[NOTE: This is an absolutely essential principle/law to operate your life from. It is as important as any of the other few top principles in life! This is "Job 1" each day, for it is the foundation upon which your life is determined. It comes first, for it is what enables your life effectiveness and feeling good as you go.]
"Do not allow yourself to get onto the accelerating downward spiral of 'dysfunctioning'. The process is geometrically disintegrative."
"If we deviate too much from the middle of the life survival range, we have disease."
Antonio Damasio, Neuroscientist
Just glance at the homeostasis levels and then read the discussion. You will use something like this in controlling your homeostasis.
HOMEOSTATIC (FUNCTIONAL) LEVELS
(For each area AND overall, where each area is working in conjunction for overall high functionality.)
The "score" on the side is the level of aliveness, effectiveness, and experience of life and well-being.
10 High Functioning, fully living, fully able to think, alert, clear - Full, deep green (Go) light, fully human
and experiencing life more deeply, much more effective
7 OK Functioning - Lignter green light
4 Yellow (Caution) light - Start to correct soon, so that you don't dissipate to lower level or incur further
damage, body/mind is distracted by having to fix something that is "out of whack" (anxiety, area of
2 Damaging zone - Robs from other areas to correct dys/lowfunction "Unsmart", monkey mind
1 Red alert! - Malfunctioing, stupor, stupid, non-living, numbed, reptilian brain rules
The point is to monitor these levels and to go back to functionality as soon as possible, not only to limit the (initially inviisible) damage and "not feeling good" but to be able to fully harvest life's bounty.
Which are you in right now? What are you going to do about it?
Never tolerate low energy, high diversion of mind to seeking relief from anxiety, unsolved problems, addiction (soft and hard),
Read the discussion that follows. Use the instructions on what to do, at the end of this piece. Get really good at managing this and your life will be great!
"He who chooses to set his thermostat in life for a higher level will live an incredible, great life in the H+ Zone. It is not just "better". It is instead 'flying' in life, dynamic, truly alive, truly creating all that you could possibly ever want. And it is one hell of a great experience!!!"
Our body, brain, and behavior have a built in tendency to stay within very narrow limits. The reason is that that is what worked for survival of our DNA. So, it works. (Because we only have a certain limited amount of resources, we must avoid anything that takes away from the resources/energy that keep each area operating well. When an area goes into dysfunction at some level, the body "steals" energy/resources from other areas, then making them dysfunction, until everything is eventually rebalanced.
BUT we must not let it be the ruler, for it does not work for our benefit. After all it is a mindless machine that is automatically repeating the process of avidly adjusting ourselves to function in order to save our lives (but programmed 10,000 years ago, with some features outdated and without adjustment to today's world!).
Beware that homeostasis works to keep things as they are even if they aren’t very good! That means that it will appear to be "resisting" change. (Note that "resisting" is merely one force believed to be good for something acting toward that something but in the opposing direction to another force believed to be good. Nowadays, we must use our higher brain to manage the process, for passivity in this area will severely limit your life - at the extreme, one will behave more like a reactionary animal.) Because of that we must "manage" the process, sometimes going a little slower in order not to scare the primitive mind.
We must also note when we have artificially pushed ourselves into states of threatening homeostatic imbalance, for when that happens your body/mind's forces will switch over, sometimes partially, to solving the imbalance problem such that whatever else you are doing will be impaired. And, it's not smart to try to go forward when you are impaired - it is most often best to fix the impairment.
The chief "culprits" in modern life are not stopping to recover, giving yourself sugar spikes that are highly impairing in a short while and also in the long term, and allowing oneself to get so riled up in negative emotions that we cannot engage our higher brain to make good decisions.
It is essential that you master this, for your whole life is greatly affected by this one super-factor in life!
THE VITAL CONCEPT OF "HOMEOSTASIS"
The more and more you let your body or your emotions go out of balance and fail to correct back to the natural body/mind conditions for assuring you are in a proper survival range, the more and more your life doesn't 'feel good' and the more and more your body and "mind" fail you, causing
1. Poor body repair and improper replication of DNA (= cancer) and deterioration of the heart vessels, organs, and all parts of the body. And
2. Just not feeling good emotionally, feeling weaker and less capable of producing a great life.
3. Less of an ability to move forward, as there will be conflicting needs and diverting of scarce resources away from your ability to think and act and move forward (all because the "repair", "relief", and the "threat" must take precedence for the survival mechanism in the body).
I recommend that you avoid the causes of the "imbalances" in the first place and if it occurs that you catch this early and correct it as soon as possible - you can't afford to let it go, if you want a happy, healthy life!
There is a tremendous cost to the system in desperately correcting one's balance back to the level where it is functioning best for our survival. This is NOT an optional action for the body/mind, for we are programmed as the first priority to assure our survival and to correct anything that threatens it.
There is a "well-being" loss due to the fact that some not-so-good-feeling chemicals are used to whip us into shape to assure our survival. That loss of well-being reduces our mood and ability to respond well to life - and it colors our perceptions and hyperactivates our alarm system, in an ongoing downward spiral away from what has us feeling good.
There is a super-loss of effort and of attention (the body has to use attention units to handle what it needs to attend to!). That takes away alot of energy and time that could be used for more valuable endeavors.
One super-principle/reality here is that the cost and damage done increases geometrically as it get further and further out of balance.
You cannot come out well in life, in terms of quality and longevity if you think you can get away with frequently letting yourself get into the dysfunctional zone - you will pay the cost, guaranteed, not just currently but over and over again in terms of its future effects.
