There is no need to tell you why stress (the negative kind) is bad for you. If you have been here from the start, you also know a great deal about the nutrition and exercising. We touched also slightly on sleep optimization and lifestyle. In this post, it is of utmost importance to start a new topic for that should be the overall goal of why we are all here in the first place. It is our values that make us stand out from the rest. We do it effectively.
There will be two posts in total. First, we start with stress, sleep and lifestyle. In the next post, we will go through a lot of scientific researches on nutrition that help us to postpone death and avert chronic diseases which makes us live longer, better. Today, we are going to take it more relaxed and you get provided with real-life examples and lots of free ebooks to make your own research on the topic or whatever else sparks your interest.
This is extremely relevant because improving your mental health will also affect your physical health, thus more effective you get in bodybuilding and life. What is frequently downplayed, though, is your rituals. Not meaning habits like train twice a week, but creating an empowering structure of your day, of which the most important part is what you do in the morning.
If you wake up and do not feel control over your day, guess how it will influence the rest of your day. The first step to stop being so busy and overwhelmed is to develop your morning routine. When you get up groggy, stressed out thinking whether you can make it to work or other arrangements, you enter a reactive, restless state of mind that will guide you the entire day.
Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this: wake up earlier and perform your morning ritual. Used to wake up at 5 A.M. and kept it for 2-3 years so that, it became a strong habit to wake up earlier. Now, no need for the alarm but set it up for 6:30 A.M. anyway, so I can get all the sleep needed and avoid feeling groggy. If wake up at 6:30 A.M. still got time to make it right.
During a long experimenting with the phases, I found out that it is bullshit, the best for you is to wake up naturally so set up the clock later and learn to wake up earlier than that. If you intend to wake up at 5 A.M. make it a habit, then set the clock for 6 A.M. and you wake up always before the alarm and avoid feeling unwell, considering you won´t break much your before bed routine. Noticed that 6-7 hours are enough for me even though tried for 9 to get most out of regeneration. It is often the quality of sleep that matters.
Resolved to sleep again without a mattress and get all the electronic devices out of the room and not just before sleep but try to stay away from it whenever possible during a day, especially 2 hours before sleep to get more melatonin releases. Less sleep needed, more time to grind still feels good and sleep well.
A proper morning routine should consists of activities that will clear your mind and help you calm down before the day kick off. Meditation is one of the keys yet have never been my thing. Not one of those fancy guys taking a comfy sit and relaxing for minutes multiple times a day, although use the focus on one or few pictures in the head which brings joy or simply focus on breathing to help you start the day or end the day. As you probably figured out doing it lying on my bed not sitting.
The other thing around, is to express your gratitude and appreciation for what you have. Various studies show that gratitude improves well-being and helps maintain positive mood. (E.McCullough et al. 2003)(Sheldon K.M. et al. 2006) Moreover, strengthens our relationships and improves connections. (Algoe S.B. 2012)
You can also get some inspirational book and read a few pages before your day get busier – try the free ebook sites and get inspired here: source 1 source 2. You can also review your personal goals, plans for the day or your vision. Don´t have them? Write them down as soon as possible (Tony Robbins´book Unlimited Power is a good starting point if you do not know how to do it) – found in attachment.
As I am to fitness, the day starts with inversion table, foam roller and stretch. It does not need to last long as all the above, what matters is consistency which brings the desired effect. Those who do the small physical activities in the morning, know the feeling that stays with you during the whole day and helps you sleep properly later on. While coronatime, started also jogging more actively where 3 or 6 km is enough to accomplish in relatively short time and the feel impeccable.
Back pain and other little pains are a default physical state for many people – most notably overworked office workers who make up a large part of society. Chances are your entire body is rigid and tense, causing you pain every single day. It is not only physical pain but also inflexibility and decreased range of motion that affects your mental/physical health.
A quick stretch 5-10 min, inversion table (probably the most lazy and effective) and foam roller (inexpensive massage) or all of them would do. Repair the body to make it stronger, thus more effective. The massage is not just tension, anxiety, depression and pain relieving but also lowers blood pressure for 72 hours. (Givi M. 2012) Not enough money? give up an unhealthy habit plus a good massage can cost to less than 15 euros.
