Skill-Building Strategies There's no doubt that letting go, forgiving others, forgiving ourselves, and moving on is hard. It means accepting the reality that we and those we love have imperfections and faults. Below are tips to help you cultivate the art of letting go of life's big and small disappointments and stressors. Acknowledge your feelings. No matter how minor a disappointment or stressor may seem to you, it's important to acknowledge your feelings. Calling a friend or relative to let off some steam can quickly reduce the intensity of anger, frustration, and sadness. Small stressors that go unacknowledged and unexpressed pile up and, at some point, begin to take their toll. As a result, we've had several generations whose training has been limited by this glass ceiling of what their coaches thought was their cardiac threshold. Just like one-rep max lifts in a weight room, the 220-minus-age number was considered 100 percent effort, and heart-rate zone programs worked backwards as percentages of this. But if, say, a twenty-year-old athlete was actually able to raise and maintain their heart rate beyond the 200 max that the formula presented, then even their high-intensity sessions would have fallen short of the stimuli needed to produce the best possible physiological adaptations--effectively leaving some degree of untapped performance potential on the table. I know firsthand how faulty the equation is from spending time with Don Wildman, the founder of the fitness chain that's now Bally's. At age eighty-two, Don snowboards more than eighty days a year and surfs, bikes, and runs on many more. Surging ahead of athletes half his age, Don's heart rate goes and stays way above the 130-something that his max is supposed to be. And he's not some freakish outlier, either. A study Andy published recently found that the average max heart rate for eighty-one-year-old lifelong athletes was 160 beats per minute, 21 above the 220-minus-age estimate (it's worth noting that even nonathletes in this study topped out at 146 beats per minute, which is still higher than that calculation). This inaccuracy of the 220-minus-age equation pertains to the heart rate monitoring features still used in today's latest technology. If their algorithms are based on this faulty formula, then the advice--Go faster! Don't buy it. It's neither.

It's more helpful to reframe rejection as something that happens because two people (or a person and an organization) just aren't a match. It's a relationship issue. Your skills are a mismatch for a particular job or your communication style doesn't match up with a potential new friend. The more you can reframe it, the less you will personalize rejection and get caught in a shame spiral. Resilience involves recognizing that although one aspect of who you are may make you a mismatch in a particular relationship, it is not the totality of who you are. You have many other characteristics that make you kick-ass. Rejection threatens our sense of belonging. To recover, we need to remind ourselves that we are appreciated and loved. Mindfully accept your emotions. If a picture, post, or tweet stirs up feelings of inadequacy or envy, accept your feelings instead of suppressing or avoiding them. Respond to your feelings with words and thoughts of kindness, all the while holding in mind the reality that imperfection is a part of the human experience for everyone--even those on social media we envy. Pull away from screens. At times, the most self-compassionate response to feeling overwhelmed by negative emotions is to step back and take a break from whatever has left you feeling so badly. For example, seeing photos of an ex on social media after a fresh breakup would be overwhelming for anyone. Stepping away from your screen and engaging in self-care practices like drinking tea, deep-breathing exercises, taking a warm bath, or petting a beloved dog or cat can be a powerful form of self-care. Put the disappointment into perspective. Putting some degree of emotional distance between yourself and the circumstance can help. Neff recommends asking yourself, What would I say to a friend facing this problem? As are the ranges for heart rate zone training. Until now we've regarded the accuracy of our wearables with an unquestioning attitude, blindly believing that they're inerrant.

But we know for a fact that the max heart rate calculation is faulty, and it's only a matter of time before we realize that some of the other exercise formulas we've accepted as truth all these years are also way off. This means that the devices we've come to rely on to guide us might not be leading us to better health and performance but rather up the garden path. If you're determined to utilize your max heart rate in your training, don't rely on the 220-minus-age equation. Instead, just do an all-out interval workout and record your upper limit, and then have an experienced coach write you a program that works backwards from this to set more realistic and beneficial training zones. Listen to Your Heart (and Your Other Instincts) Since Seppo Saynajakangas introduced the first wireless heart rate monitor in 1977, coaches have been convinced that basing their athletes' training on specific, measurable outputs will yield better performance outcomes. Thus came the popularity of focusing endurance athletes' work on heart-rate zones, which in turn spawned efforts to train different metabolic systems depending on the sport of choice and individual competitors' strengths and weaknesses. Almost forty years after Saynajakangas's invention birthed chest straps, wrist-worn monitors, and, most recently, smartphone and smartwatch apps, we're starting to realize how limited heart rate-based training actually is, and how much time and potential we've wasted in fixating on it. If your work colleagues left you out of a lunch invite, get together with your dog-walking friends instead. If your kid was rejected by a schoolmate, make plans for them to meet a different friend. Or, when a first date doesn't return your texts, call your grandparents if it will help remind you that your voice brings joy to others. FORGIVING YOURSELF Please, in trying to heal, find a way to forgive yourself. Know that you are really doing the best you can in a world that doesn't adequately support you. This isn't about giving up, and it doesn't mean you can't do better, but you are trying as hard as you can right now to remove the stifling layer of shame and blame that befalls us all sometimes. Grieving is an essential part of the healing practice. This is especially important when we think of changing behaviors that have taken care of us and have made us feel good even when they were not always helping us. To heal from my eating disorder, for example, I had to grieve the fantasy body--and subsequently, the person--that could have been. Would the event seem minor or moderate? Putting things into perspective helps with gaining an understanding about whether or not your emotional reaction is helpful or even necessary.

