Monday, 3 April 2017

30 Day Cowlean Challenge, Day Fifteen: Combating Stress Part 2

Hi guys,

Weigh-in: 204.8 lbs
Calories: 2450

We’re halfway through. If you’ve made it this far and you still turn up day in day out then there must be something I’m doing right. Otherwise, I suppose this is just a personal diary…which in a way, it is!

Today I want to introduce you to a practice which a) is free, b) will help you lose weight, c) will reduce your stress and make you more relaxed, d) will help you to make better decisions, and e) will help your social life. Not only that but it will only take five minutes each day. Sounds good right?

I’m talking about meditation. Now, before you click “exit” and brand me a woo-woo new age monstrosity, you really have to try it. If you think about it, I’m one of the people it really shouldn’t appeal to right? Serious job, serious guy, and someone who’s interested in the cold, hard cause and effect impact of food. In spite of that, I still do it. There is so little to lose, and so much to gain. Even then if you're so embarrassed, you don't have to tell anyone!

Not only that but I felt the effects near instantaneously, the biggest of which being that I felt like I always had an “extra second”. When someone said something to me, I could absorb what they said, then come back with a measured answer.

Take that and apply it to food and the decisions you make. When you’re bombarded by advertising and sugary junk food, wouldn’t it be great to get a little extra time to put your defenses up?

Here’s a practical way to get started:
  1. Sit somewhere comfortably and set a timer for five minutes
  2. Close your eyes and “focus on your breathing”; to a newbie this doesn’t make any sense so I would just practice breathing in for two or three seconds then breathing out for five (this also relaxes you through heart rate variability)
  3. Try it once a day for a week and see what you think; if you want to then build up to ten minutes a day

It’s as easy as that. I think a lot of people get turned off by the idea that there’s a lot of effort involved on a spiritual side (chakras and mantras, for example), but that isn’t the case if you don’t want it to be. In fact, I predict meditation will be the “in” thing quite soon in the corporate world, especially as more and more businesses “googlify” themselves and introduce varied workplaces. There’s a lot of eastern practices which are now being "discovered" as scientifically effective.

Until tomorrow,
Cowlean

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