The Importance of Discipline

When we find ourselves facing challenges and feeling as though things are out of control, it is important to stay grounded no matter what and to bring new meaning to each day. Discipline can keep us grounded. Applying healthy strategies in a meticulous way in order to help us cope with uncertain times is a sure way to maintain a sense of control.

How to Better Cope with Stress

If we are stressed, sleep is heavily impacted. Therefore we recognize the importance of keeping a bedtime ritual. In his new book, The New Rules of Aging Well, Dr. Frank Lipman lists 5 strategies that can bring “high-quality, truly restorative rest:”

  • Dim the lights an hour or two before you plan to go to bed.
  • Relax your muscles with an Epsom salt soak. Add a couple of drops of soothing lavender oil.
  • Relax your brain by dumping out whatever is in there; you can make a to-do list or write in a journal. Pour out resentments or anger, and follow that exercise with a gratitude list.
  • Think about the kind of content you consume at night.[…] A crossword puzzle, a YA novel (yes, adults can read these too), gentle poetry, spiritual essays. Find what works for you.
  • If you can’t turn off your brain, listen to relaxing music or use a white-noise machine.

Of course, to develop a daily practice of meditation and/or breathwork is highly recommended. When we feel calm and well-rested our outlook on life is always more positive.

Additional Tweaks to Make to Target Psychological and Lifestyle Factors

These are a few other basic strategies I recently heard in a Fat-Burning Man podcast with Abel James:

  • Stay away from things you feel are taking up too much space in your life or are even bordering on addiction.
  • Make sure you are eating clean whole foods only.
  • Do a physical activity like a daily walk. It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous. This will help with sleep and stress.
  • Make sure you are getting some sun as close to sunrise as possible as this is helping with sleep and stress too.
  • Be patient with yourself and be good to yourself (when some days are not perfect). Keep persevering in making progress in the right direction even if it is at a very slow pace.

In Summary

During times of uncertainty, being diligent about keeping a bedtime routine and a clean diet along with daily exercise/movement, adequate sun exposure, and patience can really help in strengthening us in more than one way.

Until next time!


Lipman, Frank. The New Rules of Aging Well : A Simple Program for Immune Resilience, Strength, and Vitality. New York, Artisan, A Division Of Workman Publishing Co., Inc, 2020, pp. 62–5.

“Todd White: Biodynamic Wine, Bartering & Social Media Burnout | Fat-Burning Man.”, James, Abel, 23 Oct. 2020, Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

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The Unavoidable Daily Stress

Stress is ubiquitous nowadays, even more so this year with this pandemic that came upon us. And some days can certainly feel “heavier” than others. Dr. Steve Maraboli said, “Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” As the years go by, we can definitively become stronger and more resilient. But it is not just one thing that can help us handle stress better (and life-changing events at times). Rather it is a set of tools, such as daily meditation, exercise, and better nutrition. As mentioned in 10 Reasons You Feel Old and Get Fat, by Dr. Frank Lipman, what follows is a list of some of the things we can do that can help us unwind and better handle whatever we have to deal with every day:

Strategies to Manage Stress

  • Exercise
  • Meditate
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Use guided visualization
  • Do a breathing exercise
  • Listen to some music
  • Take up tai chi, yoga, or some other type of “moving meditation”
  • Set some limits when it comes to engagements; learn to say “no” at times
  • Set time for yourself (like two hours a week) to do something that brings you calm and fulfillment
  • Get enough sleep to strengthen your mitochondria, among other things
  • Try to limit your exposure to toxins in your food, water, and personal-care products the best you can
  • Avoid sweets and too many starches; see which foods work for you and buy accordingly

In Summary

Being equipped with the right tools like the ones listed above to handle stress better and to tackle life’s never-ending ups and downs can help in more than one way. Choose the strategies that resonate the most with your present mindset as a starting point, and then add a few more whenever it feels right to do so. Building new habits takes time. Be patient and persevere!

Until next time!


Lipman, Frank. 10 Reasons You Feel Old And Get Fat : — And How You Can Stay Young, Slim, And Happy!. Carlsbad, California, Hay House, Inc, 2016, pp. 86–7.

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Every day we deal with stress, one way or another, whether it’s getting the kids ready for school on time in the morning, finding ourselves caught in traffic jams, or dealing with anything work-related. Over the past few years, I have experimented with four different types of breathing that I find very helpful in calming me down, making me feel more relaxed, and preparing me for the next task of the day.

Just taking a five-minute break or less to do a breathing exercise every day can make a big difference over time. The following breathing exercises have been referenced by numerous professionals.

  • Box breathing: Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds, and count for 4 seconds before breathing in again. You can increase the number of seconds as you become more skilled, but always practice in moderation. And just a few minutes (up to 5 minutes) at a time is plenty.
  • Alternate nostril breathing: Using the thumb and ring finger of your right hand and being in a comfortable sitting position, put your thumb on your right nostril to close it and exhale through the left nostril all the way. Then breathe in through the left nostril, close the left nostril with your ring finger and exhale through the right nostril. Breathe in through the right nostril, close the right nostril with the thumb again and breathe out through the left nostril. Repeat this breathing pattern for just a few minutes at a time. I was first introduced to this technique by meditation teacher Emily Fletcher and it is another great way to re-energize yourself.
  • Breathing exercise paired with visualization: I read about this breathing exercise in a book titled The Fourfold Path to Healing, by Dr. Thomas Cowan, Sally Fallon, et al., and find the visualization very relaxing. Picture yourself by the seashore and as a wave comes crashing at your feet, breathe out. Pause for a few seconds, then as a new wave forms in the distance, take a deep breath in. Hold your breath for a few seconds, then breathe out as the new wave reaches your feet again. Repeat this breathing exercise a few times.
  • Vagal nerve stimulating breathing exercise: This exercise (which I love to do every day) is well described by neurologist Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein in a Bulletproof podcast. Begin by sitting comfortably without crossing your arms or legs. Place the tip of your tongue right between your palate and the upper teeth. Breathe in for 4 seconds through the nose. Hold the breath for 7 seconds. Breathe out through the mouth for 8 seconds, making a “whoosh” sound as you still have your tongue placed between your palate and upper teeth. Repeat 4 times only, twice a day.

When doing these breathing exercises, always make sure you keep a straight spine with your chin slightly tucked in to lengthen the back of your neck. This position gives the room for your lungs to fully expand when you breathe in, which isn’t possible if we are hunched over. Also make sure your breathing begins in the belly; this will help circumvent the typical shallow chest-breathing pattern we experience when we get stressed out. And that’s it! Four easy breathing exercises that can make a world of difference!

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