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‘MEDs’ 4 Mindfulness

MINIMAL EFFECTIVE DOSES that will keep you healthy and happy

1. Movement

2. Nutrition

3. Mindfulness


MINDFULNESS

  1. ’Super’ Mindful Breath
  2. Identify Your Emotion
  3. Check-In With Your Future Self
  4. Smile, Move, Talk or Try Something New

The term Mindfulness is thrown around a lot these days, but what does mindfulness even mean?


In defining something it is often helpful to define what it is not:

  • Mindfulness is not judgement
  • Mindfulness is not attachment
  • Mindfulness is not an escape from reality

Now let’s look at what it is:

  • Mindfulness is paying attention
  • Mindfulness is learning
  • Mindfulness is observing the ‘present’ / current reality

 

Before we go into how mindfulness can help us cope with stress, it is important to understand that a ‘mindfulness practice’ is simply a habit of paying attention, learning from and being aware of the present moment –  and then responding appropriately.

That being said, we believe it ‘appropriate’ to equip you with some information on Habit Formation….

Ever heard of that it takes 21 days to form a habit?

Unfortunately, this statement is not exactly true… In general people overestimate what they can accomplish in one year and underestimate what they can do in 5 years.

In fact, this research states that it ranges between 18 and 254  days to form a habit!

(depending on one’s motivation / how much you enjoy the habit you are trying to form)

An expert in motivation and habit formation, James Clear, sites this research in one of his articles. He states that it actually takes about 66 days to form a new habit.

 

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Now let’s get back to the topic at hand = ‘How To Deal With Stress In The Moment’

I.E. How to use Mindfulness as a tool to cope with stress!

Here are 4 tricks, or ‘minimal effective doses’ of mindfulness that you can use when faced with a stressful situation.

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  • ’Super’ Mindful Breath

 

      • Just 1 breath, in and out – but do it like you really mean it. Momentarily distracting yourself from the stress at hand by focusing on this single breath not only feels good, but reduces anxiety in the brain because the human brain can only focus on one thing at a time! *, *, *.

 

  • Identify Your Emotion

 

      • Name which emotion you are currently experiencing. Simply saying to yourself ‘I am Angry,’ when you are upset will help you catch yourself from doing something you might otherwise regret. * Furthermore, doing so has proven to increase the density of grey matter in your brain! *, *.

 

  • Check-In With Your Future Self

 

      • If you know your angry, and stressed, and maybe a little hungry – a good practice before making any decisions is to take a second and think how you will look back on this decision in 5 minutes, 5 days and in 5 years. Will you still have the same conviction you do now?

 

  • Smile, Move, Talk or Try Something New

 

    • If you are feeling anxious and don’t have to interact with your stress face to face ‘right now’ – doing something as simple as going for a walk, or whiching to a task that you know you enjoy, will help reduce stressful feelings. Smiling and raising your gaze (not your head) up to the ceiling will release endorphins and boost your mood. Talking to a friend helps put things into perspective by getting you out of a self-induced negative feedback loop. Novel experiences have a similar effect as #1 – i.e. distracting you from your current mental state.

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One final note:

Don’t Expect It To Work Every Time!

    • Don’t expect mindfulness to be a cure for your stress. Conditions are never really right for being in the present moment. You can be the most mindful person in the world and still act out. You can practice conscious breathing all day and still feel negative emotions. Mindfulness and meditation should be done for their own sake and not for their results. In the long run it has proven to improve longevity and quality of life, but until then – practice makes perfect.

 

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Do you think it will be hard to implement this stuff?

If you feel daunted by this information – then let’s set up a consultation,  and we will help you figure out how to implement this stuff into your schedule.

Remember this for whatever habit you want to start (i.e. any New Year resolutions).

All Habits have a 3 part cycle:

  1. Reminder / trigger
  2. Routine / the habit of choice
  3. Reward / every new habit requires a reward for it to stick

Up to 40% of our daily activities are done habitually. They are context dependent and often occur at the level of our subconscious – that is, we don’t even realize it is a habit!

