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Improve Your Focus in 9 Minutes or Less With This Morning Routine

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It’s your body’s job to house and protect your brain, but did you know that you can also use your body to strengthen your mind? In this article, you’re going to learn how to use your body to ignite your day. This short morning ritual can be done in under 9 minutes (including showering), and will set you up to crush the day!

A strong mind-body connection helps you stay focused by synchronizing your thoughts with your body. When your brain and body are both on the same page, staying on task happens naturally. You’re also going to learn why your brain loves movement, and how to engage your body in a way that fuels your brain. The more movement you expose your body to, the more exercise your brain gets at processing information. In short, more movement and exercise equals a healthier brain. Let’s get after it.

Give Your Brain the Movement it Craves

The more practice your brain gets at processing incoming sensory input the better. Stick to this short 9-minute morning routine for just 5 days and feel the difference. Laser-sharp focus? Yes, please! You should notice that it’s easier to stay locked-in throughout the day when you snap your body to attention first thing in the morning.

Start taking action right now with this simple routine. You might not have the time in your schedule for a full-on workout, but we all have a few minutes to invest in ourselves. One of the best ways to jumpstart your brain is by getting an explosive start with movement. Since all healthy movement starts with quality breathing, we’ll start there first.

Here is the whole process which will take less than 9 minutes:

1. Take a Breather

This exercise borrows heavily from the Wim Hof method. An absolute force of nature, Wim Hof is a true explorer of the human condition. His personal development exploits have literally rewritten the science textbooks. Through breathing exercises and cold exposure, he’s proven in clinical settings that it’s possible to consciously control the autonomic nervous system.

How did Wim Hof prove this? He can maintain his core body temperature in freezing temperatures as well as avoid getting sick when injected with large amounts of harmful bacteria. Not only that but in one experiment, he was able to train a small group of students with no previous experience to do the same. All with breathing exercises and cold exposure therapy!

Deep breathing is a great tool for grounding yourself in moments of high stress. While you sleep, your breathing is shallow, as most sleeping positions restrict the expansion of the diaphragm, chest, and stomach. That’s why the first step in preparing for the day is to warm up your diaphragm and gain access to the full depth of your breathing.

This way, when you need to calm yourself with a deep breath, your body is ready for it. When your alarm goes off, hop right out of bed. Stand in front of the mirror, and take in thirty deep breathes, bringing as much air as you can each time, and emptying your lungs fully when you exhale. Do this at whatever pace feels comfortable.

On the final exhale, push all the air out of your lungs and hold for 10 seconds, then breathe in as fully as you can and hold for another 10 to 15 seconds. The final holding phase stretches your stomach outwards so you have better breathing mechanics throughout the day. If you find yourself having to pause to yawn, that’s a good sign; it means your brain is waking up.

Repeat 3 times. Breathing in this way improves brain chemistry by increasing the expression of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), a protein critical to memory and learning.

“When you are at home, even if the chicken is a little burnt, what’s the big deal? Relax.” – Jacques Pepin

2. Test Your New and Improved Breathing with Movement

Follow-up your breathing exercise with 10 squats and 5 push-ups, all the while breathing as deeply as you can.

3. Take a Cold(ish) Shower

Now it’s time to make a quick and cold shower part of your morning routine. Tony Robbins used to do this religiously before getting cryogenic therapy installed in his homes.  Fair warning, he hated taking cold showers but took them anyway because nothing was more effective at putting him in the moment, ready for the day.

I like to take a hot shower, then blast it on freezing-cold for 10-15 seconds before flipping it back to warm. I leave feeling refreshed. It’s not as hardcore as the way Tony used to do it, but it’s easier to tolerate and build into a habit.

“Everyone who has taken a shower has had an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it that makes a difference.” – Nolan Bushnell

Conclusion

These are all ideas for how to quickly engage your body and brain to have a more productive day. You know yourself better than anyone else, so feel free to play around with different ways to invigorate your morning with movement (you can substitute any exercise you want for push-ups and squats).

Direct your attention to your breathing, and reap the rewards of a focused mind. The more comfortable you are physically, the more relaxed you’ll be mentally, and the more receptive people will be to what you have to say. So start off the day right by synchronizing your body and mind, and strap on your seatbelt for a productive day!

How do you tend to begin your mornings? Do you think it makes for a productive day? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Justin Faraday is a former EMT and avid health and nutrition enthusiast. After struggling with his health for many years, he got serious about feeling incredible. Get stellar mental health and nutrition advice at his blog: dopefreshfit.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/fullbodysmile/.

Life

3 Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself and Live an Optimized Life

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The secret to happiness lies in the way you live your life. People think of happiness as some destination they’ll reach when they’ve accomplished the hundred things on their life to-do list. Happiness is often associated with money, material possessions, or even great relationships. (more…)

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These 7 Daily Resolutions Can Change Your Life

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We all strive to be better every day. Most of us want a new day to bring something new, and we plan for it as well. Of course, the execution is debatable as procrastination is real and it becomes an overwhelming feeling at times. Also, not to forget the customary practice of making resolutions on new year’s eve!  All of us are fascinated by the thought of preparing long lists of resolves to mark the beginning of a new year. Not sure how many people are able to translate these resolutions into functional realities. (more…)

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4 Reasons Why Content Is Pivotal For Mental Health Healing

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One of the most important things for an entrepreneur’s mental health is expressing their feelings, thoughts, and emotions. This is where content creation and writing becomes pivotal. Whether you read something that resonates with you or you write a compelling blog post, the act of expressing yourself through content can help to put a smile on your face and make you feel better about things.

Most entrepreneurs don’t spend as much time taking care of their mental health as they should. Over the course of your career, you will experience a lot of ups and downs; these emotions have the potential to take a toll on your mind and body if you don’t learn to manage them properly.

