Regular exercise is beneficial for both your physical and mental well being.
Physical activity, in general, is known to promote the release of serotonin in your brain, along with other chemicals that help to ward off any fits of anxiety and depression.
Physical activity also helps you sleep better, while also looking and feeling your best. Individuals who suffer from insomnia or hypersomnia may also benefit from physical activities, which help regulate your sleep/wake cycles. And of course, you don’t have to hit the gym on a daily basis to make sure that you get your needed daily exercise. These activities are great for both your physical and mental well being.
5 Activities that Are Just as Good Mentally as they are Physically
Even though it’s a low impact activity that will never easily exhaust you, kayaking will improve your overall cardiovascular fitness and will promote muscle strength. The activity also has a reduced risk of tearing joints and tissues, while still helping you stay in shape and drastically improve your mood.
On the other hand, kayaking is also very beneficial when it comes to clearing your mind and keeping you at ease. When you learn how to kayak, you’ll get to broaden your social circle by making friends in the kayaking community. This activity is also known for being a very effective stress-reliever, seeing as you get a chance to expose yourself to the great outdoors and get fresh air more often.
Taking long walks in nature will give you the same benefits of jogging without wearing you out as easily. The activity drastically improves your cardiovascular health with little effort, while also exposing you to surrounding nature. Individuals who consistently take long walks, whether to commute or for leisure, will gradually lose weight and improve their balance. Walking is also a great way to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood as well as reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Aside from feeling and looking fitter, walking gives you a break from every day worries. Individuals who walk often tend to drift off with their thinking, and contemplate about their surroundings. For those whose jobs are dependent on creativity, walking helps immensely with generating new ideas as well as solve problems.
Most of our lives are quite fast-paced, which can be very stressful. Even when we take a break to go to the gym, you’ll notice how many of us tend to rush on our way there, as well as go for the most strenuous and quickest paced workouts. On the contrary, Yoga is more of a meditative workout that focuses on balance and patience. Doing yoga regularly will help you get more flexible, increase your muscle strength, and maintain a healthy weight.
The mental benefits of yoga are also endless. Because it’s an activity that focuses on body awareness, it helps relieve stress, sharpen focus, and lengthen attention spans. It’s the kind of activity that has a lasting calming effect. After a long yoga session, your muscles will feel relaxed and it will feel as though you walked out of a massage parlor.
There have also been studies on how yoga affects individuals who are not neurotypical as well as those with mental illnesses. Recent studies suggest that yoga has a consequential effect on improving symptoms of schizophrenia when done alongside prescribed medication. It’s also known to naturally treat sleep disorders, namely insomnia, as it trains your brain to stop over-thinking and start contemplating to become more self-aware. Simply put, it’s a meditation for the body and mind.
A popular form of exercise, weight lifting is a strength training workout that can be done just about anywhere. If you don’t have dumbbells and don’t plan on buying them just to test the waters with this activity, using filled water bottles can suffice for beginners. Weight lifting helps boost metabolism, tone muscles and reduce body fat when done consistently. Individuals should never start with bigger weights, as this can put a strain on muscles, and in some cases, can permanently damage tendons. It’s best to lift weights with an instructor to make sure that your techniques are safe.
That said, there have also been numerous studies conducted on the mental health benefits of weight lifting, and the results are nothing short of astounding. Resistance training, in general, is known to improve symptoms of anxiety, and the workout doesn’t need to be strenuous, either. Even lifting the lightest weights will help manage symptoms of anxiety disorder and depression.
Deep Breathing Exercises
Although they’re certainly not an orthodox activity, they’re extremely beneficial both physically and mentally. Deep breathing can reduce stress and relax your every muscle. When you inhale slowly and deeply, your body releases endorphins that act as natural painkillers and mood stabilizers. The exercise also promotes blood flow as your diaphragm moves, which helps in expelling toxins from your body. This is why many individuals who incorporate deep breathing exercises in their daily routine report better bowel movement.
And because you’re introducing more oxygen into your blood, this activity can boost your energy levels. The best part is you can easily do these exercises wherever you might be. Some individuals also report seeing improvement with anxiety symptoms as well as sleep disorders. Additional benefits include reducing inflammation in your body and skin, as well as strengthening your immune system by facilitating the expulsion of toxins from your body.
