Looking for a possiblity

Added: Andie Peterson - Date: 19.04.2022 07:08 - Views: 25730 - Clicks: 5546

By Robert Kolker. Up in the sky!

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It's a bird! It's a plane! Hey, it's you—or is it? Are you chicken about bounding outward?

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Is daring inherited or can you learn it? O investigates the how, why, when, and wow of opening up your life. When scientists talk about a sense of adventure, they're usually referring to a physiological response: People who grab at life's possibilities respond—on a biological level—to stressful situations quite differently from the rest of us.

Loehr says that when the mind perceives any variety of danger—anything from a physical threat to a grueling day with the in-laws—the adrenal cortex the outer layer of the adrenal glands located on top of the kidneys starts producing the hormone cortisol.

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Known as the stress hormone, cortisol breaks down muscle proteins into amino acids, which the liver converts into glucose for energy to help us prepare for whatever the threat is. But there are some negative effects: Your heart rate shoots up, along with your respiratory rate and blood pressure. Your body is literally getting ready for war.

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Humans honed this response in the Stone Age, when almost everything was a life-or-death decision, and many Looking for a possiblity us still use it as a default, even if our life isn't really on the line. We wake up each day thinking about all the things that could go wrong, producing cortisol at the tiniest mishaps. Over time this reaction becomes an overreaction, Loehr says. It exhausts us and warps our judgment. It literally stresses us out. The more optimistic adventurers among us, however, instinctively stimulate the inner adrenal core—the adrenal medulla—which produces a hormonal release of catecholamines, including epinephrine also known as adrenaline and norepinephrine.

Catecholamines are part of the same fight-or-flight response that got us through the Stone Age, but their effects, Loehr says, "are more related to a sense of challenge, opportunity, and adventure without all the toxic feelings that come from fear. And since epinephrine and norepinephrine are linked to increased mental activity, you're able to make decisions more clearly.

At his Florida center, Loehr teaches his clients behavioral strategies to shift from automatically triggering the outer adrenal hormones to the healthier ones of the adrenal medulla. This involves learning a whole new set of habits. His clients learn to start the morning with a few moments of contemplation, planning the day ahead and reflecting on what's important to them.

Some give this time over to prayer; others, to meditation or relaxation. During the day, Loehr's clients repeat to themselves mottos they've composed—like "I am self-reliant," "I am decisive," "I'm a good problem solver"—to counteract the running self-critique the rest of us tend to deliver all day "I am way too needy," "I can't make a decision to save my life," "Why can't I solve my problems?!

If daily affirmations aren't your speed, you might try playing your favorite kind of music at the same time every day. Craddock says that people who are feeling as if life is closing in on them have one thing in common: They're having trouble separating what they think they should want a promotion, a big fat raise, the return of casual Fridays from what they really want recognition, a sense of purpose or balance in their lives. Clients often walk through the door thinking they're going to be focusing on how to get rid of the guy in the corner office, but they quickly find themselves entering a deeper discussion of what's really holding them back.

Craddock starts by talking with them about Looking for a possiblity home lives, their childhoods, their support systems. She'll ask, "What definitions of success did you get from your family? They begin to realize that they might have made choices based on someone else's idea of success or happiness, which could be rethought. If the feedback you're getting isn't encouraging and you can't get rid of the disparagers, then Craddock suggests a technique called standing sideways. It means managing your reactions so you don't consider every challenge to be a direct blow to your self-esteem.

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Then you can begin to let a lot of stuff go by. Think about it: Turn sideways and you're offering a narrower target for hits. All this is good—tapping into catecholamines, zapping discouraging friends—but the other part of becoming more adventurous means eventually taking a risk. There's a program specifically deed to help people brave that next step: In a German educator named Kurt Hahn cofounded the first Outward Bound, a school that inserts people into some hairy situations and helps them prove to themselves how much they can accomplish.

Now, once again, bear with me: If you happen to equate mountain climbing not with adventure but with, say, stupidity, let me assure you that Hahn wasn't just interested in cheap thrills. The adventurous part is discovering possibilities in ourselves.

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Not with foolhardy, death-defying acts but with balance and contemplation. For every daring climb or hike you tackle in Outward Bound, you also do something sometimes many things, like double-checking knots, learning to read a compass James calls it a dialectic of risk taking and safety. On a typical day trip, the first week is devoted to the basics: If you're rock climbing, you're taught how to balance yourself, adjust your feet, gauge the friction beneath your boots. The process is never about danger or competition.

By week two you find yourself climbing—not under any life-threatening conditions, maybe just six feet above the ground. The third week you're going up the mountain. Using the skills you've just picked up, you discover firsthand just how much more capable you've become. You're moving into areas of experience you've never had before. So you're building up your sense of self-reliance.

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But if we would open up a little—look at what we might do instead of what we're certain we can't—we'd discover something: "Hahn wrote that every human being has within himself a grand passion ," says James. And that passion—that's where a sense of adventure really takes you.

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Looking for a possiblity

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