DAY 24: Dance Like Everybodys Watching
Day 24 Self Reflection:
On Day 24 on your workbook, list the five people you spent the most time around. These five may not be your best friends or family but the people you are literally “around” the most. Then consider what these people are bringing into your life.
Day 24 Micro-Science: Anterior Cingulate Cortex and Trauma Resilience
The brain hates rejection as much as it hates physical pain. In fact, the Anterior Cingulate Cortex where pain is registered in the brain is the same area of the brain that gets activated when we feel social rejection. Hence the statements “love hurts” and he “broke my heart.” The brain does this because for thousands, if not millions, of years rejection from the tribe meant certain death. So the brain decided that to avoid that outcome, which is of course the brain’s main objective. The brain decided to pain social rejection one of the worst feelings a person can feel. Of course in today’s world not impressing one group is perfectly safe because you can always join another group. However, try explaining that to any teenager in the world who feels left out. The main point being that our brains are outdated and make up all sorts of false fires that feel like death. However, over time the brain learns after multiple “rejections” that “hey go figure” I guess rejection doesn’t equal death anymore and the person starts to gain “trauma resilience.” Basically, if you go through enough hard stuff your brain starts to get the picture that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
FACT: At the end of WWII England set up numerous “mental health facilities” to help citizens overcome the shock and awe of the “blitzkreig” bombings of London. But it turns out most of these hospitals sat empty, because the citizens came away not only mentally unscathed (most of them) but more confident that they could get through anything.
TAKEAWAY: Helicopter moms may think they have the right idea in protecting their kids from any and all danger. In reality, however, getting through tough experiences in what makes us able to get through future tough experiences.
Day 24 Meditation: Dancebomb
I’ll never forget the day I was sunbathing at rooftop pool in Bangkok and suddenly felt like dancing. My inner critic told me it was a bad idea, as my dancing skills are well below average and the people around would definitely snicker. Then I realized I would never see any of the people around me ever again and suddenly I was free to do as I pleased. I popped in my earbuds and started dancing. Initially it was slow and awkward as I warmed into my new found sense of freedom. But eventually I just closed my eyes, shut out my internal criticism and went to down. Damn did it feel good and eventually that sense of “who cares” started to permeate throughout my life as I came to terms with the fact that taking life so seriously was definitely cramping my style.
FACT: Children smile on average 400 times per day, adults smile on average 40 times per day
TAKEAWAY: Kids get it right, we should be more like them. Adults may have more to worry about but that’s all the more reason to lighten up and laugh at all that life throws at us.
Day 24 Meditation: Today’s meditation might seem a bit whacky, but in the end I think you’ll end up smiling. The point is to help you not take yourself so seriously and hopefully that will extend out to the rest of your life. So for today, find your favorite dancing song, push play and just dance anyway that feels good. Onc song is enough but if you want to do more be my guest. You can close the door and do it in your bathroom, shut off all the lights and do it in the dark, or out loud and proud in the living room. The task is to let loose and give yourself a break, so enjoy.
Day 24 Movement Task: Rejection Cleanse
Humans are the world’s most social species and therefore our brains care alot about what others think of us. In today’s world you can see this in instagram and facebook taking up a large majority of people’s attention. In the days of our ancestors, it was very important to know where you ranked in the hierarchy in order to know what resources you could expect and make plans accordingly. But in today’s world we don’t just have 35 people in our local tribe to compare to. We basically have many different hierarchies in which to figure out. For instance, the brain is constantly trying to figure out where you line up at work, in your family, in your community, and now with instagram where you line up across the county. Its physically and mentally exhausting to keep track and downright unfair to compare yourself to others across the globe. So my advice.. stop trying… even though your brain really wants to do. Catch yourself and become ok with being just ok. Cause the truth is everybody else out there is just pretending to be amazing, just like you are.
FACT: The bigger a person’s social group the bigger a person’s brain to help them map out the intricacies of their social network.
TAKEAWAY: Some researchers theorize that as the human species tribal units got bigger so did our brains in order to keep tabs on those around us. They also hypothesis that language developed in order to “gossip” about the cavemen down the street because we didn’t always get to literally see what they were up to. So if the tribe got too big and in order to trust them we needed language to ask others about their reputation.
Day 24 Movement Task: For today’s task, the goal is to get a “no” and be ok with it. So think about something you have wanted to ask for and ask for it. It might be intimidating at first, but once you let the words fly enjoy the experience. Getting a “no” isn’t so bad and it turns out you won’t die if you hear those words, so go forth and desensitize yourself to rejection. Might feel better than you think.
Day 24 Bonus Material:
#1) Ted Talk: The Power of Vulnerability
World famous social worker Brene Brown walks us through what actually happens when we’re vulnerable. In this short Ted Talk Brene explains why being exposed scares us so much and how to overcome it.
#2) Ted Talk: What I learned from 100 days of rejection
This short Ted Talk by Jia Jiang is both enlightening and funny, definitely work a couple minutes of your time. It may inspire you to lighten up and put your neck out there a little. I promise it won’t hurt that bad!
#3) Dance Like Nobodies Watching: Airport