Tiny Things Can Have A Huge Impact
Last week was an interesting week. I was woken-up early on Tuesday morning with a pain in one of my toes on my right foot. With bleary eyes, I turned on the lamp to inspect my painful toe and saw a deep, red cut on the flesh between the bottom of my toe and the main part of my foot. This wasn’t an unfamiliar problem as I used to run in bare foot, glove-like, running shoes which I loved, but one of the prices to pay was this cut toe condition.
But I hadn’t had the problem for ages, had abandoned my five finger running shoes years ago, and couldn’t understand why it was there.
Then I did something which I wouldn’t recommend. At 2.30am in the morning, I decided to consult Dr Google to see what he had to say about cuts on toes. 30 minutes later, I’d become ‘the foot cut expert’ and knew all about how cuts on the foot can indicate all kinds of very serious conditions, the symptoms of which I started to experience!
I tell you this story to illustrate how something so small and seemingly insignificant can create a huge negative impact. The mind is a powerful thing and my toe story, which fortunately is on the path to healing, demonstrates how we can conjure up fictional stories in our minds that create fear and panic that pushes us out of EQUILIBRIUM if we allow them to.
Yes, life throws challenges at us all of the time, but the more skilled and tooled we are, then the quicker we can pull ourselves up, deal with the issues and inevitable set backs so that we can get back into a state of EQUILIBRIUM and keep moving forward, enjoying the interesting journey that we call ‘life’.
Right now, we’re all going through massive disruption and set backs to our everyday lifestyles. Whatever your perspective and situation, my guess is that economic recession, a global pandemic, lockdowns, mandatory mask wearing, race riots and bush fires were not part of your 2020 plans.
Whilst these are all traumatic events with a ’T’, the traumatic impact on many of us is often felt with a small ’t’. Having to stay home, not being able to get home, losing your job, having to wear a mask, worrying about the future are all traumas with a ‘t’ that puts constant pressure on our nervous system and the cells of our bodies which impacts our resilience, our wellbeing and our EQUILIBRIUM.
One thing I have learnt in my own life is that you are the lynchpin of your world and therefore the most important person in your world is you. If you allow yourself to wear out, you can’t be there for others and your whole world will suffer.
But whilst that sounds obvious in theory, what can you do in practice to Find EQUILIBRIUM, that highly personal state that enables us to feel at peace, to feel connected, and to be the best version of the person we can be? When we are are in EQUILIBRIUM, everything flows, we feel in control, can make good decisions and do our best work.
Below are some general tips, but the one caveat is that whilst we are all connected, we are also individuals with different genetics, lifestyles, and environments which means that one size does not fit all. Research shows that the better you understand yourself, the better you’ll be able to optimise your lifestyle habits to support yourself through the challenges and opportunities that come your way.
1. Be Mindful and get your body from Fight/Flight to EQUILIBRIUM.
A state of constant worry, stress and fear is not health promoting and there are sustainable techniques that you can employ to help you move from this state of “fight/flight” to EQUILIBRIUM. Our EQu System of mindfulness focuses on helping you quickly get into a state of reset so that you can make better decisions. Having spent years learning the hard way on the front-lines running global teams through the ups and downs of business cycles, the core of our belief is that transformation starts by taking baby steps and doing tiny changes consistently, until they become solid habits. If mindfulness interests you, then do check out Chibs Okereke’s 7 day mindfulness challenge which you can sign-up for here.
2. Identify your energy vampires.
If the energy running through our lives is like cashflow, that means that we start each day with a new balance. Just like cashflow, the activities we do during a single day will either positively or negatively impact our energy. And there are lots of things that zap huge amounts of energy. Sean Hall, the founder and CEO of human performance company, Energx, calls these zappers, ‘energy vampires’, that could manifest themselves as other people, tasks we just don’t want to do, unhealthy lifestyle habits such as poor sleep, highly refined foods, excessive alcohol, drugs. Now, I’m not saying don’t do these things. No. I’m saying, do these knowing the price that you’ll be paying. Financial debt has to be paid back at some point, and an energy debt has to also be paid back, often in the form of burnout, exhaustion or a chronic condition.
3. Manage your mindset.
Believe it or not, the news is not designed to help you feel good. As humans we are preconditioned to seek out the negative so that we can feel safe, and the news channels know that negative headlines will attract your most precious resource, your attention. But it’s not going to make you feel good, so limit your consumption of news, be extremely selective of the sources of news that you tap into, and develop the habit of feeding your mind with uplifting, energy-inducing motivational books and podcasts.
4. Manage your gut health.
The link between our gut health and our mindset is becoming more widely understood through science, connecting the dots between ancient wisdoms such as the ancient Indian science of life system, Ayurveda, and western genetics and science. This is a very exciting area of research and you can create your own scientific experiment by upgrading your food quality to include more fibre-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, seasonal fruits; adding a probiotic, taking steps to improve your sleep and reducing the amount of toxins in your body. I know that this all can seem easier said than done, so here are a few resources that can really help you to make significant upgrades and Find EQUILIBRIUM:
- If you’re a nutrition geek like me and you’d like to educate yourself on ways to support your gut health, something I can’t recommend enough is Dr Peter Dingle’s new membership programme. Dr Dingle eats up the scientific research and will really support you in a highly entertaining way to make good choices for your gut health which will impact your overall mental and physical health.
- If you want to shop for toxic-free cleaning products, personal care products and dry food products with the confidence that every product on the platform has been vetted by a panel of wellness experts, then do check out the Inner Origin platform, a curated wellness e-commerce offering that brings together 100s of products from established and emerging providers.
- If you’re interested in taking natural herbs, then I recommend my friend Benjamin Haynes, a holistic practitioner and the founder and director of the Medicine Man Sydney. Benjamin really knows his stuff and consults with clients around the world via zoom.
5. Meld with nature, or as Joseph Campbell put it: “Make your nature match nature”.
Nature will always be your teacher and give you clues of how you should run your burn rate. If your burn rate is out of sync with the natural environment around you, that’s typically when you get sick. Healthy habits that can support living in harmony with nature include:
- Getting more grounded by putting your bare feet on the grass or the beach to connect your body to the earth’s natural vibrations.
- Going outside and feeling the sunlight on your skin in all weathers
- Putting boundaries around device usage
- Moving your body everyday in a way that feels natural to you.
There are many other techniques that can help too, and I refer your EQUILIBRIUM: the Total Wellbeing and Resilience Guide.
Available now in three parts focused on a different aspect of Total Wellbeing, EQUILIBRIUM brings together the collective voices from amazing leaders drawn from different parts of the health and wellness and business world. The latest issue focuses on Connection. Connection is a huge topic and covers social wellbeing and relationships with other people, but also with nature, with pets, with work and with ourselves. In truth, everything is interconnected – as my cut toe story illustrated, our thoughts impact our mood, our mood impacts our vagus nerve which influences our gut micro biome which is also influenced by many other things.
You can download it for free here.
Specifically in this issue, you’ll learn:
✔ How to harness technology to create more impact
✔ How mindfulness can combat racism
✔ Ways to build deep connections to other people
✔ The power of pets on wellbeing
✔ The gifts and lessons we can get from Loss
✔ The relevance of Astrology in modern times
✔ How to find your Purpose
✔ How to identify your personal Superpowers
✔ The power of stories
It’s a great issue, I hope you enjoy it and, as always, many, many thanks to our contributors for sharing their knowledge and wisdom to help you Find EQUILIBRIUM.