My new client is a 55 year old man and tells me his life is like a fire drill. He’s super stressed, recently spent 3 days in the hospital for internal bleeding, and has edema below his knees. In my view, he’s the perfect example of where I never want to be and I hope you feel the same.
How did he get there? He doesn’t drink and he doesn’t smoke, but here’s the issue: he doesn’t recover, his diet is horrible, and he doesn’t have balance in his life. He says that he drinks too much coffee and has too much sugar. Well, balancing that would be a start. The excessive amounts of coffee will take it’s toll on his adrenal glands and the copious amounts of sugar will essentially kill the pancreas and cause diabetes. Good times, I know.
I do believe this is more common than we think. I’m a yoga teacher in Malibu and while most of my clients are Malibu moms, there are about 15-20% of men who join my classes or call me for private sessions to help them with similar issues. My first order of business is getting them consistent. People who tend to be out of whack and stressed to the gills are letting the tail wag the dog. It’s time to get consistent with your eating, sleeping, movement, and yes, meditation.
Here are my 5 simple steps to help you feel better, move better, and bring a smile to your life!
Sleep: It’s the one thing I know that will help create more balance and make you feel better. It will definitely make you feel more rested. My recommendation is making sure you give yourself enough time to sleep so that you wake up a few minutes before your alarm. I’ve figured out that 7 and a half hours is my sweet spot. I like to wake up around 5:30 or 6 in the morning, thus I have to go to sleep no later than 10:30pm. Figure out what works for you. If you have trouble falling asleep, start winding down 2 hours before sleep. Avoid blue light from your phone and computers. Maybe read a book or so some gentle yoga.
Nutrition: You cannot exercise away a bad diet. I forget where I heard that, but it has been my salvation. I used to be a potato chip eating, sugar addicted athlete. I always thought, well, I’m an athlete, I burn off all the calories. The truth, however, was that I was insulin resistant and heading toward diabetes. Make sure you eat lots of veggies and begin to crowd out the bad stuff. Eat more good, so the bad goes away. Stevia instead of refined sugar. Less processed foods more whole foods. As your diet improves, you will feel better.
Exercise: While yoga, meditation, proper nutrition, and sleep are all fantastic, if you do not exercise, you will not feel better. Yoga is a great form of exercise and that can be enough. It’s not enough for me, so I run, bike, swim, ski, hike, and do all kinds of at home workouts like plyometrics, pull ups, etc. You can find a ton of that right here.
Yoga: One of the greatest forms of balance that I know. By now, I’m sure you know, yoga is a form of movement that helps heal and rebalance the body, mind, and soul. It’s been the one thing I’ve done consistently for almost 20 years. It’s helped me through many difficult times in life, it’s helped me develop many coping skills, decreased my stress level and so much more. If you’re a man and you haven’t embraced yoga, you’re definitely missing out.
Meditation: I know this can be scary for many people, but starting with breath awareness is easy. If you or someone you know is stressed out, stop right now and take a deep breath, really deep. Start counting the time of your breath. Count 3-5 seconds for an inhale, hold that breath in for 3-5 seconds, then exhale for 5-7 seconds. Do that sequence 5 times and you’ll immediately notice a calmer state of being.
There is my full proof plan to increase your well being. You’ll feel better, you’ll move better, and you’ll smile more. You might even live longer, but you’ll definitely improve your quality of life as long as you live. This will be my plan for my client. I’ll keep you updated as we continue working together. Thankfully, he is very interested in taking back control of his life. If you’re looking to get started, you can head over to my 7 day meditation program. There are 3 free videos that start with the basics. Even stressed out dudes can find time to connect with the breath and begin some form of meditation.
Originally published on the author’s website.