December 19, 2014

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The Mindfulness Way to Improving Your Health

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The year 2014 was known as the year when mindfulness became vogue. Many trainings in this mind-body strategy has popped up all over. Yet, it’s something that has been around for many generations and even well over a thousand years. In fact, being mindful was very prevalent in ancient times. Being aware of nature and what it offered was the difference between starving, living or dying.

Today, we don’t have much to worry in that realm. Rarely do we get to experience nature in its true form. We don’t have to hunt and gather. We’re not facing wild animals, unless you’re thinking of that barking dog down the street or the squirrels in your trees. Life is much different today. Still, our brains will still react to modern circumstances as if it’s facing danger from a mountain lion or a pack of wolves.

Our health suffers every time our brain sends a signal to activate adrenaline when faced with mental stress. We go into fight, flight or freeze mode, depending on our base operating system on a given situation. This same response affects the most important nerve in our body, the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is responsible for our digestion system, our breathing, our heart rate, our blood pressure and many other functions from the neck down.

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We have control over the vagus nerve more than we ever thought possible. In turn, we can control our vital body functions, once thought impossible.

This is where mindfulness comes in handy. It’s the great stress-reliever. It helps us to be more self-aware of our inner and outer world. Mindfulness is the opposite of mindlessness. Today, we seem to have moved more towards the latter rather than the former. We’ve become a mindless world. More and more people are hooked on their smart devices, unaware of the world around them. Heck, they are mostly unaware of what is going inside them as well. Such is the calamity of modern life.

Health suffers more and more. Sadly, it is estimated that today’s young people may live shorter lives than their parents. After generations of progressive increases in the life span, we’re now on the verge of a decline. Obesity is part of the problem and so is stress.

Now is the time to be more self-aware. Mindfulness is the remedy. It allows one to know what is going on inside their bodies. It helps to activate the vagus nerve in a positive way. When you’re mindful, your health improves. In fact, it’s been shown to have a positive effect on reducing obesity as well as stress.

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Let me challenge you to increase your awareness of your body and then the outside world. Notice your breathing. I mean really notice it. Notice how you breathe in through your nose and the air filling your lungs. Imagine that air going all the way to your abdominal area with a slow, deep breath. Then feel it as you exhale through your mouth. Notice your heart rate slow down as you take these slow, deep breaths. Notice your gut feeling much better and the strain on your shoulders go away.

Keep focused on this process and keep doing it as much as possible. Eventually it will become second nature. I guarantee that your health will improve when you consistently do that process.

Next, notice your outer world. Keep present focused. This simply means existing in the moments mentally. Disregard any intrusive thought and only be aware of what is going on around you. Notice details as well as taking in the whole. Use every single sensory inputs in your body, especially those of sight, touch and sound.

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Do that process in addition to the inner world awareness. Be mindful instead of mindless. Do this when you eat, when you’re at work, when you’re at play or anywhere else. Your whole outlook will start to change. Fear starts to wane and life truly comes back. Now, enjoy the rest of your life in a more mindful way.

Cheers,

Bob Choat, “Transformational Master Black Belt” Black_belt.svg-sm
America’s #1 Mind-Body Transformation Expert and author of Mind Your Own Fitness

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December 14, 2014

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3 Ways to Keep Fit During the Holidays (and afterwards)

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It’s that time of year folks! Every year we go through the holidays. Family get-togethers abound. One thing I’ve noticed is that physical activity slows down. This is troublesome from my perspective since it’s been slowing down quite a bit over the years. During the holidays it accelerates and then very slowly picks up after […]

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December 12, 2014

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Give Your Wishbone a Backbone

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On St. Patrick’s Day each year many people tend to look for good luck through using a four-leaf clover. The person who carries horseshoe or rabbit’s foot is certain to be lucky through their life. Though, the horse the threw the shoe or the rabbit that lost it’s foot certainly wouldn’t think so. Wishing and […]

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December 8, 2014

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3 Keys to Focusing on What Really Matters to YOU!

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I remember when I was young and my father wanted me to do what he thought I should do in life. I think most people have been down this same road. Others telling us what we should be doing and not what we really want to do. Sure, what we do should enable us to […]

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December 5, 2014

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Fitness is Everywhere: 5 Keys to Having a Movement Lifestyle

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I believe that 2015 will be the age of using the outdoor environment as the gym. No longer are we restricted to a single location or stuck on indoor fitness equipment. For decades we’ve left the great outdoors and ventured back inside for exercise. What the heck happened to those of us that used to […]

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December 3, 2014

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Get Into Total Fitness by Expanding Your Realm

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I recall the old saying, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” In the health and fitness realm it is so true. When I was bodybuilding, all I saw were exercises that helped me to get bigger. When was a power-lifter, all I focused on was to get stronger in […]

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November 23, 2014

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Centered, Awareness, Flow: The 3 Keys For Health, Happiness and Success

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Speed! That is the name of game in today’s world and those that aren’t fast lose, right? Wrong. Sure, in business it’s important for certain processes to be fast. Yet, when humans are running the show and are hurrying up, there are a number of errors being made. We are not mechanical beings or robots. […]

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November 19, 2014

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Simplifying Your Fitness to Get and Stay Fit…

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For years I’ve seen a number of gadgets, programs and so forth that has confused me as well as others. Every time I hear of a “new” program, it really makes me mad. I’m not saying that they are good or bad. It’s just that many will believe that the newness is the only way. […]

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November 15, 2014

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Making Molehills Out of Mountains… Reaching Large Goals Step-by-Step

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The daunting tasks ahead. For many people the thought of getting started towards something huge tends to stop them in their tracks. When we are overwhelmed by the tasks that are before us, many will stop. Inertia sets in and stays at rest. When we’re looking at the big mountain, we may think to ourselves, […]

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November 9, 2014

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Casting the Cloud of Doubt Away by Changing Your Focus

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Negativity, doubt and problems get in our way of making our dreams a reality. We doubt our abilities and skills. Even many so-called successful people have their share of personal doubts. What we see as a problem doesn’t really exist, except in the recesses of your mind. Life will always throw challenges at us. It’s […]

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