(00:00): You're listening to the live happier, longer podcast episode 71
(00:15): Welcome to the live happier, longer podcast. This podcast is equal parts, information, inspiration, education and motivation, all dedicated to increase longevity and improving overall quality of life. I'm your host, Molly Watts, and I'm here to help you build the habits of a happier longer life. Let's get started.
(00:39): Well, hello. Hello, hello my friends. I have to first tell you that this is take two of episode number 71 I recorded it all a couple of days ago and send it off to my editor and then got it back and realized that it sounded really weird. I don't know what I did, but I did not. I did not record correctly, so I'm back at it. It's a beautiful sunny day, which I actually talked about in the first rendition. Was it that I was anticipating it being a sunny day today and it is, and you know, let's call a spade a spade. I wanted it to be sunny. I really wanted it and sit back. I would've said that I kind of needed it to be sunny. And as I've mentioned before, even though I know that my thoughts create my feelings, it is definitely easier for me to think better thoughts and therefore feel butter in sunny weather.
(01:37): So I'm super excited that it's a beautiful day here. It's supposed to hit 70 degrees, might hit 70 degrees again tomorrow, and that is pretty exciting stuff. So this episode is all about how to feel better now. And I want to ask you, how are you holding up during this very surreal time of coven 19 I'll be honest, I was kind of all over the place last week. I had moments of, you know, feeling great and then followed by really awful moments when I just wanted to curl up in a little ball and hide under the covers. I kept wanting to wake up and think, okay, this is a dream. This is over. I'm sure I'm not the only one that felt like that. And because I know all about this mind managing stuff, I've learned about it over the last year. I did take the time to really look at what I was doing and how I was, you know, what I was feeling and take the time to really investigate the thoughts that I was having and some of the actions that I was taking during the week.
(02:41): Some of the things that were working for me and things that were really not working. And I wanted to share those with you because I think in terms of feeling better right now during this pandemic, it's important to hear about things that are useful and might help you feel better too. So I want to first say that I am not a mental health professional. I'm not a counselor or a psychologist by training. So I make no claims about helping you if you are truly experiencing some mental health challenges, I would tell you to still seek medical attention and professional help. But I am a student of the brain and I've invested a lot of time and money into understanding self coaching and mind management. And like a lot of people for most of my life prior to understanding the self coaching model, I really focused my energy on life, in life, on taking actions I wanted a plan of how to and I believed that just that knowledge, learning the how to do something would be enough.
(03:54): Well, I've got news for you. Taking actions and knowing how to is simply not enough because most of the time when you are focused on the actions, either the doing more or stopping those on some unwanted actions, you are using willpower and brute force to do it. And these are quite simply not sustainable. If you don't guide your thoughts to create the feelings you need to take or change action, you will run out of steam because using willpower is really just a way of resisting thoughts and feelings. And quite frankly, it's exhausting. So I really didn't get all that until I learned about and invested in self coaching. And so while today I'm going to share with you a few how tos in terms of actions that I've been taking during this last week that have really helped me feel better. I think it's important to note that just like the sunshine I mentioned earlier, these actions just put me in a better position to manage my thoughts.
(05:03): Ultimately it's my thoughts. Ultimately it's your thoughts that will make you feel better right now during a pandemic and every day when our lives get back to whatever the new normal is, whatever that's going to look like, it's always your thoughts, right? But if we want to give ourselves a leg up, put ourselves into a better position to manage our minds, then I think having some how tos is valuable. So here's what I learned last week. All right, number one on the days I felt best last week, I managed my time. Time is so weird right now, isn't it? It's like we're caught in some cross between the movie Groundhog's day and planted the apes. But even during the midst of a pandemic, I offer you that we are still experiencing time relatively. And what do I mean by that? You experienced times relativity all the time. Standing in line at the DMV two hours feels like an eternity, two hours visiting with an old friend you haven't seen in months.
(06:10): Here's God years and it goes by in the blink of an eye. We also have a lot of thoughts about time right now that are kind of confounding this situation. We have thoughts like we're losing time. We need to make up time, time standing still. This will never end. When will this be over? How much longer are we going to have to live like this? So maybe you have more time right now and maybe you're on the front lines and so you have less time right now and if you are, I thank you in advance for your, for your dedication and your service to all of us. But regardless, it's, it's all relative and how we plan. The time that we do have is ultimately one of the greatest gifts, gifts we can give ourselves to come through this experience with growth. I know that right now I have an extra 1.5 hours per day, at least during the workweek as I'm not commuting.
(07:09): So I can choose thoughts that allow it to be a gift, right? And when I plan and use that time constructively, it fuels those positive thoughts and helps alleviate the panicky, fear-based thoughts and questions that my primitive brain wants to throw out. Remember, it's the primitive area of the brain, the lower brain that's all about survival. And it believes that only by freaking out and getting you to take actions from that freak out, that it can keep you safe. But of course you're smarter than your primitive brain and can override the panic activities with your prefrontal cortex. Having a thought out plan for the week, for the day and even for next month is a way to not only feel better every day, but it will also mean that at the end of 30 days you might actually be an even better version of yourself. I shared a great image on social media this week.
(08:07): It was by dr PM and I'm not going to tell to remember his last name. I will put it in my show notes. He works for CareMore health down in Southern California. Anyway, it wasn't his, I think he edited it and added things to it, but it's a, it's an older model of moving from a fear-based thought process to a learning based thought process to a growth oriented zone. And it basically showed that in response to Corona virus, he gives the example for emotions in the fear zone as being ice spread, emotions related to fear and anger. When you move to the learning zone, it's identify emotions. And finally to the growth zone, I empathetic with myself and others. And the fear zone learning zone growth zone applies to lots of different areas in your life. But the point of planning your time is that no matter what it feels like this pandemic is going to end and the next 30 days will be no longer than the last 30 days.
