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We Feel Empty Because Our Bodies Aren’t Evolved to Cope With the Current Lifestyle

We Feel Empty Because Our Bodies Aren’t Evolved to Cope With the Current Lifestyle

Do you ever get that feeling that things just aren’t right? You don’t feel connected with the world around you?

You know how you should act, how you should feel, but you’re not quite connecting with your emotions… a numbness you can’t shake off.

Summed up in a word, this is ‘Emptiness’.

It’s a sign that perhaps your mental health is not quite optimal. Maybe you’re stressed and anxious, or experiencing some mild depression without even knowing it.

Trust me when I say ‘You’re not alone’.

Also trust me when I say ‘you can break free form this suppressing feeling’.

The answer is probably not what you think, or not what you have been led to believe. Everyone always searches their thought patterns for the answer to curing emptiness. But this rarely works.

The root of the problem is the stuff we get in touch with every day.

Look, I’m going to level with you. There are a few things in this modern world and a modern lifestyle that are quite unnatural, I call them ‘Negative Triggers’, here are a few…

  • Stress from work
  • Financial pressure
  • Social media
  • Processed Negative Trigger Foods
  • Negative Media
  • Mobile phones

So why do they create the feeling of emptiness?…

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Think about this fact…

The past 100 years, even the past 20 years our race has completely evolved, our lifestyles have changed dramatically due to the list above. But evolution takes millions of years. Biologically we are the same as we were 500 years ago, but we live very different lives. Here lies the problem…We haven’t caught up. I’m going to call this problem ‘The Evolution Acceleration Effect’ (more on this coming up). This is a big reason why the feelings of emptiness, depression and anxiety are so common these days.

I’m going to teach you how you can embrace these incredible leaps and bounds in humanity, while still feeling connected with our emotions, with some small Lifestyle Triggers in the form of a simple 3 step morning routine.

This is the best way to get started as the morning routine is short, simple and it becomes habit very easily. Then you can just get on with your day as normal.

Before I can teach you the routine you first need to understand the biological and psychological problem the Evolution Acceleration Effect creates…

Some Science…

It actually has something to do with our body too.

The main problem isn’t a psychological one but a biological one which is having a knock-on effect with your mental health and distorting your perspective, let me explain…

This problem is a physical disruption to your ‘Hormone Harmony’. This is a term I use to explain the balance between stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) and feel-good neurotransmitters (chemical messages in the brain responsible for positive emotion, hopefulness and joy).

If you imagine a set of old weighing scales, you know the ones with 2 plates either side that compare 2 weights. One side is for stress hormones and the other for feel-good neurotransmitters. When you’re feeling fulfilled, energised, happy and peaceful, it’s because this set of scales is perfectly balanced. This means they complement each other and it creates serenity throughout your body and mind.

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Now the Negative Triggers created by the Evolution Acceleration Effect I spoke about, accumulate and fill the body with unnatural levels of stress hormones. This starts to weigh down the stress hormone scale. This has a negative effect on your feel-good neurotransmitter scale. When this happens these neurotransmitters stop working properly and the serenity is broken, this is a Negative Hormone Harmony Scale. This is when negative feelings such as emptiness begin to surface.

Sure, emptiness can be triggered by negative thoughts of situations. But, and this is a big ‘but’, it only becomes an uncontrollable problem that you can’t shake off when you have a Negative Hormone Harmony Scale. Because you can’t just snap out of it, this is when you’re at risk of stress, anxiety and depression.

The answer I’m going to teach you is in the form of a simple 3 step morning routine, filled with Lifestyle Triggers[1] that solve this problem. What’s great is it’s quick and easy to do, so it fits in with so many lifestyles.

Here’s the morning routine to shake off the feeling of emptiness.

Ok now the juicy stuff… The morning routine that helps to reset this scale…

This is what I want you to do…

So you wake up…

You might be having a good day or a bad day, either way do this straight away…

10 Minutes Of Flexible Exercise

This is a short burst of exercise that helps the body empty stress hormones and gives your feel-good neurotransmitters a recharge. Remember, exercise is a stress on the body and could increase stress hormones like cortisol and adrenalin. The difference with flexible exercise compared traditional exercise is it’s so short. This gives the body a chance to adapt to the stress therefore reducing stress hormones. I call this creating a ‘Positive Exercise Stress Axis’. This rebalances your hormone harmony scale, therefore reducing the feelings of emptiness.

Make sense? Good lets keep going.

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Furthermore, exercise selection is important, you want exercises that engage as much of the body as possible in a short time. To learn more about how you can use flexible exercise, check out this blog ‘Flexible Exercise‘.So now you have had a quick stress reliever and endorphin burst, you’re ready for the next step…

Write 2 Positive Mindset Prompts

This is a positive prediction about your day or your future. It can be many things; something that might be happening, a positive emotion, a person you are looking forward to seeing, a goal you want to achieve etc.

No matter how big or small, it’s important to acknowledge it. Write it down. If you’re feeling particularly empty at any point, have a look at it. Reconnect with it to help give you a positive perspective again. This helps to create a positive outlook on your future.

