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Learn more about the Science Behind WrkfloW

These video take you through the Five Dials. If you want to change your state in real-time the trick is to manipulate aspects of your nervous system that are under your control. These are your entry points for changing how you think, feel, and act in real-time. Breath, focus, movement, self-talk, and non-sleep deep rest (NSDR) are these entry points. These are the Five Dials. When you manipulate these dials using WrkfloW, you strengthen important neural pathways (e.g., self-directed positive neuroplasticity) and update the human operating system that is your brain.

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FIVE DIALS INTRO

WrkfloW uses Rebel Human’s Five Dials approach to help you optimize your brain for deep work, regardless of your current state. If you are tired but have to write a marketing plan, we’ve got you. If you’re feeling distracted but have numbers to crunch, we’ve got you. If you’re feeling self-doubt but have to finish that chapter, we’ve got you. We don’t want you to leave your deep work to chance or be affected by the whims of your mood. We want you to find focus in a distracted world. ​​If you want to change your state in real-time the trick is to manipulate aspects of your nervous system that are under your control. These are your entry points for changing your physiological, emotional, and cognitive state quickly so that your current state is better matched to the demands of your current situation. Breath, focus, movement, self-talk, and non-sleep deep rest (NSDR) are these entry points. They can be thought of as the “dials you turn” to change how you show up for your life. We call this the Five Dials approach. When you manipulate these dials in a specific way, you bathe your brain in neurochemicals that prime it for focus and concentration. When you do this regularly and pair it with non-sleep deep rest, you strengthen important neural pathways (e.g., self-directed positive neuroplasticity), unlock new features, and update the human operating system that is your brain. It's a simple formula: Breath + Focus + Movement + Self Talk + Non-Sleep Deep Rest = Updated Human OS With practice these state changes become trait changes, equipping you with the cognitive agility, resilience, focus, and clarity to engage more meaningfully with your work, and your life.

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BREATH

Learning to manipulate your breath allows for greater control over your physiological, mental, and emotional states. Because of a connection between respiration (the breath), the heart, and the brain, you can change how you think and feel by changing how you breathe. Here are a few key points: ✓ Breathing is one of the few vital bodily functions that can be controlled consciously, as well as unconsciously. ✓ Due to a feature of the cardio-respiratory system called respiratory sinus arrhythmia, when you inhale, your heart speeds up and when you exhale, your heart slows down. ✓ Because of this, you can change your heart rate simply by changing how you breathe. ✓ You can lower your heart rate and feel more calm by lengthening your exhale compared to your inhale. ✓ You can increase your heart rate and feel more energetic by lengthening or emphasizing your inhale compared to your exhale. ✓ Shallow, short breaths tend to make you feel unsafe, and can lead to anxious, fear-based thoughts. ✓ Long, slow, complete breaths tend to make you feel safe, and lead to calm, peaceful, patient thoughts and help you feel more at ease.

02.

FOCUS

There are two types of Focus we use in the Five Dials. 1) How you focus your eyes (Focus-Eyes), and 2) how you use the spotlight of your attention (Focus-Attention). Focus-Eyes. The eyes are a part of the brain, and therefore are a particularly effective entry point to changing how you feel in real-time. Here are some key points: ✓ When you focus your eyes on one point at the center of your field of vision and hold your focus there for at least 30 seconds your brain releases neurochemical that increase alertness and focus and are key for learning and memory. ✓ Cognitive focus (your ability to concentrate on a given task) follows visual focus. ✓ We have a limited supply of focus and concentration resources. Focus and concentration are metabolically costly and are a withdrawal from your body budget, so use yours wisely. ✓ When you allow your eyes to relax and shift into panoramic vision you attenuate the release of these neurochemicals and therefore feel more relaxed and at ease. This type of eye gaze puts a deposit into your body budget. ✓ Self-generated optic flow is another way to put a deposit in your body budget. Taking a walk, run, roller skate, or bike ride are examples of ways to create self-generated optic flow. These activities allow your eyes to see objects passing by as you move through space. This is relaxing to the brain. ✓ When you feel exhausted, stressed, irritable, and frayed, the worst thing you can do is look at your phone because it will draw on your limited focus and concentration resources, drain your body budget, and move you into the red. ✓ Curating what and how you see has an impact how you feel. Focus-Attention. It’s important to know the difference between sensation and perception, and between interoception and exteroception. Knowing these subtle ways to control the spotlight of your attention are the building blocks to feelling less scattered, anxious, and stressed and more in control of how you think, feel, and act. Here are some key points. ✓ There is a difference between sensations and perceptions. Sensations are sensory information being received by your brain 24/7. Perceptions are those sensations to which you pay attention. ✓ The spotlight of your attention turns sensations into perceptions. Gaining more control over this spotlight will have a positive impact on how you think, feel, and act. ✓ The sensations in your body help tell you what you need to feel better. Learning to notice and then attend to those sensations is key to better emotional, physical, and cognitive health. ✓ Interoception is noticing sensations in the body like tightness in the chest, butterflies in the stomach, and aches in the muscles. ✓ Exteroception is noticing things outside the body like sights, sounds, and smells. ✓ Toggling between what you feel inside your body (interoception) and what you notice outside your body (exteroception) builds your cognitive flexibility.

