We all know how important food and exercise are for a healthy mind, right? Most of us are also familiar with what stress, depression, anxiety, fatigue are and how their effects sneak up on our lives. Still, how many of us are really committed to a healthy lifestyle?
I am not talking about one hour of sport a week, or about eating one broccoli per month, this doesn’t really count. I am talking about a consistent engagement, a lifetime commitment to saying yes to healthy behavior.
For those of you who are not yet committed, I have simplified and put together some insights that might be powerful enough to increase the motivation to change.
I was preparing for a seminar on the topic of well being when I discovered the concept of positive energy and I thought: this is it! I love the idea of renaming well being as positive energy!
Who doesn’t want to come home after work and still have some energy left? Who doesn’t want to be around a person who is spreading positive energy, at work, at home, with friends? How do you feel after spending time with such a person? Chances are that the answer is good or very good.
So let’s go practical and see what some key points to fuel your positive energy are?
1. CREATE AND MAINTAIN PHYSICAL ENERGY BY:
- Choosing a sport program that works for you. Start with baby steps (ok, not quite literally J), not with a marathon, you don’t want to destroy your motivation in the first day!! Luckily, there is a very big array of activities you can choose from, take some time to think what you like to do, or join a group of friends doing a sport and then prioritize it in your calendar until it becomes a habit. Once you make a habit out of it, you won’t have to fight with your motivation all the time. Your body will ask for it, you ‘ll see. Adapt your activities to your work, if you are inside the whole time, go outside, if you sit, train your back more, just use your intuition and body signals to see what would suits you.
- Sleep, sleep and sleep: many forget how important it is. It would be ideal to make a routine time when you go to sleep and count the number of hours you need; of course, a treat in the weekend is always welcomed. We are human after all :)
- Use quality food to restore your energy, maybe the rule 80/20 is not so unrealistic after all: 80% healthy food, 20% treat food. From my personal experience, once you start working and sweating in the gym, you won’t feel like eating crap afterwards. Again, work office doesn’t require so much energy like physical work, try and watch your calories intake.
- Oh, and get your vitamin L! Laugh, laugh, laugh! Laughing regularly reduces stress and anxiety, releases muscle tension, lowers blood pressure. If you are not a funny person, check some funny videos or surround yourself with a friend or two who are funny.
2. NURTURE YOUR PSYCHOLOGICAL ENERGY, IT IS THE ENERGY WE NEED TO CONCENTRATE, TO LEARN
When we need more energy for work or study, there are some extra small activities you can do:
- Take breaks, they can be small (5-10 min), but make them constant and in time. Do not wait to be exhausted to take a break. By the way, did you know that most creative ideas come when you are in a relaxed mode?
- Use relaxation techniques: breathing exercises (count to five while inhaling, count to two to hold your breath and again count to five to exhale for a few minutes), ore use meditation if you are open to it. Again, start small, even with 5 minutes a day, but do it regularly.
3. TAKE CARE OF YOUR EMOTIONAL ENERGY BY KEEPING IT IN BALANCE
We all experience - some time on a daily basis- imbalance in our moods: we can experience intense feelings of sadness or anxiety, but also too much positivism can be dangerous. The idea is to keep a balance: allow feelings to occur, notice their importance and meaning, reflect on them, but don’t dwell to long on them. Some hints to regain your balance are:
- Use gratitude to see what are the positive aspects in your life. Write down from time to time things you are grateful for and review them when you feel it can help.
- Distraction works for children, it works also for adults: music, art, and reading, playing with your children, socializing.
- See things from different perspectives - it is always helpful to go out of our subjectivity. If you cannot do it yourself, ask a friend or a relative to give you some insight.
- If you are in a situation that you cannot change, use acceptance and stop judging yourself.
Finally, motivation is the key to adapt a healthy lifestyle and take responsibility of your health.
If these insights are not motivating enough, look inside you and see what could motivate you to make the first step towards a healthier and more energized life and what are the obstacles that are holding you back? Maybe you will see that you have to reevaluate what is most important for you in this moment? Do not wait for a life-changing situation like a disease, or an accident to occur in order to start taking more care of yourself. Prevention is better than healing.
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