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Finding Mindful Moments In An ADD World

“We better stop, now, what’s that sound? Everybody look – what’s going down?” – For What It’s Worth, Buffalo Springfield

We live in an extremely fast and ever-changing world. Life comes at us virtually at the speed of sound. We have multiple distractions constantly pulling us in different directions.information-overload-2 Almost everything we intellectually consume is fragmented into brief, yet intense, sensory inputs. We live in an instant, soundbite, world. Television and radio programs are strategically broken into commercials every 10 minutes, the Internet barrages us with pop-ups, background programs, and distracting advertising every time we open a new screen. We carry phones that buzz, beep, and remind us of all those things we have to do every day. If there’s anything out of the ordinary that occurs anywhere in the world, we can view a synopsis of it in a 30 second segment on YouTube. And, if any reporter gets an interesting interview with a presidential candidate or politician, you know you’ll hear snippets of it at least 20 times somewhere during the next 24 hours.

All this information and instant access creates a life that is overstimulating, hectic, too distracting, and downright annoying. The cost to society for all this excitement, information, and overstimulation is the belief that we all “have ADD.” Do we really, or, does the modern technological lifestyle and this age of TMI make it difficult, if not impossible for us to slow our minds down?

There is a huge downside to all this mental overstimulation. We tend as a culture to stress out over everybody else’s problems. We are moved to tears, anger, and outrage over things we have virtually no control over. Many of us are rats on treadmills of our own making, navigating an endless maze that is our daily schedule, one that we are reminded of by multiple buzzing and beeping electronic devices that we own. We need, for are a variety of legitimate reasons, to stay connected to some of these electronic devices and reminders. We have jobs, families, and appointments that we must be aware of and tend to as part of keeping our life in order. Like a lot of things, we need to figure out what to leave in and what to leave out. That has to be some way to slow down, and sort through, this insanity.

Many people find it virtually impossible to slow down in quiet their minds. A new trend in mental health is a return to some of the contemplative practices of ancient world. Meditation and movement practices such as yoga, tai chi, and dance are all old school ways of slowing down the pace of life. I find that most of my clients struggle with any mindfulness based practice that asks them to sit still. They simply can’t do it, at least initially, and many do not have the patience to even give it a legitimate effort. They come up with a very quick “I can’t do that, it’s not me,” excuse. They may even give it a half-baked effort, but sitting still and getting mentally quiet is not something they are willing to work toward. If you’re of that mindset, there is a mindful solution that works with your body and mind’s natural tendency toward being comfortable with distraction.

Here’s a mindfulness practice that will work for virtually everyone, even those ADD prone individuals. Like all meditative practices, it’s based on slowing down and noticing something. You will simply take a few moments to notice various things in your field of perception.

1. Allow yourself a few deep breaths that originate from deep down in your abdomen. BreathingClose your eyes and just listen to what’s going on in your environment at that moment. Notice the sounds, identifying up to five separate sounds. When you get to five, notice them again, one at a time. Take some time into this slowly. Which is the loudest? Which is the softest? Are there any other sounds that you hadn’t noticed? Are you able to hear any sounds that are internal to you, such as the sound of your breathing, the gentle rhythm of your heartbeat, or maybe that pulsing sensation that you hadn’t noticed on the side of your head? Allow yourself to gently take in a few relaxing, deep breaths while you simply notice the sounds of your world.

2. Scan your body for sensations and feelings. This can be done with eyes open or closed. You will get in touch, no pun intended, with your body’s internal sensations, aches, pains, and areas of relaxation, as well as areas where you body contacts the outside world. Feel your body against the chair, floor, or wherever you are situated at that moment. This practice can be even deeper if you stop and notice the sensation of where your body meets various articles of clothing that you are wearing. Can you feel your socks or shoes? Are you wearing a belt, T-shirt, or some other obscure article that you hadn’t noticed as yet?

Do you have any aches and pains at the moment? Are you able to relax and breathe in such a way that you can lessen the pain without movement? Are you able to relax to the extent that you can dissociate from a particular body part, practically making it invisible or nonexistent? This is not only a great mindfulness practice, but it is also a great way to manage minor aches and pains in areas of your body that carry stress and tension. This type of mindfulness practice is called a body scan and works very well for people who need to be doing something constantly, distracting, and then lulling them into a state of relaxation.

3. Take a moment and notice obscure aspects of your visual field. Look around and notice 3 to 5 things that are the same color, for example find three things in your immediate field of vision that share the same color. Don’t stress over this, it’s not a competition. Just give yourself an opportunity to notice what’s there, slowing things down and just noticing.

