Train Your Body to Thrive
How much stress did you experience this week? How did you respond to stress? Did you just push your way through it? Did you reach for caffeine, alcohol, sugar or other junk food? Most importantly, how did you intentionally calm your system throughout the week? Check in with your body. How are you feeling as a result of this week’s dose of stress?
Periodic stress is normal and healthy. Our bodies are evolved to handle periods of stress along with a balanced amount of rest and relaxation. However, we are not well evolved for modern day constant stress. Today’s perceived dangers trigger our bodies to get into fight/flight-mode, and because we often experience a constant flow of stress without periods of rest, our bodies get stuck in in an overburdened state of survival. We train our bodies to survive but not to thrive. This constant state of survival training puts our bodies at risk for disease. Cortisol runs the show in survival mode, which eventually breaks down healthy tissue.
The key is to train your body to thrive! What does this mean? It means eating real food that comes from the earth and is still alive or very close to its live state. It means moving your body every day in ways that releases toxic energy and restores positive energy. It means re-framing how you perceive your day, your life, your work, your relationships, your successes and your seeming failures. If you do these three things you will feel much better, because you will be training your body to thrive.
The key factor in training is “practice.” Taking steps every day to practice gets you beyond just knowing that you should do something and into the realm of empowered action that leads to transformational change for the better. If you want health, you will create health through practice.
Here are your thrival training practices for this week:
Visit a farmer’s market or a garden where you can pick fresh organic vegetables and fruits. Bring them home and share them with your loved ones. Preparation can be simple. Simply cut them up and sauté’ them in a bit of olive oil or ghee. Add a few spices that you enjoy and serve. As you cook and eat think of all the people and universal energies that went in these beautiful vegetables and be grateful for all that you are about to receive. If you mindfully practice gratefulness as you cook and eat you will ingest far more than the physical nutrients. You will ingest the more subtle and life giving energies that are integrated into this food.
Get up in the morning and go for a walk in nature. Start your day walking in nature without a phone or any other distraction. Take time to look at and soak in all the positive energy of nature. This is your morning nature bath. We are designed to live in nature so before you head to work in all the artificial spaces of an office, factory, store or even your car give your body what it truly desires – nature!
Take a non-smoking smoke break. Take breaks from work when you can, especially as you accomplish tasks and celebrate with a short walk outside. I call these my non-smoking smoke breaks. Why do all the smokers go outside and the non-smokers stay stuck at their work stations without a break? Whether you smoke or not (and of course I hope you do not), get outside for breaks regularly.
Imagine dragons. What does this mean? Instead of imagining your day full of dread and fear of all the stressful situations you may face, imagine yourself as powerful as a dragon taking flight in the morning and soaring through your day with powerful ease. Are dragons affected by your boss, your angry co-worker, cranky customers or unsatisfied employees? No! They keep calm no matter what they face. Why? Because they know that these situations are all temporary and unimportant in the big picture. They know that these threats are not real threats to their survival. So each day as you go to work or face your normal day arrive with the confidence and grace of a dragon. Literally imagine yourself as a dragon and see clearly that all that stuff you deal with each day is not going to harm you.
Mediate daily. I know you have heard this more than once and I am going to tell you again, meditate daily. Meditation does not need to be fancy or difficult. In fact, it is effortless. Just sit in a quiet place, set a timer and observe your breath. Don’t try to push thoughts away or judge them, simply observe them without attachment. Let them float by like beautiful clouds in the sky. I will be posting meditation practices on this site for you to download and use anytime you like. In the meantime, just take a seat, observe your breath and relax.
Practice these 5 things this week and you will be on the road to training your body to thrive. See you next week!