The Live Today With Faith letter — Life lessons

Dear Reader,

This blog post is going to be the first in a long series of posts in which I will attempt to communicate to you a lot of the important things I have learned in the last 40+ years.

I am going to try to teach you what I have learned about spirituality, getting and staying healthy, how to get along with people, and, in general, how to have a good life without getting yourself all screwed up.

Well, anyway, this all leads me to the first and most important thing I want to write about, which is improving and maintaining your health and physical fitness.

I’ll have a lot more to say about this subject later, but today I just want to “warm-up” a little bit and tell you a few good ideas that you can start using every day.

The first thing I want to talk about is “road work”.

Road work is walking, jogging and running. And, in my opinion, you should do about one hour of road work every day of the week except Sunday.

I believe the best time to do your road work is right after you get out of bed.

In fact, in my opinion, the best groove to get into is getting out of bed, (early) wash your face, brush your teeth, use the bathroom, etc., and then, eat a piece of fruit (I think a banana is the best) and then hit the street!

That’s it.

Just get out that front door and start moving. Walk, run, jog. Keep moving for about a half-hour and then turn around and come back. You know, I do believe this is the very best way in the world to start the day.

It cleans you out, it settles you down, and it gives you a beautiful glow that will stay with you throughout the day. It will also make you more clearheaded and improve the quality of your thinking.

The benefits are enormous and, believe me if you start doing this right away (like the day after you read this post!) it won’t be long at all till you become positively addicted to your early morning workout.

By the way, this addiction is not just psychological. It is a real honest-to-God drug addiction.

But don’t let that scare you.

This is what’s known as a positive addiction. A positive addiction is simply being addicted to something (like exercise) that improves the quality of your life. A negative addiction, on the other hand, is being addicted to something (like cigarettes) that lowers the quality of your life.

What happens when you do road work is that, after about forty minutes, your brain begins to secrete what some people refer to as “survival chemicals”.

The names of these chemicals, as far as I know, are beta-endorphins and norepinephrine.

Some people say these chemicals are 200 times more potent than morphine and without any frame for reference, all I can say is, nothing comes close to the mental clarity I have after some road work.

All negative thoughts are gone. Solutions to problems come rushing into my mind. I’m relaxed, calm and happy. If I seem to be going on and on about this, it is because it is so important, and it is something you can do right away!

And, actually, of everything I have learned about in my entire life, this stuff about doing road work the first thing in the morning is very close to being the most important thing of all, when it comes to mental and physical health.

So, I hope you get started on this morning road work program as soon as you read this post. If you challenge yourself to keep it up for 30 days I guaranteed that you will be happier and healthier than you have been in years.

I also hope it becomes a habit for the rest of your life.

I wish you Good Luck!

RJM

6 Steps How to Stop Worrying

You’ve attended the interview it seemed to go well, but you’re waiting with worry to hear back from them. You had an extra slice of cake with your afternoon tea and you’re worried if it was one too many for the waistline you’re watching.

Or maybe you’re about to go have a nice evening out with your friends and you’re worried whether it will rain. The common denominator in all these things is that you’re worrying about things you can’t change – so stop worrying!

You’ve already attended the interview so you’ve done what you can to get the job. You’ve already eaten the cake so there’s no point beating yourself up for it when it’s already in the tummy. And the weather is uncontrollable so worrying about isn’t going to change it.

How often do you worry about things you can’t change?

Probably a few times a day – if not more. This creates unnecessary additional stress for both your body and mind, and also prevents the joy and enjoyment you can experience today.

Matthew 6:25-26
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

 

So it’s time you learned to stop worrying. Let’s start by looking at what research has said about worrying in general:

  • About 85% of the things we worry about never happen.
  • If what we worry about does happen, 80% of us said we handled the outcome better than we thought we would.
  • People who let go of worries instead of stressing over them are much healthier than those who don’t.

So how do you let go of this worrying that sometimes drives you crazy – especially when you’re worrying about things you have no control over?

Try the six strategies below to stop worrying once and for all – there’ll be a time and a place for each of them.

call a friend

Number One – Call a friend to talk about your worry.

Talking about your worry will help you get your head straight about whether your worry is realistic, worth worrying about, and something you can actually do anything about.

It will help you understand that there’s no point worrying about it if the outcome is out of your hands. Talking will offload some of the weight you carry around.

prayering-image

Number Two – Time with God.

Learning to take time each with God. Being aware of His presence through prayer and stillness will help you keep your mind focused on what you’re doing now rather than worrying about things you can’t change.

Even 10 minutes of sitting down just focusing on your breathing, has been shown to reduce everyday stress.

Number Three – Accept uncertainty & learn to thrive in it.

The beauty of life is in how unpredictable it is – you never quite know what’s around the corner! Learn to embrace this uncertainty and thrive in it. Who knows, it could even bring some exciting new opportunities you never even thought about. Put your heart and soul into the things you care about, and work hard on achieving your dreams. That’s all you can do. The rest is up to God.

distract3

Number Four – Distract yourself with another activity.

Really can’t seem to get it out of your head? Go do something completely unrelated and different that forces you to focus on something else. This is most effective if you choose an activity that you get fully immersed in, such as practicing your hobby or reading an exceptional book.

For example, I’m able to escape the world when I take my dog for a walk in the forest – just spending time with him takes my mind away from other things.

exerise

Number Five – Exercise!

Doing some kind of exercise you enjoy will give you a break from your worries whilst reducing the levels of your stress hormones, stimulating the production of feel-good brain chemicals, and improving your self-image.

If you’re struggling to get your mind to be quiet during exercise, put some music on in your headphones or push yourself even harder. When you challenge your body you will need to focus so you won’t be able to worry about anything else other than the exercise itself.

writing

Number Six – Have a designated worry time and worry notebook.

If you really want to take control of those worries and you’re finding that the above strategies don’t work, allow yourself to worry for a certain time period every day.

Spend time writing about all your worries in that notebook, and accept that when the time is up, the worrying has to stop. That way you will get them out of your head and onto paper, which research has shown is very effective in clearing your mind.

If you’re at least able to stop worrying about things you can’t change, you will be able to reduce your stress levels and boost your positive emotions. For the things you can change, do something about them, fight your worry with action!

For the things you can’t change, have a play with these six strategies and see how you get on with letting go of your worries!

Enjoy your weekend.

Rev J Martin