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MOVEMENT

When you bring your heart rate up using movement and keep it up for at least a few minutes, your body releases endorphins and adrenaline. This increases energy, brings pleasurable feelings, and boosts mood. Here are a few key points: ✓ When you increase your heart rate, you tend to feel more energized. ✓ When you decrease your heart rate, you tend to feel more calm. ✓ When you stand up, your heart rate increases. ✓ When you move your arms up and down quickly, your heart rate increases. ✓ When you hold your arms still and above your head, your heart rate decreases. ✓ When you lie down, your heart rate decreases. ✓ When you move enough to increase your heart rate and keep it up for at least a few minutes, your body releases endorphins and adrenaline (epinephrine). This increases energy, boosts mood, and shifts you into a more positive mindset. ✓ When you move enough to increase your heart rate and keep it up for at least a few minutes, immune system cells are mobilized. When you do this regularly, you improve your immune competency across your lifespan.

04.

SELF TALK

The self-talk dial helps you feel more in control of your mindset and works to "code over" old ways of thinking. Here are some key points: ✓ Your mindset is like a lens through which you view the world. By changing your mindset, you change the lens, and ultimately what you see. ✓ Self-talk is a command to your brain. ✓ You can decide what you want to tell your brain in order to change how you think, feel, and act. ✓ To have an effect, it is key to repeat your chosen positive self-talk words A LOT. This is why we suggest adding the words to your footsteps, exercise, breath, dish washing, etc. NOTE: Use one word that has two syllables, or two words that are one syllable each for your Self-Talk. Here are some examples: WOR-THY I'M SAFE HERE NOW ON TRACK LET GO FOR-GIVE O-PEN SAFE NOW I'M LOVE I'M LOVED I'M BRAVE I'M STRONG HEAR ME THANK YOU

05.

NON-SLEEP DEEP REST

Non-sleep deep rest (NSDR) puts a deposit into your body budget and is KEY to optimizing brain function and performance. Here are some key points: ✓ To get NSDR, close your eyes, recline in some way, and remove as much noise as possible. If you are not in a quiet location, or prefer to be guided through your NSDR, choose one of the options on the Just Rest page. ✓ NSDR puts a deposit into your body budget so you don't get overwhelmed, frayed, irritable, or start catastrophizing. ✓ NSDR helps you retain information because it's during these rest periods that myelination happens in the brain. ✓ The sounds of silence, nature, or singing bowls are an antidote to the constant noise we tend to encounter in our modern-day lives (cars, trains, sirens, the hum of appliances, etc). This constant noise can reduce cognitive functioning.

06.

A NOTE ON THE BRAIN

Your brain's primary job is running the systems of your body to keep you alive and well. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, your brain is managing its limited resources such as water, glucose, salt, oxygen, and hormones by making guesses about what you need next based on the information it is receiving from the world outside of your body and the world inside of your body. This process of managing the systems of your body is known as allostasis. It can be thought of in terms of running a budget for your body. As with any budget there are deposits, withdrawals, and investments. Withdrawals are metabolically costly and deplete your resources. Movement, focus, concentration, learning, rumination, anger, stress, and anxiety are examples of withdrawals. Deposits replenish your resources. Sleep, rest, food, water, being out in nature, warm relationships with loved ones are examples of deposits. Investments are withdrawals that come with a return. Exercise and learning a new skill, language, musical instrument, and even a new way of being in the world, are examples of investments. When withdrawals out-pace deposits, your body budget runs into the red. If it runs in the red for too long, the systems of your body will begin to break down and you run the risk of physical and mental illness and injury. Understanding the state of your body budget; slowing down and attending to how you feel; and appropriately managaing your withdrawlas, depoits, and investments is foundational to better health and wellbeing.

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