Stoicism was advocated by the most influential Greeks in history. It’s also enjoying a significant resurgence in modern society. Maybe a little Greek philosophy is just what the doctor ordered to get you “unstuck” so you can happily move forward.
10 Ways Stoicism Can Reduce Friction in our Lives (How to be Stoic in 10 Steps or Less)
Use these ideas from Stoic philosophy to face any challenge:
2. Only worry about those things under your control.
The actions of others, the weather, and the fact that your mother wasn’t nice to you when you were a child are out of your control. Save your focus and other resources for those things you can influence.
3. Understand you are the sole source of your emotions.
Events don’t create your emotions. The stories you tell yourself about those events create your emotions. All conflict begins internally.
4. Failure isn’t final.
There is no reason to have negative emotions regarding failure or positive emotions regarding success. Both are just outcomes that can be handled logically and intelligently.
5. Get things done.
Stoics believed in being productive over being comfortable. Logically decide what needs to be done and get those things done. Keep your emotions in check and take care of your business. Stoics were very aware of the importance of time and avoiding wasting it.
The great stoics of the past believed that it was ridiculous and odd to be surprised by anything. Frustration is often the result of unreasonable expectations. For example, if you made $10,000 this year, it’s unlikely that you’ll make $1 million next year.
8. Be virtuous.
The greatest accomplishment to a Stoic was living a virtuous life, regardless of the circumstances. Stick to your values, even when life is most challenging.
9. Stop caring what others think.
We tend to value ourselves more than we value others, yet we care more about the opinions of others than we do our own opinions. Impress yourself and avoid worrying about whether everyone else is impressed.
10. Be grateful.
Avoid focusing on the things you lack. Instead, be happy with your blessings. This is a sign of wisdom to a Stoic. At the end of each day, ask yourself a few questions. What did I do correctly? What actions were less than effective? How can I have a better day tomorrow?
Most of the people in modern society could stand to be a little more stoic. It’s time to toughen up a little bit. Face life and its many obstacles head-on. Take a lesson from the great Greek philosophers and give this new way of thinking a try. You’ll like the results.
Maintaining and/or restoring musculoskeletal, vascular, neurological, and lymphatic homeostasis post-concussion may help to prevent the degradation of brain tissue and jumpstart the healing process. We now know that there are lymphatic vessels in and around the brain (see illustration below). (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
Further groundbreaking research has proven that aerobic exercise (sustained muscle activation) stimulates the growth of new brain cells (neurogenesis) (10,11,12,13,14,15) and quickens, compared to lying motionless in a dark room, recovery post-brain concussion. (16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23)
Thus, when this newfound knowledge of the lymphatic system, how brain cells are regenerated, and how the brain heals is combined with the ever-growing body of evidence that exercise (tissue loading) quickens musculoskeletal and vascular healing post-trauma, (24) it becomes quite clear that they will indeed need to “rewrite the textbooks!”
It is also virtually impossible to sustain a brain concussion without incurring at least some degree of related musculoskeletal and/or vascular damage.
Let’s analyze this one step at a time. Say for example that someone’s head is hit with a hard object causing them to “see stars” before falling to the ground with a damaged temporalis muscle, ruptured local capillaries, and a contused temporal bone.
The area in and around the damaged site is painful, bruised, and swollen. If this exact same type of event caused similar damage to the same person’s shin bone instead Maps of the lymphatic system: old (left) and updated (2015) to reflect the new discovery (University of Virginia Health System) of their head, how would the related symptoms be treated?
Obviously, no informed practitioner would suggest mindlessly sitting still for days on end and/or blame any of these symptoms on a brain concussion. This is not to minimize the severity of any potential underlying brain concussion, but the fact remains that the two similar injuries are almost always treated differently and that is a blatant contradiction of the healing process. This point is made abundantly clear by the fact that there aren’t any nociceptors in the brain (e.g. isolated “brain damage” does not per se “hurt”).
Therefore, contrary to the general public’s widespread belief, the degrees of swelling, bruising, and pain are not an indication of the severity – or even existence – of a potential brain concussion. It is critical to recognize that these are two separate maladies (brain injury and musculoskeletal injury). Fortunately, tissue loading is an integral part of the treatment for both!
