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12 Sets to Quiet that Scary Brain of Yours

The set of 12 was coming to an end, and my lungs felt like deflated balloons. I don’t smoke, AT ALL. But damn, my breathing was so off. I sat on one of the black benches, with some threads ripped at the sides, I stared into the mirror into my red face, and under the white lights, despite the pressure inside my mind and the sore muscles in my legs I felt strong. REALLY F*CKING STRONG.

We all have a relationship with our bodies, some toxic, other obsessive, some great and some nonexistent. One thing that gives us an incredible foundation to our relationship with our bodies is movement. Movement helps us understand that the brain can chatter a lot, it can distract the hell out of us and can put us off course; the brain alone makes up stories; and worst of all it could tell us that we are weak, not good enough or strong enough. Our thoughts are so influenced by our circumstances and if we really let them go out and play, they start to multiply and create more rational and irrational reasons for said sob story. Which is why we need good habits like Movement that are cornerstones in our days, regardless how the day goes, we move anyway.

Be careful, one good recipe for a mental health DISASTER is sitting on our butts all day, doing something (or nothing) and letting our brains run loose.

That is where movement comes in.

Movement whichever form of it you choose whether it is dancing, working out in the gym or on your living room floor, or simply taking a walk during lunch break helps put our thoughts in check. Why? When we allow our bodies to take charge for at least 30 minutes a day, our bodies’ cortisol (stress hormone) levels drop and our endorphins (friendly good hormones) get a good boost to shut the door on the negative thoughts and feelings. Do this enough and your muscles get used to the movements, and your brain learns to incorporate them into whatever story it wants to tell itself. Here is an example

BEFORE

Today is a bad day, There is so much traffic and I feel so tired from sitting all day. I have a headache and my friends bailed on our outing. END of story, your spirit is down, you go to bed after downing a likely unhealthy beverage because why bother? You are that Guy\Girl. You are somebody who doesn’t care.

AFTER

Today is an OK day. It wasn’t great, there was so much traffic and I felt tired sitting all day. I went and did my workout however, and then I realized that my friends had cancelled our plans. Its a good time to get some well-needed good food and rest because I SHOWED UP today. I feel strong and go figure, I no longer get those annoying headaches from staring at the screen all day.

Movement does wonders. and allowing our brains a break from thinking is a must! Let it get busy counting repetitions and sets, or let it focus on getting that target you set for yourself. Don’t allow it to run wild on toxic habits.

Try it and find out for yourself, after all, bad habits are hard to break but good habits are equally difficult to stop as well. So choose your habits wisely!

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The Life Game: Set your build to win

Inspiration found me this morning as I was scrolling through my Facebook homepage. A video posted compares your human life from birth to end to a video game; and goes through the entire logical process in less than four minutes. As an avid gamer myself, it was both ironic and creative to say the least.

The oversimplification made me think about the struggles we go through in order to achieve our goals whatever they might be. I, eventually as anybody would, started thinking about myself and how I manage to balance my life, the things that helped me progress, how I owned my experiences and continue to learn every step of the way. Three major elements keep me in check: practicing mindfulness, dedication to physical fitness and consistency for professional achievement. Yet the thought of attempting to balance mindfulness, physical fitness and professional achievement might induce so much anxiety, that you dismiss the possibility before even trying it. But consider this:

Your life game begins with a standard build, note that I’m dismissing socio-economic status as a start because I am solely talking about “free skills”. Mindfulness, fitness and achievement are unaffected by your external conditions, you could be at top of the ladder or starting from scratch, this should apply to you indiscriminately.

Your standard human build can take you far enough up until the challenges are more complex, and until the challengers facing you have learned new skills and developed their build. Then you will feel stuck, possibly defeated and exhausted by life. While you are still using your basic fight or flight mechanism, others have mastered self-control and tend to stand and fight in situations you would definitely flee, as that is your original coding, undeveloped.

Master the skill of Mindfulness

To learn this skill, you have to recognize that every human’s basic build consists of personal experience; a lived past, a happening present and a subjective perception of a future. You have to acknowledge your past, own your experience, identify the lessons you have to learn, seek help if it proves to be difficult. You have to acknowledge the blessing of being alive, of having breath run through you. Identify with that breath on a daily basis, and practice being in the present moment, thankful and adamant on self-love not selfishness. The future will be taken care of, when you master the other two skills.

Master the skill of physical fitness

To learn this skill, you have to recognize that your average build body, if no disabilities are present, is intended for mobility and functional movement. The less you use it for that purpose, the faster you deteriorate and battle numerous glitches and viruses, and the sooner you lose the game. Start with respecting the functionality of your body, follow a fitness program, the little achievements you make whether touching your toes when you couldn’t or performing a series of back flips on command, all reflect on your overall performance in the life game. You will become stronger and empowered, your build allows you to tackle challenges differently. Little achievement matter just as much as big ones. The flip-side of a series of fails, is the consistency that leads to lessons learned and essentially achievement by virtue of trial and error.

Mastering those skills helps you recharge your spirit and your body. You will recognize your weaknesses and deal with them before it’s too late. You will be ahead in your game.

Mastering the skill of professional achievement

To learn this skill, you must have a clear goal. You have to know why you are in the job and what you plan on achieving by remaining in it for a certain time period. There is no shortage of opportunities, even in today’s economy. Identify where you are on the resourcefulness scale and make your decisions accordingly. Don’t let fear stop you from taking a leap into the next level. But make sure that your boots will jump high enough and your build can stand the impact of a miscalculation.

The life game is different for each and every one of us. We all have the capacity to improve and to develop ourselves in continuously competitive and challenging game play. Stay curious, stay present and improve with every opportunity you get. Keep your head in the game, and believe that winning everyday is actually possible as long as you are in the game.