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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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July 03, 2013

5 Things I Still Struggle With

By Mark Sisson
210 Comments

Can Not Can't When it comes to living a healthy, Primal lifestyle, for the most part I’ve got things dialed in. There are very few things, if any, I’d change about my eating plan, my workouts, or my sleep schedule, for example, but there are some areas in which I know I can improve. Some major, some not so major. Like everyone does, I’d imagine. Nearly all of my struggles are related to finding a deeper sense of peace and contentment in this hectic modern world. In fact, I selfishly wrote a book, The Primal Connection, to give myself more tools and strategies to achieve the sense of satisfaction and fulfillment from within that we all seek. (The book, you may be happy to know, recently won the Eric Hoffer award for best self-published book of 2013.)

While I’ve made some strides in these areas in recent years, the journey is never over. There is no perfect lifestyle or perfect diet or perfect workout. We all have something, or some things, we’d like to get better at. We all have struggles. So, today, I thought I’d share with you guys some of my personal struggles, as well as some ways for addressing and even overcoming them.

Stress Management

For all the posts I’ve done on the subject, all the advice I’ve doled out, all the focus I’ve given it, stress remains my biggest struggle. And, from talking to lots of you guys, this is a common issue in the community. The reason why stress continues to vex us, even if we’ve come to terms with our diet, fitness, and sleep? Stressors exist everywhere and they are non-specific and often non-material. They can be anything – or anyone – and the stress that results is intangible. You can choose not to eat the cupcake, but you can’t choose not to drive to work in traffic, pay your bills, or hear the neighbors’ insanely loud music at 2 AM. I suppose you could avoid opening the envelope containing the overdue notice on your mortgage, but that’s not really managing stress. That’s actually compounding it. The problem’s not going anywhere, and it actually intensifies the longer you ignore it. The cupcake you declined? That’s it. It’s done. You’ve said “no” and it ceases to impact you. Stressors are different. They linger. There’s no easy way to deal with them or the stress they produce.

And so we must manage our stressors, we must prepare ourselves to deal with the inevitable. That can be really, really tough. Another problem with the intangibility of stress? It’s tough to know when you’re truly managing it successfully. There’s no instant feedback. Even a stress management technique as relatively concrete (in the sense of “I’m taking active steps to manage my stress”) as meditation doesn’t deliver instant results. Heck, it can take months or years of consistent practice to derive tangible benefit. So when I try to manage my stress, it’s hard to know if it’s working or not. I’m an instant feedback kind of guy. That’s how I operate best. When that feedback doesn’t materialize right away, I struggle.

How I deal: I’m still working on this one. I’ve done a bit of meditation (too formal for my tastes). I’ve tried avoidance (impossible and ultimately ineffective). What seems to work best is filling up on nature. I’ve come to realize that I can’t avoid stress. It’s there and if I want to keep doing what I’m doing, it’s unavoidable. But if I can get out into nature several times a week, preferably every day, I feel markedly better. “Nature” can mean a hike through Topanga Canyon, a few hours of standup paddleboarding, lounging on the beach, a weekend camping trip in the Sierras, or even – if I’m really desperate – a game of Ultimate Frisbee in the park. As long as I can get the grass (or sand, or dirt) between my toes and some greenery in my periphery, I can deal with the stress. It doesn’t last for long, though. I have to keep re-upping my nature intake.

Staying in the Moment

I’ll often notice my mind drifting away, mid-conversation, mid-reading-a-book, mid-watching-a-great-flick, mid-workout, mid-anything-that-deserves-full-attention. It’s not that I try to think of the post I’m writing, that meeting tomorrow, or what I’m eating for dinner that night when talking to another person. Those thoughts just drift in and seize hold of my attention. The problem is that however momentary the lapse in attention on the here and now, it’s disruptive and off-putting (especially if you’re in the midst of a conversation) and ultimately cheapens the experience of everyday life.

How I deal: I can’t avoid those thoughts, but I can stop myself from focusing on them. Lately, I’ve had success by changing how I perceive the exchange. My mind isn’t drifting to other thoughts; other thoughts are drifting into my mind, which stays in the same place. This reframing allows me to acknowledge, briefly analyze, and then ignore the incoming thoughts. They’re there, and I know it, but I don’t let them seize control of my attention. If they happen to be important thoughts with a legit claim to my attention, I can switch over. But it’s under my control, at least in theory. It seems to be working so far.

Staying Off the Phone and the Laptop When I Know I Should Be Chilling with Friends and Family

The Internet is an amazing resource offering untold delights. With a few taps on the keyboard, you’re privy to untold reams of knowledge vaster than any library, historical, fictional, or otherwise (except maybe the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – the electronic database depicted in the book of the same name, not the book itself). And it’s always growing, moving, living, responding – in real time. You don’t just read an article, you read the comment section that unfolds before you and often contains better stuff than the article itself. You don’t just read a single Wikipedia entry and then power off the computer. You start clicking links, bouncing from Roman mythology to astronomy to astrology to mythological dragons to cryptozoology to Bigfoot to famous hoaxes to the JFK assassination to Vietnam until you’ve fallen down a Wikipedia rabbit hole and emerged moderately more knowledgeable than you were before. It’s great, and that’s what makes it so irresistible and addicting.

It doesn’t help that much of my work takes place on the computer or phone, whether it’s responding to emails or taking meetings online or conducting research for blog posts. If I want to keep doing what I’m doing, I need to be connected, which makes it easy to come up with justifications for using it all the time. But I don’t need to be connected during dinner with the family. Or when out for drinks with some friends. My brain may “think” it needs to check that email or respond to that text, but I know better. Even though I “want” to grab the phone because it’s been twenty minutes since I last checked my email, I ultimately can refrain from doing so.

How I deal: This is a constant struggle, but actually physically powering the devices down when I know I shouldn’t be using them has really helped. So, if I go out to dinner, I’ll often turn my phone off. It’s there if I need it, but it’s not tempting me. If I’m at home with the family, I’ll shut my laptop down. It’s a simple and effective solution. Powering something back on is just difficult enough to dissuade you from constantly doing it on a whim.