Now, let’s put this all together. “Loading” occurs through physical activity – or more specifically “muscle activation.”
Writing in The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, J A Buckwalter states:
“One of the most important concepts in orthopedics in this century is the understanding that loading accelerates the healing of bone, fibrous tissue, and skeletal muscle… Although new approaches to facilitate bone and fibrous tissue healing have shown promise (e.g., the use of cytokines, cell transplants, and gene therapy), none has been proved to offer beneficial effects comparable to those produced by loading of healing tissues. For these reasons, patients with musculoskeletal injuries and those who have recently undergone surgery are now being treated with controlled physical activity that loads their healing tissues. Evaluation of new approaches to the promotion of healing of bone, fibrous tissue, and muscle should include consideration of the effects of loading on tissue repair and remodeling.” (24)
The lymphatic system is basically passive and relies on muscle activation to move waste. Absolute stillness stifles drainage and worsens – NOT improves – congestion in and around the damaged site! Thus, congestion – at a minimum – inhibits the healing process!
Guyton and Hall, write in the Textbook of Medical Physiology (10th Edition),
“The lymphatic system is a ‘scavenger’ system that removes excess fluid, protein, molecules, debris, and other matter from tissue spaces. When fluid enters the terminal lymphatic capillaries, any motion in the tissues that intermittently compresses the lymphatic capillaries propels the lymph forward through the lymphatic system, eventually emptying the lymph back into the circulation.”
Since we now know that aerobic exercise “quickens” recovery post-concussion and that participation is often limited by related musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction, it is time to incorporate the principles of musculoskeletal healing outlined by Dr. Buckwalter above into nearly all post-concussion protocols.
Concussion Protocol Guidelines and Recommendations
As John Leddy eloquently stated in his 2018 article for Current Sports Medicine Reports entitled “Exercise is Medicine for Concussion.” (18) Thus, based on the passivity of the lymphatic system – stillness is the enemy! Now, for whichever exercise (or “muscle activation”) method the attendant physician recommends (walking, running, swimming, cycling, etc.), intensity and duration are, generally, limited by symptom magnification (e.g., if the symptoms increase, the intensity and/or duration must be reduced and if the symptoms decrease, the intensity and/or duration may be increased).
Further, since the damaged musculoskeletal tissue is generally located above the shoulders and often negatively affects the vestibular system, muscle activation that causes the little-to-no head and/or neck movement is best (no moshing).
If greater control/specificity is desired (e.g., if there is a requirement for limited movement of the cervical spine during the recovery process), an FDA-cleared electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) device that requires a physician’s written prescription for use, stimulates a non-fatiguing muscle contraction, offers intensity settings beginning at near-zero, and has a history of safe use around the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the posterior neck while simultaneously increasing local blood circulation, preventing or retarding disuse atrophy, relaxing muscle spasms, and maintaining or increasing range of motion, is an excellent choice.
This article was published with the permission of its author, Gary Reinl of garyreinl.com
(23) Silverberg, N. Is Rest After Concussion “The Best Medicine?”: Recommendations for Activity Resumption Following Concussion in Athletes, Civilians, and Military Service Members. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation (2013).
Most of us realize that what we put into our bodies has a massive impact on our wellbeing. But none more beneficial than eating fish for health and fitness.
A diet that includes a balance of fruit, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains will provide our body with the essential nutrients it needs to stay in optimum condition. Some foods are more beneficial to others and are described as ‘superfoods.'
Fish is known to be such food as it is packed with lots of nutrients, protein, and essential fatty acids. It is also very low in fat. Here are some of the benefits of eating fish for health and fitness.
1. Eating Fish is a Guilt-Free Activity
Aquaculture is the fastest-growing zootechnic sector in the world, with an annual growth rate of 10%. This rapid growth means that we can include fish in our diet without damaging natural ecosystems because commercial fishing provides fish in high quantities and quickly. Aquaculture nutrition provides chosen species of fish with high-quality foods that are fed frequently for rapid growth rates.
2. Fish are Packed with Nutrients
Fish is rich in calcium and phosphorus and is an excellent source of minerals such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium.
Iodine is only found naturally in fish and is a crucial nutrient for aiding thyroid function and neurodevelopment. Iron is needed to maintain the hemoglobin in our blood, regulate body temperature, give us energy, and help keep immune and gastric systems healthy.