Are there objects in spaces that you occupy every day that you have noticed yet? Sit quietly you familiarize yourself with as many new objects in your immediate field of vision as you can. Be sure to relax, breathe deeply, and just notice.

4. Use your senses of taste and smell in the same manner. Get still for a moment and notice the smells of your environment, the taste of your foods and drink, and try to describe them to yourself. The goal is to allow your brain to notice one thing, then another, and then another, that is in your immediate environment. Just notice in a nonjudgmental way what is in front of you.

The goal of these mindfulness practices is to work with your natural tendency towards distraction. You decide what’s going to be distracting you. Sites, sounds, body sensation, smells etc. using your mind’s natural tendency to jump from one thought to another except you direct where your mind goes.

You’ll probably find that one of these sensory modalities is the one that you prefer, for example, sounds over things that are in your visual field. A body scan practice is something that everyone should develop, as it is a great way of managing the aches and pains that one accumulates over a lifetime The beauty of these activities are that they can give you your own internal reset button as a way of coping with the velocitized pace of modern life. Take a few moments, multiple times a day, and practice these activities without expectation. You just might find that you don’t have ADD after all.

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” -Thich Nhat Hanh


P. S. If you found this article helpful, you may benefit from some personalized mindbody coaching. Contact me at http://mindbodycoach.org/contact-us/ if interested in online mindbody coaching. Please check out my Products page through the link at the top of this post.. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and social media. Email me with questions at john@mindbodycoach.org

Deal With It! : Six Ways To Cope With Winter

“Winter’s not the problem, not being prepared for it is.”- Chip Hailstone, Life Below Zero

We are in the middle of winter, the East Coast of the United States has been hit with a record snowfall. Initially, most people’s reaction is one of wonder, and excitement. For CABINmany, the excitement will soon wear off as people find themselves housebound, confined, and having to make adjustments to their everyday lifestyle because of a curveball dealt them by mother nature. In the 21st century, we’re almost always aware that the storm is coming. Meteorologists are constantly giving us up-to-the-minute reports, and the average person has access to accurate weather reports and radar images anywhere on the planet. We know when a storm is coming, we buy the necessary supplies, stores run out of bread and milk very quickly, shovels become very hard to find, and where the heck did I put that scraper for my windshield?

If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, then you know the drill. Early December you make sure you know where your snow shovel is, you buy salt and sand for your walkway, you tune up the snowblower, and you make sure that the family vehicles all have ice scrapers for the windows. If you enjoy winter recreational pursuits, you make sure the equipment is in good working condition and you purchase necessary gloves, mittens and warm caps. Your prepared in every way except mentally. Somewhere in late January to mid February you, and millions of others, began saying things like “I’ve had it with this, this sucks, and I can’t wait till it’s over.”

I was born and raised in the greater Boston area and currently live in the state of New Hampshire. Those of us who live in areas where snow was not merely a possibility, it is a guarantee, shouldn’t be shocked, bored, or suffer from what in these climates is frequently known as “cabin fever.” We know winter is coming, it’s going to be rough at times, and it’s going to leave when it’s good and damn ready. Why is it that we are prepared in every way except mentally and why do so many of us get emotionally worn down, suffer from seasonal depression, and an increase in psychosomatic illnesses?

These same winter days will be remembered fondly somewhere around 4th of July. One of the beauties of living in New England and in parts of the country that get snow is we have a full range of seasons, and all types of weather. That same area of your yard where you could suffer from sunstroke in August is that same spot where you could get frostbitten on Groundhog Day. Well, here’s the good news – there are things that you can do to mitigate the physical and emotional challenges of one of mother nature’s most beautiful seasons.

Here’s some ways to not only prevent going stir crazy, but to actually enjoy the wonders of winter:

1. Embrace the season and all it has to offer. Too often people are in denial that winter is going to be challenging. Accept that mother nature is going to do whatever she wants, whether you have plans for the weekend, are prepared or get caught completely offguard. EXRSIZAcceptance of this and learning to roll with it is the most important factor. Mental attitude and outlook is virtually everything in life, and winter highlights this point perhaps more than anything.

2. Be prepared. Make sure that you have adequate winter clothing-clothes, boots, shovels, salt sand etc. Nothing is worse than being wet, cold, and miserable. If you don’t adequately prepare for winter, then you have no right to complain about.