(09:18): It's all ready relative and you can achieve so much if you are trying to move from a fear-based zone to the growth zone. So manage your time. The days that I managed my time, I felt a lot better. Number two, I limited my information intake on the days I felt better, I limited what I was listening to and what I was you know, looking at and what I was reading. I know I said a little bit about that in last week's episode, but I think it's even, it's more important. And also family falls back into time management. When I didn't have a plan for the day, I spent more time looking for information on the internet, reading stories on social media and listening to more news reports. And what I want you to realize is that 90% of that information was nothing that I didn't already know in terms of keeping my own family safe and sound.
(10:19): So just don't do it if you want. At least if you want to feel better, if you want to feel better, you can't overwhelm your brain with all the things. All the sad stories and human struggle. Trust me when I tell you that if you want a defined stories of illness, death, and extreme human suffering in the world on any given day, they are there. It doesn't take a pandemic for life to be uncertain and for life changing things to happen. We are just experiencing it in the collective and it gets magnified if you let it. Ask yourself this question, is this story critical to me or my family's health and wellbeing? If it's not, turn it off.
(11:04): Number three, on my very best days last week, I got the right amount of sleep. I know. Trust me, I'm a nighttime warrior. I used to, I still sometimes try to solve all the world's problems between the hours of 2:00 AM and 4:00 AM, but this is really a nonnegotiable for me. Now. So much research which we've shared in this podcast as well as other podcasts that we've recommended recommended that, that basically say that sleep is an imperative restorative process for our brains. Think of it as cleaning the cache of your brain at night. Our body body, literally raw, washes our brain and carries away toxins. The recommendation is seven to seven and a half hours per night. And if you are a Fitbit where you can get fit bit premium right now, assuming you are listening to this in April, 2020 free for 90 days. And with that you can get enhanced sleep data and while it's not flawless, it certainly helps you move in the right direction as it will provide.
(12:13): And it will also provide tips on how to improve your sleep habits. While I'm on the subject, because one of my best tools for sleep is listening to audio books. Kindle unlimited has a lot of, which also includes many audio books, is also free for 60 days right now in April of 2020. I'm loving while when we believed in mermaids and it's the kind of thing that captures my attention in a way that silences all of those anxious thoughts and you know, allows me to manage them better during the day time. So number three days, I felt better. I got sleep number four days, I felt best last week I moved. So. Okay. You knew I was going to get there, right? I mean, daily habit number one is move for a reason as we say. But honestly, I was reminded how much better I feel every time I simply start my day with a mile on the treadmill.
(13:11): It's nothing. It's not some huge distance and I'm trying to work that number back up again. But on the days I didn't do it, I noticed it and I made myself make a note of that. It's important to remind yourself when you are finding excuses to not exercise, to really capture those good feelings you have when you move your body, find the thoughts you're having. For me, it was simple. My thought was just this, I truly feel physically better after I walk one mile on the treadmill. It's not some huge accomplishment, but it does make me feel better. And when my brain is trying to throw out thoughts like I'm too tired. I don't want to, I don't feel like it. I look at that note that I've written that says, it literally says, get on the treadmill because you definitely feel better when you do so remind yourself of how good it feels when you, when you move your body.
(14:04): Number five, journaling. Okay, this is last, but it is not least. Here's what I want you to know. Your brain is a processor. It does not have unlimited storage and right now you are having a lot of thoughts. We always do, but with everything going on during this pandemic, your brain might just be on even super overdrive. You might not be aware of all the thoughts and journaling will help you look for both unintentional thoughts as well as help you choose intentional thoughts. It will help your brain be a better processor. Let the journal be the memory storage and allow your brain space to process the thoughts you are wanting to think. Look for ways to be grateful and write about it. If you're having fears, let them go by writing them down and looking for the thoughts that are leading to those fears. I don't think there may have ever been a better time to start journaling if you haven't already done it.
(15:09): So to that end, I want to say that right now through the end of April five for life is offering our five for life planner for only $15 flat. The 13 week planner will help you build the habits of a happier, longer life as well as build the journaling habit and it's available for $15 with no promo code necessary. No better time to start making the rest of your life the best of your life. And I want to help you get there. So go to shop dot five for life.co that's shop dot five for life.co for all the details. If you would rather or if you want to as well, get a free PDF of the ultimate 30 day habit building system workbook. Just shoot me a quick email with the subject line free workbook and I will send that out to you today. So there you have it folks. Five actions that will help you put yourself into your very best frame of mind or best physical position to manage your thoughts and feel better now both during the pandemic and and after. Number one, manage your time. Number two, limit your information. Number three, get your sleep. Number four move. And number five journal. I hope you have a great week. I hope you implement those strategies. If you do, I would love to hear about it. Shoot me a note to email@example.com that's firstname.lastname@example.org and I
(16:51): Hope you all have a great week and I will see you next time. Thanks for listening to the live happier, longer podcast. If this podcast is helping you and you'd like to go a little deeper, maybe track your progress on your habit building, you should check out our five for life planner. The planner is 13 weeks undated and you can start literally at any time to create the habits of a happier, longer life. It'll keep you motivated and it'll keep you accountable and Hey, it's affordable. So go to shop dot five for life.co that's shop.buy for life.co and enter promo code podcast for a special discount.