it the first time that I did it in a layover at international airport in the airport lounge, and I was just in there teaching myself tied she's I'm standing in for my laptop and I finished and I went and curled up in the chair and took like an hour long nap I just felt fantastic, it just kind of stabilized me and de stress me during a day of flying so tai chee really, really fantastic especially if you have adrenal fatigue this is something that all recommended my clients or work into their programs on a weekly or even a twice a week basis when they are fatigued when they're overstressed when they need to quit swimming and biking and running and weightlifting and just do some yoga and some tiki and some ability so again you can find a tiki instructor, but you can also use the dvd can use youtube mostly evidence shows that it takes about eight to twelve weeks of consistent tai chee doing it on at least a weekly basis to really recognize the full court assault reduction benefits of doing something like tiki but making it a part of your regular practice you may find you like it better than yoga. You may find that it's kind of more your flavor I do it about once every two weeks or so and sometimes it's just very, very slow on lee for ten minutes like on a sunday afternoon but just injecting it here and there could be really useful on this is pretty much what I use is that dvd just cause it's really easy for me to toss it in the tv or throw out my laptop and just go through one of their preset routines so I believe I have that listed in the stress reduction section over at ben greenfield fitness dot com slash creative life paris I noticed even with my clients and I would usually do tight she once we finished a workout for about ten minutes but in comparison to yoga not that you know is not good I like you as well it is something that's easier when practicing breathing because he usually are breathing through emotion so you kind of have your body toe also recognize even if you're just doing a simple bringing up and you're using your hands to focus on your breathing and then you might push it out or even your you're always doing some type of flowing motion where you're conscious of your breathing so yeah versus being in a position where you have the ok make sure I'm breathing and get into this warrior pose so that I could have hawaiian luau you're just always kind of constant exactly flowing and it's really easy to get into that pattern so yeah it's really cool and you know there's a lot of big weight lifter guys and you know, spartan racers and cross fitters who are like yeah that's donald never going to do that but it actually does have a really cool effect I mean thank you guys barris is a college football player and he's doing tai chee so there you go all right next up is coherence now I mentioned that I was going to teach you guys kind of a cool technique that really lowers court assault and is based off of this heart rate variability. This looks really complicated. Don't let this complicated looking diagram kind of scary away. All this diagram is outlining is the very intimate interaction between your heart and your brain. Your heart actually contains a nervous system. Your heart has an electromagnetic field that can emanate several feet outside of you and not only affect you, but affected those around you it's. Why, for example, when a human walks into a stable where a horse might be that the human actually influences the horse based on the humans level of stress, so your heart rate variability could affect the heart rate variability, or the stress levels of, say, for example, an animal so it's really, really interesting how your heart rate variability can affect your stress, as well as the stress levels of those around you, it's one of the reasons you khun sense also when people around you are stressed because of that electromagnetic filled that your heart emanates, and also because of this nervous system connection between your heart and your brain. So your heart has what's called a sino atrial known an atrial ventricular note or s a note, and a v node, and these air actually electrochemical. Nodes that khun send feedback to your brain and so by using our brain toe lower stress or by using the emotions and the thoughts that we processed through our brain to lower stress, we can affect our heart and by also thinking and placing action specifically upon our heart, we can affect the amount of stress that our brain experiences will talk later on today about what's called your hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis and the link between the hypothalamus in your brain, your pituitary gland and your your kidneys or your adrenal ls and the interaction between stress and all of those. Well, this is a great way to control the amount of stress that you're h p a axis is actually under and you know I showed the e m wave the other day as a biofeedback device you could plug into your computer where one end attach is to your ear. The usb port attach is to your computer and you can actually in real time use a software program on your computer to train the electrical signals in your heart to actually correlate the way that they're supposed tio in terms of the ideal interplay between your sympathetic fight and flight nervous system and your parasympathetic or your rest and digest nervous system it's the same type of technology that's used in the app that I was just explained every that you can use as a breath pacer now there's a technique called a quick coherence technique that is again one of my favorite ways to reduce stress and what this directly influences is the heart brain connection okay, so the way that this works is you want to focus your attention on the area around your heart, the area and kind of the center of the slight left center of your chest so I want you guys to try this one out and I want you to go you go ahead and close your eyes again, open up the hands, open up the hips a little bit, getting that position and all I want you to do is focus your attention on your heart area if it helps you and you can do this at home as well take your