Magnesium is only required in small amounts but is crucial for metabolizing carbohydrates, maintaining the heart muscles, and electrical impulses. It is known to lower the risk of hypertension and atherosclerosis.
In order for the body's cells to function efficiently, a source of potassium needs to be included in the diet. Potassium is present in all body fluids, and a deficiency of it may lead to high blood pressure, kidney stones, and bone deterioration.
3. Fish are Filled with Fabulous Fats
Unlike other meats such as lamb and beef, fish is not high in saturated fats. It is one of the richest sources of Omega3 fatty acids, which cannot be made in our body and must be obtained from our diet. Omega 3 helps protect against heart disease and strokes and also lowers levels of bad cholesterol.
Pain, inflammation, and fatigue of the muscles may also be managed by ingesting this super fatty acid.
Consuming about two portions of fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and tuna per week has been shown to reduce incidences of depression, ADHD, Alzheimer's, dementia, and diabetes. It is incredibly beneficial to the health of the brain.
4. Fish are Prolific Protein Sources
Protein is needed by the body to maintain and repair tissues and makes up the building blocks of organs, muscles, and hormones. Fish is exceptionally high in protein, and levels of it vary between fish species. Salmon, trout, and sardines are high in protein and great if you are trying to lose weight. Eating fish will provide you with plenty of muscle-building protein without the high content of bad fat.
During cardio, your feet are your main support, so you must support them back to prevent injuries and unnecessary pain.
Whether you’re running, attending a Zumba class, or a dance workout, your feet must be able to handle the hard impact and pressure you put them through every time you work out.
Don’t take your feet for granted, give them the care and attention they so rightfully deserve by following our 5 tips to minimize foot pain while doing cardio.
1. Wear Proper Shoes
Let’s start with the basics – choose the right shoes. I cannot stress enough how important it is to wear the right shoes while doing cardio. Without proper support, the repetitive impact your feet must face during every cardio workout can cause significant problems including spasms, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and heel spurs.
If you care for your feet and wear proper supporting shoes, you will not only prevent any of these problems but also achieve optimal performance since you will be able to drastically minimize foot pain while doing cardio exercises.
It’s natural to want to turn sports shoes into multi-tasking shoes. However, not all sports shoes are the same. For example, running shoes are completely different than the shoes you would use during weightlifting. It is best to choose shoes for a specific workout to protect yourself from injury and minimize foot pain.
When choosing shoes, make sure they allow proper foot flexibility but also support for optimal movement. When trying on shoes for cardio, make sure they support the arch and allow you to bend your feet without too much effort.
2. Stretch Your Feet
Every workout must begin with stretching. If you’re a fitness enthusiast, you probably stretch your legs, arms, and back before every workout. But what about your feet? Believe it or not, feet need stretching too, especially if you’re doing cardio.
If you have no idea how to stretch your feet properly, we’ve got you covered! Start by rolling a tennis ball underneath the soles of each foot. This is a great way to relieve the tension in your feet and it’s particularly a great way to prevent inflammation if you have plantar fasciitis.
If you want to strengthen your feet, do balance exercises barefoot. Numerous yoga poses can help you build strength in your feet. Look for those that require you to stand on both feet, with your weight distributed evenly, such as mountain pose. Use a yoga mat so you don’t slip on the floor.
3. Rest In Between High-Impact Cardio Exercises
Even if you feel you can keep going, take a short break in between high-impact exercises and allow your feet to rest. Most foot-related injuries are caused by high-impact exercises, thus it’s best to be mindful and not force your feet to deal with excessive force.
Rest is not for the weak; it’s for those who want to stay safe during cardio workouts. When your feet are overworked, you’ll be more prone to taking the wrong step, fall out of form, or lose your balance. The repetitive strain and stress you put on your feet will build up and eventually you won’t be able to do your regular exercises. And, even if you push yourself, your performance will decrease and so will your endurance. It’s also common to notice poor agility and slow reaction times in people who don’t take breaks in between exercises.
