Manifesting Your Best Future Self
Building Adaptive Resilience

Disclaimer


Disclaimer:

The content of this website is not a substitute for advice, treatment, or counselling from a registered health professional or therapist. A health professional or therapist should be consulted in the case of suspected physical or mental illness. The training is not a substitute for any intervention advised by your healthcare provider or therapist. If in doubt, always consult your healthcare provider and therapist.


Caution: 

Do not listen to the audio file and do not practice the relaxation training while driving or operating machinery.

About The book


   About The book


It’s easy to feel daunted by life circumstances such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and by the personal, professional, and financial challenges that are arising from it. Unhealthy levels of stress have become widespread, resulting in physical and emotional health problems such as impaired immunity, weight problems, migraines, insomnia, hypertension, anxiety, irritability, and low mood.

This book introduces a highly effective approach that helps you trade tension, fear, anxiety, anger, and sadness for love, appreciation, gratitude, and enthusiasm, even under pressure.




Practicing these techniques can help you:
  • Deal with challenges and stress effectively.
  • Improve relationships at work and at home.
  • Develop more resilience and resist burnout and extreme stress.
  • Improve your well-being, health, and performance, even during crisis, challenges, or continual change.
You’ll notice a difference within days.

Over decades of clinical experience as a family doctor, integrated physician and resilience trainer, Dr. Gruenewald has seen the lives of his patients and clients enhanced by regular practice of these simple techniques. Dedicating just a short time each day to one or two of these exercises can have surprising benefits and lead to greater fulfillment in every realm of life.

This book is an essential read for everyone who wants to take hold of their physical and emotional health and their destiny in challenging times.

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Our Approach


Our Approach
This approach to adaptive resilience combines insights and evidence from chronobiology (the study of biological rhythms and their adaptation to the environment), physiology, positive psychology, existential psychology and neuropsychology, social science, and mindfulness to provide a holistic method for resilience. Human beings are dynamic and complex, and we’ve found evidence of the multi-directional relationship between body, mind, and spirit as well as practical skills that help you connect these components effectively. We therefore take a bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach to resilience, building you up from the top down (engaging the mind in important questions), as well as from the bottom up (changing your physiology, like heart rate variability).

The adaptive resilience approach offers simple exercises as practical tools and techniques created to help you develop resilience, improve well-being and health, and deal effectively with pressure.

I will define adaptive resilience, summarize the research and case studies that show how we develop resilience, discuss what these factors look like in the brain and body, and provide practical exercises you can do to develop these resilience skills. You’ll learn ways to train yourself to achieve more of those flow states Csíkszentmihályi describes, through exercises that boost both your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and increase connection and engagement with people and tasks.

You’ll also hear about methods to aid release, recovery, and recuperation after strenuous activities.

Afterward, I will cover concepts such as cognitive flexibility, detaching and engaging at will and training the mind to be flexible and wise in doing the right things at the right time.

The practical exercises recommended in this book are all scientifically proven to be effective. Having said that, research speaks for most but not all people, and each person is different. We encourage you to personalize the exercises. Feel free to practice the skills you most resonate with and make them your own. You may also have found yourself practicing some of them already, but we may show you how to do them in a different and more conscious way to help you become more consistent.

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Book Content


What is Adaptive Resilience

Exercise 1: Coherence Training

  The Breath Pacer

  Rescue Breath

Exercise 2: Quick stress relief

Exercise 3: In- Step- Technique

  Step 1: Review (Stepping out)

  Step 2: Contemplation (Making sense)

  Step 3: Mental rehearsal (Stepping in)

Exercise 4: A courageous conversation with myself (Contemplation)

  Strengthen Your Willpower and Attract Favorable Circumstances

Exercise 5: Mindful nature observation

Exercise 6: Active listening

Exercise 7: Transforming Difficult Relationships 

Addendum: Physiology and Psychology of Stress and Resilience 

The Autonomic Nervous System 

The Physiology of Engagement and Flow

Positive Emotions 

Summary and Conclusion


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Coherence Training - Introduction


Coherence Training - Introduction
Benefits

  • Trains your bodily systems toward flexibility, rhythm, and balance
  • Enhances emotional regulation
  • Reduces the negative impact of anger, stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Enhances your capacity to stay well and perform well under pressure
  • Improves general health, well-being and performance
  • Reduces symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Can improve quality of sleep
Introduction

The Coherence Exercise helps develop meditative and reflective skills while significantly reducing stress. It also helps develop core values such as calmness and security, caring and appreciation, and strength and confidence, addressing each of these qualities individually. Its symbols and affirmations support the deepening of the particular experiences. This powerful breath meditation reduces the negative impact of stress and extreme emotions. It improves and protects physical and emotional health, well-being, and productivity, even under pressure and in crisis.

