two smiling women from the Organized Coach Podcast with text overlay, "Nervous System Regulation for Business Growth with Leah Davidson"

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Is growing your coaching business causing your nervous systems to go haywire?

My guest this week, Leah Davidson, explains the nervous system’s critical role in coaching and business growth.

Leah is a registered Speech Language Pathologist and has spent over two decades working in the area of Traumatic Brain Injury. She is the host of the Building Resilience podcast and the creator of the Advanced Training for Nervous System Resilience. She has a membership program called Connections, where she focuses on helping people learn to befriend their nervous system, manage their mindset, and cultivate resilience. Leah lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with her husband, Rob, and they have a blended family with 5 children. She loves to learn, grow, hike, read, travel, and spend time with friends and family.

In this episode, Leah highlights the importance of regulating the nervous system to access higher-brain functions necessary for effective coaching and business success.

She details practical strategies for our nervous system regulation, such as breathing exercises, meditation, and movement, emphasizing the significance of daily practice and foundational health habits such as sleep and nutrition.

She also discusses the profound impact of nervous system regulation on all aspects of your life, advocating for integrating these practices into everyday life.

The key moments in this episode are:

04:00 Leah’s Background and Expertise
17:09 Understanding the Nervous System and Emotional Regulation
24:23 Opening the Hatch: Feeling Safe
26:40 Strategies for Nervous System Regulation
28:02 Breathing and Movement Techniques
30:32 Deliberate Stress and Capacity Building
36:29 Practical Tips for Daily Integration
43:16 Compassion and Healthy Boundaries

Your Coach (with a Nervous System!),

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orange background with white squiggles and text overlay, "The most important skill you can have as a coach [and business owner] is your own ability to be regulated." from Leah Davidson

Connect with Leah Davidson:

Website: Leah Davidson Life Coaching
Building Resilience Podcast
Nervous System Resilience Roadmap
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Resources Mentioned:

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👉🏼 Organized Coach Academy

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Client Tracker
FREE File Naming Formula Cheatsheet

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is your own ability to be regulated.__quot__ – Leah Davidson” tweet=”__quot__The most important skill you can have as a coach [and business owner] is your own ability to be regulated.__quot__ – Leah Davidson | Ep 60 of The Organized Coach Podcast ” style_id=”default”]

Transcript with time stamps:

[00:00:00] Tracy Hoth: As an entrepreneur, as someone growing a business, the nervous system comes into play. And for me, when I’m thinking, Oh, I need more clients. I need to make more money. I set this goal. I’m failing at this goal, whatever it is. You might be able to relate to some of those. The nervous system comes into play.

[00:00:20] I was so curious. I invited Leah Davidson to come on the show today and talk to us about. What do we do about that? How do we best serve our own nervous system as we grow our business? She gives some really good practical advice. She talks about the difference between nervous system and emotional regulation.

[00:00:41] Leah gave us a good example of something super simple that she does. So be listening for that. I’ve included a link in the show notes if you want to try that out. Let’s get into this episode and find out what we can do as we grow our business to help our nervous system. Are you ready to work less, feel more organized and productive, streamline repetitive tasks, and implement systems that allow your coaching business to run smoothly – even without you? If so, you’re in the right place. Welcome to the Organized Coach Podcast, your go to source for practical tips and solutions. I’m your host, Tracy Hoth.

[00:01:24] I’m your professional organizer, certified life coach, simplifying expert, and most of all, down to earth fellow coach just like you. No matter if you think you’re missing the organizing gene, have ADHD, or just love anything organizing, I’m here to help you become an organized coach with a business that works for you.

[00:01:43] Pull up a seat and let’s get started. Real quick question before we dive in. Do you believe that your work impacts lives? You want to reach more people, but behind the scenes, you kind of feel like a mess constantly searching for files, overspending on software you don’t even remember signing up for.

[00:02:02] If you lack structure and feel like you’re wasting so much time, I’ve got just the thing for you. I want you to imagine your time was organized. You knew exactly what to do that would actually make you money. Your files were in a structure that makes sense to your brain. Your processes are running efficiently. I want you to think about the difference this could make in your business in your life.

[00:02:26] No more drama, no more beating yourself up. All that time you wasted can now be spent filling your business with paying clients. Listen, I know that getting organized might feel super overwhelming to you. That’s why I’m offering you a free class. 3 Simple Steps to an Organized (and Profitable) Business, where I’m going to share with you the only five files you need to organize your digital world.

[00:02:51] Head over to (the number 5 files) for instant access. You get to watch whenever it’s convenient for you. And finally, get a simple understanding of the three parts of an organized business. One that runs with ease. This is the first step. Sign up now and transform your business from chaos to clarity and a secret benefit.

