Search Results for “headspace”

How Stress Affects Your Brain & What You Can Do About It Today

When I started this journey now almost two years ago, a glaring health risk presented itself. It was one thing to loose weight and get myself physically in a better place, it was quite the other trying to understand why I was still so anxious. After meeting with a few friends who are experts in the space of stress management, it was clear to me what the next stage of my life was to become.

Immersing myself  into understanding the science behind stress consumed me. Now let me be clear about a few things.

  1. I am by no means a Yogi now
  2. I still get stressed and freak out
  3. My wife thinks I am insane

But what I am – is educated on understanding why my body and mind does what it does and how I can control aspects of it without medication or having a damn heart attack.

If you have followed The Healthy Primate and the journey of the site, you will see three distinct commonalities. I focus on Mind, Body & Soul. This has been done on purpose as you see that was the order I focused on and cataloged in my personal journey to becoming a better person.

  • Mind: Understand the ways to reduce stress, increase cognitive thought and being fully aware of your potential.
  • Body: If you are overweight and missing physical activity, your mind and systems will respond accordingly. From food, exercise to thoughts and process to make your physical self the best it can be. This will allow the Mind to reach heights un measured before.
  • Soul: The center of it all is finding that balance, happiness and reaching your full potential. When the mind is right, you can focus on the body. When the mind & body are right – your inner balance comes into play.
  • Bonus: When we are in balance we will have thoughts to reach the things we truly want to do in life. Start that business you been pondering, quit the shit job you have been shlepping to for years, build a healthier relationship with those in your life from friends to family.

 

The mind is such a complicated technology that we often take for granted. At the core of it all has been my studies on Cortisol as a stressor. The following video is a great explanation of what is happening in your mind when fall under stress for small and long periods of time.

The presentation mentions exercise & meditation as the route to reduce and control cortisol.

 

As I journaled 16 months of blood work centered on Cortisol management I recommend a few additional tools that will help tremendously. I cover this in detail in my up coming book that will be released in January 2016.

Why Your Life is Killing You  – My Journey to Reducing Stress and Living to Tell About It. 

 

 

Here are the top three natural supplements that you can take that will reduce your cortisol dramatically. You can get these at your local natural healthy food shop IE Sprouts or online.

  1. Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha, an exotic Indian herb, has remarkable stress-relieving properties comparable to those of powerful drugs used to treat depression and anxiety. In addition to its excellent protective effects on the nervous system, ashwagandha may be a promising alternative treatment for a variety of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Ashwagandha has powerful antioxidant properties that seek and destroy the free radicals that have been implicated in aging and numerous disease states. Even more remarkable, emerging evidence suggests that ashwagandha has anti-cancer benefits as well. (Source)
  2. Rhodiola-rosea: Rhodiola significantly reduces the effects of prolonged and minor physical exhaustion that results in fatigue. This is more related to stress and the ‘burnout’ effect, or prolonged but low intensity physical exercise. (Source)
  3. Kava Kava: Kava has a calming effect, producing brain wave changes similar to changes that occur with calming medicines such as diazepam (Valium, for example). Kava also can prevent convulsions and relax muscles. Although kava is not addictive, its effect may decrease with use. Traditionally prepared as a tea, kava root is also available as a dietary supplement in powder and tincture (extract in alcohol) forms. ( Source )

                                   *As always consult with your Dr. when taking supplements.

In combination of education, understanding and taking action you really can change the outputs and way your mind and body deal and process stress. Thank you as always for reading!

Cheers,

The Healthy Primate

Meditation – It’s Not Just for Stinky Hippies

In our podcast series I have the opportunity to interview industry leaders, top performers, athletes and entrepreneurs.

The first question we ask is focused on how people start the day – the first 60 minute routine.

Without fail I hear the same types of answers.

1. Some type of physical activity (remind me to tell you about the Richard Branson story)

2. Read or Study

3. Meditation

If top performers follow a recipe for what makes them great, how could I not try to attempt to emulate some aspects of these practices? Meditation was the one missing building block from my daily routine. When I thought of meditation I immediately thought of a some dude in dreads stinking of patchouli oil. Or a calm monk on the tibet mountain side sitting and chanting for hours.  As closely as I resemble neither of these characters I was a bit turned off by it all. That all changed when I actually started doing basic mediation to start the day. There was one thing that made this super easy for me. It starts as only 10 minutes a day for 10 days. I was I was turned on to the app Headspace. 

At Headspace we believe there is nothing more important than looking after the health of the mind, so we’ve made it our mission to get people everywhere to look after this precious resource by sitting to meditate for a few minutes a day, everyday. When this simple activity is considered no more strange than taking a shower, we’ll have achieved our aim.

For thousands of years, meditators have claimed many benefits for their practice. Our experience, and that of Headspace members, suggests that regular mindfulness practice, through meditation, is an effective treatment for stress, worry, lack of focus, relationship problems, addictions and more. It leads to peace of mind and wellbeing, greater focus and creativity and better relationships.

By using the Take 10 series, a free 10 day guided introduction into meditation – I feel a huge difference. You can read all kinds of benefits of meditation. Here at the top 3 things I noticed after just a few sessions:

  1. Stress Levels Decreased
  2. My ability to Respond vs React Increased
  3. Mental Clarity Increased

As a natural sceptic on most things health related – I have to say that although I went in with an open mind, there was a bit of doubt in the back of my mind. This is not uncommon as I think most people in general are a bit skeptical. Below is a great graphic that outlines some of the biggest misconceptions of meditation.

 

meditation 1

– Source: www.happify.com

Here is what I can say – after meditating now for 30 days, I mentally feel stronger and emotionally in balance than ever before.

We all have busy schedules. It’s not about finding time, it is about making time. Making time for the things that are important.

Here is a snap shot of my morning routine. 

  1. Wake up at 6:15AM
  2. Drink 32 ounces of ice water with a pinch of Himalayan salt.  I do this to kick start my metabolism and to hydrate first thing
  3. Stretch for 10-15 minutes
  4. Meditate for 10 minutes
  5. Read for 30 minutes
  6. Work Out: 30-40 minutes of cardio with 30-40 minutes of strength & conditioning
  7. Kick the day in the ass

Get your mind right!
Cheers,

The Healthy Primate