Your mind understands the need for regular exercise and better nutrition, but it often procrastinates, suggesting you start later.
This week, I’ve unveiled three approaches to bridge the gap between your mental and physical well-being: the strategy of habit stacking, the 80/20 rule, and the Connect-3 method.
But there are additional methods that truly make a difference:
1. **Embrace Challenges**
You might have come across videos of “ice baths” on social media. They serve as an example of embracing uncomfortable situations, although you don’t have to go to such lengths. Doing something you’re not initially excited about will gradually become easier.
The first time you change the cat litter, it feels laborious and unpleasant.
The second time, it goes quicker.
The third time, it becomes even easier.
The same goes for visiting the gym; the initial hesitance gradually fades away. The principle is simple: the anticipation is often worse than the actual experience. The phrase “Get comfortable with discomfort” might be clichéd but holds truth. Begin with small steps.
2. **Foster Mind-Body Alignment**
I’ve discovered an effective exercise known as Box Breathing. It’s straightforward:
– Inhale deeply while counting to four.
– Hold your breath out, counting to four once more.
-Repeat this cycle ten times to enhance focus and self-awareness.
3. **Practice Presence**
I don’t want to get hippy-dippy but much of the discord between our thoughts and actions arises from distraction. Psychotherapists refer to this as a “check-in,” while Buddhists call it mindfulness or being “present.”Since our brains take a fraction of a second to process sensory inputs, what we think we are experiencing is technically in the past. The more distracted we are, the more this time lag extends.
A simple mindfulness exercise can help you reconnect: do the Box Breathing from above and focus on five things you can see, four you can hear, three you can touch, two you can smell, and one you can taste. It’s that simple.
We didn’t evolve for thousands of years to sit on the couch and watch TikTok. But modern life demands that we think long-term, act against our immediate desires, and focus on enhancing our life quality. Our forebearers may not have expected to live past 40, but we do.