Principles

“Action does not guarantee happiness, but there is no happiness without action”

Benjamin Disraeli

-You can optimize your mood, anytime & anywhere

There is always something you can do wherever, whenever. Although life can be stressful, there is no situation too bad to do something. Just remember, “I can take action here, now”. That action could be as simple as a breath, stopping your movement, or choosing a different thought, but it is an action nonetheless.

-It is key to build functional body/mind strength.

Our goal is to help you learn to build mental and emotional strength through moving your body and your thoughts, and then apply that strength in moments of need.

What we are looking to help you build here is a functional nervous system. This could mean moving one’s legs, moving your breath, or it could be engaging a thought process. They are all based in your body, however. A “top-down” approach looks to target the brain first, then looking at effects on the body. We’re starting with the body, then looking to build mental and emotional capital. Sometimes we’ll target the body first, sometimes our thoughts, but it is all building your nervous system.

- Emotions are sources of information.

Emotions are not irrational. (They just sometimes compete with reason…more on that later on). They are a hard-wired part of how our body communicates information to us about the state of our body, and the outside environment. Like any information, sometimes they are helpful to the matter at hand, and sometimes they are not. Your job is to learn how to use and manage this information.

- Smart = strong = smart

The ancient greeks believed in the concept of the well-balanced person. This was one who was strong not only in body and spirit (the Spartan contribution), but also in mind (the Athenian).

If you look at the premier athletes in any sport, they are using the most scientifically advanced and researched learning methods (i.e. brain training) available to them, to aid in the development of their bodies.  Why should your mental fitness be any different? We aim to use the most scientifically advanced and tested bodily fitness training methods to further your brain and mood training. In doing so, we will build strength upon smarts, and smarts upon strength.

-We are what we repeatedly do.

Athletes who spend their whole lives in a rowing shell (boat) develop very powerful legs and backs. This type of physiologic development happens in the brain as well.

There is a rule in neuroscience called Hebb’s law. This pertains to nerve cells, the functional “wires” of the brain. Cells that “fire together, wire together”. This was initially referring to individual nerves but also applies to groups of nerves and thought patterns. If you heard someone yell your name, and you thought to yourself “what did I do wrong?” you might feel pretty worried. Conversely if the same thing happened and you thought to yourself “someone wants to say hi”, you might feel excited. We can choose our thoughts, and if you decided to create thoughts more like the latter (and worked at it), that thought pattern would then become the standard pattern. By then training this thought pattern repeatedly, you actually change the structure of your brain. When we take this into account, it raises the importance of training those thought and emotional patterns in our brain in a way that we want to be happening!

- Surviving is not thriving.

Everyone has times where want to be able to tap into your broader life goals, and seek a broader fulfillment. There are also times in life, however, when you are content to “just get by” and survive the stressor at hand.

Whatever your goals, we’ll look to provide you with tools that you can use not only to survive, but also to thrive in life. By learning and using some basic mood training techniques, over time you will learn to get yourself out of those tight spots. You will also develop a strength base that puts you closer to reaching your goals.

-Let’s go be a force for good and have fun!

Brain science and psychology and exercise can get sooo technical, boring, and dry. Man… oh… man. The brain is about the coolest, most flexible, creative thing in the universe (and literally the most complex). Let’s treat it as such! What is more fun than functional brain science, exercise, and meditation all rolled up into some interweb facebookery? Not much, senior duderino.

- Dedicated to the memory of David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD

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