Learning to Say “No”

I’m constantly in “go” mode, as I alluded to earlier. I’m always looking for a new experience, something bigger, something better. And the bigger MDA and the Primal community has gotten, the more opportunities I’ve had to get involved in extremely cool projects. It’s hard to say no to them, and I rarely do. There’s an innate desire, in everyone, I think, to devour new and “awesomer” experiences. It’s that very Primal part of me that just wants as much as he can get. Thousands of years ago, when the world was very small, when traveling thirty miles took an entire day (not twenty minutes) and relaying messages required physical transportation of that message (not a click of a button), we could go for every opportunity and stay grounded because, well, there weren’t that many opportunities. The number and scale of opportunities in the ancestral environment were inherently limited.

Now? Now I can get an invitation from a guy in South Africa to speed off for a safari. Now I can get fifty emails a day requesting my participation in some project or another, and most of them sound great. And because everyone’s so interconnected, and data is so widely available, and cool ideas are mating with cooler ideas, people are coming up with fascinating opportunities. It’s really, really hard to say no. But say no I must, because our bodies are still meat machines limited by physical realities.

How I deal: With the help of an assistant, I break down what I have to do, what I’ve already planned to do, and what I’d like to do, then set a “venture limit” each month based on my schedule. It isn’t perfect, but it does help keep me accountable to someone that’s not me.

Turning My Brain Off

Our brains are “us.” Quite literally, our hopes, our dreams, our personalities, our consciousness, our sense of self – they call come from the brain. With that in mind, the idea of turning off the brain is scary. I mean, won’t that kill me? Or, at the very least, reduce me to a mindless automaton? No. By “turning my brain off,” I mean “getting out of my head.” It’s important to be able to get out of our own heads from time to time and get into the instinctual “flow” state, where you are completely absorbed by your endeavors without engaging in fluffy, counterproductive metathought.

I’ve touched on the flow state before. The problem with getting to the flow state is that once you realize you’re there, it’s in danger of slipping away. It’s kind of the eternal, uniquely human struggle faced by big brained hominids: how do we reconcile the animal inside us with the intellectual? The passion and the rationality? There are nights where I keep myself up just thinking about… stuff. I’ll think about what I have to do the next day. I’ll think about what I didn’t do twenty years ago and now regret. I’ll think about all these struggles I’ve been relaying in this post. I’ll think about thinking. In short, I’ll be in my own head way too much, so much that it gets in the way of living, doing, and being.

How I deal: This is a tough one, especially since I have to use my brain to tell my brain to stay out of itself, or something. I can’t do this on cue, but I have the most success getting out of my head when I’m intensely focused on an important, interesting task. The key for me is to figure out how to do that when I’m just lying in bed.

Well, that’s what I struggle with, folks. What about you? What do you still struggle with? How do you cope, and how successful are your coping strategies? Let me know in the comments! Oh, and if you’ve got any suggestions for my struggles, I’m all ears!

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210 Comments on "5 Things I Still Struggle With"

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Eirik
3 years 2 months ago

Great article!

I think this is probably the major thing most people who have been primal for some time struggle with. Atleast for myself I can relate to these issues.

Nick
Nick
3 years 2 months ago
I have two points to make Mark. 1. I would try again with the meditation – with several of your points (including stress, turning your brain ‘off’, it really is the best alternative in my opinion) 2.Your comment about the brain being ‘us’ and everything we are – I would recommend you read the power of now by Eckardt Tolle who would suggest otherwise, That our soul is really our being and the mind but a tool we use to navigate the works around us, It offers a great aktetnative perspective and is a great read (it will also cover… Read more »
Jeff
Jeff
3 years 2 months ago

That was the book that popped into my mind too, especially since I just finished reading it last week.

Great minds think alike, or maybe in this case, stop thinking so much. 😉

wildgrok
wildgrok
3 years 2 months ago

Agree. The interesting thing is that I arrived to The Power of Now from a link posted here in Mark’s site (related to quiet the chatter in the mind, etc).

Guill
3 years 2 months ago
I would recommend meditation too, even more while in bed. Mark you can just lie down and focus on your breath. Once you realize you’re following your thoughts, just go back to the breath. It is a training, it doesn’t get perfect in one day but little by little it’s growing. Like a muscle, the brain creates and enforces new connections when you ask it to do something for you. It helps for falling asleep, for defusing emotions (stress) and being more in the present. For the Power of Now, I would personally not recommend it. I’m not a big… Read more »
junebug
3 years 2 months ago
Having studied with Tom Brown JR @ the Tracker School for 10 years and now working with a Spiritual teacher, I can attest to meditation being very important. What I have experienced are two different perspectives. Tom thinks sitting meditation is Spiritual masturbation, while my current teacher believes that sitting meditation is the way to go. I am extremely active and sitting meditation is a massive undertaking, especially with the previous prejudice about it. I have been with this teacher 10 years also and sitting is still difficult for me. I suggest you try a moving meditation. Walk in the… Read more »
Nancy
Nancy
2 years 2 months ago

Very interesting – moving meditation! I have never heard of that concept. I will be looking into this. I never could clear my mind, (or shut it up)! long enough to meditate – But my most peaceful time of the day is walking through the woods or on a quiet beach at sunset. Perhaps I will learn to meditate then……..

Susan
Susan
3 years 2 months ago

Agree completely. Meditating has caused improvement in my awareness…more conscious of myself. It is a tool….and it only changes things with practice and application. I usually shoot for 20-30 minutes, and use a chant word (mine is HU, said like “hue”). The long inhalation and gentle “singing” calms my mind. (studies support the long exhalation caused by this chant as being very calming and reducing stress) Have learned to observe my thoughts, rather than being controlled by the judgments of them. It connects me to my spiritual nature. Good luck!

pam
pam
3 years 1 month ago

i disagree that meditation does not deliver instant results.
sure, an experienced practitioner gets more out of it.
as a novice, for the day i do it in morning, i feel calmer for the rest of the day. i should do it more often. but it is very hard set the time & allow myself to quite down on weekday morning.

cheers,

MetalStorm
MetalStorm
3 years 2 months ago
This could hep – I like to go back to a theory I’ve read about indicating we actually have 3 “main” brains (Bill Williams, trading chaos), not one, and they actually run totally independently. To cut to the point, the left brain deals with logic and language, and when we feel stressed, we are “in” this brain. It understands what a bill is, and why it’s important to have to pay it. It does the worrying, which is obviously critical for survival, but so are the other 2 brains to the same level of importance. Too much time in the… Read more »
gibson
gibson
3 years 2 months ago

Wow! I like that theory. I call the core my zen. Makes sense in many ways.

