How to Develop Coping Resilience and Mental Toughness

Jan. 15, 2021

These days it’s easy to find yourself feeling tense or anxious. If social distancing and the threat of a global pandemic aren’t enough, just add a dose of political mayhem or a strained relationship and you’ve got a recipe for stress. What I’ve learned from performance psychologist Simon Marshall is that your brain and nervous system manage everything about you, including your ability to cope and overcome the difficulties of life.

In this podcast, Simon and I are discussing some cutting edge ways to master your nervous system and manage stressful moments. Simon shares some evidence-based techniques that involve breathing, vocalization, and eye movement, to manage stress and help you avoid limbic system overwhelm. And as powerful as these practices are, I know they are just a few of the tools Simon has in his performance coaching arsenal.

If you enjoy this podcast, I hope you’ll consider joining us in the upcoming Coping Resilience and Mental Toughness Workshop, with Simon and world champion triathlete Lesley Paterson. The workshop content is approximately five hours of prerecorded video and is largely self-paced, along with four 30-minute live group coaching sessions with Simon and Les to answer questions and help you navigate real-world situations.

Here’s the outline of this interview with Simon Marshall:

[00:01:49] Strava 2020 Year in Sport report.

[00:03:23] Benefits of outdoor exercise.

[00:03:42] Neuroscience research: 1. Yilmaz, Melis, and Andrew D. Huberman. "Fear: It’s All in Your Line of Sight." Current Biology 29.23 (2019): R1232-R1234; 2. González, Anabel, Lucía del Río-Casanova, and Ania Justo-Alonso. "Integrating neurobiology of emotion regulation and trauma therapy: Reflections on EMDR therapy." Reviews in the Neurosciences 28.4 (2017): 431-440.

[00:04:34] Self-generated optic flow.

[00:04:41] Neuroscientist Andrew Huberman; The Huberman Lab at Stanford.

[00:09:40] Physiologic sigh; Studies: 1. Li, Peng, et al. "The peptidergic control circuit for sighing." Nature 530.7590 (2016): 293-297; 2. Yackle, Kevin, et al. "Breathing control center neurons that promote arousal in mice." Science 355.6332 (2017): 1411-1415; 3. Salay, Lindsey D., Nao Ishiko, and Andrew D. Huberman. "A midline thalamic circuit determines reactions to visual threat." Nature 557.7704 (2018): 183-189.

[00:14:56] Podcast: The Neurophysiology of Safety and How to Feel Safe, with Stephen Porges.

[00:22:50] Chimp Purge; Study: Lieberman, Matthew D., et al. "Putting feelings into words." Psychological science 18.5 (2007): 421-428.

[00:28:41] Podcast: How to Have Intimacy With Ease, with Jessa Zimmerman.

[00:28:51] Podcast: NBT People: Mark Alexander.

[00:30:34] Podcast: A Guide to Flawed Studies with Richard Feinman.

[00:36:33] Stress management; Podcast: How to Manage Stress, with Simon Marshall, PhD.

[00:38:23] Values guided action exercise; Russ Harris.

[00:38:37] Habit formation, habit stacking.

[00:41:49] Dopamine + noradrenaline =  motivated action.

[00:43:59] Leveraging physiology during unpleasant activities.

[00:44:27] Book: Radical Candor (Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity, by Kim Scott.

[00:44:50] Getting and giving feedback.

[00:46:41] Motivational interviewing; helping people change their behavior.

[00:48:26] Book: Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It, by Chris Voss.

[00:49:24] Book: Thank You for Arguing, Fourth Edition (Revised and Updated): What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion, by Jay Heinrichs.

[00:49:50] Book: The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure, by Jonathan Haidt.

[00:53:15] Sign up for the Coping Resilience and Mental Toughness Workshop.

[00:53:40] The Xterra Podcast.

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