Optimal Functioning | Relaxation Guided Audio
A state of calm-alert is the optimal state for responding to life. This means being stimulated while not losing sight of the state of relaxation. In other words, being both alert and calm at the same time.
More and more psychological studies are showing that the pace of life has increased significantly over recent decades. You can observe this for yourself too. That has come with corresponding increases in levels of stress and illness.
A feature of this fast-paced world is the constant state of “on” that has become the new normal. There’s the expectation of having to immediately reply to mails or messages. There’s having to pay attention to so many channels on different screens. In fact, there’s so much stimulation you don’t ever idle or go into hibernate — ironically, unlike your car or smart phone. Maybe they know something we don’t!
Don’t worry, just self-regulate
It’s not always viable or easy to modify your external environment or circumstances, and the good news is that you don’t have to. The ability to recognize and adjust your inner state to what is required for the context — in other words self-regulate — is one of the most important skills you can learn. You are best able to self-regulate when you’re in a state of “calm-alert”, which is that optimal state where you are neither agitated and frazzled, nor bored and tuned out.
The state of calm-alert is optimal in many ways: it allows you to modulate emotion, pay attention, respond instead of react, access your ability to reason and to consider the consequences of an action.
About the audio tool
The challenge is to be able to maintain and return to a state of calm-alert. That’s where this audio tool is useful. Dr Colinda will talk you through a step-by-step deep relaxation for body and mind. This graded approach will enable you to recognize what optimal (calm-alert) actually feels like. It will also teach you how to get back there quickly when you need to.
The audio download contains two tracks:
- Track 1 is an explanation of why and how we become stressed.
- Track 2 is a short guided imagery exercise, tailored to relax and balance you within 20 minutes.
INSTRUCTIONS 1. Listen whenever you need to, or daily if you want to learn the exercise. If you do the latter, then within a fortnight you’ll be able to recall the words “relax to optimal functioning” whenever you’re stressed out. This will enable you to bring yourself down to the calm-alert state. 2. Ideally listen to Track 2 while sitting, but not while driving. (You’re likely to face many of your challenges while sitting, however, when driving, you cannot concentrate fully on the words of the audio.)