hand, place it on the area of your chest where you can feel your heart beating and just become aware of your heart okay become aware of your heart so now we're almost focusing on our heart a little bit more than we're focusing on our breath. Ok as you learn how to do this, you'll become faster and faster and becoming aware of your heart aware of where your heart is at and aware of your heartbeat now you want to breathe deeply in the same way that I taught you to deep breathe breathe deeply during the mindfulness meditation k deep nasal breathing but as you breathe deeply what I want you to think about is instead of it being deep belly diaphragmatic breathing think about the breath actually coming in and out of your heart area okay, so that doesn't mean that you're breathing from your chest. It just means that you almost are imagining like this light flowing into your heart as you breathe in and then your heart kind of sparking as you breathe out and you feel that light out he visualized that spark she becoming very, very aware of your heart and as you become more and more aware of your heart here's the really cool part and I've tested this many times and found it too increase my heart rate variability almost instantly. I want you to think of something really, really positive, some emotional feeling that they just love for me. I imagine my two cute little five year old boys snuggled up against me they're soft hair given my kids a hug, maybe holding my wife's hand maybe it's even crossing the finish line of a triathlon, finishing up the hard work out feeling really good about it, it hanging out with somebody that you love seeing a really funny movie or thinking about that last really funny, lighthearted movie that you saw but any of those positive emotions as you visualize that emotion and that experience, I want you to imagine it just going into your heart literally take it visualize that see that emotion and place it into your heart as you continue to breathe and focus on your heart now if we were all measuring your heart rate variability right now what you would find is that it would be increasing dramatically as you do this coherence technique this is something that I will do when I wake up in the morning anytime I'm stressed now slowly bring yourself out of this become aware again it's called a quick coherence technique and you can learn how to do this very very quickly you could be working on your computer and you khun be like boom I'm stressed I'm deep shallow breathing ok anya step away for a second think about my heart think about my two little boys put him in my heart breathe out okay I'm good to go and then you come back and that's how fast you can do a coherence technique but again this stuff may seem wu and airy fairy for some of you hard core athletes out there but this stuff actually works really, really well k, I'm giving you guys the stuff that I've actually measured using tools like the m wave using tools like the sweet beat and actually found quantitatively to have an effect on stress so that's called the coherence technique that's another really, really good one to learn it's even faster than mindfulness meditation and what I like about it is it really has a direct effect on that heart rate variability if you want to learn more about that technique go to the website heart math dot org's they've been researching the heart brain connection for years and have some really really good information on that okay stress console style number six is to learn okay learning grows new neural pathways and is a great way to decrease stress anything from music I mentioned that I go out of my way to play my guitar three times a week I not only do that to grow new brain neurons but I also do it to decrease stress came when I play guitar I just go to a different place I'm not thinking about emails and power points and coaching and consulting I'm just there with my music singing out of tune just having a lot of fun ok art my wife loves that loves to paint and draw and make crafts and that's the way that she d stresses that's another fabulous thing that you can do journaling uh I have one of these journals called a five minute journal you could get one of these five minute journal dot com I love it because it's only five minutes I like things that are fast and convenient so you start off in the morning and the light part is the morning the dark pardon is the evening and in the morning you write down three things that you're grateful for so I am grateful for and then there's three lines the next thing that you write is what would make today great and he write three things that would make today great you could make one of these yourself where you just by the journal I don't think it's not expensive at all and then finally have a daily affirmation the daily affirmation is I am and for me my daily affirmation the past few weeks has been I am a joy to be around and make other people happy ok? Because I found that I was kind of turning myself into a debbie downer at times when I get really stressed out and carried away with work so my affirmations that I'm enjoyed to be around and make people happy I make people smile ok so that is the light part and that and that takes literally three four minutes five minutes tops free to write down those things in the morning then the evening you write down three amazing things that happened today and how I could have made today better three amazing things that happened today and how it could have made today better and that's it boom closer journal had done for the day okay, this is an awesome way to decrease stress and it helps you learn a lot about yourself and about what you want to achieve what you find important. So this is a five minute journal dot com fantastic book really like that on day it's kind of. I used to think journaling was silly and this kind of really helped me start toe like to journal because it was quick, convenient help me dwell on feelings of gratefulness. And I'll even ask my kids at night before you go to bed every night. What are you grateful for? What's? The coolest thing that happened tuesday. What made today