Physical Intelligence = a high level of understanding and the active management of our physiology that enables us to develop excellent performance.
Hello & happy Sunday! In case you don't know already, In The Moment is my favourite magazine and I couldn't recommend it enough to everyone! It is a publication that addresses wellness, mindfulness and happiness and for me, it really puts things into perspective. Every month, on the release day, it feels like a breath of fresh air, being (after my family) the best encouragement for me to keep going.
For this reason, I decided a while ago to share with you, every month, my favourite article and, in July, this begins with a little test in order for you to learn more about physical intelligence and how to develop yours.
The following article belongs to In The Moment magazine, under Immediate Media publication.
Take the quiz to pinpoint the areas you can improve. For each statement, rate yourself between 0 and 10; where 0 - completely disagree and 10 - completely agree.
What Your Answers Reveal...
Well Done! You are already very physically intelligent.
You have established how to perform well in key areas of your life but likely have pockets here and there where you can be even more physically intelligent. To improve, identify which areas received lower scores and focus on one area per month to build your strength, flexibility, resilience or endurance so that you can realise your most challenging ambitions with greater ease and enjoyment.
You may need to make some more significant adjustments.
You are probably working hard to perform and flourish in some areas of your life, whilst other areas may draining your energy and vitality. Successes you have experienced may have come at a cost and you could be questioning if you have the energy and ability to sustain yourself and others moving forward. Think of this as an exciting opportunity to reap more of the benefits of your hard work to date.
You likely need to change your routine.
You may be struggling in your work and your life in a number of different areas. It would be advisable to get some professional support and do a fundamental review of the specific aspects of your lifestyle and working patterns that are diminishing your sense of your performance. There are many simple physical intelligence techniques to help you turn things around, so get to it!
Building Your Physical Intelligence
Changing how we move can influence how we think and feel and help us to craft a life we love, say Claire Dale and Patricia Peyton.
Over 400 chemicals in the body influence how we think, feel, speak and behave. Physiology drives performance yet, most of us experience physical reactions, emotions and thoughts without realising that we can transform them. Physical intelligence is the active management of our physiology - the ability to detect and strategically influence the balance of chemicals in our bodies and brains so that we can achieve more, stress less and live more happily.
People with high physical intelligence have crafted their lives so that they can perform at their peak for the majority of the time.
They apply a range of techniques that enable them to constantly realise their ambitions and face tough challenges with relative ease; they are strong, flexible yet stable, resilient and can endure significant periods of hardship whilst maintaining their energy levels and vitality. Even better people with high physical intelligence have energy to spare to help others, support causes and find time to give back. Just as they do for many top performers in sport and the arts, four elements - strength, flexibility, resilience and endurance - form the backbone of physical intelligence.
Strength in this sense means finding your own inner strength and confidence, taking appropriate risks, having good cognitive function and decision-making skills under pressure, establishing clear boundaries and remaining committed.
Flexibility entails being creative, innovative and collaborative, having high self-esteem and respect for others, effectively engaging and influencing those around you, understanding others’ styles and agendas, being agile and quick-thinking in changing environments, ready to embrace and instigate change.
Resilience is about bouncing back from adversity, being optimistic, adopting a learning mindset and developing a well-functioning immune system through emotional, mental and physical fitness. Endurance includes the determination and staying power, being able to focus on and achieve long-term goals, finding intrinsic motivation, plus planning, executing and maintaining performance long-term.
Working alongside the four elements are eight key chemicals. While there are many chemical interactions that we can’t and wouldn’t want to influence, these eight chemicals work together to make or break our success - and we can influence them with physical intelligence. Each has a clear signature announcing its arrival or departure. When the chemical balance is right, we call it the “winning cocktail”.
The more we use physical intelligence techniques and understand the neuroscience that underpins our behaviour, the more we can control our winning cocktail, and build our strength, flexibility, resilience and endurance, so that we can achieve more, stress less and live more happily.
THE WINNING COCKTAIL
Acetylcholine: drives our ability to rebalance, renew and recover from pressures we feel. Signature feeling: balance
Adrenaline: releases a burst of energy when we need it, but can also make our nerves kick in, making it difficult to communicate effectively.
Signature feeling: fear or excitement
Cortisol: critical to our ability to take on challenges. In today’s fast-paced world it can send us into overdrive, triggering heightened anxiety.
Signature feeling: anxiety
DHEA: The high-performance chemical, supporting vitality and cognitive function – this generally drops after the age of 30, but can be accelerated by stress and the lead to premature ageing.
Signature feeling: vitality
Dopamine: motivate us, giving us feelings of pleasure and need– when we feel disappointed it’s due to a lack of delivery of dopamine.
Signature feeling: pleasure and need
Oxytocin: makes us feel safe and included; too little and we feel isolated, too much and we feel overly dependent on relationships.
Signature feeling: belonging
Serotonin: influences our level of happiness, satisfaction and well-being – high cortisol can drain our serotonin levels until feelings of depression set in.
Signature feeling: happiness
Testosterone: drives our desire to achieve and complete; too little can make us more risk-averse, too much can make us arrogant and under-prepared.
Signature feeling: power and control