Cold Showers (Part 5) – Joy

Find Joy“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”

~ Joseph Campbell

This is the 5th and final post of this cold shower series (at least for now as I continue to discover more remarkable benefits in taking cold showers). Lately, when I have extra time such as on weekends, I have been playing around with temperatures, going back and forth from hot to cold water and from cold to hot water. Going from one extreme to the other is a great way to detoxify your body as blood rushes inwardly toward the organs with cold water (trying to conserve heat and protect our vital organs) and then blood rushes outwardly toward the skin with warm water (revitalizing skin and improving circulation). I also use a luffa to exfoliate dead skin cells and to lightly massage my body which aids in lymphatic drainage. In a previous post, I shared my goal of remaining relaxed while under the extreme pressure of cold water (yes, it is at the coldest setting in case you were wondering). After achieving this goal, I am now trying to take it one step further.

In my book ‘One Habit At A Time’, I promote the habit of high-quality breathing to induce relaxation throughout the day. This helps to lower stress significantly. In the next chapter, I promote the habit of smiling to induce inner joy which will further reduce stress. Therefore, I decided to try and see if I could get joy out of taking a cold shower. I always feel great afterwards but during the shower, it is difficult to actually enjoy it. How can you enjoy something which feels almost torturous at times? :) I knew this would be a difficult challenge, but it offered another opportunity for growth.

After a few weeks, I am truly enjoying my cold showers most of the time. It took a while before I could even enjoy one. But with a little persistence, failure began to turn into success. Day after day I would psyche myself up before each cold water blast. Talking, yelling, singing, dancing and praying…I tried everything to bring inner joy out of my being so that I could conquer this challenge. Eventually, I could draw out my inner joy simply by tuning into it and by mindfully enjoying the experience of the cold water enveloping my body.

How has this challenge benefited me? With this practice I find myself getting more enjoyment out of each day. Things which I used to find ordinary, tedious, obnoxious or dreadful are not too bad anymore. I try to squeeze as much joy out of them as possible. On the flip side, I now find the joyous occasions that much sweeter. It’s as if the inner joy just gushes out and it feels absolutely incredible.

Anyway, I hope you liked this series and I hope it motivates you to take on the cold shower challenge (30 days of cold water showers). There is a tremendous amount of growth waiting for you on the other side. If you do accept the cold shower challenge, I would love you to share your experiences with it here in the comment section below.

Have a joyous day,

Sal Crispo

Cold Showers (Part 4) – Anxiety

Toronto Lake Ice“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”

~ William James

This past February in Toronto was a record-breaking month. We not only had the coldest days in years but the most consecutive days below zero degrees Celsius. Family day weekend reached a staggering minus 41 degrees Celsius (includes wind chill). As crazy as this weather was I continued to take cold showers each morning before going to work. Was it easy? Absolutely not.

We all know that feeling of waking up in the morning and being extremely comfortable and cozy under our bed sheets. Often the thought of having to take the sheets off of our warm bodies is bad or tough enough to surrender to. Now imagine thinking about taking a cold shower while lying there in your bed. I cannot express how difficult this feeling is to overcome. Why? What is this feeling?

ANXIETY!

Anxiety is a terrible state of being. You feel worried about something that is going to happen in the future. In order not to feel this inner turmoil, people will often avoid situations which provoke it. And this is another key reason why I continued to take cold showers during this extreme weather. Again, I viewed this as an opportunity to overcome a greatly debilitating emotional state. By putting myself in a position to feel anxiousness often, I began to learn from it…understand it…embrace it…and finally, to conquer it.

I learned that anxiety occurs even when there is no real danger eminent.

I understand now that certain thoughts about a future situation trigger my anxiety.

Knowing that my thoughts have the power to change my inner state of being, I can embrace my anxiousness with loving and compassionate thoughts.

And finally, I know I can conquer anxiety by changing my thoughts about any future situation.

Whether it’s stage fright, an important exam or an interview for your dream job, you must be able to overcome this troublesome state of being if you want to succeed in life. Take control of your thoughts and only envision the best or your ideal outcome. To do otherwise is not only a waste of time but it will stir up feelings of anxiousness and cause you to freeze in moments where you need to shine. What’s ironic is that I used this cold shower experience, along with this freezing weather, to unfreeze me from my anxiety. You can too!

Always envision greatness,

Sal Crispo

Always, Always Nurture

Nurture“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.”

~ Lao Tzu

 
This is the 3rd and final post of this series – 2015 resolutions. In the first and second post, I expressed two concepts to help you achieve your resolutions. To summarize, resolutions require a lot of time and effort therefore, do not focus on instantaneous results but focus on planting high-quality seeds (decisions) every day. Furthermore, high quality decisions are often very unpopular decisions so be prepared to overcome any negative influences which may try to deter you from achieving your resolution. Now I will give you the third concept and that is to always nurture your decisions with accurate thinking and affirmative action.

I give a detailed explanation of accurate thinking and affirmative action in my book, One Habit At A Time. They are 2 of the 9 habits I teach in the book and they are the ultimate nurtures of goals, resolutions and dreams.

