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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 May 12, 2020

8 Steps to Continuous Self Motivation Even During the Difficult Times

8 Steps to Continuous Self Motivation Even During the Difficult Times

Many of us find ourselves in motivational slumps that we have to work to get out of. Sometimes it’s like a continuous cycle where we are motivated for a period of time, fall out and then have to build things back up again.

There is nothing more powerful for self-motivation than the right attitude. You can’t choose or control your circumstance, but you can choose your attitude towards your circumstances.

How I see this working is while you’re developing these mental steps, and utilizing them regularly, self-motivation will come naturally when you need it.

The key, for me, is hitting the final step to Share With Others. It can be somewhat addictive and self-motivating when you help others who are having trouble.

A good way to have self motivation continuously is to implement something like these 8 steps from Ian McKenzie.[1] I enjoyed Ian’s article but thought it could use some definition when it comes to trying to build a continuous drive of motivation. Here is a new list on how to self motivate:

1. Start Simple

Keep motivators around your work area – things that give you that initial spark to get going.

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These motivators will be the Triggers that remind you to get going.

2. Keep Good Company

Make more regular encounters with positive and motivated people. This could be as simple as IM chats with peers or a quick discussion with a friend who likes sharing ideas.

Positive and motivated people are very different from the negative ones. They will help you grow and see opportunities during tough times.

Here’re more reasons why you should avoid negative people: 10 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Negative People

3. Keep Learning

Read and try to take in everything you can. The more you learn, the more confident you become in starting projects.

You can train yourself to crave lifelong learning with these tips: How to Develop a Lifelong Learning Habit

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4. See the Good in Bad

When encountering obstacles or challenging goals, you want to be in the habit of finding what works to get over them.

Here are 10 tips to make positive thinking easy.

5. Stop Thinking

Just do. If you find motivation for a particular project lacking, try getting started on something else. Something trivial even, then you’ll develop the momentum to begin the more important stuff.

When you’re thinking and worrying about it too much, you’re just wasting time. These tried worry busting techniques can help you.

6. Know Yourself

Keep notes on when your motivation sucks and when you feel like a superstar. There will be a pattern that, once you are aware of, you can work around and develop.

Read for yourself how the magic of marking down your mood works.

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7. Track Your Progress

Keep a tally or a progress bar for ongoing projects. When you see something growing, you will always want to nurture it.

Take a look at these 4 simple ways to track your progress so you have motivation to achieve your goals.

8. Help Others

Share your ideas and help friends get motivated. Seeing others do well will motivate you to do the same. Write about your success and get feedback from readers.

Helping others actually helps yourself, here’s why.

What I would hope happens here is you will gradually develop certain skills that become motivational habits.

Once you get to the stage where you are regularly helping others keep motivated – be it with a blog or talking with peers – you’ll find the cycle continuing where each facet of staying motivated is refined and developed.

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Too Many Steps?

If you could only take one step? Just do it!

Once you get started on something, you’ll almost always just get into it and keep going. There will be times when you have to do things you really don’t want to: that’s where the other steps and tips from other writers come in handy.

However, the most important thing, that I think is worth repeating, is to just get started.

Get that momentum going and then when you need to, take Ian’s Step 7 and Take A Break. No one wants to work all the time!

More Tips for Boosting Motivation

Featured photo credit: Japheth Mast via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Ian McKenzie: 8 mental steps to self-motivation

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