So I said 2 prompts…

One for the day (short term)

One for the future (long term)

This is a form of ‘Positive Self Talk’, if you need some guidance check out ‘Self-Talk Determines Your Success: 15 Tips‘.

Right now your mind is positively set, time for the correct nutrition.

Eat a Complete Meal

This is basically breakfast, I know what you’re thinking.

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‘Yeah breakfast can make my stomach feel less empty… But not emotionally less empty’

I hear you, let me explain…

Basically, a ‘Complete Meal’ is the perfect breakfast to help your body rebalance your Hormone Harmony Scale and stop feelings of emotional emptiness.

So, what’s a Complete Meal? I’m sure you’re keen to know.

Well, there are 2 key factors to a complete meal that help it fuel your brain ensuring optimal mental health.

Factor 1- A good balance of all 3 macronutrients (fats, carbohydrates and proteins). When the body is getting the correct ratio of all 3 of these it ensures your brain is getting a steady supply of energy. This helps to balance out your Hormone Harmony Scale.

Factor 2- Include foods that are high in micronutrients that help to rebalance your Hormone Harmony Scale. Foods high in magnesium, zinc and tryptophan will do this.

Make the Routine A Daily Habit

Being consistent is your biggest friend with these Lifestyle Triggers. Try to do them everyday. In general it takes 6 weeks to create a habit like this.

But you have to start somewhere, so what’s important is what you do right now, at this very moment while you have some motivational energy. So, I want you to stand up, take a deep breath, exhale, then get your diary, quickly plan out your routine for tomorrow and jot it down. Let’s do this!

Once this routine becomes habit and your Hormone Harmony Scale is optimal again, your perspective will become clearer and feelings of emptiness will begin to disappear.

Reference

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Ben Jones

Fitness Coordinator

We Feel Empty Because Our Bodies Aren’t Evolved to Cope With the Current Lifestyle How Not to Let Negative Thoughts Trump the Positive Vibes The 20-Minute Morning Routine That Relieves Anxiety The 10-Minute Daily “Lifestyle Trigger” That Relieves Anxiety and Depression 2 Major Flaws in Your Diet That Cause Stress and Anxiety

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

Can People Change When Changing Is So Difficult?

Can People Change When Changing Is So Difficult?

Hope is not a strategy when it comes to change. Commitment is what is needed to make real change happen. Can people change? Absolutely, but exchanging your excuses for commitment is necessary to get started.

Human nature leans toward habits, which can become ingrained over the years, but that doesn’t mean habits can be undone.

The good news is that your personality and behaviors can be changed, but it is up to you. Below are some tips to help you get started with change.

1. Figure out What You Need to Change

If you’re reading this, you’re probably already aware of something you would like to change. That’s great! The first step toward change is acknowledging that you have something you need to change.

Look at the repeated problems in your life, the issues that seem to come up time and time again. Do you keep gravitating toward the wrong relationships, but you blame the people you are choosing, rather than looking at your problem in the selection process?

Do you jump from one job to another, yet blame co-workers and bosses, rather than look at what you may be doing to cause problems and dissatisfaction on the job?

We are creatures of habit, so look at the negative patterns in your life. Then, look inside to see what’s causing these repeated life problems to occur. If you can’t figure it out on your own, consider going to a counselor for better understanding. Once you recognize the area that requires change, you can move to the next step.

2. Believe That Change Is Indeed Possible

There are people out there who believe that personality is unchangeable. When confronted with their problem, such as constant negativity, they lash back with “that’s just who I am.” It may be who you are, but does it need to be?

Change in personality and behaviors is possible. Nobody stays the same from one year to the next, let alone across a decade, so why not move change in the direction that is best for you? Be proactive about the change you want in your life, including the belief that change can occur.

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Look for success stories and people who have changed and done what you so deeply desire to do. Seeing that others have been where you have are and have accomplished the change you desire will help you in your process to accomplish that change.

3. List the Benefits of This Change

In order for people to change, they need to buy into the premise that the change is necessary for their betterment. For example, maybe your goal is to be more productive at work. There are many benefits that could come from this, including:

  • Getting more done in a shorter amount of time.
  • Having more time for your family.
  • Getting a promotion
  • Being liked and appreciated by your boss.
  • Being part of the success of the company.

One of the best ways to help yourself stick to the commitment of change is to make a list of the benefits that the change will bring in your life. Make one list of the benefits for your life and another for your loved ones. Recognizing the full spectrum of benefits, including how your change will affect those closest to you, will help you stick with the process of change.

When you have moments of weakness, or fail on a particular day or time, then getting back on track becomes easier when you review your list on a regular basis. Posting your “benefits of change” list somewhere where you see it often, such as a bathroom mirror, will help you be reminded of why you are doing what you are doing.

4. Make a Real Commitment to Change

Make a commitment to the time frame needed for the change to happen. If you want to lose 50 lbs., then set out a realistic plan of a few pounds per week and a timeline that reflects those goals.

