You read that right. How to die young as late as possible?Ageing and getting old is a part of life and you must make most of the living process. What if I told you, your happiness is directly proportional to exercise and nutrition. Heard that before? Ok! how about this. The more you exercise and eat better, the more you’re happy. The less you exercise and eat poorly, the less you’re happy. The constant here is your attitude.
Physical fitness is the true fountain of youth. Exercise and nutrition put together are the cornerstone of what we call the good life. Most of us see what’s on the surface and don’t bother to go beyond that, e.g. When you eat healthy you feel good. Regular exercise helps to reduce stress. When you go through stress, which you will at different stages in life, clarity on these aspects will help you manage your problems better. Before I expand, let me share something with you.
I am a couple of decades old. My life does not revolve around eat, train, sleep & repeat. I am a guy with a real job, real problems and real stress to deal with. I have a career & family that consumes most of my time. There are times I don’t have access to clean and healthy food. I skip meals and workouts included. We all go through problems and that’s just life happening. The sooner we accept, the better we become in controlling these issues. I have been through turbulence plenty of times and in different capacities.it has taught me a great deal about life. But how did I respond when life hit me the first time? Honestly, very bad. Why? Because I never planned for change. I had this image of a life being built around my comfort zone where I will be served 3 square meals a day and live on to be one hundred years old. What a life, Isn’t it?
I am coming to my point, just hang in there.
Sometime ago when I was going through stress and things were tough. I recall keeping my physical and nutrition routine on point as much as I could. It’s difficult to exercise or eat consciously when life is testing you. Anybody can exercise when they want to. The time when you don’t want to do something, and you still do it knowing it’s the right thing comes from discipline. Was it my will power which helped me endure the tough times and do the right thing? well certainly it was, however, my will power is not a feeling, it is a verb. It is something I practice and have been able to improve on with simple tools.
That is what this article Is all about!
You can build a strong and positive will with the help of simple tools and I will teach you how. My biological state which is a byproduct of good nutrition and exercise helped me manage stress better and gave me the will power I needed to stay strong. And my pursuit made me stronger physically and mentally. All of this was happening due to a better neurological balance in my brain. Let’s science this out.
Our happiness is a result of the influence of four major chemicals inside our brain. I briefly spoke about this in one of my previous articles, however, today I want to give you tips on simple and effective tools to boost these chemicals and lead a more fulfilling life.
Now, whether you’re feeling happy or sad, feeling significant or not so significant, strong or weak, social or not so social, are all feelings related to one of the four chemicals inside our brain.
Each of these chemicals are neurotransmitters and play an important role in our wellbeing. Let’s look at them briefly.
Dopamine- The happiness drug. The feeling you get when you are eagerly waiting for a text message and it arrives, finishing an important task which you have been stuck at forever, making love, having a pizza and even smoking a cigarette releases dopamine. Not to forget all the other harmful chemicals with it.
Oxytocin – The social drug. It helps in building relationships, improves bonding, empathy etc.
Serotonin- State of mind. Your mood, good or bad depends on your level of serotonin which is secreted in your gut and controlled through the quality of food you eat. It also plays an important role in sleep management.
Endorphins – This chemical helps you to endure pain and discomfort. You build stamina and physical endurance over time ‘cause the more you exercise and practice physical activity the better your endorphin levels and the better your threshold for pain. The endorphins act as a sedative. The feeling runners go through during a marathon which pushes them to finish the race knowing a few minutes later they will be in tremendous pain.
Depression, anxiety, insecurity, what are these feelings and how do they occur?
Short answer, chemical imbalance in our brain. It’s a deficiency which results from the lack of physical exercise and poor nutrition.
Low levels of Dopamine mean you mostly keep sad and put.
low levels of Serotonin mean you struggle with sleep, have frequent mood swings and can’t control you temper.
Lack of will power and the thought of getting physical scares you? You’re short on Endorphins.
All this leads to a state of chemical imbalance which makes you vulnerable and prone to stress, insecurity & depression. The actions you choose under these situations can be detrimental to your physical and mental health.
Allow me to illustrate. Let’s say you’re someone who is a diabetic. Your current state has caused a blood sugar problem due to insulin mismanagement. Now, you must eat in frequent intervals to combat the disease else your insulin (hormone which helps to break food down) levels will fluctuate leading to high blood pressure, heart problems and you will stress out easily. And, when that happens your biological self will find it difficult to deal with problems vs a person who is in sound physical and mental health. How? ‘cause their brain chemistry (production of dopamine, serotonin, endorphins and oxytocin) is more efficient due to their managed nutrition and active lifestyle. Hence their ability to confront problems and finding solutions will be far better.
There certainly is professional and medical help available but all these medicines do is elevate your dopamine and serotonin levels which can be achieved simply by making some changes to your lifestyle. I am not for once saying that your worries will vanish with these tools. What I am trying to imply is your brain is in a better position to come up with solutions and deal with whatever you’re dealing with.
Now, my way of life doesn’t have to be a barometer for you, however, I do a few things to ensure better management of my environment and I want to share the same with you.
- Boost Serotonin. The good mood chemical- Engage in a morning ritual. Both, physical and mental. The idea is to increase blood flow to ensure control on your thoughts and physical self. Write in a journal, listen to music, take a walk or simply stretch. Make nutrition a top priority. This will help you build your serotonin levels
- Boost Dopamine and experience that sense of achievement in every phase of your life– Live for something which is bigger than you. Set goals. Whether professional, personal, financial or whatever it is. You must always look to achieve that thing you want to and once you get there, set a new goal and keep the process moving.
- Boost Endorphin levels and remain in the best shape mentally and physically-Never go more than 2 days without physical exercise. Devote at least 30-45 mins towards physical exercise or a sport or a walk whatever that might be.
- Boost Oxytocin and build a better relationship with people– do something socially which you don’t otherwise.Like cook for a bunch of people (friends, family etc.) Even if it is once a month. I try to this occasionally. This helps you to look at things from a completely different perspective. Over and above, the positive energy from this exercise is huge and it can be a very liberating experience.
- Cyber fast every once a while. Impossible? I know, I too need to do this more often. The sense of freedom is of another level. Start with a few hours and build it up if you can.
- Stay hydrated all the time. Lack of water impairs brain activity and may affect decision making.
- Record you wins and your losses. Reflect on them every now and then. This keeps you in check and helps you to plan your life ahead.
Start with these simple yet powerful rituals and I guarantee you will see a difference in your mental and physical self. Success and failure are slow processes. You are either growing and building on what you create or you’re decaying and becoming weak. All of this relates to the chemical balance inside our brain.
If you haven’t discovered your why yet,put that ‘i will get there no matter what’ gear on and go for it.No matter what situation you’re in, remember to do things that define your character. Will see you soon and until then, keep hustling! We lift; therefore, we are!