Tim Brownson
3 years 2 months ago
MtealStorm that is so generalist that it’s pretty wrong. I have no idea when the guy wrote that but latest advances in neuroplasticity have significantly altered the way we view the brain and our knowledge of how it works. No one part of the brain works in isolation EVER, unless that person literally doesn’t have it. People have survived like that, but the results are awful and you don’t get people who have lost most of their left brain useless at taxes but still great at creativity. And the left brain doesn’t trigger stress, stress is triggered by the limbic… Read more »
Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
3 years 2 months ago

You can also delegate if you’ve got someone to delegate to.

PrimalParkGirl
3 years 2 months ago

As I inch towards a year of living primally (9 months and counting!) and think about where I’d like to be in 3 months time, it’s good to hear even the pro’s still have areas where they’d like to improve.

JennF
JennF
3 years 2 months ago
I, too, can’t get out of my own head sometimes, especially at night. I can toss and turn for hours thinking of things that really aren’t important anyway. The best way I’ve learned to stop doing that is to come up with some brain games that take enough focus to stop the random thoughts, without being so interesting that I can’t fall asleep in the middle of it. So I try to name a fruit or vegetable that starts with every letter of the alphabet, or I count backwards from 500 by 7s or think of famous people whose first… Read more »
Alyssa
3 years 2 months ago
I do this as well! Although, I find counting backwards by 42s more effective. Another thing that helps is trying to focus on the silence. If I’m trying to sleep and find my brain buzzing with a million different things, switching my attention to the actual, physical world outside by listening to the silence around me helps turn my brain off. Having some white noise to focus on can help, too. Chances are your brain will be buzzing again within seconds, but you get better at it! I guess it’s essentially meditation. Speaking of which, The Paleo Drummer is hosting… Read more »
Rachel M
3 years 2 months ago
@Alyssa Wow I’ll have to check out his site, sounds cool. Lately I’ve gotten off the meditation track. Usually I’m pretty good about turning my mind off at night (skipping sugary desserts can help with that) but it’s during the day that I’ve been having trouble. I find I’m much more stressed out due to financial fears and fears about getting older. I’m kind of freaking out that my birthday is this month and I feel like I haven’t moved enough in my career. Glad to know that Mark is still trying to improve too. This has been a great… Read more »
Eline
Eline
3 years 2 months ago

15 min a day works wonders 🙂 and a little motivation can be good. Thanks for sharing!

Anne K
3 years 2 months ago

There is a “meditation” that really helps with this. You imagine cool mud flowing down into your head. Not dirty mud, but the lovely mud you would find at the edge of the river on a hot day that feels so good on your feet. What this is acturally doing is grounding the mental or energetic static that has collected around your brain during the day. Try it. I hope it helps you as much as it helps me.

Monstersauce
Monstersauce
3 years 2 months ago

I always called that “closing the garage door” and felt the cool metal panels sliding down all around my head. Same effect, though. It’s like setting your brain down on the receiver. I swear I hear all the distant mental mechanical squeaks and hissing just STOP the moment I do that.

Nicole
Nicole
3 years 2 months ago

I’ll have to try the “brain game” approach. I’ve found success with thinking about all the things I had gratitude for that day. It serves a couple purposes and I drift off peacefully.

junebug
3 years 2 months ago

you can also take passiflora incarnata…passionflower tincture …it is specific for turning off the monkey mind

Scott UK
Scott UK
3 years 2 months ago
Um… I think at some point the paleo community has to realise that we are not designed to be happy — we are designed to survive and reproduce. Survival and reproduction can be achieved by making us (momentarily) happy; it can also be achieved by making us stressed and sad. Nature doesn’t care, as long as it gets the job done. All is not lost — I’m sure we can still find ways of ‘jail-breaking’ our evolved software — but it just means that we have to be smarter about it. Mark has made a good start with his Connections.… Read more »
julie
julie
3 years 2 months ago

God designed us to be happy -it’s written all over the Bible that fear and anxiousness is not want God wants for us. God does not want us to be anxious and fearful – try 2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline. The Matthew 6:31-34, Matthew 10:28-31, Romans 8:28, Phil 4:6, Eccl 11:20, 1 Peter 5:7, John 4:18, Psalm 55:22

Danielle
Danielle
3 years 2 months ago

I was going to comment with much the same thing, Julie. Of course we were created to be happy!

God also created us to live in community with one another, however that community may look to each of us. Much of what Mark talks about in this post is “unplugging” and reconnecting with his community, which is his family and closest friends. We all need that reminder. Our community aids in our happiness, because that’s how we’re wired!

Susan
Susan
3 years 2 months ago

Amen!

Chika
3 years 2 months ago

Since when did working on imperfections equate to not being happy? I think both can coexist. Of course it depends on your mindset on the situation at hand.

lora
lora
3 years 2 months ago
Ha when I read the title I at first thought the struggles were going to be dietary! The biggest primal struggle I deal with it my sweet tooth! And for me I think it is a form of my own stress management. I have no problem eliminating 100% of grains, but every evening I CRAVE sugar and usually end up scrounging for some candy or ice cream. I have tried so hard but cant seem to break this cycle… it seems to be a ” reward” to myself after a stressful day. Ive been otherwise primal/ paleo for 1 1/2… Read more »
Blondie
Blondie
3 years 2 months ago
I have exactly the same problem. My diet has cleaned up throughout months of focusing on training and primal eating and fighting emotional eating. I can easily follow the diet with all restrictions and I no longer crave processed sugary food. But carbs are still my problem in the evenings, when I am too tired or stressed out. I reach for healthy emergency food such as fruits or nuts or even fatty treats like greek yoghurt, but yet it hinders my fat loss that I have been trying to target for months. I see really fast results on people I… Read more »
Marc
Marc
3 years 2 months ago
What I find works well for me on this front is the 16/8 intermittent fasting models where you choose an 8h window in which you eat. In so doing I eat no breakfast, have a light enough lunch, and then eat quite a lot in the late evening for dinner and sometimes a dessert of berries and cream. How does it work for me? Well… it makes me full to the point of not having the slightest desire to eat more in the evening. It’s easy to have a really satisfying meal that doesn’t blow you out of proportion calorically… Read more »
David A. Williams
3 years 2 months ago

