Every day we experience positive and negative stress. The positive stressors are good but the negative ones - not so good. Some of those negative ones are within our reach to control and change. Two stressors that you can do something about are those that cause you to feel overwhelmed and living a frenetic life.
In this article we peel back the stress onion on these two stressors and find out how they activate your levels of stress and what you can do about them.
What happens when you are feeling overwhelmed and frenzied?
Living a frenzied life actually causes you to be overwhelmed, and if you are living a frenzied life consistently you are constantly peeling that layer of the stress onion leaving you in a relentless state of stress. This is called distress and it is not good for your body, mind or soul.
When you are on the go all the time your body suffers. What you need to do is take a break, giving some space for you to calm your mind and slow down the body, giving you time to refuel your tank with fresh energy.
So, if your life is on this hectic pace, it’s time to do something to reduce your stress and feel less overwhelmed.
What can you do about it?
While there are some things outside of your control there are a number of things you can do to help calm yourself and reduce your stress.
Start with your priorities.
Write out a list of everything you need to do. Don’t worry at this time whether they are important or not. Just get them down. Once you are satisfied that you dumped everything that is on your mind onto the paper, go through your list and prioritize in descending order. You may find some are unimportant and shouldn’t be there, others you can delegate to someone else (even home things if you have children or other helpers) and others you can defer to another day. If you are deferring things to a later date then decide when you will do them and put them into your calendar for another day.
Next, get organized.
Being organized can greatly reduce your stress. Take your calendar, color code it for certain tasks, work in 60 or 90-minute stretches. If you are a morning person put the difficult tasks in the morning and leave the easier ones for the afternoon. If you are an afternoon person reverse the order. Make sure you allot sufficient time to get things done.
Prioritizing and calendaring will help you feel less frenzied and overwhelmed.
One other thing. Ask for help. You can do this at home or at the office. It is amazing how people will respond when they see you overwhelmed.
Delegate whenever you can.
You got to know when to “hold them, fold them or let them go.” Hold them when you have prioritized them. Fold them when you have detailed when you will carry them out? Let them go when you know you need to. It’s this last one that often is the most difficult. You have to “let go” when stress affects your health.
Letting go often means delegating to others so that the frenzied part of your life is minimized, and you are feeling less overwhelmed.
In a nutshell the art of delegating to others simply means you allow others to do some of the work for you so you can concentrate on the important tasks and areas of your life. Think of it as teamwork.
Delegating to others can occur in the home such as: delegating chores to others, carpooling your kids to sports, dance, or other activities, and sharing doing the dishes. There are many tasks that you can delegate around the home.
If you are operating a home office – think of delegating some activities to others through outsourcing or handing off some responsibilities to your young or teenage children such as shredding paper, emptying waste baskets, answering telephones, or delivering products.
Delegating when you work outside the home is another matter. We will review that at another time.
Live in the Moment
When things are swirling around you and you seem to be off balance take a few moments to be in the moment. Close your eyes, take a few deep breathes and relax your body - let your shoulders slump, relax your head and neck, drop your hands or fold them comfortably in your lap, and relax your legs. For the next few minutes just "be" and not "do". You can make this a spiritual moment for you and say a simple prayer, like "Father, help me change the things that are in my control, and let go of the rest," or whatever prayer comes to mind in this moment of quietude.
What’s this all about Anyway?
Think of it this way. Stress kills. Stress can cause heart attacks, strokes, and gastric issues. There are studies that show that it also kills brain cells.
Minimizing stress will help you to focus, think straight, sleep better and in general live healthier. It can lessen your anxiety, live with greater balance, and improve your relationships. So, why not try lessening your stress with the few suggestions outlined in this article. It may simply mean you will live longer and healthier. Not a bad outcome.
The bottom line is that we all deal with stress each and every day of our lives, but if we let it build up it could cause serious problems. Experiencing constant feelings of being overwhelmed and living a fast-paced frenzied lifestyle are two of the biggest stressors in our lives. The good news is that they can be controlled and managed, but it takes commitment and practice.
I hope this short article helps you reduce your stress by prioritizing, organizing, delegating, and living in the moment.
Please stay safe and healthy and remember your personal growth and development matters.
Oh by the way, you may want to take my Masterclass on Stress Management found under the Storefront Tab, or join FORTIS MEMBERSHIP which has numerous videos, e-Books and other resources for your personal growth and development.