If you want to understand more about habits and how they affect our daily life check out this book by Charles Duhigg: The Power of Habit

  • Here is an interview with the author.

If you want some help in beginning your mindfulness practice feel free to contact Martin or Tyler any time, or follow the steps laid out from the link below:

5 steps 2 Making Meditation a Habit

  1. Schedule it
  2. Dedicated a space to it
  3. Keep it simple (just breathe)
  • Calms and clarifies / creates base-line / super easy
  1. Keep it short (with 60 seconds)
  • Or even just a single (super) mindful breath!
  1. Bring your seated practice into your daily life
  • Walking / Driving / Eating etc…

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Martin Colangelo : “The Better Movement Specialist”

Brought to you by:

 

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Thoughts on the path of Buddha

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!


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“Zen explains noting and analyses nothing.

It simply aims backwards, directly, at our mind,

so that we can awaken”

> Seung Sahn <

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“If you students of the Way wish to become Buddhas,

you need to study no doctrines whatever,

but learn only how to avoid seeking for and attaching yourselves to anything.”

> Huang Po <

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Continue reading Thoughts on the path of Buddha

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Principle Based Training

This article is about what I do as “The Better Movements Specialist”

This article will be as much about my training philosophy and coaching style –

as it is about the end goal / vision of my business.


 

“The Socrates of Training”

Sometimes it is better to ‘Work In’ than it is to ‘Work Out’.

In today’s stressful epoch it is hard to tell if what we are doing is helping us, or harming us, in the long run.

Everyone has a different capacity for stress – a different tolerance – different defense mechanisms – and different standards for they think is ‘normal’.

Not to sound like a broken record but really, what is normal.

The best way I can describe it from a physiological point of view, normal is when the two branches of your nervous system are in balance.

‘Working In’ is anything that activate your parasympathetic nervous system. I.E. anything that calms down your “monkey brain” and allows you to rest, recover, digest and play.

‘Working Out’ is the opposite, it activates the fight or flight centres of the brain, and if one is not careful they can get stuck in this zone. If this happens a training session that would have stimulated a hormetic response in fact digs you deeper into fight or flight.

It’s this ‘getting stuck’ that is the big problem.

I have seen people stuck in either end of the spectrum. An individual stuck in the parasympathetic zone can’t handle stress. The individual stuck in the sympathetic zone will not be able to relax.

Why can’t we have both?

The truth is, we can.

This is what the ‘Socratic method’ of training is all about…

It is about figuring out at what level an individual is at –

  • their Strength level
  • their Endurance level
  • their Movement functionality / economy
  • their dominant nervous system
  • there are many,many others…

– and then working them up from their unique, individual level – to the next one. and then the next, and the next etc…

The KEY to success however is that the individual must figuring it out FOR THEMSELVES.

Yes a good coach can help show the way, but they cannot do the work for you.

No that is not a cop-out, if you don’t want to think about how you move or spend the necessary time needed to figure out where you are in the spectrum, then you will never be … ‘normal’….


Results that LAST

For sure there are other methodologies that can get you to your goals, they may even get you stronger and faster sooner and more completely.

However, only if you train mindfully will you have access to your body’s abilities when you need them the most. not only that but you will be able to maintain a higher level of strength and endurance for longer – that is you will be able to maintain your ‘fitness’ levels well into old age.

There is no point in looking for ‘one-hit-wonders.’

I want to create a balance individual who can perform, even dominate, for long periods of time.

I want to build you up to Gretzky level, Jordan level, Ali, Pavel, Brady, Armstrong (without doping!) – you get the idea.

And this is how….


Principle Based Training

  1. Mobility Principles
  2. Training Principles
  3. Strength Principles

FIRST AND FOREMOST – you have to be ready to ‘work out’ – or as described above; ‘normal.’

How can you tell if you are ready to Work Out, or if you should be Working In?