Deep breathing is just as it sounds. There is no right or wrong way to do it, so long as you sit with your back straight and take deep breaths repeatedly. You can do this as much as you can, just make sure you breathe through your nose and exhale through your mouth for best results.
Staying active and adapting your body to constant movement will add years to your life by reducing stress and keeping your body in optimum physical health. Because many of us now lead sedentary lifestyles, we’re often confused as to why our mental and physical health quickly deteriorates. Leading a more active lifestyle will help keep premature aging at bay, and will improve your overall mood and mental well being.
Couples who play together, stay together, as the adage goes.
Usually, this phrase is used in talking about working out together, like when couples hit the gym or do a race together. I know a family that all does karate together, both doing classes, practicing and going to tournaments across the country together. They are also filling up their basement with trophies together. It’s fantastic to see how much they bond through this shared experience with each member of the family learning, growing and succeeding while the rest of the family cheers them on.
What is Codependency?
Codependence, when one person relies on the other for their identity, direction, and sense-of-self, can be common in relationships
Codependent relationships are one where one person is the lead actor, and the other follows, rather than mutually supporting and celebrating each other’s individual and the couple’s shared success
The path to breaking from this pattern lies in seeing what makes us individually happy, regardless of what anyone else may want, need or be doing
To find that happiness takes a willingness to ask ourselves a lot of questions, and dig deeper into the answers by asking “Why?”
Changing the dynamic together can give you the kind of fulfillment in your relationship you truly desire, even if you see getting there as impossible right now – you have nothing to lose by trying
Whatever “play” means in each context is less important than the fact that you’re doing something together, supporting each other. Building a sense of mutual support helps deepen the bond a couple has, which increases the likelihood that they don’t just stay together but stay happier together.
Sometimes, though, being together can be driven by one person in the couple depending on the other for their sense of self. That moves into the realm of codependency. While people who are codependent often stay together, it’s because they have to rather than because they freely want to. That is, without the person you are codependent on, you may feel like you wouldn’t or couldn’t go on.
Another way to think of it is that instead of being together, one is in front and one is tied behind them (perhaps they tied the rope themselves, and perhaps it was tied to them). This is actually a common, though hard to pin down, occurrence. Some estimate low-level codependency exists in up to 50% or more of relationships. That means you’re not alone if you believe you are in a codependent relationship. It also means not everyone faces it, so there is hope that you, too, can move past it.
Co-committed – A Better Way to Be
For neither person is this is a recipe for healthy, long-term, shared success. A better co-relationship is one where you’re co-committed. That applies to each other’s goals, but also to each other as human beings needing to thrive and grow individually. You hold each other up rather than standing on the other to get taller.
So what can you do if you find yourself in a codependent relationship? The specific actions depend on which side of the equation you’re on, but the overall theme is the same, and it centers around discovering what each of you really wishes for in life down at your core.
Building Your Own Identity for Your Independence
If you are relying on the other person for your sense of identity, self, and direction, recognizing that can be upsetting, destabilizing and confusing. It can also be enlightening and freeing to see the space to learn about yourself, your needs and who you really are. It is important to acknowledge the discomfort, but know that you are still standing and will grow stronger in finding yourself.
Instead of deriving your happiness from the other person, ask yourself what you enjoy doing, what you want in your life and ultimately, what makes you happy. The key is that the answer has to be about you in and of yourself. If your answers have to do with the other person, you haven’t gotten deep enough.
For example, if you say your definition of happiness is that your partner feels fulfilled and supported in life, you need to ask yourself, “Why?” Why does that make you happy? What is it about their happiness that gives you more happiness yourself? Keep asking questions like that until you are fulling speaking to your own needs.
Allowing The Codependent Person to Stand Strong
For the person being depended on, you may feel worried about your partner’s ability to stand on their own either out of compassion for them or out of a need for control of them. If it is out of compassion, dig into that feeling.
Why do you have that compassion for them?
Would helping them find their own strength give you even more compassion and love for them?
Would this make you feel happier?
