Don't Knock It 'Til You Try It: 4 Crazy Habits That Can Boost Your Health
Crazy is as crazy does. Or is it?
Getting shaken up on the daily helps me keep my mind and body fresh.
Bosses demand out-of-the-box thinking, lovers want you to experiment and friends push you to be more adventurous. But, what about pushing yourself for you in subtle, crazy ways?
I love having my own little secret rituals that perhaps could be deemed crazy by others, but luckily no one will have to witness it because it's on my own time and on my own dime.
Below are four slightly crazy rituals that have done wonders for my mind, my body and my spirit:
1. Talk to your fat lovingly.
Everyone tells you not to talk about being fat, or to shame your body for being fat. Fat talk is bad!
I agree. Shaming is ridiculous, completely unproductive and can damage not only yourself but those who have to listen to it day after day.
A recent study published by the Psychology of Women Quarterly found that 93 percent of college-aged women engaged in this type of fat talk, and a third engaged regularly. It's boring to talk about being fat.
Instead, it's important to recognize that we have fat, and it is good for us. No one can have 0 percent body fat without being seriously nutritionally deprived.
But, instead of ignoring our fat, why not talk to it? Why not turn that "fat talk" into real fat talk? After all, the first step is to acknowledge it exists before you're able to tackle the problem.
"Hey, little fat molecules. I love you. You're so cute and dimply! You've been hanging around my belly for a bit, but I think it's time for you to move somewhere slightly less harmful. Wanna take a trip?"
Fat molecules around the stomach are not healthy, so let's get them moving!
According to Harvard, "Visceral fat (aka stomach fat) has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery."
The bad kind of fat may need some loving and some encouragement every once in a while, too. Plus, it'll make you laugh, and laughing always makes you happier.
2. Massage your stomach at night.
Being massaged is one of my favorite modes of pampering. However, it's difficult to do by yourself! Luckily, your stomach is well within reach and is quite easy to do.
And some of the benefits? Elimination of toxins, improved digestion, relief of anxiety and strengthening of abdominal muscles. What do you have to lose?
Warm your hands by rubbing them together briskly. Lie on your back. Start from the belly button and move outwards in a clockwise circular motion making larger and larger circles.
The Chinese have been doing this for years.
3. Minimize your stuff.
This is a tricky one because we are taught that the more we have, the better people we are, right? Well, what if the opposite were true? What if the less stuff you had, the freer, better and more healthy you became? What if without stuff, you became more financially, emotionally and spiritually liberated?
I recently read about these guys who call themselves The Minimalists. One of their rules? If you can buy something in 20 minutes for $20 or less, you shouldn't own it. After all, you're not a Costco or a Walmart!
So I recently did this.
I live in a tiny apartment in London, and came here with eight suitcases worth of stuff.
After two years of living here, I have even more stuff, and it's cumbersome to lug all of that stuff across continents.
So I got rid of eight bags of stuff: anything that reminded me of bad moments, that I hadn't worn in over a year or that I was holding onto "just in case" something happened.
For example, I had 15 various plugs, "Just in case I had a guest over who needed one," and I kept an entire drawer full of free shampoos and conditioners that I had kept for years, "Just in case I needed to fly somewhere and couldn't check my luggage."
First of all, no one will die without a cord and second of all, where would I be going that wouldn't have shampoo or conditioner I could buy?
My life feels simpler already. I must admit, the hardest thing for me was throwing out some old journals; I had held onto them for so long. However, as writer Elizabeth Gilbert so eloquently puts it, "Don't let your home become a museum to grief."
4. Do a power pose before a presentation or a meeting with your boss.
There are sluggish days. There are days when perhaps you would prefer to crawl into a ball rather than have a major presentation in front of 150 suits or talk to your boss about spending across your region. What if there were a way to become more powerful in two minutes?
Amy Cuddy describes how in her Ted Talk, which I'm sure many of you have seen. However, have you actually tried it?
I have, and I swear it's why people listen to me. Sometimes I go into the bathroom before a big presentation and I either do a Wonder Woman or a Superman.
A Wonder Woman (sometimes known as the Peter Pan) is a pose with legs standing wider than shoulder-width apart and hands on hips.
However, I prefer the Superman. This one really gets the power enzymes flowing. It involves both arms straight above the head, with hands flexed upward and legs just like Wonder Woman. Now I'm ready to take on the world!
Do you feel the power?
What are some of the craziest things you do in the name of health?