Yes! Also known as the “warrior diet”.

gibson
gibson
3 years 2 months ago
Yup! I work dark chocolate into lunch and greek yogurt is dinner, combined with berries and maybe walnuts. I eat protein and veggies for breakfast and lunch and watch the numbers. It does the job for me, and I’m an emotional eater from wayback. I count the fat in the chocolate and the yogurt in my daily take. If I’m going to cut, I’ll cut somewhere else first. I eat in about a twelve-hour window and don’t usually snack. If I get hungry before bed, I have a glass of almond milk or something very light. Of course there are… Read more »
Jane
Jane
3 years 2 months ago
I’m a very aural learner. Perhaps that’s why I’m musical? So I put the non primal foods in a different cupboard. Then I say OUT LOUD to myself, “this cupboard is out of bounds. This food is not mine. It belongs to …….. And I do not have permission to eat it”. Also if I’m craving something sweet I say, OUT LOUD, “I will not eat ……, from the cupboard”. I think this works because I am physically saying the “words” and if I was to “cheat” I would be breaking my word. I take this seriously. I want to… Read more »
Diane
Diane
3 years 2 months ago
Brings to mind a story I read years ago. A mother takes her child to the leader, Ghandi, and asks, “Tell my boy to stop eating sugar! He eats sugar all the time!” Ghandi replies, “Take your child home and come back in 6 weeks.” So she takes him home, and 6 weeks later returns to see Ghandi. Ghandi says to the boy, “Stop eating sugar!”, and nothing more. The mother says, “That’s it? Why didn’t you do that 6 weeks ago?”…and he answers, “Ma’am, 6 weeks ago * I * was eating sugar.” Lesson…don’t talk the talk if you… Read more »
Joe
Joe
3 years 2 months ago

Might be able to help, as I’ve had the same thing. Here’s what to do – when you feel the craving come, don’t immediately go for the food. Give yourself like.. 2/3 minutes and just feel the impulse to eat. Give it some attention. Then you can go and eat. Do this whenever you feel a craving and gradually they’ll lose their hold over you.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
3 years 2 months ago

This might sound a bit naive, but I’ve found the best solution by far for that is to just go to bed early. If I crave sweet stuff (rare) it’s because I’m tired, stressed, or both, and extra bed time helps all of that 🙂

Primal-V
Primal-V
3 years 2 months ago

Hi Lora, sugar is my nemesis too. When I started Primal I ate fresh coconut meat to get past cravings, sweet enough to satisfy but full of good fat. Maybe this might help you too?

Sari
Sari
3 years 2 months ago

It’s a quick decision to make and implement, and I’m not always successful at this, but when I decide I should be finished eating for the day (e.g. when the dinner dishes are washed and the kitchen is cleaned up), I will quick go brush my teeth since that is a signal for me to quit eating.

Rachel M
3 years 2 months ago

I still have pretty bad sugar cravings. Sweets have always been my downfall so I decided to try the 21DSD. It was really hard at the time (even though I was sleeping like a baby and my skin/energy was fabulous.) but I think it is too strict to keep up with for an extended period of time. Now I snack more on fruit instead of paleo baked goods/coconut icecreams. Actually my bf complained last night that I never make really interesting desserts anymore and that he’s sick of my stovetop berries. Sheesh! Still, there is always room for improvement.

ValerieH
ValerieH
3 years 2 months ago

I read The Diet Cure by Julia Ross. It has questionnaires to determine where the imbalance is. All I had to add was L-Glutamine supplement in between primal meals to stop the sugar cravings. It worked well for me.

Primal-V
Primal-V
3 years 2 months ago

Maybe it’s time your bf made some interesting deserts then?

🙂

junebug
3 years 2 months ago

pepperming oil… lick one drop off your hand…it helps with sugar cravings.
It is not fun to realize that you are being controlled by single cell creatures like yeast that need that sugar to survive. The acid condition it creates gives life to a multitude of organisms that wouldn’t live in you if you were more alkaline. As a small microcosm of the macrocosm we are a unified field of many living entities with their own agenda -not a popular concept.

Karrie
3 years 2 months ago

Uh, timely much? Not more than 10 minutes ago I just updated my FB status “Will I ever catch up to my brain??”

Don B
Don B
3 years 2 months ago
Nathan
Nathan
3 years 2 months ago

Nice shout to AOM!

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[…] Daily Apple / Posted on: July 03, 2013Mark’s Daily Apple – When it comes to living a healthy, Primal lifestyle, for the most part I’ve got […]

wendy
wendy
3 years 2 months ago
My best antidote for stress in general is volunteerism, it gets me out of self-centeredness. If I’m thinking about someone else’s welfare, I’m not too concerned about my own plans and schemes. My own personal stress producer is in the workout department. I’m not successful at creating and maintaining a workout schedule without paying money for it. I can plan and intend to workout, either at home or the gym, and then the moment comes and the internal argument begins, “You need the sleep”, “You can do it tomorrow”, etc. Once the argument begins, I’ve lost. There have been times… Read more »
dr greta
3 years 2 months ago

Love this article. Thanks for writing. Lately I have adopted saying the Lords Prayer over & over when my brain won’t stop. I’m thinking any healthy poem or some affirmation to recite would be good. I just chose the Lords Prayer because I know for me – God comforts & calms my fast moving brain! It’s amazing how fast I fall asleep – usually before I finish the first time through.

Dar
Dar
3 years 2 months ago

I have an older friend that told me once about all the things he’d stressed over in his life. He said, looking back on all those numerous times…financial problems, health issues, child rearing stuff, everything…he said you know what I’ve learned? He said, “I’ve learned that God is taking care of everything. And I’ve also learned that God is never a minute too early…but he’s never a minute too late either.”
I repeat those words almost hourly some days. It’s a great reminder to me to just “calm down”!

Luis
Luis
3 years 2 months ago

I would suggest looking into your whole self, read up on embodied cognition and the work of Feldenkrais and Thomas Hanna (Bodies in Revolt).

Cheers,

Luis.

