Now the days are shorter, nights are longer. The time is perfect to slow down, consider our life, think about where we are going, plus what we want to be and accomplish… …except most of us never do that. 97% of the population never really considers how they want their life to play out.
We get up early already busy with work, family, and kids’ commitments (plus whatever time we put into our smartphones, TVs, and computers). No time is left except trying to scrounge out some sleep before we must get up early and do it again. Stressful… Sometimes we feel guilty because we never get a chance to make a meaningful change in our life. Maybe it’s to exercise a little- change your diet a little-get a little healthier and/or figure out how to get a little bit more sleep.
Here’s a $10,000 coaching tip for you: The starting point for all change is just to make a little time and then take a small action.
Making time means declaring you matter and just finding a 5-minute window to do something. It could be 3,5, 7 minutes; it doesn’t really matter. But just finding a crack in time to do a simple action makes a huge difference. Taking an action means just moving something forward in that little window of time you’ve created. Moving is the hard part; but once the ball is rolling it often keeps on going. It’s common to get stuck in analysis paralysis. How many times have you dedicated yourself to do something- but got stuck reading your emails, just clicking on your favorite website, or reading a news item? 20 minutes later and you’re still online. It happens to people all the time, but the “taking a small action” habit changes things, changes YOU, and creates momentum in the right direction. The starting point for all riches (wealth = feeling good) is to figure out what you want; really decide what is important, but only the top 3% ever do that. We let our boss or our spouse or the ads tell us what to drink or eat or what to think. Jim Rohn said “if you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you?”
Not much. Once you define health and what it means to you, you can save yourself stress by making time-even just 5 minutes to actually practice a skill leading to health and a better future.
Quality Fuel is Key. A sleek, $500,000 sports car needs carefully considered input to run in world-class fashion-including top fuel, quality air intake, an expertly tuned engine and a driver who knows where she’s going. It’s the same with humans. We take 22,000 daily breaths, eat food and hydrate. Without crystal clear direction-average results are today are poor. A premium health coach always recommends you take in quality, nutritional food to feel, look, act and perform your absolute best.
Often overlooked is breathing. What’s included in those 22,000 breaths every day?
Since the 1980s the Japanese having embraced “Shinrin-yoku” or Forest Bathing. Forest bathing is simply getting outside, breathing deeply and spending time with nature with no distractions. Could you do that for 5 minutes? Forest bathing is free-but overlooked in the US. Why take another bath?
Throughout thousands of years of human history people spent much of their time outside- to hunt, work, play, walk/ run, eat, drink, etc., Originally, they only went under a roof to get a good night’s sleep. Only in the last 200 years or so have most humans switched to spending most of their time indoors. Indoor air quality, often degraded by harmful chemicals and other materials, can be up to 10 times worse than outdoor air pollution. This is because contained areas enable potential pollutants to build up more than open spaces. Today, many people don’t get outdoors for more than a few seconds. Now millions of adults and children just plug into the computer, smartphone or TV for all their leisure time. The Environmental Protection Agency has identified indoor air as a potential health risk given the levels of indoor air pollution. Considering people spend 90 percent of their time indoors, poor quality of indoor air poses a greater health risk than the outdoor air for many, particularly for those who suffer from respiratory or cardiovascular disease. The Center for Disease Control and American Heart Association have identified getting outdoors as a health priority (with proper sunscreen protection strongly urged). Yes,it’s important to filter indoor air if possible.
The urban centric Japanese embraced forest bathing ecotherapy. It’s been a smashing success for their health. Research around the world shows this practice of getting outdoors generates several proven benefits: relieving stress, strengthening immunity, sharpening focus (solid ADHD therapy), enhanced short-term memory, great weight management results and increased longevity.
Forest bathing is not just for the wilderness- lover; the practice can be as simple as walking in any natural environment, filling your lungs and consciously connecting with what’s around you.
Get Healthy, Get Outdoors There is no one like you. You are irreplaceable and your life is worth millions more than an Italian race car. Make time today to venture outside and breathe in the health benefits of the outdoors. Replace time spent inside on electronic devices with a bike ride or a walk to a local park. Take up forest bathing, birdwatching, or gardening as a new hobby. Don’t forget outdoor recreation can be enjoyed alone or as a family. There’s no wrong way to get outside and so much to be gained by experiencing the natural world. Jump into the big outdoor tub and reconnect with nature. Your body, mind and family will thank you for it.
Mike Thompson is a health coach and writes about nutrition and amazing aging. He lives in Richmond Hill, is certified in exercise nutrition and founder of SelfCare Sustained. Reach him at MikeThompson@Self-CareSustained.com.