[00:03:18] Learning these skills will overflow into your home and life. You signed up All right, let’s jump in to today’s episode. Leah Davidson, welcome to the organized coach podcast. I cannot wait to learn all about – really specifically (cause I know you’re the expert) about the nervous system. I want to know how it works with us as coaches growing our businesses.

[00:03:48] We’ll get into that, but welcome. I’m so glad you’re here. Thank you. I’m so glad to be here. Thank you for having me on. Yeah. So tell us, you know, what you do, how you are the expert.

[00:04:00] Leah Davidson: So I am, like you said, a life coach. My area of coaching is the nervous system resilience. I run an advanced training in nervous system resilience for coaches and other helping professionals.

[00:04:12] It’s not just coaches so that they can learn about their own nervous system on a very in depth level and all the teaching tools, how to integrate it into their coaching practice. I also have a membership called Connections, and this is for your own personal growth for nervous system resilience.

[00:04:30] I am also a speech language pathologist. That is probably where everything stemmed from and started from. I’ve been a speech path for 25 years, working in the area of traumatic brain injury. And in that area, my role, everyone when they think of speech pathologists, they think of like R’s and S’s and C’s, stuttering and things like that, but my role is to work in an area called cognitive communication. It’s helping people who have experienced traumatic brain injuries, often through accidents and things like that, helping them in, you know, re reintegrating back into their life, coping with challenges in the area of cognition.

[00:05:11] Attention and memory and executive function skills and how that. impacts their communication, their reading, their writing, their listening. And it was through that work, I think that I really started to understand the importance of the nervous system because my role is very much a role of working, helping them work with their, their higher brain, their CEO brain, and the realization that.

[00:05:38] Yes, often it is damaged after an injury, depending on the type of injury, but it’s usually an area that’s very susceptible. But there was more to it, like, how do we access that area if somebody is stressed out or super anxious or over activated? And so I started to realize that we have to be working with the nervous system first.

[00:06:04] before we can access the CEO, the executive function skills. That’s really where my work started. I started working in that area and then developed into being a coach, I just then started taking it to people who didn’t have brain injuries and being like, Oh, wow, everybody has a brain that does this. Everybody’s nervous system is, you know, dysregulated a lot.

[00:06:28] That’s where I’m at. This is where I’ve landed. I’ve started my trainings and everything really does combine my expertise that I’ve worked with for 25 years in the executive function sort of area. And then the nervous system as well.

[00:06:41] Tracy Hoth: Well, you even asked, answered my question because I was thinking, how do you get into it?

[00:06:48] How do you, but it’s your, through your own curiosity and professional development that you really learned all of this.

[00:06:57] Leah Davidson: Yeah. You’re now teaching. Well, what I started seeing was I knew my role as a speech language pathologist was in this area of cognitive communication. But I was also curious why are some people having more success than other people?

[00:07:12] At first, obviously you think, well, it’s the level of injury that they have. It’s a degree of injury. It’s a type of injury. And while that had a little bit of role, I started working as I progressed through the years with people who were more higher and higher and higher functioning, who had challenges.

[00:07:32] I started to see, okay, it’s not just. the degree of what their injury is. There’s something more. And as I started playing with the something more, I started to see, okay, it’s the nervous system. It’s the, the dysregulation that they have. It’s the stress response. You see that I would try to teach them tools that they could use.

[00:07:55] For example, I do a lot of work with memory. So somebody would forget something and I have strategies to help you remember them. But what I saw is first of all, people weren’t able to remember and then is they would forget something and their first go to would be like, Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I forgot that.

[00:08:16] I’m such an idiot. I’m so sorry. I cannot believe I’m so stupid. I’m so blah, blah, blah. And so I’m like, Oh, is that mindset? And then, you know, starting to work with the thoughts, but well, they can’t even access those thoughts. Oh, what it is is they’re, they’re literally entering into a stress response. And when you are in that stress response, you can’t think straight.

[00:08:35] They’re not able to come up with https: otter. ai

[00:08:45] They often have greater success, or sometimes what even happens is because they regulate themselves, they’re like, Oh, it doesn’t matter, or either. And then when you have sometimes that lightness. That’s, that’s when the strategies work. That’s when all of a sudden, Oh, I remember now because I don’t have that same intensity.

[00:09:05] That’s how it all, it’s sort of all married together and intertwined and yeah. So that’s, I, I love it.

[00:09:13] Tracy Hoth: Well that, okay. I’m not going to wait to ask this question. So when you’re in that stress response. And you can’t even remember to use the tools to remember what you were trying to remember, whatever.

[00:09:27] Yeah. How do you, or is there a difference in using the tools then to lower your, your nervous system or to regulate your nervous system?

