by JACQUELYN SMITH – MAR. 10, 2014, 2:18 PM
The very last thing you do before bed tends to have a significant impact on your mood and energy level the following day, since it often determines how well and how much you sleep.
Successful people understand that their success starts and ends with their own mental and physical health, and that it’s almost entirely dependent upon them getting enough sleep. That’s why bedtime routines are a key ritual for so many of them – and why the very last thing most successful people do before bed is read.
Reading is a great way to unwind, says Laura Vanderkam, author of “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.” “It both expands your mind and relaxes you.”
Of course, everyone is different, and there’s no one set routine that will guarantee success. “It’s really less about your activities and more about your state of mind,” says Michael Woodward, Ph.D., organizational psychologist and author of “The YOU Plan.” “That being said, there are certainly behaviors that can help.”
Here are nine things successful people do before retiring for the night:
1. Read. Experts agree that reading is the very last thing most successful people do before going to sleep.
Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of “You Can’t Be Serious! Putting Humor to Work,” says he knows numerous business leaders who block off time just before bed for reading, going so far as to schedule it as a “non-negotiable item” on their calendar. “This isn’t necessarily reserved just for business reading or inspirational reading. Many successful people find value in being browsers of information from a variety of sources, believing it helps fuel greater creativity and passion in their lives.”
For example, while some successful people use this time catch up on news stories from the day, skim tech blogs, or browse Reddit and Twitter, others enjoy reading fiction novels and ancient philosophy just before bed.
2. Meditate. Many successful people use the 10 minutes before bed to meditate. Dale Kurow, a New York-based executive coach, says it’s a great way to relax your body and quiet your mind.
3. Reflect on the day. Kerr says many successful people take the time just before bed to reflect on, or to write down, three things they are appreciative of that happened that day. “Keeping a ‘gratitude journal’ also reminds people of the progress they made that day in any aspect of their life, which in turn serves as a key way to stay motivated, especially when going through a challenging period.”
Vanderkam adds: “Taking a few moments to think about what went right over the course of the day can put you in a positive, grateful mood.”
4. Make your to-do list. “Clearing the mind for a good night sleep is critical for a lot of successful people. Often they will take this time to write down a list of any unattended items to address the following day, so these thoughts don’t end up invading their head space during the night,” Kerr says.
5. Disconnect from work. Truly successful people do anything but work right before bed, Kerr says. They don’t obsessively check their email, and they try not to dwell on work-related issues.
Woodward agrees. “The last thing you need is to be lying in bed thinking about an email you just read from that overzealous boss who spends all their waking hours coming up with random requests driven by little more than a momentary impulse.” Give yourself a buffer period between the time you read your last email and the time you go to bed. The idea is to get your head out of work before you lie down to go to sleep.
6. Spend time with family. Woodward says it’s important to make some time to chat with your partner, talk to your kids, or play with your dog.
Vanderkam says this is a common practice among the highly successful. “I realize not everyone can go to bed at the same time as his or her partner, but if you can, it’s a great way to connect and talk about your days.”
7. Plan out sleep. “Much has been written around the dangers busy people face running chronic sleep deficits, so one habit I know several highly successful people do is to simply make it a priority to get enough sleep — which can be a challenge for workaholics or entrepreneurs,” Kerr says. One way to do that is to go to bed at a consistent time each evening, which is a key habit all sleep experts recommend to help ensure a healthy night’s sleep.
Vanderkam further suggests that you plan out when you’re going to wake up, count back however many hours you need to sleep, and then consider setting an alarm to remind yourself to get ready for bed. “The worst thing you can do is stay up late then hit snooze in the morning,” she says. “Humans have a limited amount of willpower. Why waste that willpower arguing with yourself over when to get up, and sleeping in miserable nine-minute increments?”
8. Lie down on a positive note. It’s easy to fall into the trap of replaying negative situations from the day that you wish you’d handled differently. Regardless of how badly the day went, successful people typically manage to avoid that pessimistic spiral of negative self-talk because they know it will only create more stress. “Remember to take some time to reflect on the positive moments of the day and celebrate the successes, even if they were few and far between,” Woodward says.