It will take you a lot longer than a month, but setting realistic goals will help you stick to your commitment. Change happens one day at a time. It is not immediate, but over the course of time because of your dedication and commitment to the process.

It also helps if you make your goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.[1]

People can change using SMART goals

    An example of this would be a person who wants to become an active runner so they can tackle a half marathon. The first step would be to research what other people have done for training plans to achieve this goal.

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    Runners World lays out specifics for a beginner to train for a half marathon: “Target the Long Run: Every other week, increase your long run by 1.5 miles until you’re run/walking 13 to 14 miles. On alternate weeks, keep your long run to no longer than three miles. Your longest long run should fall two weeks before your half-marathon. Plan to take about 15 weeks to prepare for the big day.”[2]

    These kinds of specificities will help you create a personalized plan that is achievable and time-bound.

    You can learn more about writing SMART goals here.

    5. Create a Plan of Attack

    You need a set of steps outlined to succeed. This is why 12-step programs are so successful. You can’t simply walk into a meeting and be cured and changed. You need to mentally process the change in order for the change to be lasting and effective.

    Create a plan for your change. Be realistic and investigate what other people have done to change.

    For example, if you are dealing with anxiety and want to change that, then seek out therapy methods to address your problem. Stick with the therapy plan until your change process is complete. Simply hoping the anxiety will someday go away is not a plan.

    6. Commit to Action

    It is wonderful to set a goal for change and to write it down, but if you don’t act, then your mental commitment means nothing. There is no actual commitment unless action follows. To best kick start our change, the key is to act now[3].

    For example, if you committed to lose 50lbs, then now is the time to go join a gym, hire a trainer, and walk into a weight loss clinic to get support. We can make up our mind to be determined to change, but if action does not follow soon thereafter, then you will likely fail.

    If you wait until later that week, you will get caught up in doing your daily routine, things for works, taking care of others, or whatever it may be; there will be distractions that will derail you from taking action later. There is no better time to take action than when you make the decision to change.

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    For example, if you decide you want to finally write that book that is in your mind, but you don’t have a working laptop, then go and get a laptop today. Then, set aside an hour each day after work (and on your calendar) so that you can write. Instead of going out with friends after work, you are committing to achieve this goal, and you have time set aside to make that goal happen.

    7. Find a Support System

    When people want to change, finding a support system is key. A great way to find support is through group therapy or support groups. If you have a substance abuse issue, for example, you can find groups that specialize is supporting you through recovery and change.

    If you prefer to find support in the comfort of your own home, then you can look for online support forums and Facebook groups that deal with whatever change you are looking to pursue.

    Your ability to be successful in change is dependent on your ability to dive in; support systems help you with the initial dive and staying committed thereafter. and will help you stay committed to the process. Don’t underestimate the power you have by partnering with others who are seeking the same change.

    8. Get Uncomfortable

    Change should be uncomfortable. You are entering new territory and stepping out of your comfort zone. Your mind and past habits will be resistant to the change, as it is uncomfortable and difficult.

    If you give up because of the discomfort, then you are destined to fail in your pursuit of change. Embrace the discomfort associated with change and recognize that it puts you one step closer to accomplishing your goals.

    9. Stick to the Plan

    When people decide to change, sticking to it is difficult. If you get derailed from your plan, don’t berate yourself. Instead, allow yourself some margin of error and then get back on track.

    You can’t expect to go on a diet without splurging sometimes. The key is “sometimes.” The sooner you get back on track, the more successful you will be in accomplishing your change goals.

    Other researchers on the topic of change believe this process is about dedication and commitment to the change desired in our day to day lives, as Douglas LaBier from the Huffington Post so aptly stated:[4]

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    “Change occurs from awareness of what aspects of our personality we want to develop, and working hard to “practice” them in daily life.”

    Here are some tips on sticking to a plan:

    Engage in Self-Reflection

    Reflect on things that have derailed you in the past and problem solve them before they happen.

    Jot down those things that tend to get you off track. Now, list ways to combat the derailments before they happen. For example, if you are wanting to lose weight but you work late hours, then commit to morning workouts.

    If you know that in the past you would continually hit the snooze button and subsequently miss the workouts, then hire a trainer for early morning workouts. You are less likely to miss your workout if you have real money attached to it and someone counting on you to show up. You could also schedule morning workouts with a friend, so you know there is someone showing up and you don’t want to let them down.

    Brainstorm solutions for your past derailments so that this time around you are ready to stick to the plan and the commitment you have made to change.

    Define Your Commitment

    Commitment is a daily mental and physical plight when it comes to change. If your commitment is to lose weight, then be specific about how you are going to achieve your change. For example, you decide you are going to stick to 1,800 calories a day and a 1-hour workout every day.

    Then, write those goals down and chart your daily progress. Hold yourself accountable.

    Final Thoughts

    Can people change? Hopefully, by now, you believe that they can. If you have a sense of commitment and persistence, change is possible with any life experience.

    Start small, create specific goals, and don’t wait to get started. You’ll be amazed how far change will take you.

    More on How to Make Changes in Your Life

    Featured photo credit: Jurica Koletić via unsplash.com

    Reference

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