Another great tip is to alternate your cardio workouts with low-impact exercises, such as yoga or Pilates. Also, don’t forget about rest days! Your intuition may tell you that resting days will decrease your performance but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, rest days increase energy levels and prepare your body for consistently successful cardio workouts. So, if you want to stay motivated to exercise, don’t ignore the importance of rest.
4. Don’t Ignore the Pain
No pain, no gain, right? Not really! Soreness is normal while working out but pain not so much. Especially when your feet, joints, and other sensitive areas start to hurt. It’s important to know your limits, know when to stop, and when to modify exercises to prevent injuries. Sure, the goal is usually to push your limits, but you shouldn’t injure yourself to achieve your goals.
Due to the impact cardio exercises have on the feet, it’s normal to experience a few aches and pains here and there. But if the pain starts to get worse, you must stop. Otherwise, you risk an injury that will force you to take a break from cardio for a longer period. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t address the pain and adjust. On the other hand, when you do it, you build strength gradually and you will be able to achieve your goals without any injuries.
If the worst-case scenario happens and you injure your feet, allow them the necessary time to heal. Pushing through the pain and ignoring an injury will only prolong the injury and your feet will need more time to heal. That is if you don’t end up making the injury worse, which will put your goals even further behind.
5. Pamper Your Feet
In this context, pampering your feet doesn’t mean going to a spa; it means taking care of the problems as they occur. Even though an occasional visit to the spa clearly can’t hurt, so you can try that too.
After a cardio workout, massage your feet for 10-15 minutes to alleviate any aches and pains. The massage also stimulates the nerves, which helps you gain more foot awareness and allows you to easily determine how your feet hit the ground during a cardio workout. To massage your feet, you can either use a foot massage tool to roll over the arch and the soles of your feet or a frozen bottle of water.
If you have plantar fasciitis and any pain or inflammation occurs post-workout, ice the arch and the heels first and then massage the affected areas. Calf stretches can also help alleviate foot pain.
For Achilles tendinitis, apply ice post-workout and stretch the calves. The pain and inflammation in the Achilles tendon can also be alleviated by wearing a heel cup in the shoes during the workout.
If you experience pain or inflammation at the base of the toes while you’re working out, start using cushion inserts. The cushions will absorb some of the impacts when you’re working out. Post-workout, ice, and massage the affected area.
If you want to minimize foot pain while doing cardio, you must keep your feet happy! This means stretching, wearing the right shoes, pampering your feet, and, most importantly, knowing when to take a break or stop. Your pain will significantly decrease or even go away completely if you do these simple things.
You have to deal with all manner of issues, ranging from bosses who won’t cut you any slack to the stresses of commuting, to a salary that seems to stretch itself too thin across all your different wants and needs, to not being able to stay fit.
That said, it’s not an entirely insoluble problem. A good first step is being aware, and knowing how to make things significantly easier for yourself. This will lead to a healthier and happier life. It’s important that you take these steps, considering that you probably spend more time at your place of work than you spend anywhere else.
So how do you know that your work is influencing your health in adverse ways?
The 5 Most Surprising Ways Your Job Influences Your Health
Here are 5 interesting ways to tell.
1. You are working overtime all the time
One of the most surprising things about the time we live in, with all of its advances in technology, is that it’s actually very hard to get a job that you will leave on time every single day.
Most of us find ourselves working late, or having to get in early, just to complete the list of tasks we have to complete. Many employees around the world now easily find themselves working for the extra time that amounts to about a full day on top of the amount of time they have to work, according to their contracts.
The risks to your health of working beyond your normal hours are many and include alcoholism, depression, stroke, and heart diseases. There is also some evidence that working longer hours can lead to diminished productivity and lower cognitive ability over time, which is exactly the opposite of what working longer hours is supposed to achieve.
Most of the research suggests that you should work no more than 55 hours per week. This may sound like good news until you notice that it still amounts to11 hours of work every day. The main point to remember here is that long work hours can put unimaginable amounts of stress on both your body and mind. They also take time away from you to do any of the other things that are important to you, such as spending time with your family.
If you feel like the work hours on your contract aren’t nearly enough to finish your tasks, consider talking to your boss about reducing your workload or delegating your tasks elsewhere. If it’s writing work, in particular, it can be delegated to a college paper writing service. If that doesn’t sound like a very good idea, you should start looking for a better job as soon as you can.