3. Make sure you get as much sunlight as possible. One of the biggest factors in seasonal depression is a lack of sunlight. If you can, bundle up and get outside every day. If you can’t for some reason than make sure you keep window shades open to allow exposure to light. This seems like a minor point, but research indicates it is one of the major factors that contributes to seasonal depression.

4. Try to wake up earlier in the morning. Modern man allows the clock and our concept of time to rule our lives, and thus our emotions. If it’s possible to follow the sunset and sunrise with your daily schedule, then do so. This maximizes your exposure to sunlight and allows you to work with, rather than against, the rhythms of the season. Work with nature as much as you can.

5. Exercise regularly. If you can, get some exercise outdoors. For too many people exercise has become a sterile, controlled, indoor activity that they do closed off in gyms on machines under artificial lighting. Certainly this is not bad, but it is not what nature intended when the human body was designed. The body was made for work so that humans would be able to adapt and survive. Shoveling snow and winter hiking, and outdoor winter activities can be a great way to stay in shape and train the way nature intended you to train. Being in shape enables us to cope with environmental stressors that nature provides. Embrace, and even welcome, winter as one of these stressors. Use the challenges of winter to give a little variety to your exercise regimen.

6. Watch your weight and maintain adequate caloric intake. Recent research shows that any more than a 5 pound weight gain is excessive, regardless of how cold it is where you live. While you may change the foods that you eat, soups and stews for example instead of lighter fare, you shouldn’t take in any more calories than are needed. The myth of weight gain being necessary comes from our identifying with animals that put weight on during the winter. Those animals hibernate, we do not. Be active and eat accordingly.

Maintaining a positive attitude, being prepared, and embracing the beauty of nature and FIREthe season is the key to surviving and thriving during the winter. A lot of us bitch about the weather in make excuses as to why we can’t live somewhere else. Don’t be that guy! Adapt, adjust, and enjoy being a part of nature yourself.

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” – Hal Borland


P. S. If you found this article helpful, you may benefit from some personalized mindbody coaching. Contact me at http://mindbodycoach.org/contact-us/ if interested in online mindbody coaching. Please check out my Products page through the link at the top of this post.. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and social media. Email me with questions at john@mindbodycoach.org

Leptin : The Free, Energy Boosting, Weight Loss Miracle

“According to data by Marketdata Enterprises, a market research firm that specializes in tracking niche industries, Americans spend north of $60 billion annually to try to lose pounds, on everything from paying for gym memberships and joining weight-loss programs to drinking diet soda.” – U.S. News & World Report, January 2, 2013

If you are typical American or resident of a first world nation, you probably at some point or another have spent some money contributing to the wealth of the weight loss industry. obese-vs-thin-womanMost of these weight loss products are promoted by celebrities, fitness models, actors and actresses, and the rich and famous. Many look at these “beautiful people” and enviously say things like “Well, if I had their money I’d be able to afford the nutritionist, trainer, and plastic surgeon that they have.” Most of us think that affluence gives them a weight loss advantage that we’ll never have.

Recent research has discovered a miracle substance that is available to everyone that is guaranteed to suppress your appetite, melt body fat, increase your energy and activity level, and maintain ideal body weight forever. And, here’s the best news of all – it’s free and is available to everyone regardless of financial means. You can obtain this miracle substance without doctors, surgeons, or painful exercise regimens, in fact you can make it yourself. This miracle substance has been called the Holy Grail of weight loss and fitness.

This miracle substance is called leptin. It is a hormone, produced by the brain, that tells the brain it is not hungry and pushes the brain and body to be active. It’s a feedback mechanism, keeping the body in a state of equilibrium, creating a healthy balance of intake and output of energy. The substance is miraculously effective, and is available at no financial cost to you. However, you’re going to have to work to get it, but more on that later….

Leptin has been in the human animal since before Noah built the ark. Its purpose is to keep a person from accumulating excess weight and fat. For example, when early man gained excess fat, that fat secreted the hormone leptin. Leptin signals the brain that it no longer needs to overeat, allowing the excess fat to melt while decreasing appetite and increasing the desire to be active. The message is – you’ve got some extra fuel available so go use it. The hormone tells the brain to get the body moving, to go do something productive – build something, do some work, and get active. It is a feedback mechanism designed to keep a person fit, active, and at optimal weight and bodyfat.