Sister Sue
Sister Sue
3 years 2 months ago
Excellent recommendation! The Bible holds all the answers to any problem. When I am stressed and worried I have two passages I pray to myself. I then wait quietly for the peace that has NEVER failed me. Psalm 40:1-3. I waited patiently got The Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out if the slimy pit, out if the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Faith, Mark, will… Read more »
Linda
Linda
3 years 2 months ago

re stress and staying in the moment, try Holy Basil. I find it helps a lot. As for sugar cravings, I’ve read some stuff on lack of protein and/or lack of tryptophan being a cause. Have yet to look into this one though.

Emily
3 years 2 months ago

I struggle with these things too – especially the stress management and staying in the moment. You don’t like meditation (me neither – so boring!), but what about Ashtanga or vinyasa-style yoga? I find that you can achieve a sort of meditative state as you flow through the postures. Over time, I’ve found that the focus on breathing and the present moment helps a lot with my stress levels and being present when I’m off the mat.

SarahB
SarahB
3 years 2 months ago
For the carb cravers: glutamine (amino acid) can often stop crab cravings in their tracks: take one 500 mg. capsule and open it and put the glutamine powder under your tongue. It stops cravings instantly in many people. (Note: bipolar people may not want to use glutamine as it can affect the manic stage). Julia Ross uses this in her clinic. @Mark: Being in nature IS a form of meditaiton. I see meditation as something you do to quiet your mind. So yes, you can be seated in a lotus position with your eyes closed, focusing on a mantra, or… Read more »
Sara in Brooklyn
3 years 2 months ago
Interesting – I’ve had success in this area, and though part of it is getting older, you have to become ‘mature’ on purpose, to some extent. Having a dog helps – he gets a solid hour of play in the park every day, and it’s pretty hard to not to benefit as we stand around while that goes on. I think for most of us, once the perspective gets skewed/stressed, it’s easy to let it self-perpetuate. I think I have more small tactics than grand strategies – I wait before I say the next thing; I just do something –… Read more »
b2curious
b2curious
3 years 2 months ago

Hey, pulling weeds in the garden is ultimate stress therapy for me. Gets me in “green spaces” and I’m doing something productive at the same time. Even better, focusing on “is this little sprout a weed or a plant I want?” distracts me from everything else, especially when my oldest is on my last nerve. I’ve gone out and weeded by porch light before.

Paleo-curious
3 years 2 months ago

Oh, yes, how could I forget garden therapy!!!! I actually have a headlamp so I can weed after dark when the heat & mosquitoes aren’t so bad. My kids think I’m nuts, but I’d be a lot more nuts without it! 🙂

2Rae
2Rae
3 years 2 months ago
Thanks Mark. I like that you gave what you do. What I do to stop what I call the “movie that is on an endless loop” as I lay in the dark NOT sleeping, has been several things. I tried to see mentally the color in my head just before I fall asleep, then looked for that color and painted the walls in the bedroom that color. Next I take a pro-biotic if I have any emotional issue like depression or anxiety. When I wake up at 3AM I massage the area in the the middle of my arm pits… Read more »
DiscoveredJoys
DiscoveredJoys
3 years 2 months ago
By some strange synchronicity I’ve recently been reading about Shinrin-yoku – which means ‘forest-bathing’ in Japanese. Going for a walk in the woods. Wikipedia: A forest bathing trip involves visiting a forest for relaxation and recreation while breathing in volatile substances, called phytoncides (wood essential oils), which are antimicrobial volatile organic compounds derived from trees, such as a-pinene and limonene. Incorporating forest bathing trips into a good lifestyle was first proposed in 1982 by the Forest Agency of Japan. It has now become a recognized relaxation and/or stress management activity in Japan. Well worth a few minutes googling and potentially… Read more »
Dawson Church
3 years 2 months ago

Hi Mark, I recommend EFT for stress. I am a researcher and published a major triple-blind randomized controlled trial on the stress hormone cortisol, showing that EFT significantly reduces it. You can find it at Research.EFTuniverse.com. All the best!

Jim Haas
Jim Haas
3 years 2 months ago

Electronic Fund Transfer as a stress reducer.. of course!

F Jeff
F Jeff
3 years 2 months ago

+1

Bev
Bev
3 years 2 months ago

+1 for Tapping! Glad to see it mentioned here. Scientifically proven to reduce cortisol. My favorite for a quick tapping session to relieve stress is Brad Yates:

http://www.youtube.com/user/eftwizard

NMCynthia
NMCynthia
3 years 2 months ago

I’m so glad that you popped up here, as I was thinking about your article about combining EFT and Meditation as soon as Mark mentioned Meditation. I’m not good at it either, as I am not a really “focused” person, but using EFT gives me something to “do”. Brilliant!

Phoebe
Phoebe
3 years 2 months ago
The other day I was sitting in a beautiful park next to a lake. My daughter was with me and wanting to play. My phone rang and I answered it. 20 minutes later it was time for us to go. My daughter had sat there patiently waiting for me to get off the phone the whole time. As we walked back to the car, she said to me, “Mommy, I have a new rule. No screens in Nature!” She was absolutely right – that phone call could have waited. We wasted 20 minutes of our lives sitting in gorgeous surroundings… Read more »
BillP
BillP
3 years 2 months ago
I agree that onne big problem is that our modern lives revolve around the necessity of making money, to pay for our lives. A problem that paleolithic man didn’t have. He had relatively straightforward tasks and obligations that he had been brought up with since childhood, around people who he knew well all that time. I wonder if the newer focus on the materialistic, along with the necessity to deal with strangers a lot, in very competitive environments, frequently confronting new (even unpleasant) tasks, is the other catastrophe of the Neolithic. As much as I personally like some of the… Read more »
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 2 months ago

Money is a creation that allowed the transistion from direct exchange (barter) to indirect exchange. Effort and time still goes into creating goods from resources. I am sure paleolithic people made stuff and bartered.

