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Eating For Energy Or For Stress Relief?

Eating For Energy Or For Stress Relief?
Tibetan Food

About a year ago I had a major shift in the way I thought about eating, and it has improved my health ever since.

The way I used to eat: I associated unhealthy food with pleasure, and healthy foods with pain.

I would think about that burger, fries, and milkshake all day. About how juicy and tasty it would be, how satisfied I would be afterwards, and how good it make me feel.

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Isn’t this what most people do? They ‘reward’ themselves with chocolate cake when they have ‘been good’ or ‘deserve a break’, where the salad feels like punishment.
Sometimes after an especially hard day at work, when I was stressed out and exhausted, I would reward myself with some junk food. In a sense, I was using food like medication. The food was a drug I took to relieve stress!

That’s the fundamental problem. If you associate unhealthy foods with pleasure and healthy foods with pain, then eating right will always be difficult. Mentally, you are telling yourself that eating healthy food is a burden and hard to do, so what do you expect? Eventually, you will lose that battle of will power.

But then one day I was watching a Tony Robbins video, and he helped me make this shift in thinking…

The way I eat now: I associate unhealthy food with pain and healthy food with pleasure.

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Have you ever noticed that after gorging yourself on that burger, fries, and shake…you feel a little bit tired? Have you ever had indigestion, and felt like a brick was lodged in your stomach?

These are the sort of feelings you can begin to associate with unhealthy food.

Tony Robbins took it a step further. He asked you to vividly imagine your heart and arteries being clogged, and showed you graphic images to imprint it in your brain.

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Warning, clicking the links below can be disturbing if you have a weak stomach!

The next time you are thinking about eating that slice of pizza, with all the oil and fat dripping off of it, picture your arteries filling up with that fat like this. Picture a surgeon having to cut open your chest and putting a stint in your heart so that the blood can keep flowing. Try to find a picture that actually makes you feel a little bit sick.

If you vividly imagine these things, you can train yourself to actually feel pain (in the form of nausea or disgust) at the idea of eating unhealthy foods.

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Similarly, you can train yourself to associate positive images with healthy food. Imagine yourself with tons of energy, ready to take on the world, and achieving high levels of productivity (making more money).

Start to think of your body like it was a super-sonic airplane that you fill with high-energy jet fuel. You wouldn’t pour sugar in the gas tank of such a marvelous machine, so why put it into your body?

Use whatever is motivating to you in particular and train yourself to recall that image any time you need it. Eventually, just bringing up that picture in your mind can cause the same emotions to flood your body. This will help you make the right decisions when eating.

Instead of using food to make you feel better, use it as a way to get energy, and you’ll see dramatic changes in your health over time!

Brian Armstrong is an entrepreneur who achieved financial freedom working for himself by age 23. You can learn how to start your own business, transition out of the 9-to-5 rat race, and get other life-hack tips on his website.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic

How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic

When you become an early riser, you’ll experience a lot of benefits including feeling more energized and having more time to do what you want.

If you’d like to become an early riser, there are some things you should know before you run off to set your oft-ignored alarm clock.

So how to become an early riser?

Here are five tips I’ve discovered to be most helpful in making the transition from erratic sleeper to early morning wizard:

1. Choose to Get up Before You Go to Sleep

You’re not very good at making decisions when you’ve just woken up. You were in the middle of a dream in which [insert celebrity crush of choice here] is serving you breakfast in bed only to be rudely awakened by the harsh tones of your alarm clock. You’re frustrated, angry, confused, and surprised. This is not the time to be making decisions about whether or not you should stay in bed! And yet, most of us leave the first decision of our day to be made in a blur of partial wakefulness.

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No more!

If you want to be a consistently early riser, try making your decision to rise at a specific time before you go to sleep the night before. This frees you from making the decision in the morning when you’ve just woken up. Instead of making a decision, you have only to follow through on your decision from the night before.

Easier said than done? Of course. But only for the first few times. Eventually, your need for raw willpower to get out of bed will diminish and you’ll be the proud parent of a new habit!

Steve Pavlina suggests you practice getting out of bed during the day[1] to get a few of the “practice sessions” out of the way without the early morning fog in your head.

2. Have a Plan for Your Extra Time

Let’s say you’ve actually made it out of bed 2 hours before you normally would. Now what? What are you going to do with all this time you’ve discovered in your day?

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If you don’t have something planned to do with your extra time, you risk falling for the temptation of a “morning nap” that wipes out all the work you put into getting up.

What to do? Before you go to bed, make a quick note of what you’d like to get done during your extra hours the following day. Do you have a book to write, paper to read, or garage to clean? Make a plan for your early hours and you’ll do more than protect yourself from backsliding into bed.

You’ll get things done and those results will fuel your desire to build rising early into a habit!

3. Make Rising Early a Social Activity

Your internet or social media buddies just don’t have enough pull to make your new habit stick in the long term. The same cannot be said for the people you spend time with as part of your early morning routine.

Sure, you could choose to read blogs for two hours every morning. But wouldn’t it be great to join an early breakfast club, running group, or play chess in the park at 5am?

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The more people you get involved in making your new habit a daily part of your life, the easier it’ll be to succeed.

4. Don’t Use an Alarm That Makes You Angry

If we’re all wired differently, why do we all insist on torturing ourselves with the same sort of alarm each morning?

I spent years trying to wake up before my alarm went off so I wouldn’t have to hear it. I got pretty good, too. Then I started using a cellphone as my alarm clock and quickly realized that different ring tones irritated me less but worked just as well to wake me up. I now use the ring tone alarm as a back up for my bedside lamp plugged in to a timer.

When the bright light doesn’t work, the cellphone picks up the slack and I wake up on time. The lesson learned? Experiment a bit and see what works best for you. Light, sound, smells, temperature, or even some contraption that dumps water on you might be more pleasant than your old alarm clock. Give something new a try!

5. Get Your Blood Flowing Right After Waking

If you don’t have a neighbor, you can pick fights with at 5am, you’ll have to settle with a more mundane exercise. It doesn’t take much to get your blood flowing and chase the sleep from your head.

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Just pick something you don’t mind doing and go through the motions until your heart rate is up. Jumping rope, push-ups, crunches, or a few minutes of yoga are typically enough to do the trick. (Just don’t do anything your doctor hasn’t approved.)

If you live in a beautiful part of the world like me, you might want to use a bit of your early morning to go for a walk and enjoy the beauty of the world around you.

If you have a coffee shop open within walking distance, dragging yourself out of bed for a cup of coffee to savor on your walk home as the world wakes around you is a wonderful experience. Try it!

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Featured photo credit: Nomadic Julien via unsplash.com

Reference

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