Do your natural rhythms affect your performance?

Ever had a day that felt like hard work? Like everything that could go wrong did, and you didn’t handle it well? Like you were “walking through meat in high heels”, as Carol says in Jim Cartwright’s Road?

The tendency on these days is to feel bad, or blame yourself (or others!) but did you know that these days could just be part of a natural cycle?

My yesterday was a little like this. I started the day by being late for my creative workshop for children. We were going to turn the classroom into Heaven using art materials. Although it went well, I felt I was lagging behind everyone else. That morning I had looked at some pillow stuffing and hesitated. I thought for an instant that it was too messy to use. Nevertheless, we used it. At 3:30pm, after forty five minutes of hoovering, I wished I had listened to my intuition.

We had also left an empty space in our delivery to allow ourselves to be inspired, and plan spontaneously. The problem was, I didn’t feel inspired at all and the afternoon session kind of fell apart.

Not only that, but I had to show the school evidence of my police caution (silly, embarrassing and totally self-inflicted) and spent the whole day in school worrying that I might be asked to leave.

Man, I gave myself a hard time! When I left, I felt really down about my own abilities. I felt like I had delivered disappointingly, that I just didn’t have the knack, that I had let myself down. “Maybe I shouldn’t even be doing this job,” I thought to myself.

My confidence was knocked. I prayed for strength and hope and after some good work in the evening and some kind comments from friends, I felt better.

These days are rare for me. I don’t often feel down or under-confident. So I decided to check my biorhythms.

Checking your biorhythms involves entering your date of birth into software that then calculates a graph of your physical, emotional and intellectual rhythm patterns. These rhythms fluctuate like waves during an entire month. For instance, you will peak intellectually one day and then bottom out about five weeks later.

Sure enough, yesterday my intellect was at 0%, my physical rhythm was at minus 67% and my emotional rhythm was an unbelievable minus 97%!

That explained a lot. My tired physical state had no emotional backup, and my intellect was what biorhythm experts call a ‘critical day’, meaning about to cross the 0% baseline and enter a negative phase from a positive, or vice versa.

I was relieved to read my biorhythm. It certainly explained my mood and bad decision-making, and stopped me from creating any more stories about why I felt that way. Had I been a pilot on Swissair, a company which uses biorhythms in scheduling, I may not have been allowed to fly!

So where can you check your biorhythms? There are many places to check your biorhythms online. Facade.com have been offering a free biorhythm check for over ten years now.

Here you can also measure your biorhythmic compatibility with someone else, simply by entering both of your dates of birth. This may not indicate how well you will get along, but will show you how your rhythms mirror your partners. Be warned though! 100% compatibility means that when you’re feeling low, so is your partner.

There is an iPhone app by Silver Bay Software LLP called ‘Biorhythms’. It’s simple to use and very cheap.

Inspirado’s blog is packed with information on biorhythms with lots of details on studies.

So how useful is it to follow your biorhythms chart?

Today, while my physical biorhythm was still low (-82%), I tried to conserve my energy and not push myself too hard. So I guess my biorhythmical knowledge made me more able to accept things as they were. It helped me stop beating myself up when I felt low on energy.

I would even consider planning events around my biorhythms. No good running a marathon during a physical low, for instance.Or even on a critical day when the chances of accidents and injuries are greater.

So what is the theory behind biorhythms? Well we all know that there are rhythms to life, that dictate how we feel. The 24-hour circadian rhythm for instance helps our bodies feel tired and alert at the appropriate times. Regarding individual biorhythms, medicine and science suggest that the body’s physical rhythm lasts 23 days, while the nervous system’s lasts 28 days. The intellectual cycle is said to last 33 days and apparently there is even an intuitive cycle of 38 days.

But is there any scientific proof of the accuracy of biorhythm analysis, beyond the anecdotal evidence?

Scientific studies have found evidence linking critical days to greater incidences of traffic and industrial accidents. There is also some evidence linking sporting successes and failures to the biorhythms of competitors. Wikipedia’s biorhythm page lists the details of these studies.

And as mentioned before, Swissair uses biorhythmic data to arrange pilot’s schedules. Swissair have been studying pilots’ critical days and a pilot whose rhythms are critical is not permitted to fly with a co-pilot whose rhythms are also critical.

Some studies, however, rubbish biorhythms as simply fortune-telling. T. M. Hines “Comprehensive review of biorhythm theory” (1998) concluded that biorhythm theory is not valid.

You know, it seems to me that the study of biorhythms is one of those pseudo-sciences about which you have to make up your own mind. Personally, I don’t mind whether biorhythms have any real proof or not. If it helps me feel better about my day, I’m all for it.

Why not follow your biorhythm chart and test its accuracy for yourself?

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