Animanarchy
Animanarchy
3 years 2 months ago
Native Americans used some sort of sea shell for currency. It was a lot of work because people had to dive deep or use contraptions to collect them. Mostly unrelated to that, I’ve learned some words that connect to my past in a surprising way. An adolescent/teen friend and I back in those days used to act, make noises, and speak sort of like Gollum in the forest. We did a lot of smashing dead branches off trees, taking down dead trees, and the like. General organic destruction. We both had our invented power words that we amped (spell check… Read more »
Animarchy
Animarchy
3 years 2 months ago
And today, in the shelter I’m residing in (court order… Salvation Army bail, for charges I’m going to take to trial or just get a mental health diversion for since they aren’t fair.. I have officially got a diagnosis of schizophrenia on my record; it’s in the government computer records; that is not bad; I may get a disability pension for the rest of my life because of it…. which means I would be getting more than enough cash with no “legitimate work” (ya know, a little secret vigilante activity (two is so minor… I’ve been slackin!.. gotta get cash… Read more »
Animanarchy
Animanarchy
2 years 6 months ago
Stuff typed sounds crazy. So much for copious amounts of alcoholic beverages and commenting = something to be more careful about in the future. Sorry about the mess. I felt I should clarify about the vigilante activity. I never actually “pulled the trigger” on somebody. Some of my actions seem to have had a similar or catalyst effect in a couple special cases though where people expired that I won’t go into detail about. Nonetheless, I take pride in the fact that I occasionally indulge in non-lethal vigilante activity (usually self-serving) including threats and violence.. not that I wouldn’t get… Read more »
Angel D
Angel D
3 years 2 months ago
Very helpful post, and thank you for that. (I am printing to keep as a reference.) I struggle with not being in the moment. I am very skilled at being present for my friends and loved ones, but I fret all day about the future of the planet (humanity actually) and the choices I am making or not making that can cause further damage. And the choices I observe others making. I fret mostly in silence now and am able to save high-anxiety feelings to share with those I know hold similar values. But, I have been spending more time… Read more »
Michelle
Michelle
3 years 2 months ago
This is my first post to you ever, but I feel so compelled to write. Regarding stress, I agree meditation is too formal. I struggle with that. However, practicing mindfulness is the key ( for me ). If my brain gets too busy, I am sad about something, or I need to de stress I turn to mindfullness. How to be mindful. Be as present to what you are doing as possible. Don’t think about the past or future. Concentrate on what you are doing at that moment. Example: I was doing dishes and I was stressed out about a… Read more »
Wallace
Wallace
3 years 2 months ago
I completely agree! I’m also a frequent MDA reader, but never posted anything until now. Formal meditation and cultivating mindfulness have been crucial to managing stress in my life. The research from John Kabat-Zinn & co. at UMass is quite compelling. I can’t help but suspect that the Primal Blueprint has helped lay the necessary bio-chemical foundations to really evolve and strengthen my mind. Yoga has also played an important role in my stress management (in addition to strength training). Although yoga is probably the opposite of a typical Grok activity, it is the only space where I’ve been able… Read more »
leah
leah
3 years 2 months ago

Taking up photography made me more mindful. The colour Green has never looked so vibrant. It’s like something physical changed with my vision

Liza Ferrier
Liza Ferrier
3 years 2 months ago
Yes, you can too be happy and peaceful. And it all is a (spiritual) journey that never ends (in this life), like you say. Read “Silence is the Answer to All the Noise of Doubt” by Robert Draper, or “Chop Wood, Carry Water” by the editors of the New Age Journal, or “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (and it’s all small stuff)” by Richard Carlson. The most important thing I’ve done for my peace of mind is to forgive; myself, my father, all the people I’ve imagined ever did me harm. My guiding light is “A Course in Miracles”, the… Read more »
Barbara Kurtz
Barbara Kurtz
3 years 2 months ago

Meditation – I think it is too valuable to not use it – particularly in our stressful lives. Remember there are so many different techniques – one of them may be just the right one.

For those of you who like nature or who are sitting a lot, how about a walking me ditation (15 to 30 minutes) – walking mindfully (slowly) focusing on each step looking at the environment, hearing the sounds, sensing the air and your breath. Other thoughts will come into your mind, just bring your mind back to focus on the walk.

Dave
Dave
3 years 2 months ago
This is what I was thinking as well Mark. Meditation would “solve” three of the things on your list. It may be your opinion right now that it’s too formal but would you be willing to give up that opinion in order to not have 3 of those big struggles plus a number of other potential benefits? Also, as mentioned, there are many other types of meditation besides formal sitting. In fact Osho mentions a large multitude of types including some ranging from running to acting literally like a madman and dancing around. Some of these may be more up… Read more »
framistat
framistat
3 years 2 months ago
Effortless meditation: Holosync. Nearly done with the complete program (about seven years). My sense of calm, ability to focus, and background feeling of peace and happiness are remarkable. For someone who fell into clinical depression and later became disabled (from a physical cause), this is a big deal. One must _practice_ meditation regularly in order for it to be effective. Listening to a brain wave entrainment CD every night while falling asleep takes no extra time, requires no traveling, no reading, no philosophizing. Just do it, like brushing your teeth. And observe yourself as the changes take hold. Wonderful stuff.
Paleologic
Paleologic
2 years 2 months ago
+1 for holosync, but mainly as a tool to easily get into meditation itself as a beginner. for years i a had a intuitive feeling that meditation would be of huge benefit for me, but i couldn’t find a way into it. then i stumbled over holosync (fyi there are many other similar programs), and voila – i was meditating like a pro after only a few dozen holosync sessions. now i can dive into a deep contemplative state at will, within just seconds. holosync is basically a very interesting brain hacking tool based on the binaural beats principle. use… Read more »
nutcat
nutcat
3 years 2 months ago
In essence this is the need for focus on the spiritual self. Formal meditation is a drag. Relax it up and just go with the flow of the.. well each must find their own way. Many paths. I suggest turning the feedback system around. Give feedback back to the thoughts occupy the mind.. More of these please.. less of these! please?.. try to get to a place were ‘please’ is not required and its just a basic post of information to .. well yes, your higher self which can be many labels things and concepts. Give it feedback to let… Read more »
Sally JD
3 years 2 months ago
I’d noticed that if I played solitaire long enough on my laptop, eventually my “upper” mind completely focused on the patterns the cards were making, allowing deeper thoughts to come to the surface. These were thoughts I wasn’t aware I was thinking, but I obviously was. They were only drowned out by my noisy, busy upper mind. Since I tend toward the glaring-awake-in-the-darkness kind of insomnia, I tried playing solitaire in bed when I wanted to fall asleep. I play on an iPod Touch that’s purposely not connected to the Internet. The screen background is dull red and screen brightness… Read more »
Annakay
Annakay
3 years 2 months ago

I don’t deal well with stress. I soak it up like a sponge and it gets buried somewhere inside me using up my energy in the process. I think this has been the cause of my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Doing puzzles and computer games such as Mahjong and Solitaire seem to help. I used to comfort eat but since going Primal I don’t need that any more.