Leptin was discovered in the mid 1990’s in experiments with lab rats. Rats with a genetic predisposition toward low levels of leptin sat around, overate, and became fat and obese. Humans with low levels of leptin tend to do the same through behaviors like lying on the couch, eating Doritos, and over consuming sugary food and drinks. Researchers attempted to create supplements that contained leptin, erroneously assuming that overweight people were leptin deficient. Studies indicated that overweight people had plenty of leptin in their systems. Researchers were puzzled as to why their leptin wasn’t working as it was supposed to. Why were some people leptin resistent?

Years of research found the answer – insulin blocks leptin. Today, insulin levels are at epidemic proportions, the average person has insulin levels twice the average of 50 years ago at baseline, let alone the levels of insulin spikes caused by sugary foods such as candy bars. This insulin blocks leptin at the brain. The result is laziness and overeating, because the brain thinks it’s starving. The brain demands food by creating cravings to eat. There is no reasoning with a craving brain, it’s gonna get what it wants, usually when it wants it. If your doctor has told you that you are pre-diabetic, then your susceptible. Maintaining healthy weight, body fat, and energy levels is going to be difficult, if not impossible. Your brain demands that you become lazy, lethargic, and unmotivated in an attempt to conserve energy. The result is you become fat, lazy, unmotivated, and miserable.

obese-man-on-a-scale-smallerThe antidote to leptin resistence is where the work comes in. You have to eat in a way that lowers insulin levels so that your leptin can work efficiently and effectively. Most diets are destined to fail because they don’t address the issue of leptin resistance. Leptin resistance is the reason for yo-yo dieting and the tendency to regain all that weight that you worked so hard to take off. There are some strategies that you can take in order to optimize your leptin levels and work more effectively with this wonder hormone:

1. Change your eating habits. Don’t “go on a diet,” change how and what you eat. Avoid refined and processed foods and eliminate your intake of processed sugar. Fructose, in the form of sweetened juices and drinks is a no no, low-sodium vegetable juice is a better option. Consume fructose in the form of fruits, but don’t overdo it. The fiber in the fruit will make it more useful to your system.

2. Eat a breakfast that is high in protein and and healthy fats. Oatmeal and natural peanut butter would be a healthy breakfast choice. Protein-based breakfasts are conducive to low, steady insulin levels throughout the early part of the day. This consumption of protein creates satiation. Two scrambled eggs and a little bit of leftover meat from the night before our great way to jumpstart your day.

3. Eliminate snacks. This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s not. Allow at least four hours between each meal, allow 4 hours without food before bedtime, and allow at least 12 hours between your evening meal and breakfast the following day. This is better for your liver and allows your hormones to work more efficiently.

4. Optimize your sleep. In bed before 10 and up at dawn allows your hormones to work with the body’s natural rhythms. Try to get outside in the morning shortly after waking, even if it’s for some brief deep breathing exercises, exposure to daylight, or meditation.

5. Eat real food. If it comes in a box, is processed, packaged, or is artificially sweetened it’s probably not a good food choice. Don’t eat anything your great, great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. If nature didn’t make it, beware!

6. Get a physical and blood work done. Get your blood sugar levels checked and work to get them down to acceptable levels. This will allow your leptin to work as it is intended to, lowering your appetite and increasing your energy levels and motivation.

7. Get your diet and insulin levels under control before embarking on a program of vigorous exercise. Exercise done with high insulin levels will increase your cravings if your insulin levels are making you leptin resistant. Better to get your diet in check first. When you do begin to exercise make sure you balance cardiovascular work with exercise in the form of weight training, bodyweight training, or some kind of progressive resistance. Healthy muscle mass increases your metabolism, allowing leptin to work as it is intended.

Obesity is not caused by laziness or lack of willpower alone. Leptin resistance makes it happy-seniors-working-out-300x240virtually impossible for people to keep the pounds off after a successful program of diet and exercise. Dieting smarter and working to optimize your body’s level of the miracle hormone leptin needs to be a priority if you are going to keep it off permanently.

Work at it. While leptin is free, it doesn’t come without a cost.

“Fitness – If it came in a bottle, everybody would have a great body.” – Cher


P. S. If you found this article helpful, you may benefit from some personalized mindbody coaching. Contact me at http://mindbodycoach.org/contact-us/ if interested in online mindbody coaching. Please check out my Products page through the link at the top of this post.. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and social media. Email me with questions at john@mindbodycoach.org

You Are What You Do : Seven Ways To Grow Old Gracefully

“Life requires of man spiritual elasticity, so that he may temper his efforts to the chances that are offered.” – Viktor E. Frankl

The human animal is one of the most frail, yet resilient creatures on the planet. We are born incredibly weak and fragile, are dependent upon adults well into our teens, and we are making adjustments physically and emotionally throughout the entire life span. We have to use brain capacity to figure out how to stay warm, locate food, shelter, and Vector silhouette of man.physical necessities. Our bodies, in and of themselves, are ill-equipped to face even the most favorable environments. Having no physical armor, inadequate body hair, and minimal body fat, we are forced to build shelter, make clothing, eat almost daily, and we must rely on others of our species for daily necessities as well as needed psychological support.