[00:09:37] Leah Davidson: Yeah. So I always like to say to people, it’s like when you go into a stress response, you, there’s a little bit of juice there. That little bit of juice you want to use to regulate yourself, but you’re not going to be able to come up with those tools. if you have not been practicing them over and over and over. I think that’s the biggest challenge is people make this assumption that, Oh, okay, when I have a stress response, I know that say breathing, we know that breathing is often a way to help people calm down.

[00:10:11] It is, but it doesn’t work very well when you’re in the middle of a crisis. and you try to breathe. It works much better if part of your daily routine as you’ve been practicing breathing, you’ve used breathing multiple times at different levels of, you know, of when you’ve been heightened so that when you are at the peak time of height, this is a very well worn path that you’re using.

[00:10:38] I like using the example of just like a pilot. A pilot who gets ready to fly is at the beginning going to go over like what are the emergency procedures and they go through and the checklists that they have to make sure they are very, very well trained. They have, you know, thousands of hours and they continue to have that practice.

[00:11:01] You don’t want to be in a plane where something goes wrong and the pilot turns to the co pilot and was like, I think it’s like probably in the manual, where, where is that? Can you look up what we’re supposed to do? No, it needs to be, I have practiced for this moment literally thousands of times and this is what I know I need to do.

[00:11:22] I think that that’s, that’s why it’s so important that when we look at the nervous system, it’s not just about. In the moment. It’s almost more important what we’re doing on a daily basis in preparation for in the moment.

[00:11:38] Tracy Hoth: Yes. So you spoke in organized life academy and that’s, there was two things that really stood out.

[00:11:43] That was one of them. How do we practice that at the top of every hour? What do we tie it to, to make us practice this? Process routine procedure. And so that was really good. And what was the other thing? Oh, the other thing was when you practicing this and working on these things will help you no matter what now to the degree at which it will help depends on the physical parts of what you’re experiencing.

[00:12:16] Or how do you say that? The medical?

[00:12:18] Leah Davidson: Yeah. Physiologically what’s happening. Yeah.

[00:12:21] Tracy Hoth: Yeah. But that was so key. It’s beneficial for all of us to be doing this work.

[00:12:27] Leah Davidson: Yeah. Yeah. It’s foundational. Like I always say that it’s kind of like we’re building a house. Most of us want to talk about like what kind of pillows and blankets and furniture and what my plates and my kitchen, my glasses, we want to talk about that.

[00:12:41] But we do have to talk about what is the foundation of your house. Like, and that’s the non sexy parts of building a house, you know, looking at the, I don’t even know how they do it, but I just know you need to have a good foundation. Again. And the nervous system stuff, I think is the foundation we, we have to have, we have to be working on it.

[00:13:02] Sometimes it’s boring. That’s why the things like some very fundamental basics of sleep and exercise and getting sunlight and nutrition. Like these are things that everyone is sort of saying like, yeah, I know, I know, but it’s hard, like it’s simple, but not easy. It’s hard to implement all those things, but those are some of the foundations And then we have to get the frame of the house up.

[00:13:27] We’re still not out picking our scented candles and our picture frames. We’re, we still have to have like the frame of the house, which is going to be even more practice. So maybe that’s going to include like a breath work practice on a daily basis or a meditation practice on a daily basis. So there’s going to be other things that we want to integrate in our routine to help build our house.

[00:13:51] We keep going and eventually we can go shopping and, and buy all the things that make our house look pretty. But the, the beginning stages of it, of building that foundation and putting the walls up, that is where we need to start. And some of them are pretty boring to do.

[00:14:11] Tracy Hoth: I know, we don’t want to start with the boring stuff.

[00:14:13] I know. But we need to, well, let’s look at it as far as a coach. So a coach is growing their business. How do you think or how do you see, obviously, the nervous system comes into play. So what do you see the most?

[00:14:29] Leah Davidson: I think what I see the most, and this is for coaches or anybody building their own business, there is a, a lot of pressure that we put on ourselves right away because, you know, you’re usually self employed and you want to have money and you want to find clients.

[00:14:43] But when we have that desperation, when we have that press, that need, we’re often going to be in a heightened sense of, of a state, a heightened state. And when we’re in a heightened state, it can, it can flavor everything we do. So then every time we’re talking or we’re posting, it comes, that desperation kind of comes through.

[00:15:07] I also think it will come through in our coaching. So even if we get clients, I, the most important skill you can have as a coach, in my opinion, is your own ability to be regulated your own ability to not get activated, to sort of remain in that, that calm state for two reasons. One, because your client is feeding off your nervous system as well.

[00:15:35] If you are You know, in an activated state, if you are maybe very distracted or have this, this, like I said, this level of desperation, your client’s going to pick up on that. The second reason it’s so important is for your own health, that we need to make sure that we’re not picking up. on other people’s trauma or other people’s states of anxiety.

