Hello Fitness Family & Friends!
When the going gets tough, the tough get going! That's the saying right. Well what do you really do when the going gets tough? Some of the top athletes and most famous people in the world will tell you they meditate, exercise, do yoga, get massages, or shop! I'm sure some of you can identify with these methods of dealing with "tough" times. But when it comes right down to it and you are going through an extremely challenging time mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, what is it that you do?
If there is ever a time for mental clarity, it is usually during "tough" times. But it is during these times that people tend to let the "tough" times consume their thoughts, increase their stress levels, and make life overwhelming. This is usually due to a more reactive mind set, which sometimes can't be helped when we don't foresee a situation. What would be ideal though, is a proactive mind set, which creates clarity, focus, and positivity. When "tough" times or a situation arises that we did not foresee, we want to be capable of using a proactive mind set. Follow me on my three steps towards a proactive mind.
First, and most important for the other steps to work, you MUST, CARVE OUT 5 MINUTES OF YOUR DAY TO BE ALONE IN A QUIET PLACE. Now, I find the most opportune place to be the bathroom. This is really the place you are definitely going to be alone at some point during the day! I personally find the early morning to be the best time for me because the happenings of the day have not infiltrated my mind. If your only time is during the middle of the day though, use the beginning of your time alone to decompress your mind. You have to let the stresses of your job, kids, or happenings not consume you for the moments you are alone. To do this, close your eyes, take some deep breathes, slow your breathing, and let your mind open up your thoughts.
Once you have time alone and have opened up your thoughts, your mind should be more able to focus on what you feel are the priorities of the moment. So your second step towards your proactive mind set, is to KEEP YOUR BREATHING AT THE SAME RATE. During your time alone, you are focusing your thoughts on what you feel are priorities. With priorities, though, can come increased stress levels. You will know if you are increasing the levels of stress in your body because you will increase the rate at which you breathe. By maintaining a slower, constant breathing rate, you are more likely to listen to your thoughts without the increased level of stress. This allows you to make more sense of your thoughts and have more clarity in how you handle them.
The last step, is to FIGURE OUT WHAT FORM OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY YOU ENJOY AND DO IT. It has been proven through research that your mind and body will decrease the effects of stress by doing physical activity. Your heart rate and blood pressure will lower, you will need less medication for stress or depression, you will sleep better, have increased oxygen to your cells and organs, possible weight loss which causes more positive effects if needed, and less joint and health challenges. All of which contributes to a more positive mind set, making it easier to have a proactive mind set.
Take notice of what will start to happen, as you incorporate these steps. You will become aware of “tough” times or situations and begin to remember to use your steps. After continually going through this routine, you will be aware that you are going through the steps and not as much on the “tough” time. A proactive mind set is a more clear, focused, and positive mind set. So when the going gets tough, the tough have already been going.
Live a Proactive Life...
Live Inspired Always,
Darlene Berg, B.S., CPS, PES, PFT
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