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Last week we focused on the different types of stressors- Physical, Chemical, Emotional- now we want to dive deep on how your body functions to react and balance when it comes in contact with one or many of these stressors. Everyone experiences various amounts of adaptation in their life. In fact, I’d argue that our response to changing stressors largely dictates how the ensuing events play out. “Adapt or die!” As the business adage goes.

Recall with me, for a moment, the most stressful time of your life. Pinpointing an exact day/hour can be relatively easy to remember for some, while others may have a handful to choose from. Now, taking out the emotions, what happened next? Did you become stronger? When presented with something shortly thereafter, did you respond similarly/poorly? Or did you elevate, becoming unphased by similar stimuli, because you now had the tools to combat this new challenge?

I’d like to use an analogy to illustrate how this very concept can help mold/shape/sharpen us (or do quite the opposite) by bringing us to a familiar training ground-the weight room. Picture with me, if you will, two freshman in college, on the football team. Jimmy and Kyle are the same size, height, and strength and even come from the same high school. Many confuse them as brothers. The outcome after year 1, however, made them far more distinguishable.

Jimmy loves “the boys” on the team and the social aspect is what invigorates him. He relies quite a bit on his high school success to carry him through. He comes in and does the work, but he also loves the proverbial “college experience.” “Lil Jimmy” parties a little more than he should, crams for exams, eats whatever fast food he can get his hands on, and sleeps maybe 5 hours a night. His bench press (for the sake of an objective example) goes from 175 to 190 in 1 year. Nothing to write home about.

Kyle took the opposite approach, noticing the juniors and seniors and what he needed to do in order to put himself in a similar position at Prime Example University. Kyle was dialed in and he allowed his body the sleep, nutrition, hydration, and mental focus required to become a much better version of himself. In the same exact timeframe, Kyle went from a similar 5’11,” 165 lb freshman, benching 175, to a solid 182 lb sophomore pushing 225 in the same movement.

Which athlete put himself in the best position to succeed in year #2? I hope the answer is quite obvious. Application-wise, there are a couple of parallels to our everyday life that I’d love to paint from this example:

  1. Though we can look back on our past experiences, they are meant to teach us, not to relive. The more present we can be, the more opportunities we will have to move the ball forward.
  2. Dial it in. Adapt. Kyle recognized that high school was over and it was time to “recreate” himself, so to speak. He took care of the controllables, blamed no one, but himself, if things went momentarily south, and then got back on the path.

How about you? How do you respond to new situations? 2020 is a fantastic opportunity to reflect (as we talked about last week), diagnose, and then get rid of what is no longer useful.

When we are adjusted at Health 1st, our body has some needed stress put on us, in order to adapt and realign (very literally). Dr. Gina takes care of a very powerful step in striving for our maximum health. Are we doing our part in the remaining hours of the week?

If we don’t dial in our nutrition, and do our exercises, and ensure good, quality sleep, and get adjusted, we will be just like Jimmy. We may show up to do the work, but are really just going through the motions. We may see some advancements in our life, but we are definitely not optimizing all that we can become.

Be like Kyle. Allow the body to go through it’s natural response to stress, but put it in position to succeed to the utmost.

In conclusion, I don’t want to sound unempathetic. There are some past events in your life that can be very traumatic. But, here’s the coolest thing. After you’ve allowed yourself to grieve, you’re still here. And that means you still have a purpose here on earth. That’s pretty freaking cool.

Recall past failures, not for sentimental reasons, but so that you will be better prepared to face today’s challenges. Do as Kyle did. Sleep, eat, train, and get adjusted so that you can respond to the day’s events with more tact and tenaciousness than you ever have. That’s how you adapt.

Until next time,

– Brock Baumgarn, CA, Nutrition Consultant, Health 1st Chiropractic

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