If your reason is based on a desire for control (if you can even see this or admit this to yourself, which can be hard), why do you feel the need to control them?
Does it even have to do with them?
Usually, it stems from our own insecurity, trauma, and backstory driving our need for control in our lives or a sense of power over others. In that case, dig into those root causes, and try to see how, in fact, controlling them isn’t addressing your own pain. It’s like a band-aid on a wound. No matter how much you control someone or make them rely on you, if your reason for doing that is your own hurt, that control will never make you feel complete as a person yourself.
In fact, what you come to realize is that you, too, are dependent on them. That’s why the term is “codependent,” and not just “dependent.” Although you may not see it initially as the “stronger” one in the relationship, you depend on them as much as they depend on you – just in a different way.
Moving from Codependent to Co-Committed Together
What if you both contributed to each other’s growth? What if you both were there for each other? What if you both had moments you could step back and smile with what your partner had achieved? Doesn’t that sound better?
You may not see it as possible and maybe thinking in your head as you read this, “Yeah, right, Bryan, sounds great, but that’s never going to happen.” As long as you see it that way and don’t try, I guarantee you will be right.
But let me ask you this – if you don’t have this dynamic today, do you have anything to lose by trying?
Worst case scenario, nothing happens. Best case scenario, you move to a better relationship based on support together. That is, there’s only upside here.
Buddhist monk Thubten Chodron writes about the kind of relationship built on mutual happiness in her book, Open Heart Clear Mind, when she says,
“a kind heart is the essential cause of happiness…When we respect others and are considerate of their needs, opinions, and wishes, hostility evaporates. It takes two people to fight, and if we refuse to be one of them, there is no quarrel.”
So what kind of relationship do you want to have?
One where one of you is the lead actor and the other is merely an extra on set there to round out the scene for the lead?
Or do you want where you each star in your life together, supporting each other as you achieve greater things together and individually?
Bryan Falchuk is an author, speaker, and coach helping people change their lives. Bryan has also been a successful C-level executive. As a Certified Behavior Change Specialist, Bryan is the best-selling author of Do a Day and his latest best-selling book, The 50 75 100 Solution: Build Better Relationships. He speaks regularly on the subjects of motivation, culture, relationships and overcoming challenges, including several TEDx Talks. He has shared his message on over 150 podcasts and radio shows and has written for many top publications like Inc Magazine, the LA Times and Chicago Tribune. Bryan also hosts his own show, The Do a Day Podcast.
If you were to take just five minutes to scroll through your Instagram feed, you will no doubt come across many snapshots of gorgeous women immersed in steaming baths adorned with flowers and bubbles.
These posts all feature beautifully manicured feet conspicuously sticking out the water, and expertly applied the facial mask and even a glass of sparkling wine to complete the picture. You are sighing, saying to yourself that will only happen to you when you win the jackpot, right?
Possibly, but hang on there!
Self-care for yourself as a woman is vital, it is not meant only for the fortunate few. It is a necessity, in fact, no matter what kind of a lifestyle you lead, and no matter own much money you have or don’t have.
Self-care in women isn't selfish – it’s imperative
Self-care is a term which when simply defined means taking care of one’s own health and needs.
Let’s explain it better here:
It’s a true story, the one of Poppy Marler. She had a realization when she decided to look at herself at 40; to change her life and begin a new journey head-on.
She says that when she was a young mother, she just put everything on hold, being hyper-focused on her child’s care. She actually put her own life on hold. She neglected friendships and bored anyone who’d listen with baby stories and pictures.
When she got into real social situations, she found she could not add anything to the conversation because all of her current experiences were about her parenting experiences. She had no life or interests outside of motherhood.
She didn’t notice that she had put on a whole lot of weight either because she no longer dressed in her professional or party clothes. In fact, there were very few times when she wore anything nursing and spit-up friendly. She gradually realized that she had no life outside of her child.
Finally, a dear older and wiser friend of hers told her that it was an essential thing, apart from taking care of her family, to take care of her own needs because her own health and happiness directly impacts her ability to care for her family. She then realized the consequences of her self deprioritization :
Lack of socialization
Poppy eventually realized that just like how in an airplane, you are instructed to put on your own oxygen mask first, then help others; in order to help others, you need to take care of yourself first. It was then that she discovered how taking steps to care for yourself each day should be a top priority.