Speaking of being active, you could make it more effective and take your friends to the nature while also exposing yourself to good energy that recharges you completely. Noise pollution increases stress. If you live in the city you should do it more often and combining it with people close to you and physical activities is very prosperous to both your mental and physical health. Currently visiting castles around the country, sometimes mushrooming and usually exploring new places.
The other part of your lifestyle is learning how not to give a damn and eliminate stressors in your life. If you can avoid stressors or eliminate it, do it. One of the most effective way to stop letting negative thoughts affect your state of mind is to reduce their intensity. Avoid the negative energy, find positive hobbies, keep busy with what you like and do not forget to exercise.
One of the great tactics that I am not using is replacing a negative picture with ridiculous, absurd situation, you will change your emotional association with the situation. You can also do the breathing whenever the thought pops up. It is easier said than done. Nothing comes easy without practice.
There is also a 7 days “change your thought” challenge from Will Bowen if interested. To me it is enough to build my life around my values and things I like to do step by step, then there is little to no source of negativity and stress. You also learn to organize your day and travel thanks to bodybuilding that teaches you a lot on how to get a grip on life with ease.
Lastly, there are 7 habits to reduce your stress. First of all, manage it (make the assessments of your life, find the stressors). Start with the big ones they usually spurt the smaller ones. Then, do it now. Procrastination is not helpful to your help nor it is productive. Putting things off bring more pain later rather than taking on small one now. The best tactic ever is to break down your tasks to smaller parts and start your day with small tasks like brushing the teeth and that will culminate in larger ones like your training and satisfaction of accomplishing them is indescribable (try Pomodoro technique, 25 minutes session with 5 min, breaks).
The third one, show up early you can make use of the extra time if you must wait. internet is easily accessible to get some interesting information or make some notes, plan ahead. Most of the time, go through English, Danish and German vocabulary that is piled up after notes are gathered from watching and reading in these languages. Also, try to be focuses on one task even multi-tasking might seem to be more effective yet it is the opposite, especially when performed for longer periods.
Having open schedules means more control and available to some fun. Training twice a week, eating 3 meals a day give you very flexible schedules.
Last two are let go of control, listen to others, let them do their things if they good at it, you do not need to be always right and do it yourself, outsource some activities like cleaning. In the end, it is all about getting rid of chaos in your environment. For example, a simple habit of cleaning your desk increases your focus and productivity.
I would also like to mention something about fasting. It has been 3 years already and the longer had carried out the more realised that less is needed. For the last year increased the physical activities and yet decreased the eating window from 14 to 10 hours. I used to find it stressful to always think of the food, carry it always with you in big quantities, eat 5 or more times a day and shifting attention to you all the time when eating and people always asking. Now, when I take a small pack of peanuts or walnuts with me it is more than cool.
As to sleep, it is must. Get a nap if cannot get enough sleep at night but make it your top priority. The most time-efficient way to get more sleep and recharge yourself is to take a 15 to 20 minute power nap. If you have time make it 90 minutes, thus one phase done but might feel groggy yet later on would feel the boost.
There are seven main factors influencing your sleep quality: maintain consistent sleep schedules (one hour later in bed still makes you get up same time ut power nap might e needed or the following day end up earlier in bed). Make the room dark, quiet and relatively cold and definitely clean. Avoid blue light before sleep and if possessed the mattress for 10 years throw it away. Don´t forget to drop heavy meals 3 hours before sleep and caffeine 8 hours before sleep.
Many believe that being fit both mentally and physically leads to well-being and longevity. If the mind cannot live in the harmony with your body vice versa then no one will. Hope, this post helped you to take different outlook and you are going to use the sources below to get a better understanding or research your own things for your good. The next post will be about the nutrition on longevity and well-being for it prevents the most spreaded chronic diseases.
Oh, I almost forgot Blinkist is for free until the end of April, hurry up.
MaMartin Meadows (2015). Daily Self-Discipline: Everyday Habits and Exercises to Build Self-Discipline and Achieve Your Goals. Meadows Publishing, Schaumburg