Podcast Episode #46
[00:00:00] Welcome to the Extraordinary Life Podcast from the creator of the Extraordinary Life Tribe, Crystal Obregon, the self-development podcast propelling you forward toward your goals, using science backed high performance habits. Reach the next level in your physical and mental health. See new heights in your relationships.
[00:00:18] Gain clarity on your purpose and live your extraordinary life. Welcome your host writer, speaker and coach, Crystal Obregon. Hi there. This is Crystal from Crystal Obregon Coaching with episode number 46 of the Extraordinary Life Podcast. Last week, I shared my progress on the 75 Hard challenge that I've been doing, and four ways to begin to discipline your mind, which is vital to accomplishing anything.
[00:00:52] I also shared that I had failed at some point during the challenge. And I started over [00:01:00] again. So most of us do know what we need to be successful, at least the basics. And if we're not succeeding, it's usually because we're not doing what we say we're going to do, or we're not following through. I talked about how disciplining yourself to have a good environment with a reasonable diet and regular exercise is important.
[00:01:26] It does affect your energy, but it's also a really good place to start with disciplining yourself. When that become second nature, I guess I would say then it can be time to investigate some practices that are more directly oriented toward mental development. But remember that everything you do is stretching the mind to some degree or another, whether it's diet, exercise, riding, or walking, but you also need to use the most direct methods.
[00:01:59] [00:02:00] And you also want to avoid patterns that do not expand your mind. Remember that it's like swimming in a river. You're either moving forward or moving backwards. You're never really staying in one place. The practices I'm going to share today are the best, if you really want to master your own personal psychology.
[00:02:24] So I'd like you to consider undertaking one or more of these practices, how often, and what intensity are really up to you and the season of life you're currently in, let's face it. If you have a little baby, then meditating, first thing in the morning is probably not going to work out for you. So the first of these practices is meditation.
[00:02:52] Ironically, after a few years of super consistent morning meditation, I've been much less [00:03:00] consistent these days. I'm trying to prioritize it again because I do notice its absence. Part of it is that I've worked some other things into my morning routine. And so I need to really just reconfigure and do what's really important.
[00:03:15] And for me, meditating in the morning is the best time to do it. Meditation simply involves sitting quietly and observing the movements of the mind. After a period of time, the mind starts to quiet down and becomes less frantic with consistent practice. You start to become less reactive to outside events.
[00:03:43] You're able to monitor and control your thoughts more efficiently. You don't really need anything to get started. Just something to time yourself with. 'cause you don't want to have to be looking at a clock or thinking about how long [00:04:00] it's been 15 or 20 minutes is a perfectly good amount of time to start with.
[00:04:06] I usually go up to about 30 minutes for me. That's what works and I like to do guided meditations. So you can just sit and just notice your breath. I like to do the guided meditations because it gives me a focus. I usually use the Chopra app or, um, there are also some good ones on the calm app and I think there's insight timer.
[00:04:33] There, there are really a lot of tools available to us lately. If you just want some help into getting into that frame of. I did write more extensively about meditation a few years ago. And the link to that will be in the show notes. If you want to read more about my take on meditation and what it does.
[00:04:57] The second practice is yoga. [00:05:00] And please note that all of these are practices. That means that you practice it mastery isn't really ever expected. So yoga is a practice of body movements involving the breath, concentration, balance, flexibility, and physical stress. When the movements are executed in a particular fashion, you do come into a flow state.
[00:05:27] The coordination of concentration breathing and physical exertion is perfect for subduing the mind, because it's often not possible to really achieve the poses while the mind is active, as it gets in the way. Yoga is best when it becomes a regular habit that doesn't really require your conscious thought.
[00:05:55] And I also have a blog that I did on [00:06:00] yoga quite a number of years ago. I will put that in the show notes because I do have some beginning poses that you can go through. I think I have a 15 minute and a 30 minute that you can start with. So the third practice is mindfulness and it is related to the other two.
[00:06:22] Mindfulness can take many forms and there is a wide variety of mindfulness practices. Mindfulness really involves just being aware at regular intervals throughout the day. Right? Because we go through the day and often. You could be doing the dishes and thinking about something else you could be walking and thinking about something else or cooking.
[00:06:48] We are very much a multitasking society. If you can completely focus on what you are doing. So when you're doing the dishes, you're just doing the dishes. When [00:07:00] you're eating breakfast, you're just eating breakfast. What you do is you become aware of just how often you're not thinking about what you're doing and how it contributes to feeling scattered and overwhelmed.
[00:07:15] Even taking a break from work for just a couple of minutes and focusing on your breath can be incredibly calming some number of years ago. Probably around 10, I can't believe time flies a friend and I took an eight week mindfulness based stress reduction class based on the work of Jon Kabat. Zinn research has shown that mindfulness can have a measurable impact on your health.
[00:07:47] And he did a lot of work in Massachusetts at a hospital with. Coming up with really that scientific research and the practice of it. If there's a class near [00:08:00] you, he has a lot of trained people that teach these classes. Now I would highly recommend signing up for one at some point, because it can have a great impact on anybody's health, but especially if you are going through health challenges, he's shown that it's a good thing to add in along.
[00:08:20] Some of the more traditional treatments. The fourth practice is concentration. I'm sure you're noticing a theme here. So many of us, myself included have a decreased ability to concentrate. I think smartphones probably have a lot to do with it. They're designed to keep our attention, which means our attention often isn't on what's going around us.
[00:08:48] And there are a lot of other things too, that that are grabbing our attention. Awareness is the first step that. There are many techniques [00:09:00] to increase your concentration. For example, you could focus on a candle flame for five minutes a day. You can also focus on the top of your nose or on your breath.
[00:09:14] And most spiritual practitioners recommend no longer than 10 minutes of intense concentration on anything. According to scientific research, we actually can't concentrate intensely for longer than that. The last of the practices that I'm going to talk about is really any practice that you undertake with passion or intensity.
[00:09:42] If you can find something you're passionate about, then you can continue to focus on that with single-minded intensity. This can include painting, singing, dancing, playing a musical instrument, martial arts, [00:10:00] creating a business or anything that you can give a hundred percent of your mental attention towards when you're doing something that you're passionate about.
[00:10:11] You don't have time to energize negative thoughts or emotions because all of your resources are aimed towards that one particular activity. This is one of the most effective ways to control the mind and remove distractive or destructive tendencies. But unless you're really passionate about something, it can be difficult to develop the concentration and willpower to see it through.
[00:10:40] That's why most people give up on new year's resolutions after the initial phase. So pick one of these habits to try or practices to try at least once a day. So meditation or yoga or [00:11:00] mindfulness, or one of the concentration practices, or bring more life back into something you're already passionate about it.
[00:11:11] And try to do it at least once a day, consistency is important when trying to create a habit. I found that doing the three or four day a week thing doesn't really work for me because then there really is always the excuse. Oh, I'll just do it tomorrow. And that can be one of my days. So I'd love to hear if any of these are already part of your regular routine, please do message me on social media or email [email protected].
[00:11:46] And let me know, I'd love to hear about your experience. That's it for now. Good luck and have a great rest of your day. And I'll see you in here next week. Bye for [00:12:00] now. Thank you for listening to the Extraordinary Life Podcast with writer and coach, Crystal Obregon. We'd love to connect with you outside of the podcast, too.
[00:12:09] To find more helpful insights, show notes and more about Crystal. Go to Crystal Obregon.com. O B R E G O N, where you will also find info for the Design Your Decade workshop. This workshop will help you to stop drifting and start creating. Until next time be extraordinary.