So you have a good sense of how your stress system works and you have perhaps a renewed appreciation of just how stressful your job is on so many levels, on both the acute level and the chronic level. What are you going to do about it? Well, now we're getting to a point where we're going to begin describing a process that you can go through, that will help you dial your stress back, dial that anxiety back when you need to. Now this is a skill and I'm going to be stressing this all through, think of any skill you know, you do not just learn about a skill. Somebody doesn't just tell you about how baseball works, and then you're out there, able to play. Your skills have to develop through practice and so everything I'm going to talk about from here on in, I'm going to be stressing practice. I'm going to be giving you a little bit of homework at the end of each session because it really will take practice to make this all work, but if you put in the time, I assure you this is a skill that will be highly valuable to you in your career and in your life in general. Here we go. Let me just begin by emphasizing this point, these stress responses, when they happen, they can spiral out of control, and you certainly see this in the people you interact with, where some people just lose it. We're all at the danger at any given time, when we're under a lot of the stress, of losing it. Let me just be clear about how that happens. If the amygdala was somewhere around here, it's not really, but close enough. If the amygdala senses threat, it kicks in your sympathetic nervous system, and as we describe now, this makes your body feel that feeling. We've learned over many years that that's the feeling we feel when we're under threat. So once we have that feeling, now that feeling itself becomes a input to the amygdala that says, oh, I'm under threat, I can feel in my body now, and that makes your amygdalas even more sure that there's a threat out there, which makes it send this message back to the body, etc. So we can just have this buildup of anxiety, of stress, the sympathetic nervous system gets stronger and stronger and the person is just compelled with his need to do something. This is how it can spiral under control. A basis of everything we're going to tell you about, is that, you can get in the way of this negative feedback loop, you can stop it either by getting your amygdala to stop, but that's hard, but if you actually learn to relax your body, so that those feelings go away, that will actually send a relaxation signal to your amygdala, which will actually reverse the spiral. Then it will try less to energize your body, you're pushing relaxation on top your body, and you're keeping it relax. This is the way we're going to shut down this negative feedback loop, is through something we're going to call formal relaxation. However, we can't go right there yet, because there's a critical first step, and let's go to that. Overall, the approach I'm going to describe to you has these three components, noticing, relaxing, and listening. I see my little skateboarder in the corner there, I've been trying to come up with some fun name for this approach, and so I've decided to call it the gnarly approach. Why gnarly? Well, kind of spells gnarly, a little bit, add a few letters here and there, but also because if you think about someone who's doing gnarly skills on a snowboard or whatever, these are skills they put a lot of time into practicing and there are things they can do, that most people can't do. So this is a gnarly skill. The ability to actually manage your stress response, your anxiety response, I think is a gnarly skill. So I'm going to describe it that way, as the gnarly approach. I've already hinted out the relaxation step, but this is the critical first step. In order to kick in relaxation, you have to know when, you have to know when it's time, and in order to know it's time, you have to get much better than you currently are at recognizing anxiety in yourself or potentially in others and with others. We'll get there. I want to guide you into this by first just talking about mindfulness because I want you eventually to be mindful of your anxiety. But it's an analogy in a way to think about it and something you'll come into constant contact with. Once again, I have to thank Dave for this because this was his idea. I want you to practice mindfulness in a variety of contexts. One that I think is a really nice analogy is when you're in your Cruiser and when you're driving that Cruiser, or even if you're a passenger, but if you're driving that Cruiser, normally we drive and we pay very little attention to the sensations that come to us. Our mind is usually somewhere else, thinking about something else. Yeah, we're just driving around mindlessly. I want you to drive around mindfully now and then. What I mean by that is as you're driving your Cruiser, feel the vibrations on your hand of the steering wheel. If you hit a bump or a pothole, feel how that moves you around, and actually think about it and attend to this jerk that it gives you. Feel your foot as you give gas, or on the brake, feel that push against your foot when you push against the brake. As you're going around turns, feel the forces of gravity pushing your body left and right. Even feel the seat at your back and underneath you. Take some time while you're driving and feel the car. You know how some people say they become one with their car and that they can feel what's happening to the car, to the tires, again, think of the potholes and whatnot, that you can actually sense that. If you're mindfully connected with your car, you can feel all those things. One of the jokes they say about really good race car drivers is the best race car drivers have a really good butts. What they mean by that is that they use their behinds to sense the car and what's going on, and they can tell an engineer immediately when something is not right. When the hum of the engine or the vibrations that are coming through is not what it's used to, they can feel that, they can detect it, and they can say something is not right. At times, I want you to practice this. You can practice this in other places too. On the shooting range or whatever, places where you might not normally, you might be thinking how good is my shooting, but take some time