Thank you for reading,
Richard P. Fontanie
Over the years I have coached managers, business owners and employees about facing their fears. Here are three typical examples: Jane operated a business which "failed," and then wanted to start another, but was "fearful" of "failing again;" a group of employees said "they feared their boss”; and Joe lost his job and "feared" for his future.
Today many people are experiencing more fear than they had in the past. For the first time they are confronted with so much ambiguity that they seem frozen in time and space. Fear does that. It freezes us but the good news is that we can thaw out.
When I asked my partner about her thoughts on fear she said, "fear is the big elephant's mouse in the room." So let's take a look at this little rascal that makes the mighty elephant fearful.
First, let’s talk about some of the positive things about fear. Fear keeps us from making silly mistakes, spending money foolishly, and taking unnecessary risks. When an impending danger faces us we rightly react instinctively with a "freeze, flight or fight" response.
However, when fear stops us from moving forward when we should be moving forward, or running away from something when we shouldn't, or being overly anxious about something that keeps us from taking steps towards something better, then it's time to take a hard look at how fear is holding us hostage.
Remember “fear” is in the mind of the beholder so we need to go within ourselves and uncover what it is that is holding us back. Consider these eight key questions to explore:
Now that you understand the nature of your fear, answer these four questions to begin moving forward.
No one can predict the future with any certainty but one thing I do know is that there is "life" after leaving a place of employment. Opportunities await you.
Today is a good time to review your previous employment with an objective eye and review the results you achieved, understand your own work style and skill sets, and if you want to seek further employment build a resume that outlines those qualities and achievements. You now have the opportunity to seek the type of employment you always wanted and find a better "employment fit" for your profile and skill sets.
Today is a good time to sharpen your skills. Consider taking a course online. There are many available and there are excellent ones with really affordable rates.
Today is a good time to take advantage of another opportunity, self-employment. Think about becoming self-employed, developing an online business, becoming an affiliate marketer, opening an online store based on your skill sets, writing blogs for money, or making presentations and product reviews on YouTube. If you have never done this before I advise you seek a coach to guide you. If you are so inclined, listen to my YouTube introduction to one of the best online coaches I have had the pleasure of knowing and take his 100% free workshop.
Rather than fear the future, embrace it with a positive attitude and recognize it is filled with opportunity. Set your goals and then act.
Consider all the courageous people who overcame their fear and accomplished great things for themselves and human kind. Yes, they were afraid, but they broke through their fear barrier - often with the help of others and a Higher Power. Confront the mouse in your room and you may find it's just a tiny thing anyway.
Thank you for reading,
Note: This article is updated and revised from 2018
Meditation has many health benefits and is a highly effective way to release stress and maintain a healthier lifestyle.
Over time it builds self-discipline, promotes healthier coping mechanisms, improves self-image and awareness, helps people make better choices in life, compartmentalize and focus; and overall has a transformative effective on one’s experience relating to stress.
Meditation is quite simple in nature yet transcends thought when one controls the monkeys. Buddha refers to distraction as monkeys vying for our attention, hence the phrase “the monkey mind”. When people are in a deep meditative state, they exist in the moment, and in that moment, time is suspended. They go beyond consciousness and are gifted with the whisper of the divine where compassion, respectfulness and forgiveness are strengthened,
We now know that people from all the corners of the world, in whatever position they hold meditate to relieve stress. It is a practice that has both spiritual connections and has many expressions.
It has been scientifically shown to lower blood pressure, aid with sleep, improve memory and help manage pain.
People meditate as a:
The basic principles of meditative practice has four elements
There is no doubt we will be distracted during meditation. We need to recognize these as being part of our lives. By recognizing the distractions we give ourselves permission to remove them and get back to focus.
Thank you for Reading,
(This is an excerpt from Stressology 200: The Remedies: Meditation. “Stressology: Stress Care for Today” is an eight-hour Masterclass and can be found in the Storefront, or you may consider becoming a Member of FORTIS where “Stressology: Stress Care for Today” is included in your membership fee.)
Recently I received a response on Facebook from a dear friend and author, Anne Campbell, who reminded us to love “your God-given self, as you’d love others.” It has been awhile since I wrote about this topic and I thought, ‘Wow, this is a good subject to lead into 2021."
