The Three Pillars of Strength
Challenge yourself to understand and actively practice the three pillars of strength. Be stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally. Without all three strengths working in unison, you may find yourself out of balance. Having strength in all three areas helps to ensure you're leading a healthy and fulfilling life. Come out stronger this year by identifying your weaknesses and incorporating the three pillars of strength into your every day life.
Being physically strong isn't just about having big muscles. Sure, a defined physique is an added bonus, but physical strength means housing a body that allows you to comfortably be active. Can you run after your kids without catching your breath? Can you easily hike three miles? Are you able to meet the physical demands of your job? It's important to remember that physical strength comes in all shapes and sizes. Find out what being physically strong means to you and how you would like to build upon that strength in 2020.
Food for Thought
Have a plan of action. Identify what you are trying to accomplish and create a game plan. For example, if you want to lift heavier, your game plan might look similar to this: Join a gym, have a weekly exercise schedule, create specific workout routines, and a set timeline of goals.
Building strength takes time. Many times when we try something new and we don't get the results we want immediately, we give up. Building muscle or being able to run long distances takes time and persistence. Put in the work, but be patient.
Eat according to your goals. You are what you eat. Your diet should be in line with your fitness goals. Bulking up means eating more protein and carbs. Losing weight means eating a well-balanced diet and burning more calories than you consume.
Don't sit down! When you get home from work, your first priority should be to change into your gym clothes. If you sit down on the couch it could immediately be game over. After you change clothes, get out of the house as soon as possible. In order for exercise to happen you have to make it a priority, that's why it's so important to get it done first. Once you get back from the gym, resume your nightly schedule. If you can manage to hit the gym immediately after work, that's ideal, because then nothing stands between you and a workout.
Being mentally strong means staying in control of your mind. When a situation arises you stay focused and deal with the problem in a calm and productive way. How do you know if you're mentally strong? In all honesty, mental health is complicated. If you feel like you're struggling mentally, then by all means consider talking to a counselor. If you feel pretty good about your current mental state, but sometimes feel unsure, here's a few questions to ask yourself: Do you feel a sense of accomplishment and productivity at the end of each week? Are you able to easily deal with and get past a conflict? Can you overcome an unexpected challenge? Mental strength varies greatly and can range from being able to achieve simple daily tasks to having self control in a number of areas.
Food for Thought
Organize your priorities. Be realistic with yourself and what you can get done in a day. By breaking down tasks into daily goals, it helps you not get overwhelmed. Separate work and personal tasks. Know what you have to accomplish at work each day, but also have a plan of action when you get home. Delegate tasks to yourself, such as making a trip to the grocery store, helping your kids with homework, or washing a load of laundry.
Quit talking yourself out of taking action. For a lot of people the hardest part of productivity is showing up or starting a task. For example, you don't want to go to the gym, but once you're actually there it's not that bad. Your mind is your most powerful ally and sometimes your worst enemy. Next time you try to talk yourself out of going to the gym, try this: Instead of saying, "I don't feel like going," Reword it and say, "It's not a priority to me." This phrase can work for a variety of circumstances you try to avoid.
Choose your friends wisely. Who you choose to associate with can either uplift and encourage a positive mind-set or be detrimental to your mental health. Surround yourself with a circle of family and friends that have your best interest at heart and provide you with a security blanket of love and empowerment.
Take an actual break, literally! With technology at our fingertips we're in a constant state of stimulation. If you want to know an answer to a question, you ask Google. If you want to talk to a friend, you text them. If you want to hear a song, you turn to YouTube. Our brains are overstimulated to the point of mental exhaustion. Take 10 minutes every day to just close your eyes, relax your mind, and be self-aware.
Being emotionally strong is having the ability to effectively manage your emotions with the stress of every day life. As the saying goes, 10% of life is what happens to you, and 90% is how you react to it. Staying in control of your emotions is an integral part of your overall mental health. During a stressful time, are you able to stay calm and collected, or do you easily get derailed with anger and depression? Emotional strength is all about knowing your stress triggers and how to deal with them when they arise. Keeping your stress levels down through relaxation and your favorite methods of self-care is essential to your overall emotional well-being.
Food for Thought
Think before you speak. Easier said than done, but a lot of times we act on emotion and not logic. When someone upsets you, instead of blurting out word vomit and regretting it later, try this: breathe in deeply, count to five, and take another second or two to gather your thoughts. Proceed calmly with the conversation.
Talk out issues in person. With a million modes of communication these days, we like to take the easy way out by texting or emailing. Speaking with someone in person means you can show them your sincerity. It also gives you the chance to view their reaction and body language. Nothing gets left unsaid and the problem has a much greater chance of getting nipped in the bud.
Your mantra for 2020 should be positive vibes. Taking time for self-care is vital to keeping yourself emotionally in check and aware.
Reiki is a method of spiritual and emotional healing through touch. A practitioner uses their palms to transfer positive energy to their patient. This method allows you to go into deep relaxation by aiding in the flow of energy, similar to acupuncture. Improving the flow of energy can help with relaxation, pain reduction, and symptoms of other illnesses. During a Reiki session, a fully-clothed patient will sit or lay comfortably on a chair or table. The practitioner places their hands lightly over specific areas of the body, allowing the transfer of energy. The session lasts between 15 and 90 minutes. There is no scientific evidence to prove the effectiveness of Reiki, however many people who have tried it, says it works. Give it a try, you never know, Reiki could be your newfound relaxation method.