to really put your mind into how everything feels, how your muscles feel when you're in the position, how the recoil feels, the smell of the gunpowder in the air, the sound that it makes. Take some time to really put your mind there and sense these things and appreciate these things. That's what mindfulness is really about, taking things that we normally just let go right by us, but taking the time to really appreciate the sensations that those things give us. When you're on lunch, while you're eating your lunch, taste that food, taste that, and practice just being mindful in general. This is a fun thing to do. Well, it is a fun thing to do if you're doing it with things that you enjoy because you're going to enhance the enjoyment of those things by literally really appreciating those positive sensations that it gives. That's part 1 of your homework, will be just practice mindfulness. Practice it anywhere, but especially around the things that you enjoy doing. I really like the Cruiser analogy because what I want you to eventually do is to take that mindfulness approach and apply it to your own body, which is like applying it to the sensations you're getting from your car as you're driving, except the car is now going to be your body. I'm going to want you to attend much more to your body. Yeah, so let's jump there. Here's Yoda again. The first step to controlling your stress response is to recognize it. You can't let it just go right by you because if it goes right by you, it may be in control of you before it's too late. You have to learn to get good at feeling that tension rising and recognizing what it is. Oh, there's my sympathetic nervous system again. It wants to take control of me. That's when you can do something to say, nope, I'm not going to let it take control me. But you have to notice that it's trying. You can't let it sneak up on you. This sounds easier than it is. So many of the things in life, we're just used to not thinking about very deeply. You're going to have to practice this, as I mentioned. One of the things I will suggest is we often aren't very good at staying mindful of our own behavior and sometimes we don't see things in ourselves that other people see. I've got this word partner up here. I mean, in the most general sense, yeah, I just couldn't resist the picture. I thought it was funny. But let's look at this definition. A person who takes part in an undertaking with another or others, especially in a business or company with shared risks and profits. While the risks and profits are a little different in your world. But you can think of your partner, your literal partner in the force. But I also want you to think of all the partners that you have in life. These including, you know, literally your life partners at home, et cetera. If possible. If you can convince some of them to take this course journey along with you, I would ask you to do so and I would consider doing so in a sort of buddied up way. Again, this could be a life partner, this could be a partner in the police force, it could be both. But if you're both going through this together and you've both said, I want to learn this skill too, I want to get better control of my stress response. Then if you work together, you have a powerful additional source of information. I'm going to ask you to try to learn when you're anxious, when you're stressed out. But somebody else might see that better than you. They might be able to look at you and say, How you doing right now? If you do this as a sort of code for what else? A check in, check in on yourself. Where are you right now? They might be really good at getting you to check in at times when you should and similarly, you might be good at seeing it and others and the more you see it in others, the easier it'll be to see in yourself as well. I really want to encourage that sort of partnership in this learning process. With your partner, these are things you can do alone, but you can do with your partner as well. First of all, when you were experiencing things you enjoy, practice mindfulness to really increase that enjoyment. That'll make you appreciate the whole process of becoming mindful in the first place. Secondly, you can use your phone and you can set some random notifications. Just set alarms at weird times during the day and when they go off, check in on yourself and say, oh, alarm went off. Where am I right now? Maybe even write it down and recorded it. 1-10 scale, how anxious would you say you are? Just get in the habit of every now and then checking in. Again, if I just leave it to you to do, you'll forget to do it all day and you'll never check in. That's why I'm suggesting notifications to get you used to stopping every now and then to check in and potentially again, relying on partners to say, hey, I want you to do a check in right now and write down that number. Just keep in mind when they're doing that it's not accusational, it's helpful. You might want to do a check-in right now, see where you're at. Those times when you check in and you are anxious, take a moment to be mindful of the anxiety. Get to know what it feels like. Get to learn that feeling. If you can gauge it and especially, I'm at about a seven now, or I'm at about an eight. That's what this part of the training is all about. Learning to recognize your anxiety and get a sense of how strong it is. I also mention here, notice relationships potentially between what you were doing or thinking and how you feel. Maybe you just watched the news and you do a check and you find, I'm really anxious. Or maybe you just did karaoke with your kids and you check in and you say, I'm not very anxious. You can start to learn how certain things make you feel and you can use that to configure your life and choose to do things that make you feel less anxious, that give you a break from anxiety now and then. I recommend karaoke by the way. That would be a great one. That's your homework for now. Put the Course away for a second. Don't go onto the next video right now. Take a few days, I would recommend, and work on this, work on mindfulness first and get this down. Get to a point where you can recognize your anxiety when you feel like you're at least on that path to that skill. Then come back and watch the next video and we'll take the next step. Okay. See you then. Bye-bye.