[00:16:00] We have to be doing things throughout the day, even while we’re coaching to relax ourselves, to stay in safety. So the regulation, it is so important for building the business because there’s going to be lots of ups and downs. There’s going to be lots of things that you’re going to have to face.

[00:16:17] Maybe it will be criticism. It could be facing judgment. Maybe it’s just your own fear of criticism and judgment. All those things will get you activated, so you need to learn how to come down. Then there’s the importance of the regulation while you’re coaching for your client. And then there’s the importance of regulation for you personally, because if you don’t get regulated.

[00:16:38] This is the other thing that I learned from my work world of speech pathology is you are at great risk for compassion fatigue. And that was something that I experienced and that compassion fatigue burnout is very, very real when you don’t know how to regulate your own nervous system, but you still keep giving and giving and giving.

[00:17:01] It’s sort of like a threefold thing, which is why I’m like, every coach needs to know about their nervous system.

[00:17:07] Tracy Hoth: Yes. Okay. What’s the difference? So tell me the difference between nervous system and emotional regulation.

[00:17:15] Leah Davidson: Yeah, a lot of people do have it interchanged. I like to look at it as, think of it like a network for using your phone.

[00:17:24] Your nervous system is the actual network. So it’s like the Wi Fi. It’s a connectivity. And your emotions are all the apps on your phone. So they’re both important. But you can’t, if you don’t have regulation, With your nervous system, you’re not going to be able to access all the apps. So, nervous system puts you almost into, well, it puts you into the state.

[00:17:49] I talk about, you know, Team Hyper, Team Hypo, and that state flavors everything. So it flavors the type of emotions that you have. So if you are in an activated state, say in Team Hyper, chances are your emotions are going to be flavored with activation, frustration, anxiety, worry, overthinking, ruminating, anger, aggressiveness.

[00:18:19] You see how they all have a flavor. I, if I threw in there, like loneliness, Sadness, hopelessness, you’d probably be like, Oh no, those don’t belong because those are more when somebody is in that team hypo state, that hypo arouse, you’re going to have the sadness and the loneliness and, and a victim and hopeless and helpless.

[00:18:39] You see how they have those flavors when you were in a safety zone, when you’re in that zone of resilience, it’s going to be flavoring your emotions, tolerance, curiosity, compassion, you know, resilience, All those things, kind of all the emotions that we want to have. are in that zone of resilience. It’s very difficult if you’re activated to be tolerant because tolerance lives under the umbrella, that connectivity of the zone of resilience.

[00:19:13] If you first learn how to get yourself into a more regulated state, it’s much easier to access these emotions that are in there. It’s also that say I do have anxiety I want to be rooted in safety so I can process the anxiety. So it’s almost like when you are regulated, you’re building a container of safety for yourself that can tolerate feeling all emotions.

[00:19:47] It doesn’t feel so dangerous because it’s sort of held in this way. When your nervous system is either team hyper or team hypo, so you’re activated, is that, does that come from. Just the general sense of not feeling safe, or is it come from trauma or does it what what causes that to be out?

[00:20:17] Because emotional regulation in your mind is that come from the thoughts you’re thinking that would be the flavor that causes the emotion. But what? Is the nervous system out of regulation come from?

[00:20:32] Leah Davidson: The nervous system is that it comes from your survival. It’s right down to the safety and the danger.

[00:20:38] Your nervous system running behind the scenes of everything that you do and it acts as a support. scanner for safety and danger, because it’s all about your survival. That’s all it really cares about. It really picks up on different cues. It picks up on external cues, like what’s going on in your environment, in the senses.

[00:20:56] So you know, what you’re hearing, what you’re seeing, what you’re, what you’re tangibly feeling. It picks up on what’s going on inside your body. So your heart rate, your digestion, and then it picks up on what’s happening between us. And based on those things, it’s going to say. I think you’re safe or I think you’re dangerous.

[00:21:14] Now what it also does is it doesn’t recognize past versus present. It’s all the same. There’s no timestamp. And it is like a predictive machine. So it ends up predicting, Oh! Something similar like this happened when I was five, so I’m going to have this reaction, and it doesn’t recognize the difference.

[00:21:33] Well, I’m not five anymore, and I don’t have to have that reaction. So the nervous system is a combination of looking for safety or danger, comparing it to your past learning, comparing it to all the imprints that you’ve had along, all the way along, because it has, it has created a certain pattern, and it’s going to continue to complete that pattern and assign you a physiological state.

[00:21:59] Within that physiological state, yes, your emotions, you know, I think it goes both ways. Your emotions will impact your thoughts and your thoughts are going to impact your emotions. Your thoughts are going to also be flavored. If you’re in team hyper, it’s, you know, it may be like, I don’t have enough time.