Be patient with yourself. Acknowledging our feelings is work and can be emotionally draining, especially if this personal work is something new and unfamiliar to you. Developing self-compassion takes time and patience. It's an adaptive and necessary skill to have in order to lead a happier and healthier life. Stick with it; Find ways to quickly reduce your stress and anxiety. Find a stress-reduction method that works for you. Mindfulness meditation, yoga, and deep breathing have all been shown to be effective stress- As far back as 1992, scientific studies began showing that when athletes train based on how hard they feel a session is--what we refer to as rate of perceived effort (RPE)--it's just as effective as trying to keep their heart rate in a certain zone for a predetermined length of time. Such research demonstrates that we have significantly underestimated how capable our bodies are of perceiving the stimuli we're subjected to and how this can inform what we do, how often we do it, and the amount of effort we exert on any given day. It comes down to a battle between measuring and feeling. Many so-called experts in exercise science and the fitness industry would like us to believe that we can only progress and adapt if our training is based on biomarkers and data. Yet clinical trials prove that this is not the case. The trouble is that many athletes have spent years or even decades mired in measurables and so have unwittingly dulled their awareness of what their body is trying to tell them. Our innate ability to assess how we're moving through space never diminishes, but our capacity to pay attention to the resulting feedback and act accordingly certainly does. We think that the machines exist to serve us, but when it comes to gauging how activity feels as part of a holistic experience, we've started serving the machines. That's why we need to get back in touch with our natural awareness and instincts, instead of always deferring to the electronic second brain wrapped around our wrists. So if you do collect your heart-rate information, review it after your workout, not while you should be focusing on your own movement and your environment during the session. I believed at the time that thinness would eradicate the hips that telegraphed woman. I had to grieve the loss of this fantasy, the story I told myself about the person I would become after losing the tell-tale weight.

Fatter people, when they learn that repetitive dieting can cause weight gain, may also grieve their role in upregulating their body's maintenance weight. The pain of this process can keep many people in denial. Who wants to accept the fact that they may have spent decades agonizing over their diets, and learn that their efforts had been doomed to failure and may actually have contributed to the weight gain they were trying to reverse? Particularly as this belief system is linked to hope for a better life, it can be hard to accept. You may be angry at yourself for being victimized by diet culture. That's normal. Talking to others can help you transfer that rage to the culture, where it belongs. You may also have to grieve the damages that resulted from your behaviors--like my friend who caused another driver's concussion by drunkenly rear-ending their car--and the many ways we can hurt others with our trauma responses. Mindfulness versus Overidentification The third and final component of self-compassion is mindfulness. In the context of self-compassion, mindfulness refers to holding onto our painful thoughts and emotions with balanced awareness. Sweeping our bad feelings and thoughts under the rug rarely if ever makes them go away. In fact, more often than not, these futile attempts do the exact opposite: they make our negative emotions and thoughts louder, more intrusive, and more painful. On the other hand, neither does it help to pretend we don't feel our negative feelings, by minimizing them and telling ourselves, I'm really fine or It doesn't affect me in the least when in reality we're crushed and heartbroken. Pretending we don't feel makes our emotions harder to bear. In short, undigested, unprocessed, and unacknowledged emotions make us sicker, not better. And to repeat what I stated earlier, we can't heal what we don't feel. Balanced awareness is felt when we avoid overly identifying or wallowing in our negative emotional states; Messing with Your Mind For five years, I collected daily heart-rate data on myself and the athletes I was coaching, believing that obsessively detailing this measurable would enable me to tailor our training.