Thoughts are either creative or destructive so you must ensure that they are in line with your purpose. If you decide to lose weight, earn more money or find romantic love and at the same time, your dominant thoughts are that you cannot achieve these things then you are destined for failure. Therefore, you have to be mindful of your thinking processes and belief structures. Making unpopular decisions will often stir up many negative thoughts and emotions you have buried inside you.

For some of you the following may sting a little but almost always – YOU ARE YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY.

Don’t believe me?

Try this exercise. I want you to get up, look at yourself in the mirror and state something which you believe would be out of reach for you to achieve such as:

“In 1 year… I will earn 10 times my current income or I will be featured in a fitness magazine or I will find an incredible person that will love me for who I really am, etc.”

The more personally outrageous the claim, the more inner garbage will surface. This is your enemy. The garbage is what keeps you from moving forward and achieving seemingly unreachable successes. Until you begin to clean up these toxic thoughts and belief structures, your pursuits will be hindered. You must think you can, with your entire being, before you can accomplish any extraordinary feat.

If you do not think or believe you can achieve your resolution then naturally, your actions toward your resolve will be weak. Affirmative action is the opposite. You know you can and will achieve your resolution so all your actions become powerful and nurture your resolution – even the mistakes or setbacks. Why? Mistakes become part of the growing processes and all setbacks are only temporary for those who believe they can. With affirmative action, you always have your sights set on nurturing your resolution and when the opportunity to acts arises, you act accordingly. For instance, if your resolution is to be fitter, you would take the stairs instead of the escalators when the opportunity presents itself. Most of the time, it’s that simple.

If you have not made a resolution for this year then I encourage to make one now. It’s not too late. Are you still not sure what to do? Based on the exercise we did earlier, what extraordinary feat brings up the most fear and doubt in you? Maybe you could start there?

I wish you all an incredible journey of growth and success!

Keep nurturing your endeavours,

Sal Crispo

Avoid This Habit at All Cost!

NapoleonHillQuote

Every endeavour you embark on will bring challenges. Do you want to improve your health…your business…your relationships? No matter what your goals are, you will need to welcome and embrace all the challenges which lie ahead. Sometimes these challenges take days, weeks or even months to overcome. Sometimes these challenges will knock you down onto your knees or completely off your feet. However, it’s up to you to get back up and keep pushing forward.

But how? Continue reading

5 Simple Habits To Boost the Quality of Your Sleep

Bear Insomnia Cartoon1. Avoid Stimulants Before Bedtime

The autonomic nervous system is divided into 2 main parts – sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). These 2 systems have an antagonistic relationship. For instance, you cannot be in a heated argument and completely relaxed at the same time. Stimulants activate the sympathetic nervous system (S.N.S) and will disrupt the quality of your sleep which is a parasympathetic nervous system (P.N.S) activity. Some common stimulants to avoid before bedtime are caffeinated drinks, bright lights and extreme emotional highs (such as heated arguments). Before bedtime, it is best to make the habit of creating an environment of relaxation. Continue reading

Don’t Hate, Debate

DebateNotHateOne day I was talking to a colleague and she asked me if I would like to support Breast Cancer Research with a donation. I politely said no thank you. Now I had my reasons but I kept them to myself because I know it can be a touchy subject. However, she insisted that I share my reasons and so I did. As I began to list my reasons, she freaked out and began to verbally attack me. She cried and accused me of not caring. She also said that I didn’t know how it felt to lose someone close to me from this disease as had happened to her. I felt terrible so I tried to explain myself, however, the more I tried, the worse the situation became. She told me never to speak to her again. Continue reading

Shower Power!

Lao Tzu QuoteThe mind, just like the body and soul, should not be neglected. When you wake up in the morning, do you wash your body? Do you brush your teeth? What happens if you don’t? Obviously you will stink. Now imagine going to work in this condition. How could you work with others or meet with clients? Do you think you would make a great impression if you were out on a date with a special person? As you can easily see, not cleansing your body can have an endless amount of negative repercussions. In the same way, not cleansing your mind on a daily basis can be disastrous. Continue reading

5 Quick Tips to Lower Stress

Helpful Tips

Tip #1: Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Sounds simple, but the reality is that many people don’t get enough quality sleep. Sleep is where every aspect of our physical bodies (muscles, energy systems and organs, etc.) recharge. As a result, we cannot run our bodies efficiently (as stress-free as possible) if we fail to re-energize with quality sleep. What do most people do when they are having trouble functioning  during the day? Continue reading

A Dog and His Master – Who’s Walking Who?

As you can see in the drawing to the left, there is a person (let’s call him Steve for easy reference), walking along side his dog. Steve’s thought-bubble is cluttered with thoughts and images while the dog’s thought-bubble is clear. As they both walk through the park, the dog sees the sun and the trees up ahead but Steve sees nothing but the clutter. The dog is fully enjoying the moment while Steve is completely lost in his own mind (world). Steve is a common example of how most people live a great majority of their lives. The dog is a perfect example of mindfulness – a real zen master! This is ironic because I’ll bet you somewhere in all that clutter, Steve thinks he is the dog’s master. Continue reading