The Coherence Exercise combines elements of gratitude, guided breathing, focused relaxation, dynamic visualization, and brainwave entrainment. The latter gives access to fully alert states of extended consciousness and increases the effectiveness of subsequent exercises by allowing us to access our higher self and subconscious mind. Physiologically, the exercise balances our autonomic nervous system and endocrine (hormonal) function and strengthens our immune system.

Coherence Training (CT) is an audio-guided and biofeedback-based form of resonant frequency training. It combines paced breathing, dynamic visualization, and brainwave entrainment at gamma 40 Hz and alpha 10 Hz, which are dominant brain waves during flow and peak performance. Inaudible isochronic tones entrain the rhythm of the brain, while the breath pacer entrains the rhythm of the heart. As a result, the training aligns the nervous systems of the brain, heart, and gut.

CT trains to a physiological state that underlies sustainable peak performance, flow state and engagement, and ability to release, relax, and recover, even under pressure. This can lead to better management of stress and extreme emotions, improved and sustained emotional and physical health, and better performance.

CT facilitates and protects emotional and physical health and productivity even under pressure.

Diaphragmatic breathing at a pace of 5.5 breathing cycles per minute has been shown to align the rhythms of breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate variability. The result of this alignment is a resonance effect that enhances the amplitude of heart rate variability, a sign that the autonomic nervous system is flexible, adaptable, and balanced. This increase in heart rate variability (SDNN) and ANS balance point to physical, emotional, and mental health.

During this paced, slow, and deep breathing process, heart and brain enter a state of coherence, which leads to high amplitude synchronized electric activity of heart and brain, shown in the electrocardiogram (ECG) as electric activity of heart rate variability peaking in the range of 0.1 Hz. In the electroencephalogram (EEG), it’s shown in increased brain activity in the range of Alpha 10 Hz. Mid-alpha-brainwave activity is a sign of focused relaxation, when the focus turns from sensory perceptions toward inner experiences in a relaxed but watchful manner. Similar activities of heart and brain also occur when experiencing positive emotions or during a state of flow or engagement.

The breathing exercise is greatly enhanced by using the dynamic visualization of rhythmically alternating and breath-synchronized attention and focus on body and surroundings (flow of sunlight), while experiencing a positive feeling such as gratitude, appreciation, or love. Gratitude, for example, has been shown to promote profound mental, emotional, and physical health benefits.

Coherence breathing can help you better manage stress and reduce extreme emotions such as tension, anxiety, fear, sadness, and anger. It has also been shown to improve emotional and physical health and productivity and build personal and interpersonal resilience.

This exercise activates and energizes the collaboration between heart, brain, and gut nervous systems, and stirs the rest of the body through resonance and coherence. As a result, you may be able to change old neural pathways in your brain and build new ones, positively transforming the way you think, feel, and act.

Practicing this exercise daily over six weeks may make you feel calmer, more energized, and more optimistic over time, and can help you stay well and perform better under stress. Your focus, concentration, and working memory may improve, along with your personal and professional relationships. You may find that you recover faster from strain. And the quality and duration of your sleep may improve, too.

Practicing the paced breathing once or twice daily for 15 minutes over six weeks leads to the best results. Reasonable results can also be achieved with shorter training sessions.

Over time, your body will learn to create this state of balance and alignment, and you may be able to activate it at will—even in challenging situations. You’ll hear more about this when I introduce the Rescue Breath.

Performing Coherence Breathing for even a few seconds before a challenging task can help by reducing performance anxiety and fear of failure and creating a state of sustainable peak performance.

Coherence Breathing is not a relaxation exercise. It can calm and relax when you feel agitated or overexcited, and it can stimulate and activate when you feel low in mood, withdrawn or lack energy. But these effects are experienced as a “bottom-up” cascade of changes, meaning you’ll experience them in the lower areas of the brain first, as a physiological response (i.e., decreased tension) before they travel “up” the brain, leading to mental changes (e.g., decreased tension or worry or improved concentration).

Because this follows the way the brain normally processes information, we often feel the effects more quickly and easily than with top-down strategies such as insight and-conscious introspection.

Excerpt from the book.

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Coherence Training - Instructions


Coherence Training - Instructions
This exercise works best if practiced regularly in a rhythm that fits your lifestyle. Practicing it at the same time each day reinforces its effect. Soon after waking and/or before falling asleep can be particularly effective. Don’t try to do the exercises for at least one hour after a main meal.

