We were all very fortunate to hear from Paul Taylor at our JCDecaux ANZ Conference recently and learn about his recommendations for optimal wellbeing, the science behind his seven habits made it very compelling, some even said “life changing!”
In his seminar, Paul discussed seven simple habits we can all adopt, and we wanted to summarise these below for you.
1. Morning Exercise
By exercising in the morning, you start your day with a sense of achievement that will positively impact the decisions you make thereafter. Studies have proven that exercise improves brain fuction and mood through the increased production of positive endorphins. For those of us who struggle to find the time, Paul explained there are really no excuses, he has shared his high energy 8-minute workout – lets get it done!
2. Cold Showers
Cold showers to start the day lead to both a physiological and mental benefit. A 30 second cold shower stimulates mitochondrial production which are the powerhouses of our cells, converting energy from the food we eat into energy sources for our bodies. This habit also builds ‘grit’ - having regular cold showers has proven to increase our personal resilience as we learn to find comfort in discomfort.
3. Box Breathing
Box Breathing was the method Paul was taught during his career with the Navy Seals to control physical stress responses in high pressure situations. He alluded to this as a form of quick and focused meditation, allowing you to control your body’s arousal (stress) system, reducing both heart rate and blood pressure. You simply breath in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, breath out for 4 counts and hold for 4 counts
4. Mental Sculpting
All of us have positive and negative voices in our heads - the negative voice is the one that tells you to press the snooze button in the morning. The positive voice hears the alarm and has you jumping out of bed, determined to exercise and get on with the day’s activities.
Every day we make decisions on how we ‘turn up’ to situations, depending on whether we are tapping into our positive or negative self. Mental sculpting is the practice of making controlled decisions regarding which person you choose to be in each moment. In the wise words of Paul “Choose to be your best self not your shitty self”!
5. Digital Detox
Simply put, we MUST spend time off our digital devices.
For improved mental vitality, prepare your brain for sleep by turning your phone off at least 30 minutes before bed. Keep phones out of the bedroom (phones aren’t alarm clocks!) and have periods of time during the day where your phone is out of sight.
We all have tough days, and many of us face challenges that can at times be extremely difficult. However, these difficult times can help in building our own mental resilience. If you are someone who struggles to stay positive, it is possible to rewire your brain towards positivity by undertaking the daily practice of gratitude.
No matter what you are going through, there is a way to find something to be thankful for. It can be difficult at first but, with practice, our brains begin to naturally lean towards the good, even when things are tough. Try and build gratitude moments into your daily routine, or even make a gratitude tree!
7. Connecting to Others
Unleashing the power of the Tap Code. Connecting with others provides an opportunity to share positive experiences, emotional support and to feel a part of something. There is strong evidence wellbeing can be passed on through relationships, and that being around people with strong mental wellbeing can improve your own mental wellbeing.
The Hanoi Hilton Tap Code is an incredible example of how connecting with others can help us get through the most difficult of situations. Let’s work together to consciously build a workplace culture that cares and supports one another