9. Picture tomorrow’s success. Many successful people take a few minutes before bed to envision a positive outcome unfolding for the projects they’re working on, says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant; How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job.” “For most, this is not a task or exercise; they’re wired with a gift of solid resolution skills that come naturally.”
Full Transcription available at http://thesmarterscienceofslim.com/depression/#1
here is an extract
Carrie: Years ago, I remember reading something, and I was reading a book about sugar addiction. One of the things that it said in there is that — don’t quote me because I’m not remembering exactly, so I’m paraphrasing. But the point was that it is very, very common for alcoholics or ex-alcoholics to be addicted to sugar. So what Jonathon is saying is absolutely true. You’re triggering the same parts of your brain.
So where the kimono comes open is that I was alcoholic. It is therefore no surprise that I now, at times, struggle with this chemical addiction, if you like, but now the way my brain is comforted is with starch. Occasionally, it’s sugar, but 95 percent of the time, it’s starch. I haven’t had a drink in I don’t know how long, 22 years — a very, very, very long time, and I don’t drink now and I don’t have a problem with it. If you sat me here with a bottle of wine, that’s gone (??), but it isn’t surprising that I have that — my body is wired to be addicted to something.
Jonathon: It is just amazing. The more references we can find in our own lives and the lives of those who we love and care about, where we start to see, again, a calorie is not a calorie. No one is craving vegetable calories to dull their pain when they’re in a state of severe emotional distress. That tells us that the calories we get from those inSANE starches and sweets are very, very different.
I think the follow-up question, Carrie, is we talked about when we’re not emotional, emotional eating but rather just like the less severe state. There are strategies we can take, because we still have the more conscious control of what we do at that point. Tell me what you think about this, Carrie. I don’t actually think there is a way to avoid insanity in these circumstances, just like drinking a light beer would never really give an alcoholic what they’re looking for.
The “solution” would be to try to find a way to eliminate the stimulus that causes the emotional stress that put you in this situation to begin with. Because I personally — when someone’s in, again — if kids are listening, you might want to turn it off at this point. There has been a lot of research done on why people don’t use condoms. The reason is — everyone knows they’re supposed to use condoms when you just sit down and talk with them. But that’s in what’s called a cold state, like people are cold; they’re rationally thinking. You get someone in a situation where they’re about to have intercourse, the mind does not work the same way. So you can’t be like, “Oh, in my non-emotional state, yeah, I’d do this.” No, no, no. That’s not what happens when you lose control of your mind, so the only solution is to not have your mind get in that state in the first place. Does that make sense?
Speaking, Listening, Writing, and Reading Effectively
Communication skills are some of the most important skills that you need to succeed in the workplace.
If you want to be an expert communicator, you need to be effective at all points in the communication process – from “sender” through to “receiver”, and you must be comfortable with the different channels of communication – face to face, voice to voice, written, and so on. Poor communicators usually struggle to develop their careers beyond a certain point.
So are you communicating effectively? Take this short quiz to find out.
The Communication Quiz
For each statement, click the button in the column that best describes you. Please answer questions as you actually are (rather than how you think you should be), and don’t worry if some questions seem to score in the ‘wrong direction’. When you are finished, please click the ‘Calculate My Total’ button at the bottom of the test.
GO TO QUIZ
Whenever you communicate with someone else, you and the other person follow the steps of the communication process shown below.
Here, the person who is the source of the communication encodes it into a message, and transmits it through a channel. The receiver decodes the message, and, in one way or another, feeds back understanding or a lack of understanding to the source.
By understanding the steps in the process, you can become more aware of your role in it, recognize what you need to do to communicate effectively, anticipate problems before they happen, and improve your overall ability to communicate effectively.
The sections below help you do this, and help you improve the way you communicate at each stage of the process.
The benefits of exercise are endless and studies have shown that it is the most effective way to enhance our physical and mental function. Have you considered what effect cortisol has on the body? Behavioral issues such as anxiety can keep us from concentrating on what is most important in our lives. Excessive exposure can even lead to some forms of illness.
Although stress is an inevitable product of life, the average American experiences daily worry and claim that it has an immediate effect on their personal lives. Even though stress and anxieties are impossible to eliminate completely – we can successfully manage them. There is one way to guarantee an improvement in our behavior from one day to the next. Running is one of the most recommended solutions to managing stress and anxiety. Read more to find out how running can reduce anxiety and prevent stress.
