Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Hump of Arousal, cognitive reframing and Red Dawn (Wolverines!)

There was a section on sports psychology during the seminar last weekend. One subject that was talked about was the optimal level of arousal needed for optimal performance. If we look at the relationship between the two we get what’s called the Inverted U Curve Theory; or the Inverted U Curve Principle. Apparently, which name you use depends upon how strongly you agree with it. Anyway, I bring this up because our instructor said that if HE would have invented this idea he would have called it the “Hump Theory”. He was just being funny, but it seems as if Joe wanted me to mention this.

As a side note, our instructor also told us stories about his own experiences regarding anxiety/arousal levels during certain activities. He said that he went out with some friends once to go rappelling and that the thing that scared him the most was the beer.

I think Joe and I were the only ones who laughed. Does the altitude in Colorado Springs damage the part of the brain that controls one’s sense of humor? Perhaps it is near that place in the lobe that also causes spitting? I would probably need to see some research to be sure.

So let’s talk about how cool the phrase ‘cognitive reframing’ is!! Or better yet, let’s talk about how cool the idea is!! Thanks to Sierra I hope to use this phrase every chance I get. And I encourage you all to use this “rose colored glasses” technique as well in the coming weeks. And remember, it’s not delusional. It’s just choosing to see the bright side. Of everything. (Is anyone else hearing the Monty Python whistling right now, or it is just me?)

Somehow we need to work “paradoxical directives” in there too, but I haven’t figured out how yet. Still, if you want to sound intelligent, feel free to throw it in to your conversations with friends.

As far as Red Dawn (Wolverines!)…one thing that is really cool about having a sky full of clouds in the early morning is that sometimes, just above the mountains, the sky is clear. So when the sun rises, there is a minute or two where it is above the mountains but still below the clouds. And in that moment, the red that is painted on the underbelly of the clouds is unbelievable. It’s not just the color, either, it’s the texture. What appeared as a smooth grey sheet one minute becomes a textured canvas of red and blue the next. It’s a Red Dawn (Wolverines!) that is hard to forget. And sometimes, it is the only sunlight we get for the rest of the day (ie today).

Oh, and if you’re wondering why I put “Wolverines!” after I write Red Dawn…well…let’s just say that if you have to ask, you probably won’t understand. Google might help you out, however.

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