Improve Your Physical State to Improve Your Mental State: Part II

Today, let’s talk about the next group of physical practices to improve your mental state. These practices all form part of my morning routine. I’ll break them out specifically, but let’s discuss the morning routine in general first.

In the self-improvement space, morning routines are all the rage. It really is hard not to read about someone’s suggestion for a morning routine. However, everyone is different and there is no one-size-fits-all routine. Here is a post from earlier this year on my morning routine. In addition to my suggestions, here are some great books that discuss morning routines:

Consider putting these practices into your morning routine:

The Cold Shower

Cold showers wake you up, invigorate you, improve circulation, and give you a “small win” to start the day. If you want to go even bigger, try an ice bath. An extreme version of this is called hot/cold therapy and involves alternating between ice baths and sauna. Some notable believers in these practices include Jocko Willink, super couple Laird Hamilton and Gabrielle Reese, Tim Ferris and Rick Rubin. In this blog post for Thrive Global, fitness guru and Symmetry founder Taylor Somerville explains some of the benefits of hot cold therapy.

Meditation

I’ve posted previously on how to start meditating. Here is a great, loving-kindness (“metta”) mediation from Tara Brach.

Journaling

Keeping a journal can help you integrate bad experiences, reduce stress and anxiety, become more positive and encourage creativity. People use journals for many different reasons and there really is no right or wrong way to journal. I use mine to reflect on the previous day, plan goals for the upcoming day, analyze things that are bothering me, write down inspirational quotes, and record good ideas.

Gratitude

You can incorporate gratitude into your life. This can involve meditating for few minutes each day on things that you are grateful for (both Jay Shetty and Vishen Lakhiani recommend this practice) or simply listing three to five things that you are thankful for in your journal. Doing this, helps you focus more on the positive than the negative as you go through the remainder of your day.

Exercise

Exercise should form an essential part of your day. Find something that you like to do and do it. Be patient and start small. If you can’t get in an hour, start with five minutes. If you can’t lift weights, start with body-weight exercises.

In my exercise routine, I look for variety, functionality, and intensity. I also like to train strength, endurance, and explosiveness. Specifically, this means incorporating Olympic lifts, kettle bells, gymnastics movements, running, and mobility routines. Here is a great Crossfit body weight workout:

This three exercise and twenty minute workout will smoke you.

If you don’t have any equipment, but still want a really intense workout, see how many burpees you can do in ten minutes. Here is a burpee:

Ten minutes of suck, but oh so satisfying when you are done.

Enjoy these tips and feel free to let me know how you supercharge your morning.

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