Want Control Over Your Body? Listen Closely to Your Feedback Loops.


What’s a feedback loop?

A feedback loop is a flow of information designed to maintain homeostasis – stability, equilibrium. Your brain is in a constant exchange of information with your body as it monitors everything going on and will recalibrate, when necessary, as a result of acquiring and analyzing the information it receives to maintain balance within.

There are 4 stages of a feedback loop:

  1. Evidence {capture data and analyze it}Feedback Loop
  2. Relevance {putting it into context – what does it mean?}
  3. Consequence {if this continues, will that be good or bad?}
  4. Action {if we need to change, how? what’s the plan?}

Here’s a mind-body feedback loop in action:

  1. My low back feels funky.
  2. I’ve been sitting too long.
  3. If I continue sitting in this position, it’ll get worse {move from funky to pain} and I won’t be able to play basketball tonight.
  4. I decide to get up and walk around for a few minutes.

 

Which song do you have on repeat?

A feedback loop is like a groove on a vinyl record and the more often it cycles through, repeating the same process, the deeper the groove becomes. The needle of the record player fits comfortably in that groove, enabling it to play the same song over and over and over without slipping out, turning that process into a habit.

Each time a feedback loop cycles, you are given an opportunity to take action – to choose how to react to the information being gathered. You determine whether your actions become good or bad habits. Will you choose to listen to your low back telling you to get up and walk or will you choose to ignore it and keep your nose to the grindstone?

 

The more conscious you are of your feedback loops, the more deliberate you’re able to make your actions, increasing the likelihood they’ll develop into positive habits.

 

Conscious choice has the power to change your experience. Take the above example of a mind-body feedback loop, instead of waiting until my low back feels funky, I can set my phone alarm to remind me to get up and walk around every 30 minutes so it continues to stay feeling relaxed and groovy.

 

Your Insights – How conscious are you of your feedback loops? Do you choose which songs to play or has the same song being playing over and over so long, it’s blended into the background so you’re no longer aware it exists? Is there an action you can take to preempt postural funkiness and play a new, more enjoyable melody?

 

 

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