9 Ways to Show Yourself Some Love and Make Your Life Better
She went on further to start involving these important aspects of her life:
Exercise, because moving your body keeps your blood circulating, keeps you strong, and keeps your mood happy.
Eating well: She says she learned to eat 5-7 servings of fresh fruit and veggies, ensuring that she got all her nutrients in, removing all the junk foods.
Maintaining relationships outside your family. It was important that her family remained her top priority, but she also learned not to under-estimate the power of good friends. She found that just having someone to talk to was a great help in advancing feelings of well-being.
Getting enough sleep: Without good and enough sleep, the quality of your life deteriorates rapidly. Sleep is what is needed to help your body recover and repair itself, and also to avoid television as well as snacks which are high in sugar and fat before bedtime
Getting dressed every day: Working and walking around all day in sweats and slippers is not good for anyone’s self-esteem. We know that when we look good, we feel so good.
Having a positive attitude: A positive, mindful attitude used on yourself and others will change the way you view life. It gives you a reason to get up in the morning and face whatever challenges come your way!
Have a hobby: You need interests of your very own outside of the home and family because it maintains your individuality.
Spend some time alone: Just taking a relaxing bath for 30 minutes or a few hours out to do your hair and nails or reading a book you have been meaning to read, these are what boost your morale, your spirits, and make you feel good about yourself and life.
Ask for help: If you are struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help, because it’s true, we can’t do everything alone – no man is an island.
“Learning to take care of your own needs isn’t selfish, it’s downright essential.”
It makes you a better caretaker because after all, happiness and health are top assets to have, aren’t they?
It’s a lifetime investment – how are you really doing?
His suggestion came on a Friday, and come Monday morning I was joining my first club.
I did what I needed to do — chose to change, and then followed it up with very, decisive and specific actions.
Everything changed as a result.
Limiting self-beliefs, underlying fears, and negative self-talk are just a few of the ways that we undermine our own desires, goals, and dreams.
If we don't like that, then own the desire to change!
Many of the most confident people have anxieties when it comes to public speaking.
“There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience.” – Alexander Gregg
Getting over a fear of anything can come with a huge amount of relief and the feeling of a large weight being lifted off your shoulders.
If you can overcome your fear of public speaking, it will open many different doors in terms of your career, personal life and confidence in general.
Here are 4 amazing benefits of getting over your fear of public speaking
✅ You will become more confident
Overcoming one of the scariest things for many people to do will definitely make you a more confident person in general. You will feel like now that you've conquered this fear, you will be able to conquer anything else. You'll feel more confident about having one-to-one chats with people, and you will also feel more comfortable in small groups and business meetings.
✅ You will be able to say yes to more
While you may have avoided agreeing to take part in various projects in the past just in case you had to present in front of a group or speak in meetings, you'll now feel that this won't phase you. As a result, you will be able to get involved in more things at work, thus enhancing the potential for further career progression.
✅ You won't care as much about what other people think
It's healthy to care to a certain degree about what other people think in order to maintain a professional attitude at work and a friendly and caring attitude with your friends and family. However, caring a lot about what people think of the way you look, the way you sound, the way you present or the professional arguments that you make isn't a good thing. Therefore, overcoming your fear of public speaking will help you not to focus on what other people are thinking and to focus more on how you feel.
✅ You can inspire others
One of the more effective ways to inspire people is just by speaking to them. Whether this is on a one-to-one basis, in a small group or in front of a large audience, you have an opportunity to inspire others to be the best version of themselves.
Whether this is advocating for a charity or cause which is close to your heart, encouraging people to have faith in themselves or promoting a brand you believe in, you can spread the word further and have a stronger effect.
Are you ready to challenge the fear of public speaking?
Keeping your body fit and healthy may be an ongoing battle in your mind. With a lot of things to think about and maybe some stressful situations here and there, it may become a continuous struggle for some people to maintain a good physique. Balancing your activities at work or school can be a constant struggle. To some people, the problem could be because of some physical conditions affecting their willingness to adopt a fitness-oriented mindset.