Now you may be good at taking care of others but how good are you at caring for yourself? We are compassionate towards others but what about self-compassion? Self-care is a critical element of our physical and mental wellness that we often suppress and do not discuss enough.
On one level we need to be quite focused on how we go about taking care of ourselves; and, on another level we can feel selfish and almost overwhelmed when we do.
When was the last time you took a day or even a week off to decompress and explore the meaning of life? We often save our days and guard them like gold, preserving them for times of illness or family vacation days. Perhaps we need to challenge ourselves and think differently. A better approach may be to find a healthy balance that allows for self-preservation without sacrificing all those things we hold as being equally important such as family, career, and community.
Practicing compassionate self-care allows us to be fully and compassionately present to ourselves to others.
This may be a good time to reflect on our self-care practice. Many of us are cloistered, so to speak, because of COVID-19 and wonder what tomorrow may bring. Let's not be anxious about tomorrow but concentrate on what today brings and how we can become better self-care givers.. Think about it.
How Do We Know If We Are Neglecting Our Self-Care?
Here are a few tell-tale signs that we might be neglecting our self-care: feelings of being stressed, feeling burned out, finding that you are short tempered or responding angerly at others when normally you don’t, or not sleeping well. Failing physical health is another sign. Illnesses can tax our body so much so that we need to take time away from work, and after an illness we find that it takes considerable time to regain our energy.
Another indication of neglecting ourselves is that we rarely allow others to do something for us. For many of us this becomes a learning curve – that is to enable others to take over a situation while we take a necessary break or focus on other activities that require our attention. For some of us this means being open to a new skill set called delegation.
Critical Ways To Strengthen Self-Care
Proper self-care can create a pathway to a way for you to better manage your stress and ultimately live your best life according to Psychology Today. It can protect the energy you need to survive.
Here are five key ways to strengthening your self-care.
#1 Know When To Say ‘No’
Practicing self-care requires you to establish clear boundaries on behalf of yourself with others who may or may not have your best interests at heart.
You can’t please all the people all the time, so, give yourself permission to say ‘no’.
Don’t fret about whether people won’t like you for saying no. People will probably like and respect you more if you are honest with them instead of over-committing yourself and having to cancel things at the last minute.
Our personal boundaries and how any given situation affects them. Then develop a strategy to deal with that.
When saying no, do so politely in a way that makes your boundaries clear. And avoid guilt after saying no. You always have a right to turn down an invitation or refuse a favor. It’s okay to make yourself and your mental health a priority.
#2 Plan For Self-Care Activities
For many of us self-care just doesn’t happen without some conscious effort. A part of that effort is to remind ourselves that we need to take breaks from our busy schedule. And speaking of scheduling book into your calendar some ‘me’ time. Read a book, take a walk, find a quiet spot and just sit in the moment. The point is our body, mind and emotions need a break and in order to do this we need to re-focus some of our energy towards looking after ourselves.
#3 Put Sleep on Your Priority List
Ensure you get sufficient sleep. Put it on your priority list.
Inconsistent sleep can have some serious consequences. Not only does it affect our physical health, but lack of sleep can also contribute to overall anxiety and stress. And sometimes it turns into a vicious cycle since anxiety often leads to disruptions in sleep and disruptions in sleep often contribute to anxiety and even depression.
Schedule a full seven to nine hours of snooze time and then monitor your levels of anxiety throughout the day. You don’t have to be like our cat that gets 19 hours a sleep a day but get what you need to refuel your energy.
Adequate sleep fuels your mind, keeps you in balance, sustains your mood and improves your interactions with others.
#4 Maintain A Healthy Support System
Now this seems a bit of contradiction. This is not about ‘caring’ for others in a way that takes away from caring for yourself but finding support in true and positive friendships. When we get busy, we often skimp on our relationships with others. We become overwhelmed with busyness to the detriment of our family and friends. Socializing in a positive way gives opportunity to grow physically and emotionally. The importance of healthy relationships is such that sometimes we need to plan time for them. Build them into your calendar.
#5 Connect With Your Spirit
Finding our inner spirit through meditation has lasting effects on improving our well-being.
Spending quiet time by putting your mind to rest using the techniques of meditation gives you the space for healing in the moment.