[00:22:16] I can’t do this. Why is everything up to me? I have to control this. So there’s going to be thoughts. So I think. That it goes both ways, the thoughts and the feelings, but they’re flavored under the brander umbrella of this predictive machine that is scanning for safety and danger.

[00:22:36] Tracy Hoth: Okay, so that does make a lot of sense.

[00:22:38] When you’re in that state of, of a dysregulated nervous system, what do you do? I can totally see how if you aren’t making any money, your coaching business hasn’t made any money for three months, let’s say, and you really need to pay your bills. That’s the dangerous state that you’re in. Mm hmm. Then, is it, because the first thought is, oh, we regulate that by looking at what we’re thinking about versus what’s real. I just had this vision of the CEO brain like stuck down in the basement. And then when you feel safe, when you work on feeling safe, you’re like opening the hatch so she can come up.

[00:24:34] Leah Davidson: She sits down and she’s, she is going to be sometimes asking some tough questions sometimes.

[00:24:41] It’s not just all glossing it over. Sometimes she is going to say, Hey, yeah, you probably need a part time job.

[00:24:48] Leah Davidson: Yes, you know, maybe that is going to be, but she’s going to be able to come up with the solutions, but she’s doing it from a place of, of regulation. And it’s not otherwise what happens when you’re dysregulated.

[00:24:59] Like you think of, I don’t want to offend teenagers, but I’ve had a bunch of them, so I’m not offending them. But we know that teenagers, their CEO brain, that higher functioning brain, is only developing and will only be sort of at its fullest development when they’re in their mid twenties, you know, between mid to, to twenties to 30 even, depending on the people.

[00:25:23] That’s why when you look at a teenager and you look at some of their choices that they make, you literally sometimes are like, what are you thinking? And I remember laughing with my kids because my kids would be like, well, I’m not thinking. I don’t have the brain to think like, and we don’t want to go to that extreme, but there’s a part of truth to that, that if we don’t have access to our thinking brain, which is why Teenagers and children do require guidance and input from, you know, the teachers and parents and, and people who have a mature brain to help them sort it out.

[00:26:01] But it’s the same thing if we are running our business without ever accessing our CEO, then we’re sort of like that teenager where you can check, well, what are you thinking? I don’t know. I wasn’t thinking I was just activated and I’m just acting on, on my survival brain. And so I am going to make.

[00:26:18] Choices and decisions that probably are going to be driven by fear and anxiety and desperation because that’s the brain that’s running the show.

[00:26:27] Tracy Hoth: Yes, that’s such a good, I don’t know why, but visuals help me so much to picture, you know, what that looks like.

[00:26:33] Leah Davidson: Yeah, yeah.

[00:26:35] Tracy Hoth: So then what are strategies, I guess?

[00:26:40] As far as, okay, we’re going to start a practice of regulating our nervous system. That’s when we get to that state, we know what to do. I mean, it’s happening naturally. I like how you had that visual where you’re expanding that center safe zone. What are your recommendations for that?

[00:27:00] Leah Davidson: The first thing is always have to look at your foundation.

[00:27:03] What is going on with your sleep, with your nutrition? Are you getting out on a daily basis and getting that early morning sunlight? Every day are you getting some movement? Are you getting some connection? Those are always places that you want to start and they make sense places. Like you think about, and this is a challenge for, for, tired moms is that you, you do have a much smaller capacity to handle things when you’re exhausted.

[00:27:33] Getting sleep is going to be one of the, the root things. You look at that. Once you have a little bit of trying to work on a routine, it doesn’t mean it has to be perfect before you do other things, but I, I think you need to be cognizant. That it’s not just like, yeah, yeah, yeah, what else? Like, it’s, no, this is what?

[00:27:52] Did you hear my brain? It’s like we know we’re supposed to do that.

[00:27:56] Leah Davidson:  Tell me something real. But I, I think that, that is something that we often skip over. So I don’t like to skip over that. But the next piece is then There are different things that you can do to widen your zone. And a lot of that is breathing.

[00:28:12] Focusing on your breathing, having a routine where you are calming your body down. I know that before I even get out of bed in the morning, I am doing some, breathing where I’m just taking a, you know, a breath in and slow exhalations and just feeling my belly rise and sort of sending some relaxation throughout my body.

[00:28:33] Starting my day like that. Movement is another one. Movement is so important that it’s in the foundation and it’s in the next one. So finding movement, and I don’t say exercise, because that can be a turnoff for people, but because it could be just, you know, Depending on what’s going on for you, maybe you’re going to need a slower movement.

[00:28:52] If you found yourself more in that team hypo, then things like stretching and yoga and, you know, just going for a mindful walk. Whereas if you find that you’ve got a lot more energy, then you may want to do something more active like dancing or running or swimming, doing things that require more energy.

