Rising Above Doubt

Rising Above Doubt by Allison Caswell

Growing up I was always surrounded by sports. I was encouraged by my parents to play a different sport each season- having the opportunity to play tennis, soccer, track, basketball, lacrosse and hockey (hockey was definitely not my calling). I grew up playing on co-ed and boy’s sports teams until I started school sports – later having the opportunity to be on the women’s tennis team in college. In those years I had the opportunity to grow as a woman, not only on the court as an athlete, but also as a coach during graduate school. I started lifting and participating in functional group fitness classes consistently in graduate school and have had a passion for it ever since.  Specifically, the barbell has provided a sense of stability and consistency for both body and mind. Lifting challenges me to stand alongside my fears and doubts and has helped me to become more confident as a person.

Rise Fitness Studio creates a uniquely positive yet challenging environment to grow as a person and athlete. We are given the opportunity to learn and master skills that we didn’t think would be possible. A great deal of this is due in part to the community of members and encouragement of the coaches at Rise; supporting each other through struggles as well as successes. We continually push our limits and strive to tap into our true potential. We know and understand that every workout is going to be different and that every day is going to have its challenges. But, within those difficulties and challenges, the Rise community comes together. While we may be at different points in our fitness journey, we continue to grow and succeed through the positive community environment at Rise Fitness Studio.

 

-Allison Caswell

Mindful Happiness

How to find contentment in everyday life that leads to mindful happiness

 

Pursuing Happiness

In order to pursue happiness it is important to understand that each and every day is going to have a different focus as we grow and develop. During our lifetime we are faced with many goals and reasons behind them such as graduating college, getting a good job, completing a big project for work, etc. These goals tend to come with a taxing mental element known as psychic entropy. Psychic entropy occurs when we experience a decision overload along with many tasks in front of us with little to no organization behind them. As we approach our daily routines and what it looks like to have full awareness and consciousness of the responsibilities and tasks at hand, it is important to have a system in place for how we’re going to go about these duties. As you read this blog you will find useful tips on how to manage your time, control your consciousness/awareness and draw attention towards tasks and duties that align with your goals that keep you on track for success. This recipe for mindfulness will help aid in a natural byproduct of happiness as your mind and body reach a state of flow that helps you become awesome.

Before we get started, let’s review a few key terms that we will help us gain as much knowledge as possible from the information below.

 

Psychic Entropy – Mental loss of energy

Entropy – to be understood as a measure of disorder

Negentropy – When information that keeps coming into awareness is congruent with our goals, psychic energy flows effortlessly. And those who attain it develop a stronger, more confident self, because more of their psychic energy has been invested successfully in goals they themselves had chosen to pursue.

Flow – Being in flow brings purpose to the task at hand. In Order to obtain flow, one must become fully immersed in the task through full physical and mental capacity. In conjunction we may then use our awareness and mindfulness to fully engage in tiny achievements that lead to our goal.

What is Purpose?

It isn’t incredibly naive to expect that life has a coherent overall meaning. It is natural to see individuals with outstanding talents become very bored of daily mundane tasks that simply breech the potential of their being. As indirect tasks begin to consume one’s life we see that their conscious and awareness begins to fade as they no longer find use of their maximum mental and physical capacity that is required to be in a state of flow. As we set tasks that align with our goals then we will see an immediate correlation between a conscious state of flow and purpose. However, this takes time and effort to find our goals and then be able to set tasks in front of us that align with what we want to achieve. The meaning of the word meaning stands for identifying different words. That being said, to find “our” meaning of purpose one must evaluate the most important values around them and surround ourselves with tasks aligning with those values that will essentially lead to achieving our goals.

 

How can we control our consciousness/awareness and practice mindfulness?

  • Having the ability to delay gratification, resisting short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.
  • Having capacity to override an unwanted thought, feeling or impulse
  • Having the ability to employ a “cool” cognitive system of behavior rather than a “hot” emotional system.
  • Conscious, effortful regulation of the self by the self (Ex: Organization, Timeline Daily Goals)
  • Focus on external factors instead of factors that benefit the self directly

 

Goal Setting

Always take time to make sure that your daily tasks and duties align with your goals. To maximize the direction of your tasks and goals always find a way to correlate them to 3 main goals in your life at that time. These can be a personal goal, professional or business goal and your great pumpkin goal. Your great pumpkin goal can be an event that you are training for or an audition in a play that you are trying to qualify for. This is something outside of your daily “job life” that you can find a passionate connection in which you can achieve flow.

 

The concentration of the flow experience

Clear goals and daily timeline duties can provide immediate feedback. This leads order to consciousness, including the enjoyable condition of psychic negentropy.

 

The Battle

The battle is not against the self, but against the entropy that brings disorder to consciousness. This is not to say that you will not struggle to achieve the things you want in life because that is not the case. However, when we can take a step back and appreciate the struggle of what is leading us to success then we can experience flow to an even higher standard.

