This week I want you to try to incorporate these 5 mental floss techniques that will help you to feel great, both physically and mentally. Some of you will read these 5 tips and think they’re way too simple to make a big difference for your health, movement, injury rate, or experience of pain.
So let me be blunt: get over yourself.
Most people need to read and re-read these 5 mental floss tips and actually do them every single day!
#1. Laugh. More.
Laughing is certainly the best medicine. You need to laugh every single day. And I mean really laugh. Humor is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Laughter relaxes the whole body, triggers the release of endorphins, relieves stress, improves mood, and just makes you feel good. And I don’t think I need to discuss how bad stress is for your body, both physically and mentally.
- Watch a funny movie or TV show.
- Go to a comedy club.
- Seek out and hang with funny people.
- Share a good joke or a funny story.
- Host game night with friends.
- Play with a pet.
- Goof around with children.
- Do something silly or spontaneous.
#2. Train With Friends
Working out has countless positive effects on our lives. And working out with friends or a small community just expands on the benefits. So challenge yourself on melding the two together. Go to a gym that is a community, somewhere you love going and being and make friends. We all know that it can be pretty hard finishing a strenuous workout on your own. Especially in the cold and dark time of the year. Training with a partner (both male or female), however, opens up a whole new range of possibilities for motivation.
- Start a walking group with personal friends
- Make a friend at your local gym or training facility
- Join a running club
- Seek out people better than you at a certain sport and ask them for help
#3. Break The Electronic OCD Loop
Do you ever find yourself checking the same websites over and over, even though you were just on them moments before? Have you noticed that the second your phone makes a noise you have to grab it and see what’s going on? And when you do, you instantly go into robot mode and check all the “usual” sites and click all the “usual” buttons that you do?
Thanks to powerful mobile devices and social media, we live in a super connected world. I am the first to admit that I couldn’t live without my phone. But when you get in this loop, it can be difficult to have good, productive, consistent thought patterns.
This electronic OCD loop can also lead to fatigue, stress, and anxiety. You’ll find you feel “busy” all day, even though you have nothing to show for it. Once you are distracted by something like an email popping up on your phone, it can take up to 4-5 minutes to re-focus on your first task. That’s a lot of time lost if you add up all of the emails you check in a day.
So how can you decrease this stress and become more productive? The answer is simple, but perhaps not easy if you are in the habit of constant checking.
- Turn off the alerts on your smartphone.
- Check your emails at preset times: every 3 hours, or once a day.
- Preset social media breaks into your workday so these distractions don’t interfere with your productive thoughts while you are working.
- Don’t accept phone calls or respond to text messages every single moment of the day.
- Activate airplane mode when you’re working on something
- Leave your phone in your car or in your bag and not right in front of you
#4. Stop Sitting So Much. No Seriously, Stop it!
We’ve all heard the headlines, and I’ve certainly written on the topic before – sitting is the new smoking. It sucks the life out of you. Studies show a huge number of negative physical and mental health effects of extended periods of sitting. Something as simple as sitting less can make you feel better both physically and mentally.
I realize this is easier said than done, especially for those of you who are chained to a desk for long hours each day.
Consider these simple, positive steps you can take:
- Use a desk that converts from sitting to standing.
Get up for frequent breaks.
Stand during meetings.
Walk around the office when you talk on the phone.
#5. Do Daily Mobility Work
This one is simple. Grab a foam roller, lacrosse ball, or a piece of PVC pipe you have laying around and spend five minutes a day doing some soft tissue work. If you have problem areas, focus on them. It may feel uncomfortable as you do it, but you usually finish feeling much better than when you started.
- Start foam rolling. Something. Anything.
- Perform straight leg swings throughout the day. Simply hold something while standing and swing your legs out in front of you or try walking and swinging your legs in front to touch your toes.
- Do pushups every 3-4 hours
- When you see a bar or something that you can hang from, get your butt up and hang for a few minutes.