The funny thing we are learning is that our psychology affects our physiology. So, if we are down and feeling despair, we hold ourselves in a certain way. If we are happy, joyful and confident, we light up and hold ourselves in another way. So, the mind affects the body. Now, we are learning the body affects the mind. So, even if you are not feeling great, but you do something that resets your nervous system, you shift the psychology. You shift your brain in measurable ways.
Here is one more of my favorite tricks, and this is an easy and powerful one. We all know we need to move and exercise. We all know about the big benefits of meditation, but we are busy. Time is often compressed, days are often short and people have a hard time doing the things they’re already trying to do. So, how do you work it all in? Meditation is a way to have your mind go into a groove that takes away some of the background noise and frees up your creativity and your real capacity to heal yourself. One of the easiest ways is counting. You can go for a walk and can count your steps. It can be that simple to get the benefits of exercise and meditation. Lots of research has shown that pretty powerful things happen to our health when we exceed around ten thousand steps per day. That takes about 40-60 minutes for most people. If you are not already physically active or meditating, I encourage you to plan for a thousand steps, which you can do in about 10 or 15 minutes. Make a game of it: Try to count the whole way through without stopping. It is very normal that somewhere along the way, you’ll have a wait-a-minute moment where you think, “I have to pick something up,” and then, “There was this one thing that I have to do” or “I have to take this call.” All of a sudden, the brain thinks, “What number was I on?” No worries – just start over and go back to number one.
Find yourself a little loop around the neighborhood or do the thousand steps on a treadmill. Just find a place you like to be and plan on a certain timeframe. The goal is to maintain an unbroken count all the way through. You will be able to do this, once you get the hang of it! Even if you have been totally distracted and have a hard time focusing, it will get easier. You can easily chart your progress. Make a little note about how far you were able to count your steps without distracting thoughts. Soon, you will be getting your count steady all the way through. All you are doing is walking and counting, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5…” That is the whole complexity.
There is a beautiful thing we have learned from using methods of science to see the benefits of traditional practices: It isn’t complicated to get the big benefits from the important parts of those practices. So, try some walking meditation if you are not already. It can be one of the most powerful ways to reduce, transform and convert stress. Along those same lines, remember to keep your big vision, your big focus and your chosen stressors in mind at all times.
I suggest you wake up each day and write out your goals. Write what you want to see happen and how you want to really focus your time to achieve those big, chosen stressors. So, do not make stress the enemy by trying to manage it. Go ahead and transform it. Choose stress and make it a source of power for you.
Dr. Christianson here. Reset your health. Reset your life. I would be happy to show you how. See you soon. Take care.