Paige G Olfert
Paige G Olfert
3 years 2 months ago
About the stress thing and “going out in nature”, I have really bad anxiety and it often prevents me from sleeping very well and cause sleep deprivation and all kinds of problem like that. I sometimes take melatonin to help me sleep if I’m really have trouble and I need to get up early, but I try to not take it as often as I can because I don’t want to become dependent on it to be able to sleep. I often find that taking a walk by myself late in the evening helps de-stress me and I sleep better.… Read more »
Serge
3 years 2 months ago

Gee… you guys are way too self centered… just relax and smell the roses. We are not that important when we consider our place in the universe. Life is quite a miracle and we waste a lot of time trying to control it and what happens to us.

When unhappy… be unhappy, when happy be happy…. just be one with it and stop trying to change things… go with the flow… bad days happen, embrace them…

Don’t sweat the small stuff…

Just my 2 cents worth…

kniehoff
3 years 2 months ago
Don’t worry, be happy. The incredible lightness of being. Easier said than done and that’s what Mark is expressing. Being conscious of the pitfalls is a good step. You are talking about acceptance and that is the key. Its not easy but we need to accept life as it is presented to us. I often wonder why I take life so seriously and why not lighten up. I do lighten up but its not on demand. It happens spontaneously. Is the seriousness caused by an existential fear that we all need to deal with? I recently finished Jim Harris’s book… Read more »
Thomas
Thomas
3 years 2 months ago

“We are not that important when we consider our place in the universe.” You mean like the Total Perspective Vortex?

Primal-V
Primal-V
3 years 2 months ago

Lol 🙂

I’m still so sad that we lost Douglas Adams so young 🙁

Ara
Ara
3 years 2 months ago

I hear what you’re saying Serge, but I don’t think it’s self-centeredness, necessarily. It takes “practice” to “not sweat the small stuff” or even the big stuff. Each time you get sucked into your own thoughts, problems, etc. you have to “practice” pulling yourself out of it. People use different techniques and all of them are valid. As we experience life and get better in this “practice” then things get easier and less stressful.

Christopher
3 years 2 months ago
Hi Mark, I’m a long time fan of the blog and I also feel you pain. I’ve been wrestling with the same problem in relation to stress and recently I’ve had a minor breakthrough, I like all of the suggestions that you’ve made about managing the stress. I found that most of my own stress was caused simply because I hadn’t made my mind up about the actions that I wanted to take on the things that mattered to me in my life. Now that I’ve found at least one way to do this I have a lot more time… Read more »
julie
julie
3 years 2 months ago
Great article and all good thoughts and coping mechanisms. Praying and being close to God is such an easy fix to all of this anxiety but people forget to look there. God designed us to be happy – it’s written all over the Bible that fear and anxiousness is not want God wants for us. Try 2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline. Then many others such as: Matthew 6:31-34, Matthew 10:28-31, Romans 8:28, Phil 4:6, Eccl 11:20, 1 Peter 5:7, John 4:18, Psalm 55:22. Turn… Read more »
Gary Vitullo
3 years 2 months ago
I read this and have advice for Mark. As an experienced twice daily meditator of 40 years I can say you get tangible results very quickly, but they aren’t going to be as impressive as you expect because in our daily life we’re used to big, quick, impressive results, or none at all. It’s kinda like changing to a Paleo Diet. You don’t drop weight and feel much better in a week, but over time you notice big changes and when you look back in a year…wow. Meditation is like that. I’d have advised him to go ahead and do… Read more »
Victory
3 years 2 months ago

Mat 11:28-30

Nocona
Nocona
3 years 2 months ago

Driving in traffic…will I ever stop cursing to myself about the stupid drivers? That’s my biggie. Always working on it with not much progress.

b2curious
b2curious
3 years 2 months ago
That one is tough. I finally had to realize that I was allowing other people to control my emotions. I’m not going to change other drivers, the only thing I can do is control how I react to them. This realization came one day when I was on my way to the bank to sign some paperwork. I’d left later than I intended, and every idiot driver on the road seemed determined to be in front of me! Then I remembered that the last time I’d been in a bad mood and a song on one of my CDs (Burn… Read more »
Sanas
Sanas
3 years 2 months ago

“The Work” of Byron Katie is excellent, excellent for understanding and shedding stress. We tend to think that stress is “out there in the world” and it comes and lands on us. Not so: we create our own stress by how we react to what lands on us. On her Facebook page recently was “I have had the privilege of losing everything.” This is a perfect example of how to not have stress. Of course it is a life-long practice, like anything worthwhile.

Larell B.
Larell B.
3 years 2 months ago

Profound! The angst and anxieties of life control so much of how we perceive our lives. A big help for me was to stop watching television. Information overload had me stressed to the max. And realizing that all we really have is the present moment…stay in the present. Read Ekhart Tolle.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
3 years 2 months ago

+1 to the not watching television!

Chris
Chris
3 years 2 months ago

I stopped watching the news a couple of months ago. After two weeks it was very obvious that all of the bad news and negativity was adding precisely nothing to my life to make it better. Now I use the time to relax, exercise and use my my brain, even if its just doing some chores around the house.;)

Paula
3 years 2 months ago

So glad to see this post! No one is immune or invincible to the everyday struggles, no matter how put-together or fabulous their life looks to the outside world. Thank you!

Nigel
3 years 2 months ago

I went wibble 13 years ago as a result of work related stress through bullying by some of my seniors. Drugs did nothing, I had to leave that job before I started to recover.

I did a lot of thinking, listening to classical music while I walked in the fresh air and reading personal development related books.

THE ONE that had greatest influence on how I deal with stuff is The Art of Happiness by His Holiness The Dalai Lama written up by Howard C. Cutler. ISBN 978-0-340-99592-1 and I commend it to you.

Sandy Templeton
Sandy Templeton
3 years 2 months ago
Good article Mark, One trick I’ve learned over the years helps greatly with stress, but is also useful for training me to either stay in the moment or switch my brain off is to do something that’s technically demanding. There’s many ways to do that; a few of my favorites are rock and ice climbing, riding my motorcycle (fast!) on winding roads, technical trail riding on my mountain bike and sea kayaking when things are not ultra calm. What these activities seem to do is switch off the ability of your brain to multiplex between different tasks and thought processes.… Read more »
Chris
Chris
3 years 2 months ago

Try fly fishing Mark.
Done correctly, the rest of eternity melts away and nothing else exists.
You might even catch some fish.

