NOTE: This is the second installment in a series of posts titled “How you can be strong inside and out. To view part 1: Mental and Emotional Strength of the series please visit this link.
Component #3 – Physical Strength, Your Body
Physical strength is derived from your body. No surprise there.
And, the physical dimension is perhaps the realm more people understand than the others – emotions, mind, and spirit. Nevertheless, most people still don’t know enough about how their body actually functions.
Even The Medical Profession Doesn’t Know
Frankly, you shouldn’t be embarrassed or ashamed that you don’t know everything about your body. Because, in fact, the medical profession still does not have absolute knowledge when it comes to how the human body actually works. Every year, more information is being researched, studied, and discovered.
The truth is, many people have trusted the medical profession and food-regulatory agencies to a fault. Many well-intentioned men and women have applied the advice of the so-called professionals and supposed-experts, merely to later discover that these authority figures were either only partially right, or in some cases totally wrong.
So there’s no sense in beating yourself up. The only thing that you can do is unlearn the wrong information and apply the right information regarding your body.
Taking A New, Integrated Approach
By now, you have a better understanding that there is an integration between or link between your mind, emotion, spirit, and body. Each works together to make you healthy and strong.
For example, it has been known for some time that physical exercise provides every other aspect of the body, including the mind and emotions with very potent and beneficial effects.
However, people have come to believe that they “don’t have time” to provide their bodies with physical activity and exercise. Many people today are overwhelmed by the multitude of tasks and technology that they have to keep up with. Additionally, too many of us have unrealistic expectations placed upon ourselves, and we accept them. The result is that we over-commit ourselves and have more responsibilities than we can possibly keep up with.
And, unfortunately, the solution most people turn to is not physical activity or exercise. Instead, it’s what’s been aggressively marketed, rather successfully, to the masses – pharmaceutical drugs, quick fixes, and other fads.
Sadly, millions rely on antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and many other mind-altering substances. Instead of teaching the masses how to better manage their lives, responsibilities, and help…it’s become acceptable to simply market synthetic drugs or quick fixes to alleviate our mental and emotional issues.
Certainly, there are people who are well served with such psychological medications. However, it’s likely that the majority of people on these expensive “psych-meds” could benefit greatly from physical activity. The remarkable thing about our human body is that when we’re physically active, our bodies are able to produce natural endorphins, and other chemicals that make us feel better, alleviates our mental fuzziness, and melts away negative emotions.
30, 60, or 90 minutes of daily, physical activity is all it takes. It’s free, natural, and empowering.
Component #4 – Spiritual Strength, Your Connection
Spiritual strength is something unique and special to every individual.
- For some, it’s traditional or organized religion.
- For others, it’s serving mankind, and leaving a legacy.
- And yet for others, it’s connecting with nature or respecting Mother Earth.
Perhaps spirituality means something slightly different to you. That’s okay. All that matters is that you make sure that you live a full, rich spiritual life. And in return, you will enrich and strengthen your entire being – mentally, emotionally, physically, and obviously spiritually.
Spirituality allows a person to fulfill their unique purpose. It allows them to serve and connect. The human race has a deep, innate need to live purposely, to serve, and to connect. When that need is not met, it weakens up physically, mentally or emotionally.
Get Stronger, Inside and Out: Four Suggestions
While there are many ways in which you can become strong, inside and out, I won’t overwhelm you with too many.
In fact, below you’ll only find four suggestions. However, each suggestion is powerful and will help you to simultaneously strengthen at least two (2) of your “links” or dimensions.
Try any or all the suggestions below. Keep those that work for you. And, simply discard those that don’t. Most importantly, become strong – mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Strengthening Suggestion #1: Identify Your Weakest Link
As I said earlier, I don’t want to overwhelm you.
After all, the goal is for you to become stronger, not more overwhelmed. Less is sometimes more. So, my first, and perhaps best suggestion is for you to pinpoint your “weakest link.”
- What is the weakest link in your system or life?
- Is it physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual?
- Which part of your system is causing you the most pain?
Perhaps your weakest link is your emotions.
If so, ask yourself if you’re going to continue allowing your emotions to ruin your physical health, relationships, success, and future?
OK, maybe you’re “strong” emotionally, but you’re weak physically, mentally, or spiritually. We’re all different. Whatever you limiting constraint, identify it.
Next, once you’ve identified it, figure a way for you to manage and strengthen it. You can apply what you learned from this article. Or, you can do a little in-depth research and seek out additional ways to strength your “weakest link.”
Lastly, after you’ve begun managing and strengthening that “weak link,” be sure to keep an eye on it. Periodically, evaluate the “link” to determine whether it needs to be stronger, or if you simply need to maintain it at its current level of strength.
So, to sum it up:
- Identify your “weakest link” – emotional, mental, physical, or spiritual.
- Apply one or more approaches (in this article or elsewhere) that will strengthen it.
- Evaluate your newly strengthened “link,” and do whatever’s necessary to make it stronger or maintain its strength.
