Gentle Enhancement® and Learning

Stressed systems do not get stronger, they begin to shut down. This is true for cars – think of a car running on low fluids, it gets stressed and begins to shut down. It is true for corporations – companies short of money or staff become stressed, unable to meet deadlines and eventually lose business and can shut down. It is true for sports teams – think of your favorite team, with lots of talent, and lots of injuries – the team members cannot support one another and find themselves losing games; even the healthy players do not play as well due to the additional pressure placed on them.

You get the idea, stressed systems do not get stronger, they begin to shut down. Unless the pressure is eased, they become less and less effective, producing fewer and fewer positive results, regardless of inherent ability.

This concept applies to our bodies and our neurodevelopmental systems as well. If our internal mechanisms (players on the team) are not working efficiently and more and more is asked of them, they get stressed. Instead of learning new material, we begin to shut down. We resort to our “Fight, Fright, Flight” mode and focus on survival. I call it “Running from the Bear Mode.”

How many new math concepts are You going to learn with a Bear chasing you? Not much, you are just going to be figuring out how best to stay alive!

For a student whose neurodevelopmental systems are not efficiently processing the information received (visually, auditorily, and kinesthetically through a multiple of avenues), stress is a common companion. Even though they may be intelligent, they move into survival and out of learning mode once stressed. Gentle Enhancement says – stop, rest, allow the systems to recoup and then gently begin the learning process once again. Is it possible that breaks when stressed would ultimately result in More material learned and integrated? Try it and see……


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