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4 Reasons You Should Want More Control Over Your Lifestyle

4 Reasons You Should Want More Control Over Your Lifestyle

If you are reading this article, you have probably been asking yourself: is there more I could be doing with my life?

Are you satisfied with your work or do you complain about your work?  Does your body feel good or do you take medication and are in daily pain and discomfort?  Are your relationships positive not only with others but with yourself or do you spend most of your time in conflict?  Are you growing more financially secure or insecure?

Your mental attitude and emotions determine your decisions and actions in your life.  How do you want to be remembered at the end of your life?  Are you living the life you want to be remembered for?

1. Have a more purpose-driven life for less stress and better health.

Many people have been trained to live a life of work.  They have not been trained to work a life they enjoy.  There is a palpable, noticeable, tangible difference when you meet someone who is passionate about who they are, what they do, and what they accomplish compared to everyone else.  These individuals have come to live out what they desire.  Their actions are in alignment with their thoughts and their desires in life.  The most successful individuals live a life that benefits others.

Why is it important to know what you enjoy and to pursue it relentlessly?  It is because you otherwise live a life of conflict not knowing what you want and not feeling confident about your accomplishments.  This is one major source of stress and disease in human beings.

“…[T]he more engaged and connected you and your team are to the work itself, the lower your stress levels will be. Not because the work is easier—not at all. But because your response to stress won’t be the same as someone who’s just in it for the paycheck (who will buckle or bail when things get tough because there’s nothing else holding her up—or there).”  See http://www.forbes.com/sites/janbruce/2013/09/24/the-purpose-driven-business-why-your-mission-matters/

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New research indicates that stress activates genes related with inflammation, which normally would help heal wounds and fight off those infections. However, when these genes are over-stimulated, they can cause tissue damage and increases the risk of chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis, cancer and diabetes.

One’s sense of purpose affects these genes even more.

“The researchers were surprised to find that the two types of happiness influenced gene expression in different ways. People with a meaning-based or purpose-based outlook had favorable gene-expression profiles, whereas hedonic well-being, when it occurred on its own, was associated with profiles similar to those seen in individuals facing adversity.”  See http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-happiness-boosts-the-immune-system

If you want control over your health, align your passion and interests with the rest of your actions.

2. Stronger, positive relationships enhance your happiness and reduces stress – lead yourself.

Your relationship with yourself is formed by the absence or presence of traumas and your environment including your family, community and your culture.  The good news is that whatever has happened to you in the past, you have the ability to control your present and future.  You choose to make yourself happy or sad.  No matter what your circumstances, the only thing that no one can touch is what is deep in your mind, unless you allow someone to do so.

The people in your life are a reflection of who you are.  If you are not satisfied with who you are around, change who you spend time with.  If you’re spending more time complaining and being unhappy about who you are with, now is the time to take action to be with someone else, even if your only choice is to just be with yourself.

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At a high level, people who choose to become leaders of themselves and others are best positioned to influence and direct their lives where they desire.

Why be a leader?  To create a strong community around yourself for mutual support and strength.

Furthermore, researchers are finding that when leaders use positive thoughts and emotions to communicate with people, they cause a specific neuroendocrine reaction in others to make them more teachable and willing to listen.

“Boyatzis, a faculty member at Weatherhead School of Management, and Jack, director of the university’s Brain, Mind and Consciousness Lab, say coaches should seek to arouse a Positive Emotional Attractor (PEA), which causes positive emotion and arouses neuroendocrine systems that stimulate better cognitive functioning and increased perceptual accuracy and openness in the person being coached, taught or advised.”

Your positive leadership will lead to others feeling better which leads back to you feeling better.

“We know that people respond much better to a coach they find inspiring and who shows compassion for them, rather than one who they perceive to be judging them. Sure enough, we found a trend in the same direction even for the neutral questions. Students tended to activate the areas associated with visioning more with the compassionate coach, even when the topics they were thinking about weren’t so positive,” Jack said.”  See http://blog.case.edu/think/2010/11/15/coaching_with_compassion_can_alight_upa_human_thoughts

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Cultivating positive relationships requires a great deal of self-awareness and control to temper and adjust one’s words, actions and reactions to different people around them.  The best leaders know themselves, are decisive, are passionate about their purpose, and have the ability to communicate and inspire a wide variety of people.

3. Prioritize your health and longevity.

How expensive is it to receive medical care?  How many people receive medical care but still are not one hundred percent healthy afterwards?  How much do people spend on medication and contend with the resulting side effects?

I have trained students this year who were billed $11,000 for a heart stent, $60,000 for a heart attack, $1000 a month on diabetes medication, and $1.2 million for an extreme, life-threatening bone infection that required 4 months of hospitalization.

“Terry Miller, 62, a businessman in the Bay Area, got a bill for $117,000 for a two-night stay at California Pacific Medical Center to place a stent to open one of his heart’s clogged arteries — a charge that did not include fees for the cardiologist and radiologist. According to the Medicare database, California Pacific Medical Center charged $43,679 for hospitalization to treat a simple pneumonia and $96,642 to treat a stroke; the Medicare payments for those illnesses were $8,046 and $9,583.” See

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/health/as-hospital-costs-soar-single-stitch-tops-500.html)

You will pay for your mental and physical health one way or another.  You either treat your mind and body as even more valuable than your house or car and spend the time and effort to keep them strong, or you eventually expend money and suffer trying to patch them up.

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When you are hospitalized, the doctors work hard to fix you up and send you home. However, just because you get to go home doesn’t necessarily mean you are healthy.

High-level, traditional martial arts instructors can train students to have the martial arts lifestyle where you use forms and movements to build your health and energy and reduce stress to have the kind of health that allows you to do anything.  You learn to repair yourself without the side effects that come with medication and surgery.

4. Being in control of your life can lead to wealth.

Gaining more wealth requires willpower.  How much will does one have to do extra work that would earn a raise?  How much will does one have to gain additional education to gain a better-paying job?  How much will does an entrepreneur have to do the necessary steps it takes to obtain more customers for their business?

For middle class Americans, having a college education can better ensure the ability to maintain or move up the income ladder.  Obtaining a college education requires the willpower to earn the grades, the financing and all the work.

“Thirty-nine percent raised in the middle of the family income ladder who do not get a college degree fall from the middle, compared with less than a quarter (22 percent) of those with a degree. Similarly, 39 percent raised in the middle of the family wealth ladder who do not earn a degree fall down the wealth ladder, compared with 19 percent with a degree.”  See http://www.pewstates.org/uploadedFiles/PCS_Assets/2012/Pursuing_American_Dream.pdf

Take your vision, make a decision, and use your willpower to take action.  Move ahead.  Don’t fall back.

Life will be challenging.  Control life or be victimized by it.  Take control!

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Last Updated on February 20, 2019

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride

Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

Why is this so critically important to you?

The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

  • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
  • The man facing the judge.
  • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
  • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
  • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
  • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

2. Accept Your Fear

Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

And here’s what can be done.

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3. Get Some Perspective

I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

  • Are you really at risk?
  • Will this kill you?
  • Which leads us on to..
  • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

4. Hold a Hand

As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

Ask yourself:

  • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
  • Could that really happen?
  • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
  • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

8. Assume the Worse

If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

  • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
  • Think about how they feel about champagne?
  • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

11. Go with Fear

When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

13. Own Your Fear

Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

More Resources About Fighting Fear

Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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