Here is a simple technique to get you started. Close your eyes. Focus your attention on reciting -- out loud or silently -- a positive mantra such as “I feel at peace” or “Maranatha”. Breathe deeply and place one hand on your belly to sync the mantra with your breaths. Let any distracting thoughts float by like clouds. Then, just rest in the moment.
Take some time today to focus on whether or not you are practicing self-care. If you find you need to improve some areas, you don’t have to make drastic changes all at once. Take one step at a time by targeting a single area and then make small adjustments. You will be surprise by the overall improvement that begins to take hold of your life. Remember that compassionate self-care allows you to compassionately care for others or to fully understand the meaning of “love others as you love yourself.”
Take Care and Stay Healthy
The Enemy Is Not The Enemy
By Phil Symchych
Last week, I attended the November 11th Remembrance Day services at Regina Victoria Park to honor the memory of my father, Private John Symchych, a veteran of World War II. Yes, I wore a mask, and yes, I socially distanced from everyone.
My Dad was severely injured in WWII and suffered physical injuries as well as undiagnosed and untreated post-traumatic stress disorder throughout his life. He could not sit in front of an open window for fear of something bad happening. In our house, the drapes and blinds were usually closed.
When I was growing up, Dad told my brother and me stories of World War II. We saw his battle scars on his leg, abdomen, chest, and shoulder. He told us how he was chased by, and outran, a German tank. He was blinded by tank artillery that struck a brick school house where he was hiding, and he didn’t know if he’d see again. Once his sight returned several days later, he was sent back to battle where he suffered machine gun fire and was hit in his leg, abdomen, chest, and shoulder. He was 20 years old.
As he lay bleeding on the battlefield, two German officers came across him. My Dad, bleeding and in shock, thought that was the end of his life.
However, one German officer covered my Dad with his officer’s coat and the other gave him his flask of brandy. The German officers probably saved my Dad’s life. Canadian soldiers found and rescued my Dad a few hours later.
Sometimes the enemy is not the enemy.
(Phil went on to further describe his experience at the service and ended with this:
As a society, we can and must do a much better job of supporting our military who protect us in times of war and our first-responders who protect us in times of peace. Post-traumatic stress disorder is real even though the scars aren’t visible. The enemy is a lack of public awareness and support for people suffering mental illnesses. The enemy, therefore, is us.
The title of this article closely resembles one of those pesky pop-up ads on your favorite Internet site, claiming some remarkable fitness solution “in just 30 days!”.
When it comes to weight management, most would assume that in order to lose (or maintain) a certain body weight, eating more food is entirely counterproductive.
There is some truth to this assumption; any time you consume more calories than your body burns, the excess must be stored somewhere (remember those laws of conservation of energy from high school?).
However, there are actually a few gimmick-free ways that technically allow you to consume “more” food without experiencing any weight gain.
Throughout the remainder of this discussion, we will describe 5 tricks that allow you to consume more food without gaining fat in the process. Quite literally, having your cake and eating it too!
Same Portion Size Does Not Mean Equal Calories
When it comes to different food options, the same serving size of two different items in no way means they contain the same amount of calories. As you are (hopefully) aware, a fist-sized portion of lean chicken has nowhere close to the caloric content of an equal amount of chocolate cake.
What does this mean for you desire to eat more food without suffering the consequences? Well, to do the trick, it is important to pick out foods that are relatively low in calories in relation to serving size. This allows you to technically eat more food while simultaneously keeping your calorie count to a minimum.
Experiment With Different Eating Windows
While this trick may seem like a technicality, eating all of your daily calories within a relatively short window is another way to feel like you are stuffing your face guilt-free. Though this is often cited as intermittent fasting, you are not required to follow any specific protocol.
This approach may be rather difficulty at first. Over time, however, your body will most likely make a smooth adjustment. If you can maintain the willpower and self-control to avoid eating outside of whatever “window” you set for yourself, you can all but go crazy during feeding time, while still not maxing out your caloric budget.
Don’t Spend Your Calories On Liquids
One of the quickest and easiest ways to go overboard on calories is through sugary drinks such as soda and frozen beverages. Without even realizing it, you can easily consume half a days worth of recommended calories in only a few of these items! In your noble quest to eat more food without gaining weight, this obviously leaves you much less room to work with.
Instead of spending your daily calories on sugary drinks, try consuming water or another low-calorie alternative. By doing so, you are able to eat more food without going overboard on calories.
