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The Sharp Solution: A Brain-Based Approach for Optimal Performance by Heidi Hanna

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2

Balance Your Brain

Phase One of The SHARP Solution focuses on the head honcho when it comes to energy management, the brain. By restoring brain balance with strategic relaxation and recovery, we move one step closer to an optimized operating system. I will be introducing techniques throughout this book that are aimed at helping you initiate the relaxation response. You've already experienced it in the previous chapter's training exercise; now I'd like to teach you the process and tell you why it's such a critical part of the health and wellness journey.

I've spent a lot of time describing the stress response, which is an activation of the body's sympathetic nervous system. The body's opposing system is called the parasympathetic nervous system, and its job is to facilitate a response that keeps our body in balance. This is a calming, relaxing process that ideally functions in harmony with the stress response in order to give us enough of a stimulus to grow while getting enough recovery to repair so that growth can actually happen.

Most of us suffer from a significantly imbalanced nervous system because we are on high alert the majority of the time. As demands on our time and energy increase, we feel pressure to do more with less and move our own self-care to the bottom of our priority list. We know it's not good for us, but we convince ourselves that we'll get to it someday. The problem is, someday never comes, unless we schedule, commit, and make it a priority.

Fortunately, ...

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