 

Increasing Willpower

According to the physiology of fitness, temporarily exhausting a muscle should lead to increased muscle size or improved ability to use fuel. The same is true for willpower. Try controlling one thing that you aren’t used to controlling, and aim to do it every day. Like physical exercise, this act of self-control can be uncomfortable at first, but over time it is no longer a struggle. The willpower muscle has learned a new skill, and with practice, the act of self-control is less likely to deplete willpower. If all acts of willpower reflect a single strength, then training any individual act of self-control should strengthen all acts of self-control.

 

Strengthening your Willpower/Awareness

Tell yourself, “I am the type of person that ___________”

  • Strengthen your “ I won’t” Power
  • Strengthen your “I will” power
  • Strengthen your self-monitoring

 

The Limits of Willpower

Research shows that willpower is inherently limited. No matter how physically fit we are, exerting ourselves inevitably leads to exhaustion. The same is true of inner strength: self-control depletes willpower in much the same way that exercise temporarily depletes physical power.

Because willpower is limited, each act of self-control is a win-lose effort, helping in the immediate situation but making us more likely to lose control later. Refraining from gossiping at work makes it more difficult to hit the gym after work. Resisting the impulse to splurge at your favorite store makes it more difficult to turn down dessert. This means that it’s important to set priorities and to give ourselves a break on the things that aren’t at the top of the list.

 

Conserving Willpower

How can you make healthy choices without depleting willpower? “You don’t want to be standing in front of the fridge saying you don’t have a clue what to eat. The weakest moment of self-control is when you’re hungry and tired. Too much choice tends to overwhelm us. If you have to make a lot of choices, you’ll deplete your self-control.”

Likewise with exercise, when you’re feeling strong, set up a weekly date to meet a friend at the gym. Commit and just show up—no choice and no willpower needed.

 

Willpower Basics

The idea that willpower is inherently limited doesn’t mean you’re doomed to self-control failure. A strength model of willpower gives you a realistic way to plan for success. Try the following:

  • Because willpower is limited, it’s important to set reasonable goals and priorities. Conserve your willpower for what really matters.
  • Forgive temporary setbacks. A single mistake doesn’t mean you are weak. It may just mean you’ve already succeeded to the limits of your current ability, and now you deserve a rest or reward to restore your strength.
  • Recognize that willpower is not “all in the mind,” and supply your mind-body with the fuel it needs to face life’s challenges. This fuel includes rest, a healthy diet and a steady supply of positive experiences.
  • Understand how the demands of your job, family and other relationships may interfere with your ability to stick with a health or fitness program. Look for ways to reduce stress to support any major life change.
  • Conserve or bypass willpower by focusing on other strengths: planning, commitment and positive motivation.

 

Good Luck!

Shawn Reece BS, EP-C, USAW1

Creating Habit Blog

By: Allison Caswell

Research shows that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. What better time to
dive into a new habit than right now?! The spread of Covid-19 has changed
each of our lives in one-way or another. For many of us we are starting to workout
at home, working from home for the first time and cooking or eating in more than
we have in the past. Our routines have shifted and challenges are bound to present
themselves. Take this time to slow down and work towards creating a new habit
that supports your well-being and health.

Habits are best described as a regular tendency or practice that are repeated over
and over. There are a sequence of events that occur in developing a habit which
include a trigger, a routine and finally a habit forming.
First, a trigger or cue occurs. This could be an emotion, time, thought or location.
Then a routine occurs which is followed by a habit developing over time.
Habits are often very difficult to change or create. Below are some strategies to help
you in creating or changing a particular habit that you have.

1. Identify the habit you would like to create or change: Take time to think
about the habit you would like to tackle over the next 30 days. Think about
the different aspects of your life and how creating this habit will help your
overall well-being.

2. Make the habit something you are able to do daily: Consistency is key and
the more you are able to carry out and practice the habit, the more successful
you will be.

3. Start simple and build upon that foundation: It is very easy to get over-
motivated and take on too much as once. Choose a habit that is measurable.
For example: if you want to develop a habit of stretching for 20 minutes each
day, start with 5 minutes and progress from there.

4. Remind yourself: Place reminders throughout your home to keep you on
track in creating your new habit. Write it in your planner, put a reminder on
your phone, or write it on a sticky note.

5. Stay Consistent: Consistency is key. In order to create a successful habit, it
needs to become part of your routine and daily lifestyle.

6. Be Accountable: Being accountable will help with developing consistency.
Tell a friend of family member what you are working towards. Post in the
Rise Fitness Members Facebook group about how you are doing with your
new habit. Ask for help if you are struggling.

7. Be Imperfect: Nobody is perfect. Always remember to extend grace and be
patient with yourself as habits are not easy to develop or change. Be kind to
yourself and take this time to intently work towards the habit you are
learning to create.

Contact us today to receive your free habit tracker to help keep you accountable during the next thirty days.
Please reach out if you have any questions or need guidance on creating or
maintaining a new habit. Here’s to learning and growing in this difficult time along
side an amazing community of Rise Fitness Studio members!