Whole Foods Versus Their Processed Alternatives
There are many reasons why whole foods are vastly superior to the processed excuses for nutrition readily available all around us. The fact that they almost always contain fewer calories is one of them.
When food is consumed in its natural form, it is spared the refinement process, which usually involves the addition of high calorie sweeteners and preservatives.
Simply put, as far as calories go, you get much more bang for your buck by eating whole foods. While stuffing your face with fresh produce may not be quite as enticing as a pint of ice cream, at least you eat more of it!
Lastly, You Guessed It, Exercise
This one is pretty simple and probably the first thing that comes to mind when posing the question of how to eat more food without gaining weight. Exercise causes the body to need more calories to burn as fuel.
This approach is quite the opposite of the other choices we have discussed in that instead of being mindful of your total caloric intake, you can actually decrease your bottom line.
To be fair, the amount of exercise required to burn a significant number of calories is pretty high. Eating till you are stuffed and trying to undo the situation on a treadmill is not very efficient. However, getting enough exercise on a consistent basis will allow you to eat more while reducing the amount of calories your body stores.
If we want is to live a happy, healthy life and achieve our goals, then we will need to pay attention to our mental health. Let’s not wait until we find ourselves seriously struggling mentally or facing a diagnosed illness. Ignoring our mental health can play havoc on our everyday lives. It can drain our energy, motivation, focus and our concentration, and increase our stress. If left unchecked, it can lead to more deeper issues like anxiety and depression. Here are five ways that will help us keep mentally fit.
1. Stress Management
You know sometimes we don’t even realize how much stress affects our daily lives. Continuous stress builds up over time and slowly we find we are not sleeping well, skimping on our diet, or living in a state of fog. Living under stress can lead us to fatigue, hair loss, muscle pain, weight changes, infertility and a negative approach to life.
Certainly we can’t cut out every stressful situation in our lives. However, we can learn to let go of what we can’t control and mitigate those things that do cause us stress. For example, we can’t control how busy our office gets at certain times or how other people act. These situations may agitate us. When we feel that way, we can take a time out and focus on something else, preferably a happy though, a positive affirmation, or just smile at the situation.
2. Get Regular Exercise
Exercise is not only good for our bodies it is also good for our minds. A simple thing like scheduling a short workout to start our day will pay dividends in lifting our mood and spirit. A 20-minute cardio routine is a perfect way to kick off the day. Studies show that brisk ten-minute walk three times a day is as healthy as a 30 to 45 minutes workout.
3. Go Unplugged
These days it is so easy to be constantly connected. Our phones are practically tethered to our hands. Often, we turn to it and unconsciously open a social media app. Before we know it, we’ve wasted 15-minutes scrolling aimlessly. Not only that, we are jarred into reviewing the latest breaking news which in turn triggers an avalanche of emotions that seems to be outpouring from all corners of the world. Suddenly, we are caught in that avalanche and we feel our emotions escalating to a higher pitch. That’s just for starters. That doesn’t even take into account how we interrupt ourselves to look at a notification or attempt to multi-task. Always being connected encourages plenty of bad habits.
Let’s do ourselves a major favor and unplug for a few hours or maybe for a whole day. Can we take the plunge and just put our phones on the “do not disturb’ mode, and spend our day untethered? Hey, we may find that we are re-engaging with people face to face, communicating with others, and enjoying nature. Isn’t that novel?
4. Walk Away
It doesn’t matter what we’re dealing with it’s important to understand when to walk away (or take a break) from a situation. It’s easy to stick at it and give in to frustration, but a short break can make all the difference.
5. Make Healthy Choices
What do you do when you feel hunger pains in the mid-afternoon? Do you wander over to the vending machine and grab a candy bar or a bag of chips? Perhaps, you brought a snack with you, but it’s not much better for you than what you found in the vending machine.
By making a simple healthy choice in times like this, we can positively influence our mental health. The best thing to do is to choose a snack that’s low on the Glycemic index, offers plenty of fiber and moderate protein. This helps us regulate our appetite. For example, take a small handful of raw nuts or a piece of cheese and top it off with a piece of fruit is more healthy for us.
What we are attempting to do here is to train our brain to get the same pleasure from healthy choices as it does to the junk it’s become accustomed to. Achieve this one dietary behavior at a time. Oh, and don’t forget to drink plenty of water!
