Today two things happened that got my brain thinking in a slightly different way about something that I’d like to share with you. The first was when I was putting the finishing touches on a helpful comprehensive nutrition guide for one of my coaching groups, and the second was this article about stress that a friend sent. I highly recommend you read it when you have a moment.
In the nutrition guide I referred several times to the idea of “signals” to the body. So for example one of the effects of weight training is to signal muscle protein synthesis, to build muscle.
Then the article came across my desk and it got me thinking of an analogy that might be helpful:
Imagine that you have to answer a phone every time it rings. When it rings the message on the other end of the line tells you what to do next. Let’s imagine for a second that actually taking the call requires no energy and isn’t an interruption. Only what the message tells you to do has to be addressed.
What would those signals tell you to do?
Would you constantly be interrupted by emergencies big and small that you had to address? Before one was resolved you’d be interrupted to deal with another?
Would any of those calls tell you to take an hour of downtime, with no further calls coming in?
Would the calls tell you to do things like lift weights or do gentle stretching, or would they tell you to sit in front of the TV for hours?
One way to think of stress is as these phone calls. Long time readers will know that stress is something I write about and focus on often, and it’s not as simple as “stress is bad.” On face of it stress is just like these phone calls. The call isn’t inherently a problem, it’s the accumulation of those messages and what they tell you.
So another way to think of how you approach things is what calls do I have coming in? What messages or signals do those calls carry?
I hope this is a useful way for you to think about things.