We would all like to get more out of life, be less stressed and ultimately be happier. But what does “happier” mean? How do we get less stressed? How can we perform better in stressful situations? What are these important skills?
Here at Freediving Gold Coast, we strongly believe that freediving teaches a core skill of life, that being, how to be more relaxed under pressure – In no other sport or activity can facing ‘pressure’ be taken so literally. Pressure becomes like a tangible object that you can work with, toy with – learn to accept and exist in. In the literal sense, in freediving, the pressure is holding your breath at depth underwater. There is the physical pressure which increases as you go deeper under the water and there is the pressure on your mind – your perception of your experience of depth or your perception of what depth ‘could’ be like once you are in it. Both the real and perceived experience of pressure can test and challenge your your inner critical (if not worrying) self. We believe that what happens in freediving is a microcosm of what happens in a person’s life. We believe the main objective of freediving is superior calmness of mind and body. We believe the essential ingredient of health and happiness is calmness and emotional regulation.
There are many aspects of our day to day lives that trigger states opposite to calmness: frustration, anger, anxiety, guilt, and sadness – to name a few. What do you do when you experience these emotions? Typically we get caught up in a downward spiral of out of control emotions where our emotions are in charge us instead of us being in charge of our emotions. Our rational and reasonable mind gives way as our emotions rule out – overwhelming our capacity for decision making and working productively with them – in other words, we stop protecting ourselves from ourselves. All of a sudden, our emotions whose very role is to serve, to guide and protect us and others betrays us and then it betrays others. We express ourselves in the wrong way, wrong time, and wrong place. We’ve live in times where psuedo-psychology on the self-help bookshelf swung a pendulum and told us to pour out our emotions. But there was often a problem in the pouring and serving in that they had little to offer their readers in the way of ‘now, how do I turn this tap off?’ There’s arguments for ‘oh, emotions are a process – express them and they’ll work themselves out’. Ok, but the reality is – there are times more often than not when your processing them means – taking control of them and being able to ‘not’ feel them in a way that’s detrimental to your own or other’s performance.
Clinton Laurence, our Principal Freediving Instructor, is also trained in Sport and Clinical Psychology. He is a registered psychologist in private practice. He has spent his entire working life helping people from all walks of life to be calmer and to regulate their emotions more effectively. In turn, this helps people to perform better in sport, work and relationships in living a more satisfied and happier existence. While it takes effort and time, it is possible to learn these skills and make changes to your life.
A particular technique that Clinton specialises in is FLOAT-REST or restricted environmental stimulation therapy. Floating in a water environment at an appropriate temperature reduces stimulation to the brain which many people find deeply relaxing. Combined with hypnotic suggestions this deeply relaxing state can be used to manage chronic health conditions such as fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions.
If you would like to get more our of your life, make an appointment to see Clinton in his confidential and private psychology practice at Parkside Medical (www.parksidemedical.com.au) on 5564 7451. Please note that you could be eligible for a Medicare Mental Health Care Plan which means Medicare provides a rebate of about 80% of the cost of the 50 minute session. A Medicare Mental Health Care Plan can be obtained from your GP or if you don’t have a GP we can recommend a suitable GP.
Clinton also offers seminars and workshops to sporting groups, businesses and government organisations on the enhancement of performance. Recent popular topics include:
- FLOAT- REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy)
- Mind-Body Breathing
- Mental Preparation
- Calmness in the Workplace
Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your individual or organisation’s needs.