Mindfulness has been becoming a bit of a ‘thing’ over the last few years and I think in many ways is becoming one of the next new buzzwords.
I’m conflicted in how I feel about this – on one hand I think mindfulness applied properly is an extremely useful tool in improving people’s lives and is genuinely something I feel everyone should practice, on the other hand I’m concerned about the corruptive process of becoming a fad.
Given the new interest in it, I thought this was as good a time as ever to explore the basics of mindfulness and introduce one of my absolute favorite techniques for cultivating it – moving meditation.
English Prime, or E Prime, is a constructed variant of standard English developed in the 60s in order to provide a form of English that reduced or eliminated any difficulty of the listener or reader to distinguish between fact and opinion and make the biases of the writer or speaker more evident.
Like most languages created for the purpose of promoting sweeping social and cultural good (cough, Esperanto, cough) it never really took off beyond a small group of hardcore devotees.
While it’s merits as a clearer form of English are debatable, the premise behind it and the form of it can actually teach us a lot about the way we perceive things in the world and help us be more mindful in our thinking.
To say that I am a big fan of learning would be a monumental understatement. I really think continued learning is one of the most important things you can do with your life.
That dedication to always learning new things means that when new tools come up to make it easier or more efficient I am all over them. The latest of those is the free app out now from Memrise – and it is fantastic.
Best of all when used properly you can learn a substantial amount of information with a fairly minimal time investment and not even feel like you’ve studied.
Anyone who’s ever tried to build a new habit from scratch knows – change is difficult.
Think about it, how many times have you gotten really fired up about wanting to start something new, whether it was a new exercise program, studying a second language, writing a book or even just getting in the habit of stretching a little each morning?
As fired up as you were, how long until that initial motivation wore off and you were back to your old habits of not working out, studying, writing or whatever? For most people it’s usually not long at all. So what’s the trick to making a new habit stick if being really pumped about it initially isn’t enough?
The use of identity based habits.
Note: This is a post about Ron Swanson. That means there’s a good chance there’s going to be a lot of fucking curse words. Hey, there’s one now. If that sort of thing bothers you, you might want to stop reading at this point and come back for the next post. Thanks!
Ron Swanson is confident.
The extreme way he exudes confidence is one of the biggest reasons Ron Swanson has become one of the biggest characters on Parks & Recreation – complete with his own cult following, tumblers consisting entirely of his quotes and a site dedicated solely to his mustache.
So how can we develop that kind of rock solid self-confidence without having to work our way all the way up the Ron Swanson Pyramid of Greatness? Let’s take a look.
If you’re just starting out on the journey to change your health for the better – whether by shedding excess fat, gaining muscle or both – or have already begun but not found any success, the sheer volume of information out there on what to do can be staggering and contradictory. This is particularly frustrating when you don’t have any good way to sort out the good advice from the bad. We decided to help take some of that confusion away by condensing our tested and proven methods into one easy to digest guide.
This is a guide to our philosophy for attaining epic health and fitness. Everyone should be healthy and fit, and everyone can do it.
Are you stressed out?
I know, I know – stupid question. Everyone’s stressed out. It’s just a condition of modern life. We all have pressure from work, family, finances, health concerns and a million other things. There aren’t really many good options for escaping it.
The problem is being stressed out all the time can literally kill you or at least set in motion changes that can bring about a much earlier demise than would have otherwise been in your future. Health problems ranging from heart disease to diabetes to acne can be caused or exacerbated by being too stressed out, and if you’re trying to lose weight the cortisol it floods your system with will make things exponentially more difficult for you. Being stressed is serious business.
So what can we do about it?
Most people really suck at evaluating claims.
It’s not their fault – to be honest at least in the U.S. very little in our society or education systems properly prepares us to evaluate claims and make proper reason-based decisions.
The good news is, even if you’ve been awful at it your entire life, you can easily learn how to evaluate claims properly by starting to use some basic guidelines.
But first, why is it even important to have this skill?
Life is busy.
For all the same reasons you probably don’t think you’ve got time to learn a second language you may also think you haven’t got the time to spend hours every week getting fit and healthy. Now while I think most people do have some things that can prioritize around and cut from their schedule, I’m not going to say it’s as simple as cutting out TV time. Most people are genuinely busy and that can make fitting in a workout difficult.
Thankfully there are some ways that you can make it work and at least fit something in without having to sacrifice anything from your schedule.
Sometimes you just hit a wall in your progress.
It happens to everyone – it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been training, how well constructed your program is, how perfect your diet, sleep patterns and recovery are – at some point you’re going to plateau. Often times it’s extremely frustrating because it feels like you’re doing everything right, but you still can’t make any progress.
The natural response for most people is to try to power through it. They up the intensity, super fine tune their diet, obsess over every little thing and about kill themselves to push as hard as they possibly can in each workout. The problem is this is the wrong response. So how do we get back to progressing?
Simple. Take a break.