To help explain BST, I use the analogy of a computer. This means the keyboard represents the sense of touch, the microphone ears, the speakers mouth, the camera eyes, the screen imagination and the memory is the brain. The body is the hardware and the thinking is the software where knowledge and understanding are stored.

Just like a computer the brain has two programmable parts: the conscious mind (your software), and the unconscious mind (your operating system).

While a computer is a complex piece of equipment, it actually works using a very simple binary system, consisting of two parts. In a computer, this expresses information in codes that use combinations of the digits 0 and 1. Every action of a computer is generated by the binary signal created by the software that operates it.

In a similar way the brain can only instruct the body to do one of two things. This can either be a helpful or an unhelpful action. This is the basis of BST.

The first level in understanding response ability is to recognise and accept how the body behaves. It means choosing to take action to see and understand the body's 'response' according to the 'ability' of the brain to make choices.

We communicate in three ways. Although it is the principal of these three ways that matters most, it’s generally agreed that, proportionally, our bodies use the following means: 

  • non-verbal: body language, including posture, expression, handshake, actions – 57%
  • verbal: voice, including tone, speed, volume, level of passion – 35%
  • words: your personal dictionary, from which your intellect chooses the words you speak – 8%

The body receives signals and stimuli from the world and sends messages to the brain. The brain interprets those messages and automatically tells the body what its response should be.

This first level in taking ownership of your response ability means looking out for and recognising your different responses. Remember, your responses to any situation will either be unhelpful or helpful, as measured against your relationships and the world around you.

For example, if you are speaking out in a meeting, a helpful response would be to speak clearly, take it slowly and present your ideas effectively. An unhelpful – and all too common – response would be to blush, rush your words, speak quietly or forget the point you wanted to make.

If you are singing a solo in a concert with your choir, a helpful response would be to sing just the way you do in practice sessions – confidently and in tune. An unhelpful response would be to forget the words and sing with a tremor in your voice.