The Creating Coherence exercise consists of the following parts:

  • Activate and maintain a feeling of gratitude
  • Breathe slowly and deeply
  • Visualize sunlight oscillating between body and periphery
Let’s start with the exercise. Please sit comfortably with your arms and legs uncrossed. Become aware of the ground underfoot and the contact your body makes with your chair.

1. Create and sustain the feeling of gratitude

Activate gratitude by imagining for a moment how grateful you are that a desired (future) goal has already become reality. Ask yourself why you feel so grateful for having achieved this goal. Once you’ve created the feeling of gratitude, let go of your thoughts and images and hold on to the feeling while breathing slowly and deeply. If you lose it, you may focus on recreating it in your thoughts while continuing the slow, deep breathing described in the next section.

Select a goal, personal or professional, that you’d like to achieve. This goal can be a new personality trait (such as greater compassion toward yourself and others), a health goal, a career advancement, or a material possession.

Only choose goals you’re confident are achievable and bring no harm to yourself and others. You may start modest and become bolder over time.

Ask yourself how achieving this goal would be good for you and others, and why. Now imagine you’ve already achieved it and feel deep gratitude for your imagined achievement.

Imagine a concrete life situation that tells you that you’ve achieved your goal. Imagine it as if it’s happening right in front of you. Experience the future as if it’s happening now. Make sure that any lack of confidence or fear of failure is replaced during your imagination with gratitude for the achieved.

Now drop your thoughts of your goal and hold on to the feeling of gratitude throughout the exercise. Merge the feeling of gratitude with your deep, slow breathing.

Once you’ve created the feeling of gratitude, let go of your thoughts and images, and hold on to the feeling while breathing slowly and deeply. If you lose it, you may focus on recreating it in your thinking and imagination while continuing with the slow, deep breathing described in the next section.

You may practice this step for a few days or weeks before adding the next step.

2. Breathe slowly and deeply

  • Slow breathing: 5.5 seconds in and 5.5 seconds out (slowly build up the duration).
  • Now breathe deeply and slowly through your nose, gently in and out.
  • Breathe from your diaphragm upward, filling about 80% of your lungs with air from the bottom up.
  • Breathe into the back and front of your lungs.
  • As you inhale, feel your belly expanding and fill your lungs up to 75% with air.
  • As you exhale, breathe gently out through your nose as your belly gently contracts. If you can’t breathe through your nose, then breathe gently through your mouth.
  • Breathe comfortably and smoothly and don’t force your breath.
  • Once you’re comfortable with this exercise, please start using the audio breath pacer (“Coherence breath pacer”).
As you match the breath pacer with your breath, maintain deep breathing and focus on your heart and the feeling of deep gratitude while imagining the sunlight expanding into the space around you with every inhalation and contracting back into your body with exhalation.

The breath pacer will help you achieve and maintain the right breathing rhythm. If the pace of the sounds is initially too slow for your liking, follow it with your breathing rhythm for as long as it feels comfortable. Then pause and follow your own rhythm, listening to the tones only, until you’re ready to join in again. You may want to alternate for the first few days, until you feel comfortable following the pacer throughout the training.

Please use headphones when listening to the sound files. Use the breath pacer for approximately six to eight weeks. Afterward, you’ll be able to practice the whole exercise without any technical help. You can download the breath pacer MP3 files onto your phone from this website.

3. Imagine sunlight oscillating between body and periphery

  • Once you’re able to create and sustain a feeling of gratitude and to follow the breath pacer with your breathing, you may add this dynamic visualization as a third step.
  • Imagine your body filled with the golden light, warmth, and vibrance of the sun.
  • Imagine your body inside a bubble filled with sunlight, with a diameter of approximately 3 yards (radius of 1.5 yards—this is the extent of the heart’s electromagnetic field).
  • As you inhale, imagine that the golden light, warmth, and vibrance of the sun flow from your body into the periphery, filling the bubble in front and back, left and right, and top and bottom entirely.
  • As you exhale, imagine that the golden light, warmth, and vibrance of the sun flow from your surrounding bubble into your entire body.
  • Try to maintain the feeling of gratitude during breathing and visualization.
Imagine your entire body, every organ, tissue, and cell, filled with the golden light, warmth, and vibrance. Feel the lightness of your body and experience the warmth and the life vibration of the sun within your body, too.

Sustain this flow of light, warmth, and vibrance between body and surroundings throughout the meditation. As you continue breathing and visualizing the moving sunlight, feel deep gratitude for all healing, goodness, beauty, truth, and abundance coming into your life. Continue to breathe golden light, warmth, vibrance, and gratitude in and out.

