We’ve all had nights where we just can’t seem to fall asleep. You didn’t have caffeine, it was a busy day, you don’t have much on your mind at all, and you are ready to sleep. Yet you just can’t doze off. What do you do to help you fall asleep? In general, you try several things.
You might read, count your breaths, try to control your breathing or count sheep. Perhaps you have a glass of warm milk and some baked treats in the hope of inducing a carb coma. Or maybe you go looking for earplugs and eye patches? Whatever the approach/es, you tried hard but to no avail.
It was just sleep. Why are given so many approaches to make such a natural habit ‘work’?
It’s a common trait, though. You’ve got to work hard to get stuff done, yeah? Nah, not always.
Until you’ve acquired mastery, performing a movement requires a conscious effort. But more often than not, you try too hard to learn or improve a movement. You become so focused on getting it right that you almost freeze up. I call it paralysis by analysis. Your CNS either becomes so lit up that you become to rigid to move, or there are too many messages coming from the brain for the body to make sense and nothing happens when you try to.
That’s what happens in the moment. What follows is lots of ‘work’ to make you better. Learn more progressions, do more reps, watch more videos. You keep trying harder. Do you remember what eventually got you to sleep? Unlikely. What probably happened is that you gave up trying, and then fell asleep.
Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t try. In movement if you don’t try you won’t know. What I’m saying is that you should try differently. Think about it before you move, and when you do move, just move. Think about one to two things only. Ride the good and bad days. Accept the process for what it is–a process. Do less, it’s more. Chill out, the world will keep turning!