But did you know that you can condition your mind and body to become hyper-focused on your overall fitness?
In fact, this has been the secret of many athletes and fitness professionals to achieve success in their chosen field. And if you would like to embrace the very same mindset and start maintaining a healthy mind and body, here are…
7 Great habits that you should constantly apply in your everyday life
One) Do What Makes You Happy
The secret to a happy and fulfilling life is passion. Your passion for life, happiness, and health can do a great deal when it comes to acquiring a healthy lifestyle. It’s true that not everyone will have the same level of passion as others when it comes to staying fit. Some may find it burdensome, while others find it to be a priority. But it goes without saying that maintaining a healthy body is a necessity. Thus, adopting a fitness mindset is something that everyone should do.
If science fails you, these 17 steps won't…
If you are passionate about keeping a healthy body, it will become a lot easier for you to stay active, eat healthily and avoid vices. Apart from that, doing what makes you feel good and happy every day can have a significant effect on your outlook in life. If you feel like you are on the right track to fulfilling your dreams and following your passion, it will be a lot easier for you to navigate through life and do things that will make you feel good. And that includes maintaining a fit and healthy body.
Two) Figure Out What's On In Your Brain
With your busy life of juggling your studies, social life and time for yourself, it may come as a great challenge to figure out what is going on inside your head. But if you want to have a better understanding of how your mind operates and what usually triggers your productivity, you will need to take time and look deeper within you. If you want to adopt this sort of practice, you can start by setting a time at least once a day to go to a quiet place, wherein you can focus, not just on the things that you need to do, but more importantly, on why you are doing what you are doing or why you are thinking the way you do.
The practice of meditation and mindfulness has proven wonders to a lot of successful people. With these practices, you can bring your attention to the various things you are sensing around you or within you at a given moment. You get to really think deeply about what you feel, hear or smell in the present.
It helps you relax and have a deeper understanding of how you operate as a person. Considering that you are jumpstarting a healthier lifestyle and would like to keep a fitter body, it is best that you start with your mental state. To be able to condition yourself for a new lifestyle, you should start by conditioning your mind first before you start with the rest of your body.
Mindfulness and meditation can also provide you a holistic healing and overall physical well-being. This practice can help you appreciate even the smallest pleasures in your life and help you achieve a clearer, more relaxed state of mind. This way, you will be more prepared in dealing with stressful situations. It can also help you fight depression, urges of substance abuse, as well as eating or anxiety disorders. Apart from an improved mental state, it can help lower your blood pressure, improve your sleep, reduce chronic pain and can even help in treating heart disease.
Three) Flip Negatives Into Positives
Sometimes, when we get tired or frustrated about some things in our lives, we tend to feel bad or think negatively about ourselves. In the end, it affects how we do things and even ruins our self-confidence. Staying confident about your abilities is very important, especially if you are trying something new for the first time. If you think about things like, “I don’t think I can do this.” or “I’m not really meant for something like this”, then this negative state of mind will definitely affect how you handle things in your life.
This is especially true when it comes to involving yourself in some physical activities you are not used to doing. Of course, anything that you do the first time will be challenging. But it could also be just a state of mind. Thinking about getting past a certain obstacle is a good way to condition your mind and prepare your body for what it needs to do. Think about how you can deal with a situation, instead of what you can’t do. This way, you get to prepare yourself for the idea of accomplishment, instead of failure.
Maintaining a positive vibe matters. Yes, it’s important that you understand what the potential obstacles are, but it’s essential to look at these obstacles from a different angle. Having a better perspective about what you are up against can help you find a better way of getting past it. So even if it’s your first time to get into some fitness activities, be it weight lifting, jogging or aerobics, think about the positives and what you can do to accomplish them, even just by getting past one small step at a time.
Four) Give Positivity to Feel Positivity
Want to know how you can attract positivity into your life? Start by adopting a positive mindset. Some people say that whatever you throw out onto the world, it will give back to you ten folds. And it actually makes sense. In today’s world, we all tend to be living in our own little world. Witnessing the goodness and beauty of humanity has become a very rare occasion for us. But if you do nice things for others, you will get good things in return. And knowing that you have done something good helps you feel great about yourself.
