Updated: Oct 15, 2020
Imagine yourself about to be in a running competition, one that you have been training arduously for, a build-up of endless suffering every single training session just waiting for this day to come. You glance towards the podium with the trophy of the number one place, the sun’s rays reflecting off it, shining so brightly into your eyes. Feeling the adrenaline pumping into your bloodstreams as you frown in determination, you are so hungry for that win.
The whistle goes off and you, with a group of other competitors, pushed off. The first round seemed like a walk in a park, second round was a breeze too, third round was a piece of cake.
When the fourth round came, exhaustion and fatigue started to set in but a test of perseverance and endurance is key. Then comes the fifth, the sixth and the seventh round, then end seems so near but yet so far. You are running out of breath, your body is sending signals for an emergency halt, before your system shuts down completely and sends you into a complete blackout. At such a crucial time, what would you do?
I have failed my IPPT countless of times, each and every time lacking the motivation to carry on and letting my inner demons trample on my lack of determination and perseverance, my sergeant told me just one line, and I thanked him for it till the present day.
“It’s all in the mind. Push yourself mentally and your body will not give up.”
Back then, I thought that it was all a pep talk. A last-minute morale booster to get me scrapping pass the bare minimum passing grade, but I was wrong. I believed in that theory, a theory that was thrown at me five minutes before the start of my run. It made me clinch a timing of 11:46, from my initial 13:46, a whopping two-minutes improvement.
“How is this possible? What kind of a sorcery is this?” I asked myself. This theory, that I was so skeptical about, made me improve tremendously, from 13:46 to 11:46, then to 11:30, 10:40 and finally 10:21.
Of course, in the midst of those runs, “out of breath” was an understatement. My legs went numb, my lungs were pumping at maximum capacity I could feel it, my heart felt like it was about to explode, but still, I held on and I persevered till the very last moment. When it’s all over, I felt so euphoric that it was like I was above the whole world, and that nothing could stop me.
This phenomenon, “Mind over Body”, is basically times which you have been pushed beyond your limits, and your body recognizes the flickering warning signs and sends imminent signals to your brain, telling your brain that it is in pain and anymore exertion will result in an injury. This prevents your body from a sudden shutdown, like how a trip in a circuit breaker triggers a blackout.
However, when there is that extra willpower, endurance and strength in the mind, it basically allows your mind to declare an override in that signal which your body gave. This, in turn, sends a signal back to your body to “press on because the end is near”, which triggers an order for your body to decrease the sensitivity of your sensory pain receptors, hence decreasing pain experienced throughout until the adrenaline wears off.
“Mind over Body” is applicable in all sorts of scenarios. Keeping your diets in check through your willpower, focusing on your assignments when your friends are out having a good time, or even telling yourself just three more extra repetitions after completing your bicep curls set in the gym.
It is important to understand that setting short-term mental goals will eventually yield greater results in the bigger picture. It is a test of your mental strength, which sets you apart from the ones with weaker mentality, regardless of how capable they are physically.
It is also important to understanding that facing setbacks and downfalls are inevitable, what matters is to never give up regardless of the number of attempts it takes and how strong you are setting yourself to come back. Always remember: Live a life you won’t regret living, rather than regretting living a life other wants you to live. It is your life, so make the decisions you are most happy with and never stop until you reach your destination.
The human brain is so powerful that it possesses about 100 billion neurons with roughly a quadrillion connection known as synapses wiring these cells together. It is estimated that the human brain is roughly between a thousand times, or equally as powerful as a modern central processing unit. This is why humans are often capable of things which they are consciously unaware of, because they have not been placed in that situation which their fight-or-flight response is triggered.
The fight-or-flight response, also known as hyperarousal or acute stress response, is a physiological reaction that is triggered when a humans’ (or animals’) mind processes their immediate surrounding information as a harmful or life-threatening situation. This sends neurological signals to our body and pumps adrenaline, telling it to be on guard.
Rapid heart beat to increase oxygen intake for the necessary rapid responses to the danger, dilating pupils to increase sensory awareness to the surroundings and having pale/ flushed skin as blood flows from unnecessary regions to the muscles in your arms, brain and legs to prepare for a fight, or to take flight from the scene.
So, why are you restricting your mind from unleashing its potential? Let it rule your body, let it have the last say, most importantly, let it bring you the success you have always yearned for. Keep this principle in mind and stick to it religiously, Math Lobby believes that with this mindset, you will be able to accomplish anything you can think of in your wildest dreams.
With that, Math Lobby hopes that you have gained valuable insights from this article, for any questions or inquiries, do contact Math Lobby on Facebook, Instagram or on our website itself! And as always: Work hard, stay motivated and we wish all students a successful and enjoyable journey with Math Lobby!
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