2. You are seated most hours of the day
A sedentary lifestyle is an unhealthy lifestyle. This is something we know so intimately that we teach it to our children at school. And yet out jobs encourage us to have a sedentary lifestyle all the time!
Sitting for extended periods can lead to a variety of health risks, such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, muscle and joint issues, and even depression. In fact, a significant amount of workdays are lost due to illnesses related to work. It’s also not even about the type of furniture you use at the office. Getting a lush and comfortable gaming chair does not significantly reduce the health risks you experience from sitting a lot. What solves that problem is sitting in the proper posture.
Image Source: CareofLife.com
When you sit with your knees below the level of your hip, you force your pelvis to tilt forward, which in turn causes the spine to grow in length. The shoulders, and the muscles that supply them with power, relax. In the process, you experience a lot less fatigue, the tension in the neck and shoulders, eye strain, and headaches.
Make sure your company has regular desk assessments to determine how to reduce the health risks associated with the work environment. You may need to get a standing desk or take breaks on a regular basis, taking a walk and stretching during your work breaks. Generally speaking, you want to sit with your back inclined at an angle of 135 degrees. This will place the least amount of pressure on your spine. That means you should lean forward on your desk as little as possible.
3. You almost never get the opportunity to sit down
On the other extreme of sitting for long hours, a day is sitting for too few hours in a day. Jobs that require you to be on your feet for most of the day come with their own set problems, and they are quite common around the world. Think of jobs in food services, healthcare, pubs, bars, and retail. Such jobs rarely give their employees the opportunity to sit down.
Being on your feet for most of the day can lead to various issues, such as joint damage, poor circulation and swelling in the legs and feet, varicose veins, and cardiovascular problems. This is also one of the most common causes of plantar fasciitis, which leads to heel pain.
If you find yourself standing for most of the day, it is a good idea to get yourself some good footwear. The work things you can wear are work boots and high heels, as they cause untold pain to the lower limbs. Instead, get comfortable shoes with good support for the arches, as well as compression socks. You should also take every opportunity you can to stretch.
4. Your commute is very long
This is, unfortunately, one of the most unavoidable parts of most people’s careers. It’s not always possible or cheap to live close to work so we can walk there, and we often find ourselves having to sit through long commutes, which can have lots of bad effects on our health.
When you commute for an hour and a half or more a day, you can expect to experience more anxiety and stress as compared to people who commute for shorter periods or don’t commute at all. It can also be related to the exact mode of transport you’re using. Using the bus is going to make you a lot less happy than riding a bike or driving your own car.
Considering how difficult it is to find a job closer to home, this isn’t always an option. A good place to start is to simply make better use of your commute time. Consider cycling to work, or carrying a bottle of water, or carrying a book.
Things are changing, however, with the rise of remote work. As more and more companies have had to adapt to the new normal brought about by the pandemic, they have begun to allow employees to telecommute, working from the comfort of their homes rather than taking the long trip to work. Hopefully, this will become the new normal, allowing people to spend more time at home with their loved ones, even as they earn a living.
5. You’re constantly thinking about work
Work can find ways to extend its long hands, right to your bed when you go to sleep. Most adults need about 8 hours of sleep to remain healthy, though the exact amount varies from one individual to the next. However, high levels of stress can disrupt your sleep patterns, and that disruption can extend to your mental and even physical health.
When you don’t get enough sleep, you risk having heart disease, infections, obesity, and possibly cancer. You can also be clumsier, more forgetful, and more impulsive.
Stress from work can also bring issues to your digestive system, make you irritable, and cascade into other areas of your life. A good way to fight it is to write down the thoughts that worry you and make a list of things you will do about them the next day.
You should also practice mindfulness and control your thoughts, especially just before your bedtime, to increase your chances of getting a good night. It’s a good idea to stay away from a phone or computer and give your mind and body the opportunity to wind down and let go of the stress and tension from the day.
While work is good for the soul, everything should be done in moderation. Hopefully, by taking note of the ways in which work can affect your health, you will be better able to watch the things you do and adopt healthier work habits.
Jessica Chapman is a writer and editor from Chicago. She also works part-time for Assignment Help UK. She is into sports and analytics and enjoys traveling. Find her on Facebook.