Yay! This is our first Activity post focusing on our state of minds in relation to everyday events. For these “Calm, Focus, Tense” posts, we want to show how you can learn new insights about your state of mind through using Spire and analyzing streaks. For example, did we think we were going to be calm during grocery shopping but instead we were tense? Then we want to analyze the results coming up with different reasons why we got the streaks we did or did not anticipate.
Hope you enjoy!
To start, I want to state that the only time I was tense during Captain America: Civil War, was when the movie began. This is most likely because all of my friends who read the comics told me what happened and kept freaking me out about people dying in the movie! However, once the movie started I was focused on Robert Downey Jr.
After the movie, my friend and I decided to brave the overcrowded bars of the SoMa neighborhood in San Francisco to grab a beer and analyze what we just saw. We needed to talk about Tony and Cap and how amazing Ant Man was in pretty much any scene he appeared in. What a better place to do this than at a bar?!
I’ve stopped drinking alcohol, for the most part, so I figured that being out drinking was going to lead to massive tense streaks. But I was willing to plow through it since this was a special occasion. Really any new Robert Downey Jr movie is a reason to celebrate, let alone one where Iron Man shows up.
We headed over to a microbrew in SoMa. Just from the outside we could tell it was packed. My friend, being the gentleman that he is, ordered the drinks but I snuck in to pay. This microbrew sells a lot of IPAs and if you drink beer you know that IPAs can hit you fast, especially when you’re not a consistent drinker. I was already worried about the beers being too strong for my moderate drinking goals. Luckily, there was an ale that didn’t have too much alcohol % so I went with that. Ordering and paying was actually pretty quick and thus, tension free.
We found a place to stand, drink, and talk. If it wasn’t so crowded and loud I would have been worried of spoiling the whole movie for those around me. Nobody noticed, at least I think, our conversation so it was fine. We talked Cap and we talked Game of Thrones; it was a bit of a nerd fest, though I like to call it excitement fest because really, everyone likes Game of Thrones and I’m over it being a nerd thing.
The time passed quickly and easily. We got there around 7pm and stayed for a couple of hours; my streaks lined up quite well with this timeline, if you look below. When we were getting ready to head out, I checked my Spire and realized that I had nothing but calm streaks! No tense streaks at all!
I thought about this and tried to figure out why I felt calm in that room full of conversations with people bumping into me every few minutes. For sure it was because I was there with my friend talking about the most exciting time in pop culture history! Another part of me thinks that the environment I was in was affecting my state of mind. Even though the bar was noisy and there were people everywhere, maybe the social connection of the moment actually caused my calm state; maybe just being around a large group and hearing the white noise of voices lulled me to be calm.
Mindfulness had a part to play in this as well. The more I learn about breathing and being mindful, the more it becomes part of my everyday experience. When I’m with friends now, I try to focus in on them and their company. If I feel I am drifting, I focus on my breathing and their words and I come back to the present moment, with everything around me falling away.
Also, further Google research has shown that alcohol depresses your breath rate so that is probably the main reason: http://www.livestrong.com/article/108342-factors-affect-respiration-rate.
If I ever am courageous enough to go out to a bar during a Friday afternoon happy hour again, I’ll see what streaks I get and if the above theories stay true.
Have other helpful analysis? Comment below!
(Spire app screenshots are from a beta version of a new app we are working on! Stay tuned for more info!)