  • check you breathing
  • check your mind

The body and mind mirror each other, especially the heart rate and breathing rate. When you are stressed both heart rate and breathing rate are elevated.

Therefore you will need a baseline of both.

  • check both, ideally when you wake up from 8 hours of sleep
  • check them 2 or 3 days in a row, and then use the average

If this is the first time you have spelt for 8 hours 3 days in a row then this article has already made an impact on your life – you will feel so much better after sleeping enough.

Finally, but definitely not last – POSTURE

  • if your posture is not ideal, you should work on mobility until you can lay comfortably on the ground for 10-15 minutes without any props.
  • that is to say, you should be able to sleep without any pillows.

If this seem like too much of a challenge simply to start working out, keep in mind this article is written to be as generic as possible – I can not prescribe anything to anyone without meeting them first.

Contact me at colangelo.mart@gmail.com -or- info@latsontraining.com for a consultation. Lets chat about your unique situation (online or offline).


 

1) Mobility Principles

  • refers to the ability of your body to use full ranges of motion.

I.E. Bending without breaking.

  1. Relaxation
  2. Breathing
  3. Patience
  4. Use your Strength
  5. Create Space
  6. Share the load

2) Training Principles

  • refers to the organization of our workout.

If you follow this order of increasing and then decreasing neurological intensity you will cover all your bases for strength and endurance

  1. Mobility
  2. Reactivity
  3. Speed / Power
  4. Strength
  5. Endurance
  6. Recovery

3) Strength Principles

  • refers to the fact that strength has a greater purpose

This is because strength makes everything else possible, it is a skill that can be taught, its about doing something properly and doing it well.

  1. Safety First
  2. Tension is Strength
  3. Relaxation is Strength
  4. Perfect Technique
  5. Long Rest
  6. Simple
  7. Sinister

*stay tuned for explanations in upcoming posts


This bring me to the last point,

The Overall Vision

My business is called LatsOn

The ‘Lats’ span more joints in the body than any other muscle.

The Lats are strong and mobile and uniquely awesome in what they do.

Most importantly the Lats support your posture, that is to say you head.

I.e. Lats support you life.

Humans are social creatures, and require a balance of 3 major aspects to ensure or a high standard of living:

  1. Home / Family
  2. Work
  3. Hobbies (includes sports)

LatsOn supports these 3 things through the following strategies:

  1. Movement
  2. Nutrition
  3. Mindfulness

These strategies are based on a ‘Minimal Effective Dose’ modality – that is to say the least amount of _____ for the greatest amount of return.

Each of the above points interact and support each other in such a way that when balanced properly, optimizes the quality of your life.

Currently our movement systems are based on 4 modalities

  1. Strength and Conditioning
  2. Powerlifting
  3. Kettbell Skills
  4. Restorative / Corrective movement

Each of which are again, based on a Minimal Effective Dose approach.

My business partner Tyler Lees-Schmut and I provide Group and Private instruction in all of these areas, specifically supporting (but not limited to) these demographics:

  • Youth (athletes or not)
  • Adults in recreational sports
  • Front Line Workers / First Responders

Quick note on Hobbies (including sports) – everyone has a hobby, or at least should have one for a healthy balanced life, and every hobby requires a movement practice to support it.

Yes that means even if your hobby is reading a book, or collecting stamps or playing with a train set – you still require bodily functions to perform these tasks. As stated before, the body and the mind mirror each other; so as your physical capabilities decline so do you mental capabilities (and vice versa).

This is called aging.

Why not age gracefully and functionally.

Did you know your eyes are controlled by muscles? Makes sense doesn’t it. So why don’t you ‘Work Out’ your eye muscles like you would any other? this would allow you to see your books, stamps, train, grandchildren’s children – whatever.

Whatever your goals, whatever your age or ‘fitness’ level, despite what kind of life you lead – LatsOn can help!




Martin Colangelo

“The Better Movement Specialist”

Stay Strong my friends!

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FLOW Knowledge: Flow Fun, Flow Family.