It may not be easy to follow the tips above, especially if you are struggling with a mental health episode. However, once you start taking steps to apply some of the changes suggested you will see the difference in how you feel. Others will notice, too. We all experience mental health struggles from time to time, but these five tips can help us stay on track in improving our mental health.
Thank you for Reading
Your thoughts determine how you live your life. They become your mindset and outlook, which impacts your actions, which changes the outcomes of your life. Your thoughts inform your beliefs about you and your relationships with others. Whatever you believe about yourself and others, then, can become your perceived reality.
Do you have dreams about where you would like to be in life? If you want to manifest those dreams and desires into life, you first have to believe that you can succeed. Once you think that you can achieve what you set out to do, your mind begins looking for solutions to problems rather than obstacles and challenges. The opposite is also true. If you believe you won’t succeed, you have set yourself up for finding blocks to your success. So, what happens when you believe negative thoughts about yourself?
How Negative Thinking Manifests Itself
If you think you can’t and if you focus on your faults and live in fear of possible outcomes in what you want to do, it impairs your ability to achieve your intended goals. When you think negatively about yourself and say such things as, “I don’t deserve to succeed”, you set yourself up to become less motivated to succeed.
Every time you come across something that is an obstacle to your success, you will think that is what you deserve and will likely give up trying. When you do this you are lowering your self-esteem and you can end up settling for less because you don’t believe you deserve to actually achieve your dreams. In short, you’ll keep getting in your own way until you fulfill your prophecy about your ability to achieve your goal.
How to Turn Negative Thinking into Positive Beliefs
Set the Tone
The first step to changing negative beliefs into positive manifestations is to quiet your mind and connect with yourself. Starting your day with a positive frame of mind is crucial and it will set the tone for your entire day.
Before getting into the tasks of your day, engage in quiet meditation. Meditation will help you focus your thoughts, calm your anxieties and fears, and create room in your mind and heart for positive thoughts.
Through meditation you touch silence, your inner self and the Spirit that makes you whole. It teaches you the 'interconnectedness' of all that exists as a sense of oneness. Some refer to this phenomenon as the coming together of the universe, others understand it as the dynamic grace of a loving God within all that exists.
Clarify Your Vision
Knowing what you want is vital to positively manifesting your goals. Focus on your bigger picture and what it is you are trying to accomplish. If you want to live a purposeful life, picture in your mind’s eye that purpose and visualize yourself actually having accomplished it. It is your vision that will drive you to a successful end.
Now, every time you need to make a decision, ask yourself, does this get me closer to realizing my vision or goal? Is this helping me to manifest my vision? If not, it’s not worth your time, so move on. Negative thoughts don’t have a place in this process, and they certainly don’t contribute to your ability to fulfill your goals.
Learning to be thankful for what you have in life is crucial for manifesting your dreams. When you are grateful for your abilities and achievements, you begin to love yourself more and strengthen your confidence in your ability to achieve your goals. Shift your energy toward gratitude, and you will notice that you will feel better about yourself and will have an improved focus for attaining your goals. (See my post on gratitude here)
Feed Yourself With Positivity
Staying positive is the key to manifesting what you want in life. Your negative thoughts about yourself will get in the way every time as your brain finds ways to make your fears and negative beliefs come true. If you believe you will fail, you will fail. If you think you don’t deserve happiness, you don’t deserve happiness. Focusing on positivity and working towards your goals means changing the way you feel about yourself so that you can make your dreams a reality.
The bottom line in all of this is how your mind works. In order to eliminate negative thinking you will need to reprogram our mind. The good news is that you already have the power within you to do it. All you need to do is open the door to a better way. Manifest what you want in life by changing how you think. Release all that power within you. Go here to find a way to reprogram your thinking.
How you think about yourself powerfully impacts your everyday decisions, which will influence your dream and the goals you set out to achieve them. Instead of believing the worst in yourself, chose to think only the best. It just may be your elixir for a better and more prosperous life.
Thank you for reading,
Richard P Fontanie
Any worker in America can attest to just how bad working can be on your health. Whether it's sitting at a desk for eight hours, looking at a computer screen or spending your shift on your feet, running around an emergency room treating patients. We risk repetitive strain injury, stiff joints, eye strain, and back pain. One of the biggest risks of our working life, though, is weight gain, especially for busy professionals.
