There were three things that I did consistently this past year that made a noticeable difference in both my personal and professional life. These are things that no matter what you currently do for a living or what your personal life is like, they can be done today and in a short time you will see improvement in your life. Without further ado the three things that I consistently did this year to feel better mentally and physically.
Three simple activities that when done on a regular basis will change your life for the better. Even if these things are foreign to your lifestyle I’m sure that in theory you can see how they could better your life. I’ll explain how each of these things has made a difference in my life and how you can introduce them into your own life if you’re not already reaping the benefits.
For the most part I’ll touch on reading non fiction however I’m an avid fan of fiction as well and love to read almost anything. Over the course of the last three years I have been reading non fiction books aimed at improving particular areas of my life and achieving a better understanding of my own body, mind and the world around me. I have learned an enormous amount about areas such as finance, health, fitness, productivity, mindfulness, and many other areas that I find interesting. I can’t tell you which books are going to have the greatest impact on your life, but I can assure you that by constantly flooding your brain with new ideas and perspectives you will be able to learn and grow as a person that much faster.
I have been a reader from a young age and so daily reading was something that came naturally to me. I understand that this isn't the case for everyone, so a small step in the right direction would be to read 15 minutes in the morning or set a page count that is currently doable for you. If reading books just really isn't your thing, use audiobooks as a way to learn about new topics that will benefit you. It’s easier than ever to access great books no matter what medium you choose.
Meditation is something that is relatively new to me, It was only near the end of 2018 that I was able to consistently add this into my routine. It has made a world of difference and in the words of Dan Harris I’m at least “10% happier”. Life can be busy and we all seem to have a lot going on, a lot of thoughts running through our minds. Meditation is a way for me to quiet all of those thoughts and come back to what’s actually going on in the present moment which when I’m meditating is very little. We often create worry and anxiety out of situations that will never arise. I have been just as guilty of this unnecessary worry and still am today, but much less so because of daily meditation. To me meditation is like taking the bag that contains all of your thoughts, worries, daily concerns and to dos and slowly filtering them through your mind until the bag is empty. When I first started meditating the bag was packed full and so I often didn't experience a calm mind. It takes repetition and practice, similar to exercise you don't work out once and become fit, it takes time to build your mediation muscles up.
There are a number of apps that have guided meditations, this is a great place to start and build your meditation practice. There are different types of meditation as well, I personally just sit in silence every morning with my eyes closed for 5-20 minutes. The goal when you’re starting out is to make this a habit, so don't burn yourself out by trying to meditate for an hour, even if it’s two minutes of sitting in silence thats a good start. Commit to meditating for at least 30 days, don't put any pressure on yourself to be enlightened in two weeks just sit for a few minutes a day in silence. At the end of the month I believe you will feel more relaxed, less anxious, and less reactive when faced with stressful situations.
Do some form of exercise on a regular basis, I don't care what form this takes, but do something to move your body. Regular exercise has made a world of difference for me. While the physical effects are great I notice many mental benefits such as improved energy throughout the day, reduced stress and overall clarity of mind. All of last year I used beach body performance workouts to ensure that I was making time to exercise. When left to my own devices I tend to skip workouts and so by having a plan I always get better results and it simplifies my life immensely.
Find a form of exercise that you like. This is super important as the key to growth and sticking with it has a lot to do with not hating the process. As I mentioned above I use beach body workouts to facilitate my fitness. It’s simple, effective, and cost efficient. If you have trouble in this category reach out and I would be more than happy to set you up with a simple program.
Reading, Meditating and exercise. If you begin to introduce even one of these things into your daily routine in no time at all you will be reaping the benefits. It doesn't matter what your current life looks like, each one of these activities can be implemented with little time and willpower. It doesn't have to look pretty and you won’t be great at the start, but if you commit to just doing the thing, you will see a change.