As the year comes to a close, I wanted to share a few tips that have helped me the most in this incredible journey that has been 2018 with the hope that it will help you in your 2019. I saw the death of my former self this past year and to be quite honest, it feels fantastic to rid my conscious of the old baggage. My old self was sixty lbs. overweight, had a smartass opinion about everything that didn’t matter, and was close minded about many topics I write about today. I can honestly say that I feel like I saved my own life, and now I’m committed to helping others do the same.
While this blog was aimed at helping recovering alcoholics at first, I’m going to make a slight shift to focus more on stress reduction and overall mind/body health in 2019. The reason being is that the information that I continue to find and use has proven to help anyone achieve any of their goals from staying sober to losing weight, by reducing stress in your environment so life can have balance. These tips are meant to lessen the chaos and signal change to your environment right away so epigenetic and neuroplastic changes can take place now rather than later. Remember the changes you make are actually changing you, so know that, have fun and don’t take everything so seriously. The more you relax, the better off you’ll be when you’re trying to make a habit stick.
This is a little pre-game tip, a little warm up that applies to everything that you’ll ever try in life… don’t make excuses. The only person you can ever lie to is yourself which lowers your self-esteem, and an excuse is just a lie that we tell ourselves so we don’t have to reach our full potential. If you lied to me or anyone else, we don’t have to live with the consequences when they arrive, and if someone else does have to deal with the consequences of your lie, then you feel even worse. None of us want to carry the guilt around for our next decision (whether you believe you do or not), so try not to make excuses for anything you do.
I sat down one day, and thought about how often I made excuses for myself when I didn’t think I had the confidence to achieve something, and it turned into a long reflection of who I had been. I had to quickly get over it so I didn’t beat myself up too much, because that would defeat the purpose. Remember that not everything is as serious as we tend to make it.
3 Simple Tips
1. Drop the Media– You will notice the effects of my number one immediately because it involves dropping about 80-90% of your media intake each day. This is by far the easiest thing you’ll ever do to restore your sanity, and I’m not just talking about Facebook and Twitter either, this involves all news and binge watching too. The goal of cutting your media intake like cutting calories is to lessen the noise so you can think, and when you use your mind without all those little opinions running around in your head, the brain becomes instantly clearer, and you become instantly smarter.
Be honest with yourself when you’re trying to justify why you don’t have to cut back on media. Think about it like this, if you were dead then you wouldn’t have to keep up with all the bullshit that you identify with, so try giving it a break and reduce the nonsense in your life for a while before you’re dead to see how it feels. Spend some time learning about something new that interests you, or maybe making a change that you’ve been meaning to make but couldn’t get past scrolling. Whatever your poison, just make sure you reduce it drastically.
2. Cut Out Processed Sugar and Carbs– You don’t have to run out and join a diet cult like everyone like to do these days, but the most recent evidence says that we are eating far too much sugar and it’s killing us. My journey started as a weight loss mission but I didn’t know where to start, so the first two steps I took were lowering my media and sugar intake which helped me lose almost twenty lbs. in the first month and I’m not kidding.
I remember thinking in my fat lazy head that I didn’t want to spend hours in the gym, so I was going to reduce my stress in various ways, including yoga and body weight exercises, and cut out processed sugars and carbs… and it worked. The human body doesn’t process sugar very well which causes it to store, add the constant stress we’re under, especially without movement, and it’s like an invitation for fat cells to make a home in our bodies. Considering that sugar is another addiction, it might be nice to nip this one in the bud too.
3. Meditate– If anything has helped me understand the consciousness that resides in and around this body, it’s been meditation. Over the past year, meditating has gone from something I had to do for at least thirty minutes per day, to something I love to do for at least an hour in the morning and at least an hour at night. The opportunity to shut off the outside world and just be still for a while, has become the most coveted part of my day.
There are many ways to meditate but for me, the easiest way to learn was to just start by doing nothing and it has become my favorite way since.
The process is simple but not always easy. Sit or lie down so you’re in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and for right now don’t worry about falling asleep if you do, because it happens. Next, take a few deep breaths in through your nose that fill your belly and chest, hold it for a few seconds, and then release it slowly out of your mouth. This lets your body know that you have taken over the duties of breathing and that you now have control of your subconscious bodily actions.
Now as you’re beginning to relax, breathe slowly in and out through your nose in a nice and easy rhythm so your body knows that you’re not in any danger. This is more important than you might think. Most of us are so focused on all the things we have to do, the deadlines we have to meet, and all the media selling us political agendas and causes to fight for, that we’re usually pretty tense without even knowing it. Tension is the body’s way of storing the fear and worry that you haven’t had time to deal with.
When you get settled in, start to focus your awareness on your body and the space around it. Notice all the sensations happening, starting in the soles of your feet and working your way up. Also notice any emotions that go along with these sensations as you allow your mind and body to connect, just don’t chase the thoughts and feelings, nor should you try to sort them out. Just let them be, and know that whatever they are, that they can’t physically harm you in any way because they’re already in there, they’re just waiting to for you to pay attention to them.
When emotions do surface, ask yourself what you’re afraid that the feeling will actually do to you by allowing it to roam without resistance. Disassociate any emotions from the sensations in your body to the best of your ability, this will take practice for most people. Sit there and just be without worrying about everything that you identify with because I promise, it’s not going anywhere if you shut your mind down for a half-hour.
Do this until you know these feelings so well, that even if they did come back, you’re mind will no longer see them as danger, unless you’re in real danger. Just to be clear… something like being late for work is not considered being in real danger even though it may cause us to believe all good things in our lives may end if we got fired. Our constant worrying make our bodies believe that we are in harms way, so the feeling of a real threat is usually manifested by our thoughts. Unfortunately, many of our thoughts are made up of combining our past negative experiences, then applying them to a situation that we haven’t been in yet. I wonder where anxiety comes from…
You can create anything…
We are all basically living in the past the entire time we’re awake if we aren’t aware of why we’re feeling a certain way or what triggered it. Get rid of it by getting to know what the hell it is so you can make room for creating your best 2019!
If we can create the fear, worry, and anxiety that comes with living the life of a conscious human being, then we can most certainly create the type of life and personalities we want by changing our perception of what our fears really are.
2019 can be the best year of your life because it hasn’t happened yet!!! Relax… try new things and see what you like. Without all the noise in your head about the sensations in your body, you might find that your limits were set by you and that you can lift them the moment you decide to. Have a wonderful and prosperous 2019 and beyond! You deserve it! #BeHigherBeings
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