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These days, people are always looking for ways to be better, to be more efficient, to feel more energetic on a daily basis. Everyone wants to find some type of hack to make life easier. There are a lot of products out there that claim to improve your wellbeing in one way or another, but they often have little effect.
The solution lies not with some miracle product or magic pill, it lies in your routine, your habits.
The things you choose to do everyday have a profound effect on your physical and mental health, and if you choose the right things to do everyday, then you can easily supercharge your life.
I'm not saying to have a strict daily routine of activities, plotted out to take place at certain times. However, I do think it is important to have some healthy habits that you practice every day.
I'm going to save you the work of trying out all of these things for yourself, as I have been playing around with all of this stuff for a couple of years now. I'll let you know what worked for me, and hopefully what will work wonders for you, too.
You have probably heard a lot about the wonders of meditation. Maybe you thought it was a load of rubbish, maybe you think you don't have the discipline to practice it.
I can tell you now, it is a fantastic addition to your day. Meditation is the perfect way to calm the mind and return to the present at the start of your day. I see it as a form of mental hygiene, kind of like a shower for the mind, I guess.
There are many different types of meditation you can practice, but the most common and the best to start with is mindfulness. This is essentially just a means of focusing one's attention on the present, often by observing the movement and flow of the breath.
I feel like there is still a lot of stigma around meditation, despite its gain in popularity and its breakthrough into popular culture in recent years. Many people still associate it with a sort of hippie vegan subculture, or trying to reach some sort of enlightened state.
Now, without a doubt, there are a lot of avenues to explore with meditation. You can use it just as a way to calm yourself, to improve focus and concentration in your everyday life. Alternatively, you can go deeper with your practice and use it to reach a heightened state of "oneness", but many people simply don't have the time for that.
It's best to start small—try meditating for around 5-10 minutes per day initially, then as you become more accustomed to it, try to reach around 30 minutes, which I believe is the optimum duration for a meditation practice, at least for me.
There are also a lot of apps I can recommend, but the best and most popular are Headspace and Calm. Both have a series of guided meditations for lots of different situations and purposes, so go check them out!
Cold showers are one of the things I would genuinely recommend the most. If you've not previously heard about the benefits of cold showers and cold therapy, you might be thinking I'm crazy right now, but hear me out.
Taking a cold shower every day is probably one of the best things you can do for your health. There have been lots of studies on this subject, and cold showers have been proven to produce a huge immune response.
Doing this every day strengthens the immune system considerably, almost completely ridding your life of little annoying illnesses like colds and flu. I have been taking cold showers around a year now, and haven't felt ill at all.
If you're curious about this, you should check out Wim Hof, he's a Dutch guy who has delved pretty deep into this topic and many others surrounding human physiology.
Aside from the benefits for the immune system, cold showers are also linked to fat loss, and are excellent for muscle recovery after working out. They also make you feel amazing and really shock you into life, readying you for the day ahead. Exposure to cold causes a strong hormonal reaction in the body, prompting the release of serotonin and adrenaline, along with plenty of lovely endorphins.
You can also experiment with contrast showers. This is where you switch from really hot to really cold water during your shower. It's meant to have further benefits relating to fat loss and muscle recovery. Apart from that, it feels amazing when you switch from cold to hot water in a matter of seconds.
If you're still skeptical, I encourage you to give it a try for yourself, as it does work wonders.
This is another thing I picked up from the wisdom of the man mentioned in the last section, Wim Hof.
The so-called 'Wim Hof Method' is a breathing technique I do daily, sometimes several times a day, when I feel like I need a pick-me-up.
Essentially, the idea is to breathe in more than you breathe out, almost like intentional hyperventilation. You are supposed to breathe until you start to feel tingling sensations around your body and a sense of light-headedness, then you just sit and don't breathe for as long as you can, the longest I have reached with this is three minutes without a single breath.
I can not describe how amazing this can make you feel if you do it right.
The oxygenation of the body down to cell level is something incredible which is not really widely known about.
You can combine this with a meditation practice daily for amazing results, you genuinely feel like the world is your bitch after a round of meditation and intense breathing.
Eat a Super Healthy Breakfast
We all know the cliché, but I fully believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and eating the right things for breakfast is key to your energy levels for the rest of the day.
A lot of people just eat the wrong things for breakfast, and many just eat the wrong things in general. It is foolish to underestimate the power and the effect of a good diet on your energy, productivity, and overall feeling of wellbeing, you are what you eat after all...
So what should you eat for breakfast?
Well, the best choice is high protein foods. A lot of people simply shove a load of starch into their stomach to fill themselves up in the morning, but this really doesn't last very long, and can actually make you feel tired once the initial burst of energy wears off.
My favourite breakfast is a twist on huevos rancheros. Essentially this is black beans, fried or poached eggs, chili, and avocado all thrown into a pan together, it really isn't very difficult.
I also like to get my daily dose of greens with a super smoothie to accompany it. I usually throw a mix of fruit and greens into my Nutribullet and add some superfoods; such as spirulina, chia seeds, wheatgrass, or cacao powder. To top all of this off I make a cup of cinnamon tea as a nice little compliment to my breakfast.
Yes, I know, this one flies in the face of the previous advice I gave regarding breakfast, but if you consider breakfast as more of a brunch, these two can go hand in hand.
If you aren't familiar with intermittent fasting, it id the idea of having set periods where you are allowed to eat. The most common method is 8 hours on 16 hours off. Meaning you are allowed to eat for 8 hours within a 24 hour period, from 10AM until 6PM for example.
The fasting state is one that, again, is not often discussed in our society, but it offers a whole host of benefits which sound too good to be true, but have been proven by science.
Intermittent fasting has strongly linked to fat loss and muscle gain, as there are notable changes in the functions of the body's cells which can be observed in a fasting state.
The levels of the human growth hormone increase dramatically, which facilitates fat loss and muscle gain. Levels of insulin drop, and your metabolic rate also increases hugely, leading to a lot of fat burning.
It has also been linked to lowering the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's and even cancer.
So, that's it...
Combine all of these methods daily, along with obvious habits such as regular exercise, a good night's sleep and a good diet, and soon you'll be supercharging your life.
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