The Power of Running
Running is one of the most powerful forms of aerobic activity. This is a cardio workout that strengthens our cardiovascular health by pumping blood efficiently. With improved health of the heart, the body and muscles receive more oxygen, which they need to manage bodily organs. Running promotes weight loss, improves our mood, strengthens the heart muscle, prevents disease and significantly fights off stress and anxiety. By regularly participating in running or jogging, it reduces tension and manages our behavior on a daily basis.
This cardio workout can actually reorganize the brain so that stress has less of an impact on how we think, look and feel. By getting regular aerobic activity, brain cells will regulate nervous energy and build a much stronger mental and physical foundation. It also has an immediate effect on the nervous system, which is why we feel better after a short but intense cardio workout.
How does Running Prevent Anxiety?
GAD or Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a common behavioral problem for men and women. It may be the result of genetics, mental health, food, worries, financial problems etc. This is a problem that is conditioned by constant worrying and close to 100,000 Americans claim that it changes how they feel and make decisions every day.
Although there are a number of ways to prevent nervous energy – running is amongst the most effective. Studies show that the symptoms associated with anxiety are more prone to retract if we get enough cardio activity. It significantly fights off tension, worry, pain and irritability.
It’s exciting to know that there is a natural and healthy method such as cardio activity which is available to anyone who is willing to improve their sense of self. With its ability to impede depression symptoms and promote health in a number of ways, it’s no wonder why so many people have made exercise an essential part of their day.
The Role of Brain Chemicals
Fortunately, science has showed us how running improves our mood and prevents anxiety and/or depression. Dopamine is a brain chemical and a neurotransmitter that is linked to moderate running. Feeling stressed is linked to the death of cells and can even play a part in disease or physical conditions. It’s prominent to note that there is a positive and negative form of stress. Running creates positive stress, which builds new cells and perfects pathway structures. Positive stress equips us with the robust foundation we need to fight off disease, depression and weakness. Brain chemicals can be altered by how we eat and train our body.
Running forces an athlete to exert energy, increase their heart rate and take in more oxygen. This increase in oxygen consumption delivers more nutrients to the brain, organs and muscles. When the brain receives more oxygen it is equipped to manage the nervous system, hormones and prevent mood swings or nervous energy from transpiring.
Behavioral Factors also Reduce Anxiety
If you begin to run and see positive changes in how your body looks it will improve what image you have of yourself. Over time, you will feel more prideful and confident in who you are. This new image that you have can actually help you perform well in other tasks. Running teaches you self-discipline, which leads to self-control in what you eat too.
A low self-esteem can cause anxiety and depression. How we see ourselves has the influence to transform how we interact with others at work or in our personal lives. Although there are mental health benefits of running in a neurochemical way, it also plays out in our behavior. Fluctuating hormones and cortisol is reduced and endorphins are released. By running for a minimum of 20 minutes at least every other day you can benefit from running’s healing power.
Fight off Sensitivity to Nerves and Stress
Many of us are sensitive to foods and sedentary activity. Many people don’t realize that anxiety is a symptom of this sensitivity which is one reason why people suffer from psychological and physical issues. The good thing about being this sensitive is that you can control how quickly your body heals by managing what foods you eat and how often you exercise.
By running regularly you can control this sensitivity. As you breathe in more oxygen, strengthen your muscles, immune system, cognitive-functioning and nervous system you will have more control over your behavior and emotions (which cause us to act irrationally at times.) Many of us store energy as a result of how much food we eat and lack of strenuous exercise. We need exert this energy, not only mentally, but physically in order to feel our best.
Running mandates that we push energy throughout our entire body. It requires focus, concentration and strength. Physical stressors (which reshape brain and muscle cells) counteract cognitive stressors. It’s comforting to know that we have control over how we feel and react in many situations. Anxiety increases panic and can feel like a loss of all control. Running helps fight off these stressors and behavioral problems by strengthening the core of who we are. In order to feel good and look good we must learn how to replenish our body from the inside out.
- 2 hard boiled eggs
- 3 mini cheese scones
- 162 ml Garden Cocktail juice
- old cheddar cheese
- Greek salad: kale, zucchini, olives, feta, pork