amazing and it's it's a great thing to do with your children as well. If you have kids, you know who the best person to follow, really, when it comes to growing new neural pathways and getting a passion for learning is is tim ferriss? Of course here, creative, live it's all about learning, and there are fantastic courses that will teach you and a number of things. I think the course that's going on right now at the same time as this one is on scrapbooking, you know it's a perfect example of some brand new activity that you could learn, but tim ferriss wrote a book called the four hour chef it's about the process of learning using cooking as an example. I think he has a new tv show where he's traveling around the world, learning new things, but that he's a really good guy to follow his bloggers really good block to follow if you want to learn to learn and have fun learning and learning is a really great way to decrease stress as well, having these things that take you away from the humdrum stress of your of your normal day to day routine. So learning now, there's one of the thing that I want to touch on that we're going to get into in great detail in a little bit, but before I do any questions from you guys about the last couple of things that we talked about when it comes to decreasing stress, we have questions come in from the chat rooms just and especially with yoga. There was a couple things with yoga and one kev one said what's. The best way to get into yoga specifically for a runner? How many times a week would you recommend doing in any kind of recommendations around a runner schedule? Ah, runner schedule can often be a little bit busy, especially you're prepping for a marathon because you're running across training your weight lifting, um, I ran into that issue. I told them myself I just didn't have time to drive to it you drive through sixteen year old class that could meet to our commitment but time to drive to the yoga shower drive home so for me very quick sun salutations a few times through in the morning every morning for about ten minutes works really well for me because I could just work that quick session into every single day where I've been going out of my way for a full on session and then when I have more time, like in the off season, then I can go join the big crime you know the club for three months and go to become yoga, you know, one or two times that we could do a half the yoga and a big crime yoga or something like that great question um let's touch on sleep and then we're going to get our special guest on, so the reason I just want to touch on sleep and we will get into sleep in great detail a little later on is because if you don't sleep, you die two things happen when you sleep, you create new neural pathways for memories, learn basically repair your entire nervous system and you also produced growth hormone and testosterone two of your most potent anabolic hormones if neither of those things air happening that's an incredible risk for mortality so if you are not sleeping or prioritizing sleep you are shortening your life span and I think it was rob wolf ah guy at offering the paleo communities as one of the fastest ways to kill somebody is to deprive them of sleep on the fastest ways to slowly kill them or vastly decrease their quality of life. Here is a chart that kind of shows how much sleep the average person needs you know obviously teams and newborns are way up in the twelve eighteen hours to the eight and a half to nine point five to five hours most adults are seven to nine hours of sleep we're going to really be getting into how to get that seven to nine hours of sleep on what to do if you don't get those seven to nine hours of sleep but I just want to finish before we bring our special guest on today to talk about stress with a few quotes hussein bolt, the fastest sprinter on the planet says sleep is extremely to me I need to rest and recover in order for the training I do to be absorbed by my body I love the way he says that that's when the absorption takes places when you're sleeping ok, so if you're working out you're not sleeping you're wasting a lot of your time, roger federer says if I don't sleep eleven to twelve hours a day it's not right there are believe they're not professional athletes that people were out there going three, four, five hours a day who need to sleep that much there's that much nure onal repair that needs to take place and you're going to learn how that takes place in our sleep session. Steve nash awesome point guard says for me, sleeping well could mean the difference between putting up thirty points and living with fifteen this guy thinks that he scores almost twice as many points when he sleeps well versus winning doesn't jarrod shoemaker professional triathlete says sleep is half my training that's a great quote because this guy really understands that it's not about necessarily beating yourself up and getting up at four a m in the morning to squeeze that training session. Sometimes it is about sleep, so your maximum bench press drops twenty pounds after four days of restricted sleep pretty interesting, huh? With proper sleep tennis players get a forty two percent increase in hitting accuracy as a recreational tennis player I find that fascinating sleep loss leads to an eleven percent reduction in time to exhaustion, meaning that it takes eleven percent less time for you to become completely exhausted. If you were, say, running on a treadmill perceived exertion how hard you think a workout is increases seventeen to nineteen percent after thirty hours of sleeps up deprivation so workouts become incredibly exhausting that would normally feel very easy when you're sleep deprived. So really, really amazing. I'm just kind of warm and you guys up for what's to come in our third session today, where I'm going to teach you everything I know about sleep, because it's a real passion of mine. But I just wanted you to know why. Sleep is my seventh technique and why I think it's a very, very important that's, a circadian rhythm, and we're going to totally geek out on the circadian rhythm in session three.

