As I continue to explore and work on building a lifestyle that is marked by peace more than stress (reduction) I’m also proactively working on experimenting things that might be more additive.
In other words, trying things that might bring about high energy and a greater overall enthusiasm about life. Here are 10 things that my therapist has recommended that I try:
- Eat Breakfast – I have not always done this but I started doing this more consistently a year or so ago. Now, I can’t go without something in the morning and I feel noticeably different and more awake / alert. Also, eating for energy (throughout the day) instead of mega meals three times a day is something also to experiment on. For instance, I’ve experimented with light snacks that keep blood sugar levels steady and can increase energy. The types of snacks is important so I keep these to nuts and fruits. I’ve reduced coffee intake also as a “snack”.
- Get More and Consistent Sleep – This can always be improved but making intentional decisions about when I hit the sack has really worked out well for me. I have not always gotten enough sleep too.
- More Light During the Day – Working in better lit environments has actually increased my mental thoughts dramatically. Although I love building software and any sort of writing in the early mornings, getting more light in the late mornings and into the afternoon has shown significant reduction in listlessness and even hunger.
- Move More, Exercise – I feel proud about having build in a consistent routine of walking and lifting weights during the week. This is a constant struggle, though, to keep up the pace and to ensure quality time. Moving around during the day and using my standing desk have all played a part as well. Those feel-good chemicals called endorphins kick in quite nicely.
- Breathe – Becoming better at finding times to meditate and do concentrated breathing exercises has been a boon. Try practicing breathing in and out slowly and deeply to relax and create more mental alertness. It does work, but takes time to build in a personal system.
- Spend Time with Friends – I do not do this as intentionally as I should and it was hard to start thinking about it so explicitly. I do not have many close friends in my life and oftentimes they are people that I do business with. Spending intentional time out of the office and professional environment has always felt a bit odd and has been difficult to think through. I’ll have to work on this continually throughout my entire life I believe.
- Increase Time with Your Hobbies – This is also a area of struggle since my “hobbies” are very similar (if not exactly the same) to my professional work and even recreation. I write to relax and for work. I write code for work and also to relax. But, an area of improvement has been my time spent reading and consuming great books. I love that and have not always intentionally set aside time to do it.
- Laugh – I found this one funny (pun intended) and my therapist told me that it’s just good for the heart, the soul, the body, and mind. Okay. I’ll try to do “that” more often.
- Watch Less TV – Watch programs that you like instead of whatever is just “on” and no cruising channels. I told her that I don’t watch TV but, instead, I watch movies, which is a pretty intentional decision. But, this isn’t often. I think, at a global level, we could all do with less electronics as a whole.
- Get Health Checkups More Regularly – This is one of those “duh” type of things but it’s something that most of us do not do (myself included). Getting professional help and reviewing our strategies for a better lifestyle is always a good idea. Thinking about them more as a “coach” instead of someone to just “fix” something is important.
Take some time to review these things and see if you can begin experimenting more with them. Heck, you might just end up being a better and more happier you.