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Flow Fun! (Games)

Roger Caillois:

Psychologist and anthropologist – divided all games into 4 categories:

Agon

Games that are competitive in nature, like most sports and athletic events, participants pit skills against skills.

Alea

Chance is the defining feature; Aleatory games are enjoyable because they give the illusion of controlling the future.

Ilinx

Consciousness altering experiences via by scrambled perception – Any activity that transforms the way we perceive reality is enjoyable.

Mimicry

Activities in which alternative realities are created; dance, theater, the arts etc – make us feel part of something bigger than ourselves.

 

All games provide a sense of transporting one’s self into a new reality, much like how Flow has been described.

==v==v==v==v==

THE AUTOTELIC PERSONALITY

The question at hand is this;

Do all people have the same potential to control their consciousness?

And if not, what distinguishes those who can achieve Flow easily from those who cannot?

 

Here are a few things to think about-

  • Attentional disorders:
    – when a person cannot control their attention they cannot attain flow
  • Schizophrenia:
    – Schizophrenic individuals have ‘over inclusion’ of stimuli due to a neurological pathology.
  • Chronic Stress:
    – attention is too erratic to get involved and enjoy a moment.
  • Self-Centeredness:
    – attention is too tightly controlled around the image of the self.

 

WHEREAS;

  • Individuals who can enjoy themselves anywhere have the ability to focus on what is important at the time.
  • These people pay close attention to minute details of their daily lie and environment, and in this way they are able to discover new and unique opportunities for enjoyment, or Flow.
  • The actions these individuals choose are ones suitably challenging for whatever situation they find themselves in,
  • These individuals constantly monitor their progress through some sort of feedback.
  • When adversity strikes, these people invest their attention in areas that are positive and constructive -they are not motivated by external factors, but internal ones.

 

 “The most important trait of survivors is a “non-selfconscious individualism,” or a strongly directed purpose that is not self-seeking.”
– Bruno Bettelheim

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THE AUTOTELIC FAMILY

Optimal experience in a family setting is not impossible, try to incorporate these five characteristics and you will be well on your way to Family Fun!

1) Clarity:

  • Children need to know what is expect from them—goals and feedback in the family interaction are important

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2) Centering:

  • Children need to think that their parents are interested in what they are doing, in their feelings and experiences.

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3) Choice:

  • Children need to feel they have a variety of possibilities to choose from – this includes breaking rules (as long as they can also accept that their actions have consequences).

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4) Commitment:

  • Children need to build trust in others, which allows them to feel comfortable enough in a given situation to become totally involved in whatever they are interested in.

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5) Challenge:

  • Parents need to be dedicated enough to provide increasingly complex opportunities for their children. Just like how a good coach adjusts the challenge for their athlete day by day.

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> These five characteristics parallel the dimensions of the Flow Experience <

The child who grows up with clear goals and good communication / feedback will also have a feeling of control over their lives.

Setting up an Autotelic family life will encourage focus and increase intrinsic motivation, over and above their increased access to the Flow Experience.

Furthermore these families conserve a great deal of energy by making it possible to increase enjoyment in all aspects of life. (i.e. less fighting!)

 

“Children who know what they can and cannot do, who do not have to constantly argue about rules and controls, who are not worried about their parents’ expectations for future success always hanging over their heads, are released from many of the attentional demands that more chaotic households generate.”
– Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

You are now armed with some valuable knowledge.

With the basics of what makes games fun you can turn LIFE into any game of your choosing.

More than that, you can choose to set up your life such that it positively affects the ‘Flow chances’ of those closest to you.

What more could you want?


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Martin Colangelo : “The Better Movement Specialist”

– Blog Author

Owner / Instructor @

*contact me for a consultation

 

Posted on

Mindful Quote of the Day (Sept/14/17)


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“Keep your hands open, all the sand of the desert pass into your hands.

Close your hands, do not get that a few grains of sand.”

> Eihei Dogen <

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Continue reading Mindful Quote of the Day (Sept/14/17)