Completing the Cycle

Hello out there!

Last week the book  Burnout by Emily and Amelia Nagoski was released. I have been waiting for this book for months now. Some of you will have heard me talk about it before - I just love learning about how our nervous systems work! And I especially love learning ways we can do to support them when they are freaking out. 


I've been following Emily Nagoski's work for a few years now. I love and highly recommend her first book, Come as You Are, which is about female sexuality and is so insightful. She combines science and heart in a way that makes her books both fun to read and inspiring. 

Back to this newest book though, she combined forces with her sister to explore the stress response cycle and work with burnout (emotional exhaustion).

I've sometimes talked about this at Qoya, especially when related to why we shake in each class.  It turns out our bodies can't tell the difference between being chased by a lion and having a hard conversation with another human. They have the same biological effect - a cascade of hormonal and neurological activity all designed to help you survive . And no amount of logic or self-talk will complete this cycle or convince you you're not in danger.

Because it's happening in the body, you have to speak the body's language to complete the cycle. What is the body's language? Movement!

We need to move our bodies to give ourselves the signal that our bodies are a safe place to be again. Shaking, dancing, walking, or simply tensing our bodies and then relaxing them are all examples they give.  They suggest alternatives to movement, but movement always comes out on top as the most efficient and effective way to complete the cycle.

 This is one of the reasons I love Qoya, because it does this so so well. Movement is medicine.

Moving your body in time with others for a shared purpose brings together all the things that are most important for fighting burnout. It is physical activity, it is social connection, it is a sense of meaning and pu-4.png

I heard Emily say the above on a podcast and it made me realize another layer to why Qoya is so important to me and why creating space in my week for intentional time with others is also so important. Moving your body in time with others is on par with sleeping when it comes to recovering from burnout, emotional exhaustion and feeling stressed. Whoa! 

I haven't even finished reading Burnout but I highly recommend tracking a copy down and doing your own reading and reflecting. Can you imagine how amazing it would be if we could all be more conscious about completing stress cycles?? 

I love remembering that my very primal nervous system is always just trying to do it's best to keep me safe, even if it doesn't know the best way to do that. And that's when I love that my prefrontal cortex does know! And so I get to choose. Choose to shake, breathe and connect or choose to ignore my tense shoulders, my tense tummy and tell my nervous system to "get over it." One of those choices is so much more effective than the other. 

I'll be at Qoya tonight, recharging my battery, and maybe you will be too!

But if that's not an option for you, there are so many other ways to move your body, I hope you find one that feels good and is accessible for you to do today. 

I'm going to go shake now, because sometimes I feel vulnerable writing and sending out these notes - cue a mini stress response! 

With love and appreciation,