What it takes to have your health on point
What I learned from my journey of building sane habits (and quitting toxic ones)
Don’t fool yourself : your health is your most precious — and fragile — asset. I know that when you’re young, you feel invincible. But DUH, you’re not. You’re clearly not. During youth, you only have time on your side and a good health capital. Open your eyes: your body is a biological system that responds to your lifestyle and it suffers from stupid behaviors in the long term. It doesn’t take a PhD to understand this. Ignore this fact, and you will die sooner than you think. Ask your elders if they don’t regret starting their crappy habits. Ask them about their weight, their medical conditions, the pills they take to sleep at night, to endure stress during the day, to have sex or whatever. Taking care of yourself should be your #1 priority, period. Because it’s your concrete life : health is your energy levels, your shape, your mood, your potential, your limits...
#1. Understand your mind
One of the worst legacies of my youth, is the insane tendency to be addicted to anything that make me feel good. Back to when I was a little kid, I was addicted to sugar. I remember myself eating ton of it and hiding it from my parents. Then, I discovered computers and video games. I used to lock myself in my bedroom and to sacrifice all my nights to the benefit of it. Then came the era of the Internet : MSN messenger, unlimited texting and phone calls, social medias… Then went tobacco. TV shows. Then weed. A few years later, I was used to taking drugs and felt miserable for it…
Science tells us that all of these activities make our body produce hormones : serotonin and dopamin, to name a few. They are responsible of the great feelings we have when eating something tasty, when we have an orgasm, or when we’re high on drugs, or when we get dozens of likes on our new Facebook profile picture.
Addiction comes in when you look for this artificial happiness, when you abuse of something that make you feel good, as an automatic response to stressful situations. It’s the cigaret that you smoke when you have to focus on something. It’s when you’re checking social medias instead of socializing with people. It’s the alcohol that you need to drink during a date or before public speaking. It’s the weed that you smoke to run away from boredom. It’s when you binge a TV show or YouTube videos instead of doing what you’re expected to do. These behaviors are toxic. Once started, we tend to cumulate them, which generates complex addictions, and eventually end up as depression. The worst is that, when you’re a teenager, your brain is still in development and these reflexes tend to be hardwired… forever.
It’s a shame that, in France at least, we only learn physical hygiene to kids but not mental hygiene.
My concrete advice are:
- Listen to Gary Vaynerchuck
- Talk to a therapist, even though you think you don’t need to. I’m serious. Pick one issue in your life that bothers you, and let him/her help you fix it. So that you can learn the process of mental hygiene.
- Read Christophe André’s book Imparfaits, Libres et heureux
- Get your dopamine/serotonine dose through sport, novelties, and interactions with other people. Forget about drugs, it’s a vicious dead-end.
Don’t fall into the trap of your own fears. Stressful situations happen to everyone, especially during youth. It’s part of the journey. Remember that you may be unique but you’re not special. Shitloads of conflicts and mistakes are coming towards you, and it’s vital for you to handle them in a sane manner. Good things will happen too! There is no shortcut to have a meaningful life, you have to listen to yourself, make your moves, get knocked out sometimes, repeat and love the process.
#2 Understand your body
By “body” I mean any knowledge that affects your own physical enveloppe : anatomy, nutrition, immune system, genetics, digestive system, cardiovascular system, body composition, chronic disease , to name a few… Don’t outsource the effort to know yourself. You don’t need to become a specialist but you can’t afford to ignore this horizontal knowledge. Your body is a complex machine that needs to be fueled, used and maintened right to express its potential. Nobody will do it for you. Public health campaigns are definitely not enough, if useful at all.
The best way to approach this, is to leverage your narcissism and your desire to seduce people. You want this solid 6pack, right ? How about getting it ?Understanding your body is as simple as pushing yourself towards an ambitous fitness goal. You will learn during your fitness journey how your body works and responds, how to feed it and how to keep it in shape. Basically, you will learn how to master it, in addition to get the physique that you dreamed of.