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Welcome to our 5. Day of the Natural Highs Academy!

Updated: Apr 14



Dear friends,


The chinese symbol for CRISIS is made out of two characters: Danger + Opportunity.

I hope you have noticed in the last few days that this crisis has opportunities.


I find it very interesting that two characters make up "Crisis" because there are really two different states in our brain that we can go into during crisis.

When we experience danger or threat, our brain automatically goes into our "Reptilian Brain" or Brainstem, where we have very few choices: Fight, Flight or Playing Dead (Freeze). Our Stoneage brain has clearly sacrificed choice for a very speedy response because this is what saved our life in the Stone Age. Unfortunately now, these three options of Fight, Flight, and Playing Dead are usually not great options.

You might have noticed these automatic reactions in yourself as a response to the current crisis: Wanting to run away, wanting to get very upset or just wanting to not do anything. These automatic reactions are human and they have saved our lives for a few million years. Now, they lead to depression, wanting to be self-destructive or destructive to others, or simply give up. This "Reptilian" reaction is characterized by feeling like a victim, having a sense of hopelessness, having an experience of All-or-Nothing, Black & White thinking, and thinking always about the worst option.

When we recognize these human tendencies in ourselves in how we react automatically to threat or crisis, we have an amazing opportunity. We can actually choose to go into a different place in our brain and function from a different brain state: We can move into our prefrontal cortex, where we have choice, were we feel free to act, and where we can be creative. This is why people can respond to crisis in so polar-opposite ways: In some people crisis leads to a sense of devastation and hopelessness, in others it brings out the best in them, they become heroes.

You can check out this video if you want to get even more nerdy about it:

Today, I invite you to observe both of these brain states in yourself.

Watch in what moments you automatically get triggered into the "Victim State"(reptilian/fight/flight/freeze state) and in which moments you can bring yourself into the "Hero State" (choice, creativity, sense of agency).

Observe what strategies help you to move from the "Victim State" into the "Hero State" during a time of crisis. Please collect them on the attached worksheet and get creative with your own exploration. I can't wait to hear from you what you discovered.


"A woman (a human) is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she (they/he) is until you put her (them/him) in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt (additions by Avani)

TODAY'S ACTIVITIES: - Check out today's Worksheet and let yourself get creative how you recognize your "Victim State", your "Hero State", and your Strategies to get out of your "Victim" into your "Hero" State. Feel free to do this with words, with colors, with symbols, etc. ... Choose whatever expression feels creative to you. Also, feel free to share this activity with others. - If you need inspiration you can check out the example below. - If this exploration reminds you of anything: a song, a poem, a video, a movie, please let me know: avani@naropa.edu - I welcome you to send your inspiration: artwork, poems, photographs, worksheets, videos, songs, etc. to: avani@naropa.edu. We are searching for the best Strategies that get humans out of the "Victim State" into their "Hero State". Please send yours to: avani@naropa.edu You can find all the previous exercises and worksheets that you might have missed on:  https://www.naturalhighs.org/post/welcome-to-the-natural-highs-academy Want more Natural Highs Resources? Now, everything in the Natural Highs Store is available for FREE with the Coupon: "coronarelief":

Feel free to share any of these resources with anyone - teen or adult - who you think might benefit from daily inspiration and structure during these times. I so look forward to have you be part of the Natural Highs Community. We can support each other to make the best of these times Stay strong & inspired ❤️ Avani











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