When it comes to conditioning your mind and body, feeling good about yourself and the world around you can go a long way. A fit body should start with a fit mind. And the best way to feel good is by attracting positivity into your life. An increased level of positivity can help you see things in a different light. It helps you think better and feel braver. You tend to feel like nothing is impossible. So if you want to feel good about your life, you should start by spreading some positive vibes and making the people around you feel that life can be amazing.
Now, if you are looking for more reasons to be more positive, you will be happy to know that adopting a positive mindset can help increase your lifespan. Staying positive helps lower your risks of distress and depression. It also promotes better mental and physical well-being and helps you cope with many stressful situations in life. In the same way, positivity can also improve your cardiovascular health. So by staying positive, you really have nothing to lose!
Five) Find The Tool to Fix Your Weakness
We all have our weaknesses. They can come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. And when it comes to starting a fitness-based lifestyle, it may be a problem with your physical strength, stamina, or overall well being. It can also be your confidence, time, financial situation or your availability. These concerns are all normal because that’s just how we humans are. We can not always be perfect. We are normally flawed individuals, but it is important that you understand what weaknesses and strengths you have. By knowing what you are good or bad at, you can create a plan on how you can live with what you’ve got, and make the most out of every situation presented to you.
Try to convert those weaknesses into an opportunity to improve. Figure out what can help you change for the better. If your challenges are more about your physical strength, there are ways for you to tackle this weakness. You can try some strength exercises and get a personal trainer who can keep you motivated and focused on your goal. By identifying ways that can help you target your weaknesses, you can eventually become a better version of yourself!
Six) Look After Your Body
You are an amazing machine! But just like every other natural or manmade machine, you need to maintain your body and keep it in good working condition. You have to keep your body well oiled so that it will operate effectively at all times. How do you do that? With proper rest and nutrition, of course. To maintain a fit and healthy body, you will need to provide it with some much-needed vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.
In college, you may be involved in a lot of physical activities, but you have to maintain balance. Even heavy pieces of machinery need to rest, and so should you. Give your body enough time to recover after some strenuous physical and/or mental activities. You should also supply your body with an ample amount of nutrition to make sure that you have enough energy to get some work done. Eat a well-balanced meal, drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep. This way, your body will have enough time to recuperate and be ready for another busy day.
Apart from changing your diet and your activities, you should also start adopting some supplemental activities such as physical therapy, nutritional supplementation, dietitian consultations, and personal training sessions. These steps may sound over-the-top, but if you want to make sure that every move you make is really helping you achieve your fitness goal, then these pursuits might just do the trick for you. Note that these extra steps are not requirements, but by consulting fitness and nutrition professionals, you can get a deeper insight and a more personalized approach on how you can achieve your fitness goal.
Seven) Put Your Tool Into Practice Every Day
Once you have found a way to ease into your fitness goal, this is when you should start to constantly practice. The only way for you to move forward is by giving yourself the opportunity to get stronger. Whether your fitness routine includes jogging, yoga or weight lifting, what you should keep in mind is that constant practice can help your body be more in tune with a fitness-oriented lifestyle. If you want to maintain a fit and healthy body, you basically have to change your habits and daily activities so that you can get closer to your goal.
I know all too well what it's like to fall out of health…
The best way for you to condition yourself is by practicing constantly. How else would a pianist learn how to play the piano? How else would you memorize a song or a poem? It’s all about practice. And if possible, it should be every day.
Adapting to a more physical, fitness-oriented lifestyle will be a great challenge, especially if you’ve never really been a fitness buff before. But this opportunity is a great thing to take on because it pays off in more ways than one. Apart from looking great, you also get to feel great because you are improving your lifestyle, nutrition, fitness, and mental state. For you to get used to this sort of lifestyle, it takes a lot of patience, discipline, and perseverance.
It won’t be easy — IT WILL be worth it — but with constant practice and by adopting new and healthier habits, you will soon see great progress and achieve the fitness goal you have been eyeing for a while now.