If you’ve ever felt stuck, in pain, or overwhelmed about how to get healthy and feel good in your body, then keep reading.
For most of us, living in today’s world is a freakin grind. It’s the cultural default setting that we’re exposed to at all times. Our lives are busy, our inboxes full, and there’s just not enough time in the day. As Julie defined in her last blog here, we use the term “The Grind” to describe this overwhelm, stress, and exhaustion that define many of our days.
Here’s the big problem with The Grind. It can have devastating effects on our health if we don’t proactively do something about it. And we’re already starting to see the scary statistics on a macro level:
- 25% of American women take anti-anxiety medication
- 74% of American men are overweight or obese
The Active Passion Zone & The Overflow Effect
But the good news is that you don’t have to let the grind take control of your health. Today I’m going to share with you 10 simple ways to offset the grind.
Each one of these tools will help get you out of “The Grind” and into what we call your “Active Passion Zone”, a place where you access more energy, improve your health, and feel great in your body.
What happens in the Active Passion Zone is that you experience “The Overflow Effect”, the positive cascading effect of simple actions in one area of your life improving other parts of your life.
One simple example of the Overflow Effect is an intense morning workout that leads to more focus 4 hours later in the office. Julie wrote a great post about all the powerful benefits of it here.
Getting into the Active Passion Zone and experiencing the Overflow Effect is the perfect antidote to the Grind.
Here are 10 practical ways (in no particular order) to get outta the Grind and into your Active Passion Zone:
1) Daily movement. Our brains work better when we move more, our bodies are more resilient and we just feel a whole lot better emotionally. The key is to focus on movement instead of exercise.
2) Play. There is no other motivation other than that you are having fun and engulfed in the moment. It’s fun. It allows for goofiness, letting yourself go, not being so god-damn serious. Maybe even laughing at yourself. Not worrying about how silly we look or what others might think of us. This is what keeps us young. “We stop playing not because we get old. We get old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw
3) Meditation / Yoga / Breathing. It’s one of the most powerful tools to give yourself relief from the “drunken monkey”, “inner critic”, or “asshole roommate” – however you want to describe the voice in your head that’s great at keeping you safe and comfortable. Deliberate breathing exercises can create dramatic changes in your physiology. These ancient techniques that use the power of breath to alter consciousness do so by quieting that inner critic so that you can actually experience more peace of mind, less worry, and a greater sense of purpose.
4) Collaboration. Get involved with others on a big project. We’re wired for social bonding and connection. Sharing a vision and accomplishing something together with a group is a powerful way to get outside your own head. Volunteer or get involved with a cause bigger than yourself. “It’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.” Barack Obama
5) Intense Strength Training. Pushing yourself physically is one of the easiest ways to feel more alive. Not only do you release feel-good neurochemicals like endorphins and dopamine, you build a stronger and more resilient body over time which will allow you to do more with you life. You’ll be more capable. You’ll get injured less. You’ll have more confidence.
6) Cold Exposure. Take a 5-min cold shower. Find a cold body of water to jump in. Drop your head in a bowl of ice water for 20 seconds. This cold shock to the body instantly changes your state. You’re flushed with dopamine and other feel good neurochemicals. Inflammation in the body goes down. Try this first thing in the morning and you’ll be fired up ready to charge the day.
7) Daily Gratitude Practice. The consistency of practicing gratitude on a daily basis will lead this virtuous cycle of more gratitude. You start to notice little stuff that you never did before. You start to appreciate these things on a new level. A simple way to start is to start off every morning and write down 3 things that you’re grateful for. Personally, I use the 5-min journal.
8) Get Out In Nature. Exposing your brain to moments of awe force you into the present moment. Mountains, the ocean, forests, jungles, lakes, and rivers all do the trick. Novel, rich environments challenge normal sensory inputs and allow you to see things from a different perspective. It reminds you how immensely vast this world is and that your small shit you’re worrying about might not be that important in the grand scheme of things.
9) Address Nutritional Deficiencies. Many of us, even if we’re eating “healthy,” are lacking certain key nutrients that the body and brain need to function well. This can be anything from protein to fats to vitamins and minerals, or antioxidants. Having a super shake every day will ensure you’re getting quality proteins, good fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to allow your metabolism to function well. Here’s our favorite.
10) Be Vigilant With Your Sleep. Create a sleep routine to ensure you get 7-8 hours daily. Here are a few simple rules – No food 2 hours before bed, no screens 1 hr before bed. Make sure your bedroom is cool, comfortable and dark. Invest in a good mattress and pillow. Do some light stretching or breathing before bed to relax and prime your body for sleep. Our favorite tool for pre-bed relaxation is this Acupressure mat here.
What To Do Next
This list is not extensive by any means. There are many other ways to get out of The Grind but these are 10 ways that we know will work.
I’m not saying that you “need” to do any of the items on the above list. What I am saying is that you need to do something. Anything really. If you let The Grind wear you down until it’s too late, it’s going to require a momentous task to dig yourself out of the hole.
The main point is that you don’t have to make a complete lifestyle change, in fact, we strongly encourage you not do that! That rarely works. Trust us on this one.
Instead, try just one thing from this list to gently say FU to The Grind. And then do it again for a few days in row. That’s it.
“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”– Mark Twain
Share this or drop us a note and let us know what you’re going to do TODAY to say FU to The Grind and get into your Active Passion Zone!