Here are four reasons why expression through content is pivotal for healing, slowing yourself down, and giving yourself grace when the going gets tough.

1. Content can be a form of self-expression

When you are an entrepreneur, you frequently face feelings of insecurity, doubt, fear, apathy, and exhaustion, just to name a few. Some days it feels like no one is on your business’s side and everyone else has it all figured out. On those days some of us try to look at our website’s analytics to cheer up. 

But an even more freeing task is creating content. You create content to improve your business and reach more people’s lives. But, there is something special that happens when you write with the intention of expressing your thoughts and feelings — you open a door to yourself. 

Content is inherently personal, which means content creators open themselves up when they share their thoughts on a platform. Everything from the title of the post, the keywords they choose to include, and even the content itself helps you to understand who the author of that post truly is. And as an entrepreneur, this can be an important experience because it allows others to empathize with you.

2. Self-reflection will lift you up

As you think through what to write about and how to express yourself, the process of self reflection is a valuable step you need to go through. You’re able to reflect on the blessings you have, assess what you learned from the negative experiences, and create a plan on how to maintain the positive experiences you’ve had. 

There are a few ways that self reflection can help you with mental health healing. The act of reflecting on your experiences helps to create clarity in feelings, thoughts and emotions which will eventually lead into acceptance for what has happened or is happening currently without feeling overwhelmed by it all. This process also leads people towards finding new things they enjoy doing. Self reflection is therapeutic and can be implemented anytime you feel the need to overcome overwhelm.

“Writing in a journal each day allows you to direct your focus to what you accomplished, what you’re grateful for and what you’re committed to doing better tomorrow. Thus, you more deeply enjoy your journey each day.” – Hal Elrod

3. A sense of belonging and camaraderie

It is important to have a support network of people who will listen and understand what you are going through. When you post a blog or upload a video on YouTube, there are others who feel the same way and experience a sense of connection with you.

When you put time, attention and thoughtfulness into your writing, it is amazing when someone reads what you’ve written and comments on it thanking you or expressing how they resonate with what you’re going through. It’s hard to put into words how powerful it feels when someone who has gone through the same experience and reads your words then reaches out.  There is power in expression but miracles happen when people bond over a similar experience.

4. Library of content to share with more people

It can be very difficult to know what content to share with people as the symptoms of mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, etc.) vary from person to person. But as you accumulate more and more content, this will increase the number of articles or videos available for readers to choose from depending on their specific purpose. It also builds your personal library of resources you’re able to share to different people you encounter or engage directly with.

As chaotic and distracting social media can be, it can also be a beacon of hope with the right content. Many people share viral posts, or content that interest them. Since your content is valuable and personal, the more you share it, the more likely it is to be shared with the right audience.

You never know who is watching (reading)

Your content is speaking to someone and even though they may not be actively engaged, their experiences with your work are impacting them. Think about the last time you watched TV: did everyone in the room have something entertaining to say? 

You never know who’s watching because there’s always somebody reading your posts or viewing your videos-even if they just skim through it briefly. This is why creating content worth consuming is critical, not only to get you out of your funk, but also to serve your audience.  Be authentic and stay true to yourself; make every post count as an opportunity for connection with your best self and for potential readers to bond with you.

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5 Ways To Invest In Yourself and Change Your Life

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Warren Buffett once said, the best investment you can ever make is in yourself. Time and money spent on bettering yourself are never considered a waste. Whether it’s through learning how to make money online, exploring new ways to increase your financial security, or watching TED talks to expand your knowledge. Do not be stingy when it comes to self-improvement because it will definitely pay off in the end. 

Need some ideas to get started on your journey to becoming a better you? Here are 5 ways to invest in yourself and transform your life. 

1. Change Your Self-Concept

Having a negative self-concept can have a tremendous impact on your life. Limiting beliefs and self-doubt are some of the main reasons why many never achieve or attempt to pursue their dreams. Take a moment and think about all the negative thoughts you have repeated to yourself throughout your life. How have these thoughts impacted the way you live life? From now on, create a new self-image by turning these negative thoughts into positive ones and appreciate your good qualities. 

2. Sign Up For An Online Course

If you’ve been wanting to brush up on your Photoshop skills or learn how to code professionally, this is the perfect time to get started. As long as you have a stable internet connection, you can access an endless amount of valuable information online. For example, sites like Coursera and Youtube are both awesome resources for online learning. With a few search strings and clicks, you can find all the information you need. 

“Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” – Robin Sharma

3. Learn From a Mentor

No matter which stage of your life you are currently in, working with a mentor can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals. Not only can they guide you in the right direction, but also transform your vision, provide you with new insights, and connect you with amazing resources. If you’re feeling unmotivated or unsure about what you want to do in life, consider finding a mentor to help you navigate this process. 

4. Start A Side Hustle

The salary from a 9-5 job would rarely allow you to reach your maximum income potential. Why not achieve financial success while pursuing your passion by starting a side hustle? Whether it’s through starting an ecommerce business, freelance writing on the side, or starting a Youtube channel. There are infinite numbers of ways to make money, and there is bound to be one out there that fits your passion and skills. 

5. Nourish Your Body

As many may say, “health is the new wealth”. Without a healthy and functioning body, living a fulfilling and comfortable life becomes difficult. To take care of your body and prioritize your wellbeing, start with small habits such as eating healthier foods and exercising regularly. Bike or walk to work instead of taking the car, and opt for a healthy protein bowl instead of greasy burgers at Burger King. With time, these small habits can make an incredible difference.

Check out the infographic below, to see more ways you can invest in yourself:

home-electrification

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