[00:29:10] Movement is another one. The third one is really meditation or meditative activities. So meditation, you know, there’s different types, just even listening to different apps and following, uh, a certain meditation. And there’s lots of different ones. Some people really struggle with meditation. And I think it’s, you know, lots of people struggle with meditation.

[00:29:34] The goal of meditation is not to be able to sit there and have a clear mind. The goal really of meditation is to to notice when your thoughts sort of drift off and be able to bring them back.

[00:29:46] Leah Davidson: That can be something, but I often offer to people, there’s meditative activities that you can do. So maybe you’re going to do some coloring.

[00:29:55] Maybe you are an artist and you do want to do some painting. Maybe you are going to listen to music or play music that you find that meditative activities are. all the activities that keep you in the present moment. They force you in a sense to not be thinking of the past, not be thinking of the future.

[00:30:17] Other things like tapping, like that’s a technique that I often work with my clients because it, it’s almost like a form of meditation, but there’s something active that you’re doing. Then you can do, from there, start growing your zone. And then there’s activities that we do that deliberately stress our system so that we can learn how to handle deliberate stress.

[00:30:43] Now, these are activities that it is very dependent on, you know, your own health. It’s dependent on things like your age, because sometimes as you get older, like I’m in my fifties now, a lot of things that I probably did in my thirties to stress my system. It’s too much stress on my system now. There’s already higher levels of cortisol because of hormones and everything.

[00:31:04] I’ll want to do something different, but these are things like cold exposure. Or high intensity training, you stress your system and then you can let back or like activated breath work. That’s a, that’s a popular one, um, right now. And the reason we do that is because we deliberately want our system to learn how to deal with the stress.

[00:31:28] It moves our capacity to handle the stress so that when we are in it, in everyday life, feeling the stress, we know how to bring it back down. We know how to breathe, we know how to relax, we know how to do all those things.

[00:31:44] Tracy Hoth: Oh, that’s so good. Okay. You said what the person, you know, that doesn’t have all that, but for you, what would, what else would you do to deliberately stress your system?

[00:31:57] Leah Davidson: I do the cold exposure and things like that. I just wanted to be mindful of some people. It will be too much to stress. It depends on your capacity. Right. I’ve been working on my nervous system for a while now, so I have a different capacity. I just don’t want people to just go out there and jump in ice cube baths and do this high intensity training and, and so forth because you do build up for it.

[00:32:25] You have to be playing around. I just know sometimes I see. I’m like, well, for some people, but some people, if they have a lot of stress in their lives, or maybe they haven’t worked on their nervous system, like that can be too much too stressful for the system, right? You want to be careful with that.

[00:32:46] In that situation, you are going to go back to the basics of just getting that movement, starting with it, starting with expanding as opposed to sort of the, the ones where you’re pushing the limits. We just want to start with the ones where we’re just sitting in that zone, building up the tolerance, the, the capacity to be in that zone, as opposed to like pushing, uh, to expense.

[00:33:10] Tracy Hoth: When you, I don’t know why I’m thinking of this, but when you’re pushing, is there, is there something you’re thinking about in that moment? If you are just doing sprints or something, really, I mean, am I thinking about something about my nervous system? Because just this morning, at the end of my shower, I turned it cold just because I, more because I was hot, not because I have any desire to do that.

[00:33:37] If I was going to do that, or just splash cold water on my face or something, is there something I should be thinking about as far as your nervous system?

[00:33:47] Leah Davidson: I think that this is where mindset work comes in and, and it also, when you do something like cold exposure, you definitely. sort of spark your system into that hyper state.

[00:34:01] I always, you’re just like, Oh, what’s going on here? Then trying to access some of your cognitive tools, because remember the CEO sort of goes offline.

[00:34:12] Leah Davidson: We want to do things. This is why you’ll see, like, I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the spas where you go from the hot to the cold to the so forth.

[00:34:19] I went with my daughter in law’s over Christmas and, and getting into that cold thing. plunge. We were all like, Oh, we can’t do this. We can’t do this. But you can hear like we were talking out loud. We were like, yes, you can just take a nice deep breath. All right, breathing. I could do this. Breathe. I could do this.

[00:34:36] I can do this. That’s literally what you’re doing. You’re trying to slow your breathing down because we know that breathing is a great entry point to your nervous system. So Standing under that cold shower, you know, you’re going to be all tense. You’re going to be shaking. I can’t do this. I can’t do this.

[00:34:51] All right. I’m going to slow my breathing down. I’m going to relax my shoulders. Just going to come and say, okay, you’re doing great. You can do this. Maybe slow my voice down a little bit.

[00:35:04] Tracy Hoth: That’s okay. So yeah, you are thinking about it. I would think it would be useful to even create a little mantra for yourself or something you repeat like a mantra.

