Living the Stressless Life: Part 2


May 6 to 12 is Mental Health Awareness week. 


We chose to focus on mental fitness as an important aspect of overall mental health, and how it relates to alleviating stressors in our daily lives. Managing stress is a proven strategy to prevent more serious illnesses, both mental and physical.


We asked two of our Cannabis Curation Committee members who are well-versed in health and fitness to provide some guidance and inspiration.


Kyle has a personal regimen honed over years of conscious experimentation, involving everything from controlled fasting to freezing cold showers. He shares his perspective on living a finely-tuned and stress-free life below.

 

KYLE

Director of Music & Technology + Health-conscious urban professional


Everything in life is a mind game.

– David Goggins


My personal philosophy around mental fitness is that the strengthening of my mind is best done synergistically with my body. I take aim at this by structuring rituals and habits to reduce stress, as well as preparing to deal with the inevitable stress we all face daily.


We’re the CEO of our own lives – if not us, then who? – and with that comes the responsibility of keeping ‘Me Inc.’ running optimally (the term ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ comes to mind).

Developing mental fitness/fortitude is a big component of running ‘Me Inc.’ and a few of my favourite activities and habits to do so include the following.


#1 - Intermittent Fasting (Daily 16/8 fast)


Purpose: Stress-resilience, energy, thought-clarity, fat-burning


16 hours a day fasting and consuming food within an 8-hour window, as well as experimentation with periodic extended fasts beyond that (e.g. more than 16-20 hours).

My routine usually looks like this: ending my eating period at 10:00 pm the night before and breaking my fast at 2:00 pm the following day. Tip: I consume black coffee inside my fasting window – though debatable about still being in a completely fasted state, I feel confident in achieving my desired outcomes with it’s inclusion.


#2 - Meditation

As the Zen proverb goes: You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy. In that case, you should meditate for an hour a day.


Purpose: Stress/anxiety reduction, problem-solving and prioritization

This concept has reminded me of the importance of doing the things we sometimes try to talk ourselves out of… especially when we’re talking ourselves out of them!

To get my emotional and mental state back to baseline (e.g. reduce anxiety/stress) and to align myself with my daily and life objectives, meditation has been an incredible tool in my arsenal.

Tip: Drop expectations. Drop negative self-talk. Drop the idea of not doing it because you’re worried you’re ‘doing it wrong.’ Simply commit to sitting in silence with your ‘self’ for 5, 10, 20 minutes per day.


Tip: Experiment with binaural waves as a tool to drop into zone during meditation. I mostly use the Binaural app with a Theta wave (5 - 5.5hz) to best strive for this.

#3 - Cold Showers

My favourite way to start the day.


Purpose: Wakefulness, early mental win, and the plethora of health benefits

The immediate sensations may feel like they’re solely causing a physical transformation (and it does!), but even the act of turning the handle from hot to cold first thing in the morning is a great way to start the day with a mental win.


Shifting my perspective to appreciate how nourishing a cold shower is also helps me to handle how freakin’ cold it is!


Tip: Enjoy the hot water first, but finish the shower with cold water. Create a progression if you must, going with colder and colder increments each day, just like you do weights at the gym.


#4 - Nootropic Supplements

A healthy diet and exercise routine will move the needle on your mental game the most, but when I’m looking to fine tune and support my mental goals, I look to nootropic supplements.


Purpose: Synergistic development of the body and mind


Supplements:

  • Caffeine & L-Theanine:Both work individually, but when combined I sense an increased state of productivity and concentration while balancing out the jitters that can come with caffeine consumption.

  • Alpha-GPC: Cognitive function and brain health

  • Lion’s Mane Mushroom: Cognitive function, memory, mood

  • Cordyceps Mushroom: Adaptogen, memory & brain health, energy/focus