Kat
Kat
3 years 2 months ago

I have found one if those binaural CD’s or downloads–there are several companies that make them–are an excellent short cut to a meditative state and stress reduction. You have to listen to it with headphones/earbuds but it can knock my ass back down to calm in 20 minutes even if I’m upset over something.

ENM
ENM
3 years 2 months ago

I struggle with finding a paleo solution to the Jewish problem. 😉

Bruce
Bruce
3 years 2 months ago
I have found that using the 4 questions that Byron Katie discusses in her book, ” Loving What is” has allowed me to find answers to the issues you mention. I would be interested to see what you think of the approach. My guess is that it would fit nicely with your outlook. I am familiar with the suggestions made by others above and have found that the effectiveness of all of them are greatly enhanced when I use what Byron Katie calls The Work (the 4 questions), as my basis. Let me know what you think, if you decide… Read more »
leida
leida
3 years 2 months ago

Eating too much, failing to feel content with less food and just being happy with the body I have instead of striving for the body I really want. That constant feeling of failure and not measuring up to the standard. Can’t fast, can’t eat low carb, can’t drop fruit…. Feeling that I am made all wrong.

b2curious
b2curious
3 years 2 months ago
My best de-stressors are nature and music. One day at work, things were particularly stressful, both due to work and some things going on at home. Knowing about “green spaces” being good for reducing stress, and borrowing an idea from the comic strip “Rose is Rose” I final went out the back door of the office, with a cup of coffee (which relaxes me), and literally leaned up against a small tree. (Rose has a “let it be tree” that she leans on from time to time.) I literally had as much of me in contact with the tree as… Read more »
Linda A. Lavid
3 years 2 months ago

Music. Yes! Pump it up in the car or dance to it in the house.

Naz
3 years 2 months ago
I struggle with the stress thing too, I tried using different apps on my phone to help me with it but couldn’t quiet get the hang of it. Recently, in the last 2 weeks husband and I discovered a walking track near our apartment which is amazing! It’s so peaceful and different to the block of apartments we live in, so for the past week I’ve been going for a walk every morning for 30-40 minutes and incorporate my meditation into my walk, I stop and take deep breaths and enjoy the beautiful scenery. I also struggle with the ‘turning… Read more »
b2curious
b2curious
3 years 2 months ago
The relaxation exercises should help, but they’ve got to be something that relaxes you, and you’ll need to give them time. I used to have a lot of trouble getting my brain to quiet down so that I could sleep, until I used some relaxation exercises. I found that they took several tries to even have any effect at all, but that it got better with practice. Now, I rarely use them and my husband is jealous of my ability to fall asleep in no time at all. If I lay down with my youngest, while she falls asleep, I… Read more »
beth
beth
3 years 2 months ago
I try to do, eat, think, sleep, exercise, and pray, sometimes failing, and yet these shortcomings stay in perspective when I consider people who are being sold the Lie and are suffering terribly. You all have your own story. I was in a supermarket in a developing country and lining the shelves were large containers of vanaspati, touted as a healthier ghee replacement and used widely. Vanaspati is hydrogenated “vegetable oil,” ranging from 5 to 27% trans fats, depending on the manufacturer. Most people wholeheartedly believe this is saving them from heart disease and no longer use ghee. A seminar… Read more »
Pastor Dave
3 years 2 months ago

Oh Mark! As a pastor and working fulltime as a tech writer and web content writer the one thing I have to change is allowing work to get in the way of workouts!

I go through periods of slumps where I stay working thru lunches and skip my runs. I’ve tried running while working on the laptop but my keyboarding comes out looking like this:

AOIVRvuby;av;oiy:G F:OA*W7q23834vb-

Tim
Tim
3 years 2 months ago
Embrace ambiguity. Let go. Focus hard on the process to achieve the outcome…but not so much on the outcome. Be like water and flow around the rocks. Leave the mobile phone at home when you go out. Don’t use your ipod every moment on the way to work. Pay attention. Wash the dishes with the same focus as rock climbing or motorcycle riding. These are not hard things to describe. It takes practice. Forgive yourself for whatever you perceive to be your shortcomings and forgive others for what you perceive to be theirs. Be of good cheer. Be of good… Read more »
Mike Martel
3 years 2 months ago

Mark,
Thanks for sharing. I experience exactly the same things. My biggest notice is my inner dialogue. If I find myself composing a response (usually a speech) in my head, I know that I am not doing myself any good. Talking to someone needs to be a two way street. Any conversation I make up beforehand will not fit the situation.

shani baker
shani baker
3 years 2 months ago
Same kind of stuff for me. But the worst was the middle of the night thinking. BAD insomnia, which sets you up for failure. Great sleep being the foundation for everything. The two bits of advice that quite literally saved my life…. Its ok to notice the “numbers” just REFUSE to do the “math”. (I personally do this by focusing on some benign sensation like the sound of my husband breathing- he doesn’t snore;) , I fall right to sleep. 2. “life is so amazing and exciting and troublsome and there’s so much to think about and solve, but its… Read more »
Billy C
3 years 2 months ago
Nature and mindfulness and knowing when to turn your brain off. You have named the 3 that help me to cope. (a) Get out in nature – take a run on a beach, or around a pond, or in the woods, or ride your bike. (b) Focus on breathing and being here now. Imagine a 30-minute guided tour of yourself from toes to head, breathing steadily through the whole thing, shutting out random thoughts. And (c) simply welcoming the chance to tell your mind to back off – it’s your mind, it’s what got you where you are now, but… Read more »
Jocelyn Brown
3 years 2 months ago

Thank you for sharing the things you still struggle with, Mark. It’s refreshing when people can see that their health coach, nutrition expert, health guru, etc. is human – we struggle with things too. Experiencing and learning from our own personal struggles or weak spots helps us be better coaches for our clients. And I think it helps us go deeper within ourselves to figure out why we still have these struggles with things that we might like to move away from. The work is very enlightening! Wishing you comfort and ease on these things you still struggle with, Mark.

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