Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about things that I do that don’t require a massive amount of attention or energy, but still help me to recover, be better, make progress, and get my head straight.
Let me explain. For example: Sauna, hot tub, mediation, breathe work, cold shower, and cold tub. Whether I’m directing my focus or down regulating for the evening, I’ve seen tremendous benefits from adding these practices into my routine. All of these recovery methods, though sometimes uncomfortable, require you to sit still and do nothing. You just need to be still and present in your environment, sit with those uncomfortable feelings, breathe, and let your body work through it. To win at this, all you have to do is nothing.
Another thing that falls into this category of things that don’t require a huge output from me is my diet. For anyone who’s unfamiliar with my current diet, right now I eat between 12-8 pm. I’ve been intermittent fasting for over a few years, and I’ve seen quite a few studies on the benefits here for weight loss, overall health, and even hormonal balance for some. This approach requires me to do way less than before: I think about food less, I waste less time figuring out meals, and I eat less overall. It’s also taught me how to listen. I eat when I’m hungry and not when I THINK I should eat.
Intermittent fasting isn’t a magic fix, it’s not a “hack.” It still comes down to calories in vs calories out, however I’ve learned that as I adjust the intake window, as a side effect, generally less calories are consumed throughout the day. Intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone. If you’re a smaller person with a high metabolism and little body fat, it’s probably not the most ideal approach, but it’s one that works for me.
The last thing… Is just simply paying attention. Listening is a lot easier when you’re not doing anything. Take the time to listen to who you’re with: Listen to your family, listen to your partner, and listen to your body. This requires some stillness to check in.
The concept of doing LESS... is something I’m working on. I’m not great at it. But, I know it can help me drastically improve in many ways.
Doing any of these things can lead me to that uncomfortable energy or anxiousness build up. By talking myself through it, I can try to keep these things quiet:
“We are fine.”
“Just sit and breathe.”
“Relax, all you have to do is nothing.”
Now, I know that this is a stark contrast to the kind of effort it takes to improve in the gym. I look at it this way: If I can’t commit to doing the beneficial things that require little to no effort, then how can I expect myself to have the discipline to do the hard things?
Give that thought process a try. See if it helps you learn how to be still. How to think clearer. And how to focus on the task at hand better.