The Mountain Mindshift offers a suite of tools for mountain athletes to harness the neurophysiological effects of awe and enhanced sensory perception for greater safety, speed, and enjoyment in the mountain environment.
Experience shows that the difference between success and failure is in the mind.
– Mark Twight
As a mountain athlete, you know how many stressors can and do make it hard to think clearly and make good decisions at crucial moments — dehydration, low blood glucose, sleep deprivation, expectations, fear, physical fatigue, and mental fatigue being major ones.
Awe can give you mental clarity.
Very quickly, the experience of awe can cut through brain-clamping stress by triggering a variety of psycho-physiological effects:
- It quiets the default mode network (the “monkey mind” chatter in your head).
- It encourages curiosity and openness, revealing new possibilities.
- It alleviates existential anxiety.
- It expands your perspective, enabling you to see what you couldn’t before.
- It leaves you feeling more patient and present.
Awe also reduces energy usage by
- downregulating the sympathetic nervous system
- upregulating the parasympathetic nervous system
- inspiring energy to be used for action
Mental strength, the ability to think — and act — clearly and smartly in demanding and dangerous situations, is the single most difficult capacity to improve as a mountain athlete. . . . Concentration, calmness, confidence, and clarity of judgment are the hallmarks of the greats.
– Steve House
A few minutes of regular practice of the Mountain Mindshift awe technique gains you the ability to access awe — and via awe, the ability to think more clearly — when you need it. In seconds.