Class Description

Professional athletes and elite exercisers may be able to train full-time, but what about those of us who want a better body or to achieve amazing feats of physical performance but have busy lives and jam-packed schedules? Athlete and author Ben Greenfield will arm you with the tools, strategies, and systems you need to look, feel, and perform at your peak physical and mental capacity, without spending your entire day exercising or dieting.

In this course, Ben covers topics such as how to avoid injury, imbalances, or overtraining, how to address crucial elements that most exercise enthusiasts overlook, and how to quickly develop natural, ancestral strength, balance, mobility and physical function. You’ll learn how to customize your daily nutrition and workout fueling protocols so that you can get adequate calories without destroying your metabolism or expanding your waistline. From your gut-brain connection to mind-hacking tactics to sensory system enhancement, Ben will show you the crucial role the nervous system plays in fitness, and will reveal strategies for being mentally and physically prepared for any challenge life may throw at you.

Whether you want to run a marathon, do an Ironman triathlon, complete an adventure race, launch into Crossfit, are a dedicated gym junkie, or just want to shed fat fast and get rid of fatigue, this course will equip you to feel your best and perform at your peak capacity.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

10 Human Performance Meals

7 Day Done

creativeLIVE Home Detox

Health vs Performance Slides

Become Superhuman Resource Guide

Body Products and House Cleaners

Enrollment Page

Ultimate Human Performance Exercise.mp4

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Ben delivered an exceptional three-day seminar at creativeLIVE that I was lucky enough to attend. His expertise in all facets of health & wellness was on full-display -- and his presentation was clearly articulated & engaging He was friendly and responsive to feedback and gave actionable recommendations which are already paying dividends in my life -- especially in the areas of energy, mental clarity & sleep quality I strongly recommend Ben -- he walks the walk & talks the talk -- genuinely cares about helping other people and possesses a real gift to teach & inspire

a Creativelive Student

This is one of the best courses I have ever seen! So much value for money and so many amazing bits of information jam packed in. What a brilliant guy! Geeky information presented in a down to earth way. I can not recommend this course enough. I don't think I have ever been bothered to write a review for anything (EVER) but this was SO good I had to share. Well done Ben and thank you Creative Live!


Ben Greenfield has a lot of information, best course I have taken in regards to Nutrition and Fitness. There is a lot of knowledge and their a great couple and both have a lot of information to offer, I even like the lame jokes that he makes. Very nice and knowledgable couple.