You’ve read hundreds of articles related to fitness and nutrition – you know exactly what exercises to do, when to do it and how to perform them all with perfect form. Your eating habits are on par – you follow a healthy eating plan and almost hardly deviate. Everything seems on par but you still have this niggling feeling and you feel like you are in a bit of a slump.
We’ve all been there and we all go through it, so don’t stress about it too much.
Have you heard of ‘the body-mind connection’? When your mind is not in the ‘right place’ – your body will react in a negative way. Stress and lack of sleep is a major contribution – dealing with the daily stresses at work and managing your family life has it’s good and bad weeks, when you are stressed – you can almost guarantee that your sleep will be affected greatly. Living off a few hours of sleep a day, dealing with a hectic work schedule and ensuring your family’s needs are taken care of can take it’s toll on you and I can assure you, you will become more agitated which will in turn, cause more stress etc.
It’s a vicious circle that one needs to try to control otherwise you will more than likely become a walking time-bomb and everyone around you will suffer, not only you.
Tibetan monks are known to be able to control their physiology – they can slow their metabolism, adjust their body temperature and change their heart rate ….. by simply meditating. I am sure you wish you could learn a skill like that, but unfortunately they have years of training and in the 21st century – most of us certainly don’t have the time to do so.
Our minds are more powerful than we think – have you ever heard of the saying: ‘an idol mind is the devil’s workshop’ …. Yes, we create a lot of stress for ourselves but continuously judging ourselves and feeling inferior to others. I recently read an article that almost 95% of illness is caused or worsened by stress. Internalized stress from feeling discriminated against is associated with high amounts of belly fat, you are more likely to get flu if you are stressed out … why? …. Well because your body is so run down from being super stressed – so if you are trying your best to stay in shape in the UAE and you are not seeing results, it’s best to take a look at your stress levels and take action rather now than later.
You are the only person who can change your mind. As a professional Abu Dhabi based personal trainer I am hoping by writing this article, I would be able to give you some direction.
- Do you perhaps have a magnesium or B12 deficiency?
- Learn how to relax – there are a ton of App’s that you can download that can teach you to meditate. Start with 10 minutes a day and gradually increase the time to spend meditating. A healthy mind equals a healthy body.
- Start Yoga – your Yoga personal trainer can teach you simple breathing techniques that you can use when you feel a bit anxious.
- Start a hobby – an activity that gives you some ‘alone time’.
- Clean up your diet – limit caffeine drinks, sugar, alcohol. Eat regular meals to avoid the short-term stress of starvation on your body. There are plenty of professional nutrition experts who can advise you on this.
- Take a multivitamin – Vitamin C, the B-complex vitamins and most important, magnesium all help balance the stress response.
- Feed yourself with positive thoughts – try writing affirmations and read them to yourself while getting ready for work in the morning.
- Before getting out of bed in the morning, lie still for 5 minutes and learn to be grateful. Give thanks for all you have been blessed with (you will realize that you have so much to be thankful and grateful for).
- Cut out the negativity – don’t surround yourself with people who constantly complain or bring you down … others’ negativity rubs off on you and you will find that you will feel more energized if you steer clear from negative persons and situations.
- Activate your stress response … when you feel stressed or anxious, take a deep breath into your belly, count to five, pause for 1 second, then breathe out slowly for another count of five. Repeat for 5 times.
We are only human and we all tend to put a tremendous amount of pressure on ourselves to find perfection.
YOU are the master of your own mind. Learn to relax and enjoy life’s journey.
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