Strengthening Suggestion #2: Meditation
Meditation has been around for centuries.
Yet, Western Culture is just now beginning to embrace meditation with its long list of benefits, such as:
- Improved immunity
- Emotional balance
- Lower blood pressure
- Relief from irritable bowel syndrome
- Anti-inflammatory response
- Stress relief, relaxation, and calmness
- Enhanced mental focus and attention
- Alleviation of pain
- Stronger sense of connection
- Assistance with weight loss
- Better sleep
Mediation In Minutes – Breath Focus
You don’t need to dedicate days or hours to learning how to meditate before you begin.
However, there are simple, easy forms of meditation that can provide anyone with immediate benefits…without hours or days of practice and study.
“Breath focus” is a form of meditation that easy, relaxing, and fast. Try “breath focus” meditation technique for 2 to 5 minutes, for 7 consecutive days. After that, feel free to increase the duration of each session.
- Choose a place and time when you won’t be disturbed
- Sit upright, comfortably
- Close your eyes (or leave them relaxed and slightly open)
- Inhale slowly through your nose, Exhale slowly through your mouth
- As you inhale, feel and notice the gentle expansion of your chest and abdomen
- As you inhale, feel the air enter your nose, and move into your lungs…as you exhale, feel the air pass your lips as it moves out of you mouth.
- Most importantly, focus and listen to your breath.
Strengthening Suggestion #3: Regular Activity
You certainly heard this one before; nevertheless, it’s extremely important to give your body regular physical activity (exercise).
You don’t have to join a gym or do anything else that doesn’t suit you.
Perhaps you like being outdoors. Then some interesting choices and suggestions might be:
If it’s not on the list above, choose any other type of activity that suits you. When you enjoy an activity, it’s more likely you’ll do it consistently and regularly.
And remember, regular physical activity (exercise) also gives strength to your mind, emotions, and spirit. In fact, most people who exercise regularly find it much easier to concentrate, focus, and relax. That’s the synergistic effect physical activity has on your entire being. It helps you grow stronger physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Strengthening Suggestion #4: Proper Nutrition
Proper nutrition should never be underestimated. And yup, I’m sure you’ve heard this one before.
Nonetheless, like physical activity (exercise), the food you eat is an important “link” in your “strength chain.”
There are foods that give you healthy lasting energy. And, then there are foods that are unhealthy and give you only short bursts. The point is that when you eat healthier sources of energy (food), help you to avoid:
- Excess weight gain
- Ridiculous food cravings
- Roller coaster-like emotions
- Inability to focus
- Lack of energy or motivation to exercise
- Feeling fatigue
Your choice of food affects not only your body. It also either weakens or strengthens your mind, emotions, and spirit.
Nutritional Tip #1 – Beware of Foodstuffs!
Nowadays, we have so many foodstuffs that are available to us.
What are “foodstuffs?!”
Foodstuffs are those items masquerading as food, but lack nutritional substance. While lacking any worthwhile nutrition, these “stuffs” are loaded with preservatives, synthetic ingredients, and other chemicals that are of no benefit to you – physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.
Nutritional Tip #2 – Hit The Road
Begin to gradually remove or at least reduce the “foodstuffs,” unhealthy foods, and other toxic substances from your diet.
Doing so will help you to begin feeling better, thinking clearer, and having more energy. As a result, you will grow stronger, inside and out.
I could give you a long list of specific foods to avoid, but there’s no need.
Instead, I’ll give you only one dietary change to begin.
Tell sugar to “hit the road!” There are over 100 reasons you should begin kicking sugar out of your life.
Here are just 7:
- Suppresses the immune system
- Causes anxiety, inability to concentrate, and hyperactivity
- Plays a role in certain cancers
- Elevates glucose and insulin
- Contributes to diabetes
- Leads to heart disease
Sugar not only threatens your life, but it also wreaks havoc on your emotional and mental states. By eliminating…or simply reducing your consumption of sugar, you’ll be stronger, inside and out.
It’s Never Too Late…To Strengthen Every Aspect of Your Health
Strength and health are not confined to your physical body. Instead, true “strength” and health are only present when you take care of all four “links” or dimensions of your being –mind, body, emotions, and spirit.
Today, more research is being done, and studies conducted that show a powerful and direct connection between a person’s mind, emotions, spirit, and body.
Having read this, I’m certain that you’re the type of resilient man or woman who’s both interested and ready to become stronger. It’s never too late. Like you, your emotions, mind, spirit, and body are able to change, grow, and heal. Each “link” in your “strength chain” is resilient…and quite capable of becoming stronger.
And don’t overwhelm yourself with the unrealistic goal that you can or will tackle every “link” in your “chain.” Remember, less is more…and by simply focusing on strengthening one link at a time, you strengthen your entire chain. You become strong, inside and out.
Are you creating strength both inside and out?
If you missed PART 1 of this two-part series don’t forget to go give it a looksie.