Despite our dependency on others to negotiate our way through life, human beings are incredibly adaptable and resilient. Our bodies are designed to change and grow based on the activities that we perform. Our brains, the master organ that runs and directs all human activities, also changes, adapts, adjusts, and grows as well. In fact, despite what most people think, the brain is part of the human body, not separate from it. Our minds and bodies are designed to work together, in harmony, allowing us to adapt to whatever challenges, physical or emotional, that present themselves.

Most people in highly developed technological societies have very little knowledge of how to harness the incredible capacity of the adaptable machine that is a human being. We tend to believe that this machine is fully developed physically by approximately age 21. At that point the physical body is at its peak and the goal becomes to try and maintain that as long as possible. Somewhere around mid to late 30s however, the body changes and most individuals give up on trying to maintain or build muscle, and adapt to their changing physicality. Our activity levels slow down and most of us have responsibilities that make remaining physically active less likely. Our bodies soften and put on body fat. Muscles, joints, and tendons become less flexible and more rigid along with this decrease in activity. We pass this off as a part of our life span and begin to accept pain, low energy, and the lack of motivation as being natural and normal.

Our psychological development is presumed to be “complete” by approximately age 40. By that point we believe we are intellectually and emotionally close to our peak and, like with the body, the goal becomes to maintain intellectual and emotional capacity for as long as possible. We believe that further personal development and academic pursuits are unnecessary. We’ve arrived and we are who we are. We understand our feelings, know where we stand philosophically and politically. We tend to resist change because we believe that our worldview needs to be rigid because we believe our beliefs and values to be correct.

Research, if not common sense, indicates that humans are physically capable of change from birth to death based on the activities that a person engages in. For example, as a child, your body was flexible, limber, and relatively pain free. You also did a lot of bending, twisting, jumping, and climbing as part of your daily routine. This brings up the chicken or egg question. Were you able to do those things because your body was flexible, limber, and pain free? Or, were you flexible, limber, and pain free because you did those things?

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw

Of course, there is some natural wear and tear that occurs in the human machine, but how much? How much playing can we do? How much of our deterioration is “natural” and how much of it is determined by our attitudes towards aging? As we progress through life, our bodies become the physical activity that we do. If you work at a desk and you’re sitting 6 to 8 hours a day, then your body is going to mold to the seated position. Your hamstrings will tighten, your lower back will feel the effects, your shoulders will internally rotate, and your head and chin will jut forward. Your muscle tone will atrophy, your entire body will soon take the shape of a seated person. Our bodies are designed to mold themselves into the activities that we perform most in order to make it more efficient in the performance of those activities.

Yes, is very difficult to develop the body of a 20 year old when you’re pushing 60, but how fit can you be given the limitations of an aging body? Rather than focusing on what you can’t do, what would happen if you were more focused on what you were capable of doing? How fit, limber, and agile can you be? If you’ve lost some of these abilities, how much can you get back?

Doing a little of something for your aging body is far better than doing a lot of nothing. If you objectively look at your body in front of the mirror, you’ll notice that your body has molded itself into the activities that you engage in on a routine basis. For example, if you are an aging auto mechanic you’ll probably find that your body looks pretty bad, but your hands, wrists, and forearms are still pretty formidable. If your fitness regimen consists primarily of walking and little else, you’ll probably find that your calves and hamstrings are still pretty strong and useful, but your upper body may be puny and weak. You still may have some body parts that are youthful, strong, and vigorous because you’ve continued to use them. If these physical attributes have been maintained, then why not build and maintain others as well?