Practice this exercise once or twice daily in the morning and/or in the evening, but also briefly before and after challenging events.

You may just focus on slowing and deepening your breath and focusing on gratitude and the sunlight in your body and surroundings for one to five minutes with or without the breath pacer during the day, for example, before and/or after a challenging event.

Practice Coherence Breathing for the duration of 15 minutes at least once daily.

Excerpt from the book: Manifesting Your Best Future Self. Developing Health, Happiness and success. Kindle and Amazon.

Caution: Do not listen to the audio file and do not practice the relaxation training while driving or operating machinery.


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The Breath Pacer


The Breath Pacer
Once you’ve learned the basic breathing technique with dynamic visualization of sunlight and attention oscillating between body and surrounding, simultaneously focusing on the feeling of gratitude, use the provided audio breath pacer during your Coherence Exercise.

The breath pacer combines slow, deep pacing at 5.5 breathing cycles per minute with brainwave entrainment at Alpha 10 Hz and Gamma 100 Hz embedded in soundscapes and music. Using the breath pacer helps immerse you in the experience and lead you into a state of engagement and balance between focus and relaxation. It also enhances the beneficial physiological changes in breathing and heart, ANS, and brain activity. It’s a potent training device that you should use for about six weeks, and then it may be beneficial to continue practicing the exercise without it.

Don’t worry if you can’t follow all the instructions instantly. With a little practice, you’ll grow into this meditation and it will become second nature for you.

Please use headphones when listening to the breath pacer.

You can download the MP3 files from this website and choose from breath pacers in different soundscapes (music).

Excerpt from the book: Manifesting Your Best Future Self. Developing Health, Happiness and success. Kindle and Amazon.

Caution: Do not listen to the audio file and do not practice the relaxation training while driving or operating machinery.

Get your Paperback or eBook on Amazon:   USA   UK    CA

Breath Pacer (free download)


Download your Breath Pacers for free (for use with Coherence Training)


  

Download: click here


Further instructions:

Download the folder with the Breath Pacers (MP3) and Instructions for the Coherence Training (PDF) onto your desktop 

Import them Breath Pacers into an MP3 player or into your smart phone

You can also stream the files on your phone whilst online

Use head phones when listening to the sound files for maximum effect 

Dr Peter Gruenewald, MD


Dr Peter Gruenewald, MD
is an internationally recognised expert in the field of adaptive resilience, stress and performance.

Peter is an associate fellow at SAID Business School, Oxford University, and runs workshops in adaptive resilience for professionals, senior leaders and managers in the private and public sector.

He is the author of the book The Quiet Heart. Putting Stress in its Place (Floris 2007).

He is a founder and managing director of Adaptive Resilience Ltd., a company that provides executive coaching and resilience training for individuals and organisations.

Peter is the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of RCube Health Ltd., a digital health start-up company that has developed a mobile app for stress management and resilience (RCube).

Peter also works as an Honorary Clinical Specialist in Sleep Medicine and General Medicine for the University College London Hospital (Royal Hospital for Integrated Medicine) and as an Integrated Physician in private practice (London Integrated Health).

Peter studied medicine at the University in Vienna (Austria) and trained as a General Practitioner (Family doctor) in Germany.

Testimonials


Book References


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Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaufer, Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System

Client reports


YouTube Resources


YouTube Resources

Angela Lee Duckworth (TED talk):
Grit: The power of passion and perseverance 
Click here

Dr Joe Dispenza:
Rewire Your Brain
Click here 

Dr Joe Dispenza:
Build Quantum Coherence
Click here 

Dr Joe Dispenza:
Mental Rehearsals To CHANGE Your Life
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Dr. Rollin McCraty:
Heart-Brain Coherence 
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Irene Lyon:
The Polyvagal Theory. Explained.
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Tremendousness:
The Science of Gratitude
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Louie Schwartzberg:
Gratitude: The Short Film
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Mark Matousek:
3 Keys for Lifting the Veil On Your Story & Discovering Witness Consciousness
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Vironika Tugaleva:
The Most Important Conversation You'll Ever Have - The Importance Of Self-Talk
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Dr Shad Helmstetter, PhD
How to Change Your Self-Talk
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Dr Joe Dispenza:
Mental Rehearsals To CHANGE Your Life
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Neurotransmission (founded by Alie Astrocyte)
Why nature is good for your mental health
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Arthur Zajonc and Craig Holdredge:
Goethean Science
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Ronnie Polaneczky (TEDx Philadelphia):
The Power of Deliberate Listening 
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Judith Pennington
Gamma Brain Waves and What They Do for Our Brains
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