[00:35:17] Leah Davidson: Things like mantras, the power of having them is, is it’s very difficult to come up with things when you’re in a heightened state of stress.

[00:35:25] I’ve had one of my kids who had a lot, a lot of anxiety. One of the things that they did is they created like a little cue card with mantras that Thoughts that were super helpful to them because when they were in that heightened state, they knew, okay, I can start breathing, but it was still difficult to access the CEO to like, Oh, what would be helpful for me to think?

[00:35:51] They were able to pull out that card and have that card where it’s just like, okay, I am safe. I can do this. You know, this is just my body having a freak out, but it’s okay. This too shall pass and individual things. I do think that having that mantra is a great way to go because it doesn’t require the thinking in the moment.

[00:36:14] You’ve already done it. It’s good to have decided ahead of time. You’ve been practicing it. So it will be, it will come more second nature. It doesn’t need to have full access to the CEO because it’s almost been automatic.

[00:36:28] Tracy Hoth: Yes. Okay, so now my mind goes to, oh, we’ve got to organize. If we’re going to think about this, how do we think about it in an organized way?

[00:36:38] Or how do we implement or execute, you know, not just sit here thinking, oh, that sounds like a lot of work. Pick one thing.

[00:36:49] Leah Davidson: Just pick one thing and start introducing that in your, in your day. I had shared with your group and it’s, it’s something that I share. I have like a free video series that goes through the three steps and it’s three steps of self regulation where you just, stop yourself throughout the day.

[00:37:07] You ask yourself, am I safe in this environment? It’s a physical safety and it’s a safety in this moment, not like five minutes ago, or could something happen in future? It’s this, am I safe in this? The majority of time, unless you’re like in an extreme situations, you are physically safe. Then the second question is, do I feel safe?

[00:37:29] Which is, basically, a way to scan my body and notice, is there tension? Are there some butterflies? Are there some nerves? Is there some discomfort? And the majority of the time, let’s face it, there is. There’s something going on in our body. You may not have been aware, but when you stop and scan, you’re like, yeah, I do notice I have a little bit more tension.

[00:37:48] I feel a little bit more heaviness. And then you go to relax your body, where you just, I call it doing the rag doll, where you just sort of let everything hang out. And you can also combine that with a little bit of breathing, where you just, you know, breathe in through the nose and then slowly release through the mouth.

[00:38:06] To start, if you start integrating, even starting your day and ending your day with those three things, you’ll start to notice. a little bit of a difference because at the end of those three steps, your body actually feels good.

[00:38:23] Tracy Hoth: Yeah, when your body is feeling good, it’s like, I want to do this again.

[00:38:28] You can start to introduce it. Once you start having more success, then it’s easier to, to, okay, I’m going to add this on a more consistent basis, or I’m going to change something and I’m going to pair it with every time I sip some water. Maybe that’s a good habit I have. I’m going to stop. I’m going to just very, very quickly.

[00:38:49] I’m safe. Relax my body.

[00:38:52] Tracy Hoth: That’s so good. I was thinking, yes, do we set, we could set reminders on our phone to help us remember to do that. And then the reminder would pop up with those questions on it or those steps on it. Or we could post a little post it note. I was thinking I should do that every time I before I eat.

[00:39:13] Leah Davidson: There’s certain things, I mean, and you have to know yourself. Like I know that when I have reminders, I ignore them. Like when reminders come on my phone, I ignore them. Some people will set an alarm. And I know for myself, I’m like, man, if I had an alarm going off every, you know, even every hour, I’d like want to take the phone and just check it.

[00:39:30] Like I just, that would be activating to me. Doing things like when I go to the bathroom or when I am in between clients, because I see a lot of back to back, I’ll do that. If I am, like we have a lot of stairs in our house because we live in, in downtown Toronto and so our houses are very tall. Every time I’m on the stairs.

[00:39:49] We’ll do something. Tying it to something that I don’t find particularly stressful is helpful for me. That’s even sipping water. If I was driving, like stopping at a red light, that is where I’d be integrating it. To me sometimes, but I know for other people, they do set alarms and it works really, really well.

[00:40:08] I just, you have to know yourself. You have to play around and get to know, like the reason I know that is because I’ve tried it and it didn’t go well. So playing around with it. But I think the reminders of practicing throughout the day is one of the most powerful things you can, you can do to get started.

[00:40:27] Tracy Hoth: Well, and what might even be fun if you have a spouse or a partner or a kid that lives at your house, when you see them, you guys could do it together. I mean, that would be kind of fun.

[00:40:39] Leah Davidson: Yeah. I had created this little doodle that I use in my presentations of this little guy who’s ragdolling. It’s just a little stick figure.

