Michael Matthews Bigger Leaner Stronger The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body.pdf

If were to succeed in this new world we must learn to

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• If we’re to succeed in this new world, we must learn to distinguish between the false, distracting, and addicting “rewards” we’re enticed with every day, everywhere we go, and the real rewards that give us true fulfillment and that bring meaning to our lives. THE ARCHENEMY OF WILLPOWER: STRESS • Self-control is for relaxing the muscles, slowing the heart rate, elongating the breaths, and buying some time to think about what we really want to do next, whereas fight or flight is for speeding us up to react as quickly as possible. • Research has conclusively proven that nothing undermines willpower like stress—and not just the stress we feel when our brains are bathed in dopamine, but the stress of everyday living. The more stress we feel, the more likely we are to overeat, overspend, and do the many other things we
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regret shortly thereafter. • Anything that causes stress, whether mental or physical, drains our “reserve” of willpower and reduces our capacity for self-control. Thus, as a corollary, anything we can do to reduce stress in our lives and improve mood—both acutely and chronically—improves our self-control. • An effective way to recover from the stresses of the “daily grind” is to simply relax. If you want to see this in action, the next time you face a willpower challenge, deliberately slow your breathing down to about 10 to 15 seconds per breath, or four to six breaths per minute. • Research has shown that there are various ways to enter this state of relaxation, such as going for a walk outside, reading, drinking a cup of tea, listening to soothing music, doing yoga, lying down and focusing on breathing and relaxing your muscles, and even gardening. • If you sleep too little too regularly, you’ll find yourself more susceptible to stress and temptation and lacking the “energy reserve” needed to keep your good habits in play and your bad habits in check. • Research has shown that exposing yourself to a constant barrage of bad news, scare tactics, and morbid reminders of our mortality increases the likelihood of overeating, overspending, and other willpower failures. • Research shows that regular exercise reduces cravings for both food and drugs, increases heart rate variability, makes us more resistant to stress and depression, and even optimizes overall brain function. I DON’T CARE HOW, I WANT IT NOW • When we think about rewards, the longer we have to wait, the less desirable they become. Psychologists call this “delay discounting,” and the more someone engages in this behavior, the worse his self-control is and the more likely he is to behave impulsively and even have problems with addiction. • When you face a willpower challenge, if you think about the future reward first and how giving in now sacrifices progress toward or some part of it, research shows that you’ll be less likely to discount the future and indulge.
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  • Winter '17
  • Santos O'Neill Garcia
  • History

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