Even those who are on their feet during their workday face challenges – they're busy, they turn to sugary food to keep them going and it's difficult to break the weight habit. There is good news, though, here are five fitness tips for the busy professionals among us.
It's the greatest thing you can do for your health. Not only does it improve your focus on overall performance the following day, but it means you are more likely to make the right dietary decisions. When you choose the right foods you feel better, you're more likely to have the energy to do those exercises, your mood improves, and it can even influence your sex life.
If you want to maintain your fitness you have to plan ahead. One of the biggest downfalls of any lifestyle is the inability to maintain it. So, if you know you're prone to grabbing junk at lunch, make sure you prepare your lunch the night before (the same goes for your breakfast and dinner). If you constantly forget to grab your gym bag, leave it at the door or somewhere you will see it for when you need it. The magic number when it comes to moderate exercise is 150 minutes – it is more easy to achieve than you think.
Switch Up Your Commute
Provided you live fairly close to your workplace – you can leave the car at home and hop on a bike or just walk. Not only will it save you money, it also helps protect the environment. Look at you, thinking of others and improving your health!
Lunch Break Performance
If this isn't possible, consider going for a walk on your lunch break – the fresh air will do you good. You can walk to a park to eat lunch or walk to a healthy eatery where you know there's time for you to dine well and get your steps in. It will also provide you with an energy boost, you will find your afternoon at work goes in quicker, too.
If travel is a regular part of your business, then you know just how difficult it can be to exercise and to eat well. The first thing you should do is start keeping a food diary – then you can track what you're eating while traveling, as it's easy to lose track. When it comes to exercise, check ahead to see if your hotel has a gym. If it doesn't, you can track a path to walk or jog and see if there is a gym in the vicinity.
Work gets busy, but there are plenty of ways you can find time for fitness. In addition to the tips above, you can skip the elevator and always choose the stairs. You may be surprised at how many calories you burn doing the housework. To save time, try to find a gym that's on your way home from work – you can slip in a few nights a week for a quick workout. Start your day with a short spiritual exercise, eat a healthy breakfast, and tackle the day with the energy and vigor it deserves.
Has this ever happened to you? You were thinking about a problem and no matter how hard you focus it seems that you're stuck. You've gone over the problem several times. You have tried to redefine it. You’ve looked at it from different angles. It seems that no matter what you do and regardless of when you think about the problem, nothing seems to happen.
A lot of this has to do with the fact that your conscious mind can easily get stuck in a holding pattern. If you've ever been on a plane that was trying to land at a busy airport, you probably have had the experience of being on holding pattern. Your plane would circle around a city several times delaying the moment of your arrival. When the runway clears and your plane is given the green light to land, your pilot will then break the holding pattern and start the descent. That’s how air traffic controllers organize planes for a safe landing.
It's not much different from your thoughts. When your mind is burning precious energy trying to achieve some sort of breakthrough because you find yourself at an impasse, it goes into a holding pattern. It's as if you can't think of anything new. You just keep revisiting the same things over and over again.
The mind works in almost the same way when you lose your keys. When was the last time you lost your keys? I’m willing to bet that when you were looking for your keys, you kept checking at the places that you checked before. At the back of your head, you know that your keys aren't there. After all, you just checked it a few minutes before, but you can't help yourself to keep checking in the same place over and over again.
Maybe you just didn't look properly. Perhaps it's stuck somewhere in the back. Possibly, you just didn’t pay enough attention so you keep repeating the same pattern. That's how your mind works.
Unfortunately, this habit doesn't get us any closer to the solution. How can it? You keep revisiting the same process. As the old saying goes, insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results each time. How can you achieve different results when you're doing the same thing?
When you focus on the present moment, you get the chance to focus on your issues right here, right now. In other words, you can train all your creative and imaginative resources to the right problem at the right time and at the right place. This is definitely better than worrying sick about stuff that may or may not happen or, worse yet, crying over spilled milk.
By learning to tap the present moment through mindfulness or meditation practices, you start looking at your situation differently. The reason why this happens is because your subconscious mind enters the picture. Your subconscious mind is very powerful. It enables you to achieve breakthroughs when you thought these were simply not possible. By the way tapping into your subconscious mind may be the first step towards connecting with your spiritual self.
Watch for more information and how to tap into your subconscious mind next month.
Thanks for reading,
Richard P. Fontanie