Keeping in mind that, while you may never be that 20-year-old athlete again, you can be an athletic middle aged or senior athlete. Here is what research indicates is still possible:

⦁ Agility, suppleness, and a more limber body. This can be attained through a daily practice of light stretching, yoga, body weight calisthenics, and work on the ground or floor. Alternating challenging days with light days is necessary, as we all know our bodies ability to recover from activity deteriorates over time. One of the number one predictors of longevity is how quickly and efficiently someone can rise from a position on the ground or floor. People who are capable of getting off the ground more quickly are more likely to live a longer and vigorous life. Formal exercise classes can help, but there’s a lot that can be gained by simply laying on the floor and rolling around 3 to 5 times per week. Throwing in some occasional push-ups, situps and crunches, a downward and upward dog combined with a walking program can create a well-rounded fitness routine.See also http://mindbodycoach.org/ive-fallen-cant-get/
⦁ Improved strength. The body adapts relatively quickly to increased demands on its muscular system. It will respond to resistance that is placed upon it. The body can’t tell the difference between barbells, dumbbells, or complicated weight machines at the gym from the resistance provided by gravity, yard work, or carrying groceries. Any resistance work performed consistently sends a message to the muscular system that it needs help with that task, and the body will marshal its resources to make the body stronger in the performance of that task. Joining a gym may be a good idea, just be sure you have the ability, determination, and persistence to get there three or more times per week. If not, find a routine of resistance training that you can perform at home, or at work and do it consistently. The muscular system must recognize that this activity is being done on a consistent basis in order for it to adapt and build the necessary muscle and strength to continue it. The body doesn’t know that you’re getting older, or that your less motivated than you were 20 years ago, it just knows that it needs to build more resources in order to continue with the activity.
⦁ Improved harmony between strength and agility can be arrived at more efficiently if you toyamaworkout using exercises where you are not supported by complex machines. There is a place for weight machines such as those that you see at a commercial gym, but you can also combine strength and agility by utilizing calisthenics, yoga, martial arts, or equipment such as elastic exercise bands and suspension trainers. Anything where you are moving your body through space and working with gravity will create a sensation of body control that you may not have had since your teens. Save the machines for working around injuries that you may have accumulated over the years.

The mind, much like the body, has the capacity for change and adaptation throughout the lifespan as well. Research indicates that one of the best ways to stave off dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and lack of mental acuity is to continue to challenge your mind as you age in the same manner that you challenge your body. Keeping mentally sharp by reading, studying, learning, and challenging beliefs that you’ve held for years is mental exercise that will slow the inevitable decline drastically.

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” – Sophia Loren

There is a saying that you may have heard, “Age is nothing but a number.” Saying this and believing it are two different things. You’ll have a tendency to believe this if you are keeping your mind active and engaged in the process of living. Here’s some ways to keep your mind engaged:

⦁ Read, read, read. Reading is a mind-body activity. Keep in mind, your brain is part of your body and the visualization, processing, and information gathering that reading engenders is one of the healthiest things that a person can do. Read the things that you wish you had read years ago, re-read books that impressed you when you were in school, read things that challenge long-held beliefs that you’ve had for years. Use the internet to satisfy your curiosity, take online courses, and formulate well thought out opinions. Remember, no system, including your mind can grow without being challenged. Without challenge, there is no growth. See also http://mindbodycoach.org/the-hidden-costs-of-going-paperless/
⦁ Question everything that you thought you already knew. Many people get caught up in beliefs that they’ve had for years and doggedly hang on to them only because they have put so much time into believing them. Others will find that their religious, philosophical, and political beliefs continue to evolve. There’s nothing wrong with having the same beliefs that you did years ago, just be sure that you still truly believe them.
⦁ Take on new challenges, projects, games, activities, anything that challenges your brain in a way that makes it uncomfortable. It may be crossword puzzles, sudoku, learning a new language, mastering a video game, or taking a class of some sort. It’s quite possible that the good old days of childhood were enhanced by these types of challenges. Maybe the lack of these challenges is the reason that we grow old mentally.
⦁ Build in your daily routine some kind of meditative or contemplative practice. Meditation, prayer, or some combination of the two is a great way to allow your mind to continue to develop and grow, accepting new ideas and beliefs. Your spirituality, as well as your intellect, will adjust and adapt if you challenge it.

The human machine is incredibly adaptable and will continue to adapt, adjust, and Jacl Llnevolve as long as you are breathing. Taking a thoughtful mind-body approach to the developmental process allows you to decide who and what you want to be.

“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.” – Robert Jordan, The Fires of Heaven

Carry on!

P. S. If you found this article helpful, you may benefit from some personalized mindbody coaching. Contact me at http://mindbodycoach.org/contact-us/ if interested in online mindbody coaching. Please check out my Products page through the link at the top of this post.. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and social media. Email me with questions at john@mindbodycoach.org

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