Most of us arrive at our riding from 30 floors up and wonder why the whole experience feels a little left off centre.
What do I mean? Well, most of us either lack the tools to bring ourselves back to a regulated state or beyond that are “stuck” at a level of activation where we never truly come back to a balanced baseline. Over the course of any given day, we are riding waves of stimulation, and up-regulation in response to “little threats” or situations that require that little bit more of us that see a shot of cortisol and adrenaline being released into our system.
What constitutes a little threat? For the most part, we aren’t running from Sabre Tooth Tigers anymore. But opening the email you don’t really want to read at work, finding yourself forgetting something that was really important or mediating yet another argument between your young kids all send us into sympathetic activation.
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with this but it does become problematic when that spike of energy has no release and we don’t downregulate on the other side of it. Then we find ourselves in a situation where we have moving through a number of stress cycles over the course of the day, which independent of each other are relatively benign, but cumulatively add up to a volcano.
And then we go and catch our horse and wonder why we feel anxious.
You can’t think your way out of a stress cycle. It is a physical experience and must be processed as such. The key is to find ways to inject small pockets of regulating movement in your day in response to stressors so that we are continually emptying our cups and not leaving them full to overflowing.