"A stitch in time saves nine." If you let yourself go into poorer functioning, you will have to spend more effort on just trying to get back to functioning well. That is alot of effort wasted just to get back to normal! If you adjust as you go, so that you stay in the high functioning range, it takes a helluva lot less effort - and you stay out of the feeling bad range - plus you feel better because you are more productive in getting what you want - and you are stronger and more capable of avoiding wastes of time.
You've heard of keeping yourself in your maximum power zone. Well, this is another reason to do it, besides how good it feels!
Be sure that the practice of maintaining homeostasis is fully in place. Use the Homeostasis (High Functioning) Checklist! (And go back to the checklist any time that you find yourself slipping down the slippery slope of reduced functioning!)
KEY SUMMARY POINTS
The body seeks, for survival, to return to high functioning balance, called homeostasis. Trying to get back in balance will cause a feeling of "upset", poor functioning, loss of energy, loss of ability to be productive, while the body screams and insists that it must rebalance!
Poor functioning causes more poor functioning as it strains the systems.
The emotions go haywire.
Poor replication of DNA causes cancer.
Blood sugar imbalances and swings causes diabetes.
High blood pressure causes cardiac disease.
Time spent out of balance = die sooner, not having later years feeling good
In short, it is vital, vital, vital, and vital to your health and your happiness!
To the extent you allow yourself to be out of homeostasis, your life quality and ability to function effectively in life will decline geometrically!
To the extent you tolerate not being able to function at a good level, you will lose the results you would have gotten and/or multiply any suffering. You will also experience a "downward" spiral, where one out of balance item affects another one and so on in a circle of cause; at worst, it can turn into a "vicious cycle".
If you keep yourself in the power zone, you'll be very effective and very happy.
You should not tolerate anything less! You should not tolerate living a life that is less than the one you can have!
Definition: The maintenance of normal, internal stability in an organism by coordinated responses of the organ system, that automatically tend to correct for out of balance conditions that cause the body to malfunction or function less effectively. The body is always fighting to correct the threatening out of balance condition - and if the condition is more extreme, the body will have to expend more energy and also have more go awry.
As the body (or mind) senses that it is further and further from operating well, it works harder and harder to correct the condition, using the mechanism of the stress hormone called cortisol. The longer or further you allow this, the more and more damage you do and the further you get from living a calm, coherent life. Instead, you want to "train" your body and mind to stay in the coherent, highest functioning range.
If you don't put gas in your (emotional or physical) gas tank, then you'll run out of gas. If you don't tune it, it'll run rough. If you don't change the oil, it'll run rough and likely wear out quickly or even blow up. Trying to get somewhere with a flat tire, in life...
And so it is with our vehicles and our power sources in our lives.
This is simple, but it is one of the most powerful things you can do in life to live a much better quality life, with far less effort and far more happiness.
STAYING IN THE POWER ZONE - Pay attention to the "temperature" and adjust it within the tolerance range. Noticing and then correcting quickly is the key to success in life!
Way out of whack 10
Correct quickly ↓
HIGH LIMIT ______________________________ 2
Perfect balance, functioning ______________________________
LOW LIMIT ______________________________ -2
Correct quickly ↑
Way out of whack -10
On a scale of 0 to -10, with -10 being maximally out of balance, chaotic, not functioning, consider that you should never go beyond a -2, as the damage increases dramatically (over time) and your use of time declines disproportionately, so your day won't go as well, feeling-wise and productivity-wise.
The minute you notice any of the following, don't tolerate them, adjust them until you are functioning properly again:
Feel lethargic - Move, stretch, walk (important, never tolerate "lethargic" non-living)
Upset - Breathe deeply, slowly; relax muscles; write it down; settle it
Anxiety (= form of "upset" - Outside the best operating area on the psychological
SUDS ("upset", "distress") scale.
Feel down - Write why, move, stretch, exercise, deal with it if need be
Tired - 19 minute nap if a bit tired, so feel sharp again; long nap if very tired
Not breathing deeply - Breathe deeply, slowly
Headache, body aches,
To stay in power in the moment, use The Pause or The Time Out Tool, which are essential and vital to making good decisions and keeping your cool while being in full power. Of course, it is also powerful to train your mind to stay in that zone by itself, by conditioning it and giving it "coherence" practice using meditation. Meditation need not be some weird, esoteric spiritual/miracle practice, as it is only a simple directing or settling of the mind in a focused session. And power in life comes from one having the ability to direct and focus one's mind. Read the pieces of interest in the Meditation section. Don't tolerate letting yourself be out of the homeostasis range and do what it takes to live life as a champion - with feedback and frequent correction and fine tuning.
BODY IN HOMEOSTASIS
Keeping our body in tune assures we have maximum power, but it matters the degree to which we let our body get out of whack before we adjust it back to where it is running well. When it is out of whack, it throws our systems off and causes some damage - and definitely has us run inefficiently, using up our energy reserves and/or our ability to burn energy (such as in diabetes or hypoglycemia, which, except in rare cases, are self caused). Read The Costs Of Destabilization.
MIND/EMOTIONS IN HOMEOSTASIS
Keeping our mind in tune and in balance is also vital to maintaining maximum power. If we allow ourselves to operate at a low power level, we erode our confidence, causing damage to our emotional machine and building in a lower power operating level, which in turn will lower our confidence - and so on, down the emotional spiraling into low self esteem and/or depression/anxiety.
If you want to live life as a champion (not in the mode of a deprived life, however) with grace and ease, you will do what a champion does:
1. Seek and get rapid feedback
2. Quickly and more often than others correct what doesn't work - Not tolerating
dysfunction persisting for even a moment.
3. Practice what works
4. Keep on monitoring, being aware, noticing, correcting