Predicting The Future Of Health and Fitness, And 9 Tips To Transform Your Life in 2021, Part 3 (Breather Episode with Brad)
*Did you know that the health risks associated with loneliness are about the same as the risks associated with obesity?*
Yes, that’s right, it’s not just your emotional well-being that is affected by your social interactions and intimate relationships — your longevity is also directly and adversely impacted by loneliness. In fact, loneliness can actually change your personality, making you more selfish and less sensitive to others. It’s also strongly associated with an increased risk for dementia, and lonely people actually have a 20% increase in their risk for early death from heart disease, stroke, or cancer.
In the final episode of this three-part breather show about the future of health and fitness and the 9 tips you can take to transform your life this year, we will cover the last four items on the list:
#6: Prioritizing live social interaction and your intimate circle of family and friends
#7: Evolving love relationships to the next level
#8: Reprogramming your brain
#9: Taking baby steps to achieve your goals
Here we go!
*Prioritizing Family and Friends, Your ‘Intimate’ Circle:*
It’s no secret that a lot of people feel lonely during this pandemic, but maybe one lesson we can learn from that is to be more proactive in making plans and engaging in live social interaction. The truth is, loneliness is a big deal; Keto For Life explains why when discussing longevity attributes: “Two-thirds of Americans have lost 90 percent of their friends over the past decade. Common reasons include moving to a new city, entering an all-consuming romantic relationship, or simply drifting apart. Thirty-three percent of Americans admit to having had a falling-out with a close friend or extended family member such that they are not on speaking terms. Thirty percent more people live alone in the United States than did in 1980, many of them elderly and thus less likely to engage socially outside the home. *The disastrous health consequences of loneliness and isolation are widely acknowledged.* Social isolation is strongly associated with increased risk of dementia. Lonely people have a 20 percent increased risk of early death by cancer, heart disease, and stroke. These are about the same as obesity risks! Loneliness and isolation can actually change your personality whereby you become more selfish and less sensitive to others. This is a genetically programmed survival mechanism against the very real survival threat that isolation posed in primal times.” John Cacioppo, PhD, director of the University of Chicago’s Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, and author of Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection , describes the phenomenon as follows: “When you feel lonely, you get more defensive. You focus more on self-preservation, even though this is not done intentionally. Completely unbeknownst to you, your brain is focusing more on self-preservation than the preservation of those around you. This, in turn, can make you less pleasant to be around.”
*Evolving Love Relationships to Next Level: Emotionally Intelligent Relationships:*
My shows with John Gray ( https://www.bradkearns.com/2020/04/07/john-gray-2/ ) and Wendy Walsh ( https://www.bradkearns.com/2018/10/02/wendywalsh/ ) are both great resources for information about this topic. The last time John was on the podcast, we discussed his book, Beyond Mars and Venus, and he talked about how one of the challenges of modern times is how evolving cultural dynamics are asking more from romantic relationships than ever before. Another thing John stressed was the importance of nurturing our biological drives so we can optimize our hormones with good relationship practices, and the Essential Male/Female Assignments, which are:
Men: Engage in Venus talks and don’t speak when you have a negative emotional charge (be a calm, cool, and collected Kung fu master!). Take cave time to replenish testosterone (by solving problems, tackling challenges, etc). David Deida, author of The Way of Superior Man, advises us to, “lean into a female’s emotional outbursts.”
Women: Don’t nitpick, and work to express everything as preference. Remember that men just want to be the hero in the story.
Wendy Walsh says there are “no rules” (e.i., swiping a screen to find a new mate). In discussing the challenges of the all consuming modern relationship, Wendy asserts that “too much autonomy means no intimacy. Too much union means fusion, and that’s not healthy either.”
Some great takeaways from John Gottman: “Discover your own happiness and bring it to a relationship.” John Gray says to look to yourself to be happy, and a relationship to make you happier. Get that 80% by yourself, and the final 20% is the cherry on top.
It’s also key to realize that you can’t change your partner. “Most martial arguments cannot be solved, because they emanate from fundamental differences in lifestyle, personality, or values. Fighting is something that wastes time and harms your marriage. A successful relationship depends on the e xtent to which the male can accept the influence of the woman he loves and become socialized in emotional communication.”
In your day-to-day lives as a couple, you have hit upon a dynamic that keeps your negative thoughts and feelings about each other (which all couples have) from overwhelming the positive ones. The goal is to have an emotionally intelligent marriage. Also, keep in mind that, “neuroses don’t have to ruin a marriage. If you can accommodate each other’s ‘crazy’ side and handle it with caring, affection, and respect, your marriage can thrive.”
*Reprogramming Your Brain:*
One recurring theme in all our lives is that we are replaying flawed childhood programming and our subconscious runs the show, 93-98% of time, as per Bruce Lipton. The way to counteract this is by awakening to this idea, acknowledging our patterned behavior and ‘issues’ and taking some space to control thoughts and emotions. Work on responding, instead of reacting.
One of my most inspiring shows was with John Assaraf ( https://www.bradkearns.com/2020/09/15/john-assaraf-innercise-unlocking-the-power-of-your-trillion-dollar-brain-with-easy-habit-formation-and-doing-a-little-anyway-even-if-you-dont/ ) , who talked about Innercise, which is how to rewire your brain neurons through “tiny actions” that are do-able and non-intimidating. This helps build up your confidence and also helps you to start thinking differently. The brain has neuroplasticity, meaning it can become rewired for success and positivity, so why not take advantage of this?
Remember to “Take 6” under stress. There are also a host of other techniques that take practice and repetition: affirmations, positive self talk, tools like MyNeurogym online courses, physical priming techniques like diaphragmatic breathing, meditation and mindfulness training, CBT, subliminal tapes. Or how about just refraining from self-critical comments and self-limiting beliefs? And then, start envisioning some possibilities?
I also love what Jack Canfield says about implementing ‘Turnaround statements’: “If you want to find happiness in life, put a muzzle on that inner critic and transform it into an encouraging, loving, and positive inner coach.” The inner critic can be incredibly destructive; Canfield cites research that we talk to ourselves around 50,000 times per day and that 80 percent of that self-talk is negative. Canfield’s suggestion is to identify the belief you would like to change, determine how that belief limits you, and decide how you would rather be, act, or feel. Then, create a “turnaround statement” that affirms or gives you permission to be, act, or feel this new way. Then, you implant the statement into your subconscious mind by repeating the statement for 2-3 minutes, several times per day for a minimum of thirty days. If this stuff sounds silly to you, y…