[00:40:48] I think it was in the presentation. Um, and I will like send it to one of my kids, send it to my husband, just like that. There it is. It’s the reminder to, especially if I know they’re going through something a little bit more challenging, it’s the reminder because that will help. Having your body relaxed means that you’re not going to be able to house the anxiety.

[00:41:16] It’s a relaxed body is also a quick way of. Accessing that calm and regulated state. Having a cute thing or sending a text like breathe or doing, I have a client who has on their homepage, the word breathe. And so every time they go to check their phone. This comes up and it’s a reminder for them because breathing is a way that they find calms them.

[00:41:44] Tracy Hoth: Oh, that makes me think of a couple things. Lindy Well, Pilates, which I’m a member of her thing. On her mat, she has breathe right where you would look down. I have on my computer, you can’t see it, but I have, I purchased some stickers. that have like texture on them. One of them is a square and it says, inhale, hold, exhale, hold.

[00:42:06] I send them to my clients when they start my training and say, put them somewhere. I have mine on my computer. Even there’ll be times that maybe I’m working with a client. Maybe we’re talking about something that’s particularly challenging and I will just take my finger and just rub your fingers over it. It is a reminder for me to breathe and to relax, not only so that I can be co regulating with my client, but because it’s also protecting my own body.

[00:42:34] So yeah, having reminders. I love that. Beautiful. Yeah. I wish I could take my camera and show it to you. Yeah, I send those stickers at the beginning of my program for people because I’m like, and I, we also do a lot of, a lot of different breathing techniques because it’s a good gateway into your nervous system.

[00:42:54] Tracy Hoth: I love all of this. So informative and motivating, you know, to try to do this as you’re growing your business. You know that these unsafe feeling times are going to happen. On the regular? Just in life in general too, combined. Anything else you feel like maybe we didn’t touch on?

[00:43:16] Leah Davidson: I think the one thing that I hear a lot of my clients say, especially when they’re coaches, is understanding your own nervous system.

[00:43:25] Understanding that other people have a nervous system really invites a huge amount of compassion. into your world, compassion for yourself and compassion for others. And it also, because it invites that compassion, it also invites in your ability to set healthy boundaries because I can be compassionate for you, but I also know I have to take care of myself and have the healthy boundaries.

[00:43:57] I find that when you start working on your overall nervous system, All your relationships around you change for the better. I think you, you are able to have a much healthier partnership, parent, coach, business owner. I just think everything changes when you start to see things through the lens of the nervous system.

[00:44:25] I think that’s why people do love the work. Like I, when somebody starts doing the work, it’s, it’s. becomes like something that they just wonder, How did I go without this?

[00:44:42] Tracy Hoth: Because it’s so fundamental that I think of so many things. How did I live my whole life and not know some of this stuff? Yeah, definitely something that needs to be taught when we’re younger.

[00:44:51] I don’t know. Maybe we wouldn’t be interested, but I guess we have the opportunity now to teach our kids and our grandkids.

[00:44:58] Leah Davidson: Yeah, and I think they’re starting to do a lot more training in schools about mindfulness and things like that. These are all components of it. I know that, you know, even breath work, I, they are teaching different components of it.

[00:45:13] I think there’s. We just want to continue to, to be adding to that, to putting, adding to the voices out there saying, Hey, let’s not forget about the most fundamental thing. I think it’s Andrew Huberman who says like, your greatest resource is your nervous system. And if your greatest resource is your nervous system, then we should all be talking about it.

[00:45:36] We should all be practicing and learning and teaching and taking care. Of our nervous systems.

[00:45:46] Tracy Hoth: That’s the perfect way to end, but tell us if someone wants to start working on this or wants help with it. How do you help them?

[00:45:55] Leah Davidson: Well, the best way to just learn more about me and what I do is through my podcast. It’s called Building Resilience. You can check it out and I’m at Instagram and Facebook at Leah Davidson Life Coaching. I also have a training coming up… the doors open in September. It’s called Advanced Training in Nervous System Resilience. Those are the ways that I’m working with people right now.

[00:46:25] Tracy Hoth: Leah, thank you so much for coming on and just sharing all this. It’s really helpful for me, and I’m sure it’ll be helpful for my listeners as well. Thank you so much for having me. Wait, if you’re finding this podcast useful, you must check out the Organized Coach Academy.

[00:46:43] It’s my course where I walk you through every step to get your business organized, to get yourself organized, to stay organized, save money and time to prepare to hire someone to do all the things that you want to do in your business with ease. Check that out at

[00:47:04] Also, I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but I would love it. It’s my way of knowing podcast. If you leave a written review, I have lots of freebies for you. They’re linked in the show notes. You can find him in my bio on Instagram at @TracyHoth and until next week, have a beautiful day.


Tracy Hoth