You have the ability to change things you don't like about yourself, and here is the simplest step to get you going: WRITE IT DOWN.
No need to talk about it to your mates, confess it to a priest or promise yourself that you'll start on Monday.
You need concrete evidence as to what is actually happening. Your diary is your best friend.
'I did NOT eat that much!?!', 'I know for a FACT I drink more water than that!', 'NO,NO, my stress levels at work are fine... I think...'
So, we get the point. What can we do?
Whatever you want
If I may borrow from Tony Riddles' Tribal Quest wheels for a moment, lets agree that we need our Physical, Social, Spiritual and Emotional needs met in order to be healthy, happy individuals.
So, grab a pen and paper, keep it with you, and start tracking whichever you feel you need to to adjust. Keep in mind that there are various apps available for free to help you, too. The likes of Jawbone help collect data on calories, sleep, walking distance etc. Don't be shy about taking responsibility. Nobody is going to do it for you, kiddo.
Food and Hydration - What. How much. When. How you felt after. What triggered the choice. You can get as detailed as you want here - Josephine Soap all the way to bodybuilders and athletes. Everyone should be tracking
Sleep - Time gone to bed, How long til you fell asleep. Time woke up. How many times you woke up during the night. How many times you needed to use the bathroom. Actual quality of sleep.
Bowel Movements - Amount. Timing. Stool consistency. Not to be sniffed at (couldn't resist, sorry), your bowel movements are a marker of health to be taken seriously.
Human Contact - This covers physical, social, spiritual (somewhat) and definitely emotional, as far I'm concerned. Here's an interesting fact I just made up...People are f@cking scared of being touched! We have become so distant that even eye contact has become something that can put some people on edge. How do we track this one? When was the last time you got a hug, a decent hug. Do you know we need on average 10 hugs a day. When was the last time you wrestled with someone, played rough - because you know even kids aren't allowed to play now, everyone's so worried about offending someone or being hurt. Make it an aim to get 10 hugs a day. Write down successes and fails and see if there's any patterns emerging that can be changed. Start small, one per day, and build.
Sunlight - Yes! I have had clients who work in a room with no windows. 9am til 5pm, 5 days a week! You have got to be kidding me!?!! Accounting, not even being Vampires. If I could only begin to talk about how important sunlight is, even is our Irish climes, I would be here til sunrise tomorrow.
Training - The most obvious one for those who are looking to improve. Crunch the numbers. Work the percentages. Monitor the energy levels. Test/Retest. Training diary is a must.
Fear based Movement - Like the above quote says. To really feel alive you have to face fear daily and overcome it. This is a crucial part of our physical and mental well being. Take a note to do one thing each day, however big or small, that puts you out of your comfort zone. You will thank yourself if you can apply this!
How many people were you around in a day. How long did you spend by yourself. What was that quality of companionship like. Did you feel part of something. A family. A tribe. Do you know your social status and are you happy with it. Are you respected. Do you feel bullied or under appreciated. Do you feel confident in social situations. Again, just the act of writing things down with honesty can have a huge impact on knowing what's wrong and what needs to be changed. You may not know how to change it yet, but knowing where to look is crucial. Here's a rule I have - If I wake up unhappy more than 1 day in a row I know something has to change. 1 day is generally enough, I have learned to sense things very quickly because I don't like anything getting in the way of my happiness. Learn to track things. Writing has a lot of power; more than just thoughts.
There are 7 basic spiritual needs. An easy way to have a diary for this would be to track the time you get to yourself to relax, in silence, and be mindful, meditate, breath. Whatever your preferred way to spend time is, it cannot be overlooked how important quiet time is for your health. Recognising that 1) If you're getting that time, and 2) If you know what to do with it.
Gratitude - Writing down 5 things you were grateful for today before you go to sleep is a tremendous practice for being thankful, mindful and grateful before going to sleep. It should also help you sleep sounder. If you are going to list things you were unhappy with, which is fine, once you have the intention of changing them, at least make sure the last thing you do before sleep is the gratitude diary, and that it outweighs the things that made you unhappy.
Emotional - Chart any emotion and see if any patterns emerge. Is happiness or sadness caused at a certain time, around a certain person etc. Is your own mind your saboteur? Are you lacking emotion? How easily are your emotions triggered. Are your emotions destructive or creative? How many emotions do you experience ie are you balanced? When was the last time you cried? And on, and on, and on...
There are just a couple of points I would love for you to take home from this
- START SMALL. PICK ONE THING AND BUILD
- IF IT'S FOOD, START WITH FIXING YOUR BREAKFAST.
- IF IT CAN BE FIXED BY GETTING RID OF SOMETHING (VIA NEGATIVA) THEN DO JUST THAT. YOU WILL DO MORE GOOD FOR YOURSELF BY GETTING RID OF THINGS THAT MAKE YOU UNHAPPY THAN ADDING THINGS TO TRY MAKE YOU HAPPY
- THERE IS NO WRONG WAY TO DO THIS, PICK SOMETHING AND STARTING MAKING NOTES
- IF YOU'RE STUCK FOR THE BEST APPROACH THEN GET IN TOUCH
- DO IT. YOU WILL BE SO SURPRISED WITH WHAT IS ACTUALLY THE REALITY AND YOU WILL BE AMAZED AT HOW MUCH YOU CAN CHANGE WHEN YOU BECOME AWARE.
Thank you for reading. Feedback is always welcome