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One of the greatest challenges to falling into flow are the continuous distractions which occupy our consciousness. Whether it is the uncertainty of sensory feedback or conflicting emotions, they take away from our ability to focus and perform on what we need to, especially when pressure enters the equation.
You know, like when you want to ask someone you like on a date and you’ve prepared what you’re going to say, when you’ll do it, and where. But when the moment comes your cheeks go flush, your palms sweat, you start to shake a bit and when you finally get those words out your mouth, your voice cracks.
Never happened to you? Me neither, but you know what I mean.
A similar experience often occurs to many during presentations or speeches in front of an audience no matter how much you prepared.
Despite incredulous planning for these “performances” it seems to all go out the window as soon as the pressure mounts. These life-changing events are hijacked by your fight or flight stress response even though you aren’t even in danger!
We like to call these responses an evolutionary hangover.
Our body is a product of hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. These responses were what helped our hunter-gatherer ancestors survive the wild threats they lived amongst. The limbic system in our brain is responsible for processing our emotions including the amygdala. A tiny, but powerful part of our brain which purpose is to detect threats and sound the alarm when it registers danger in your environment.