Archive for the ‘Mental Health’ Category

By Michael Newberry

My name is Michael Newberry. I am going to be a senior next semester at Texas A&M University. I grew up with Danny and consider him to be one of my best friends. We talk about once a week just to catch up and see how things are going, but from time to time our conversations get a bit more serious. After the last conversation we had, Danny thought it would be a good idea for me to share just a few things I like to keep in mind throughout my day that help keep me on track.  This is my first blog so please bear with me.

Let me first start off by saying that I would not consider anything I am about to say advice. That would infer that I actually know what I am talking about and am some sort of expert on the topic. These are simply a few things I often think about that help get me through the day and keep me focused on the person I want to be. They work well for me; hopefully they will have some positive effect on you as well. Let me also point out that everything I am going to talk about is simply a mash up of all my favorite quotes and things I have heard over the years that my mind has held onto and made into one huge lifestyle. I wish I kept track of who said what and where all the information came from so I could give the proper people credit. Just know that I’m not coming up with this on my own.

I am currently 22 years old and about to graduate with a Petroleum Engineering degree from Texas A&M.  As of now, my plan is to start my career with an oil and gas company and simply see what happens after that. Do I want to work as an engineer for the rest of my life? I have no idea, and I’m perfectly fine with that. This leads me to my first point. As we near our last couple years of college, I feel that it hits people pretty hard that it is time we start figuring out what we want to do with our lives.  I believe it is perfectly fine to have no idea what you want to do or what you want to be. What really matters is truly knowing WHO you want to be.   What I mean by that is you have to decide what kind of man/woman you want to be, and what kind of life you wish to lead.

Like I mentioned already, I am not sure if I am going to be an engineer my whole life.  What I am sure of is that no matter what it is I’m doing, I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can. I am going to treat every person I meet with the upmost respect and sincerity. I am going to take something positive away from every experience in life and grow as a person because of it. I am going to do these things simply because it is WHO I choose to be. Once you have figured that part out I believe the rest will take care of itself.

The next point I wish to touch on is directly linked to this “WHO” you choose to be in the previous paragraph. My old roommate has a tattoo on his back that reads “Be true to yourself”, and for the longest time I wondered what that meant to me. You have now already taken care of the “yourself” part of this statement by choosing the type of person you want to be. Now comes the more difficult part, “Being True” to that person at all times throughout your life. Life is hard sometimes. Bad things will happen in your life that have no logical explanation. Friends will fail you. Loved ones will be lost. The person YOU CHOOSE to be will be tested again and again. I believe that “Being true to yourself” means that no matter what happens in your life you remain that person you wish to be. If you have decided to treat everyone you meet with upmost respect and sincerity, then you do it REGARDLESS if they return the favor. If someone hurts you or lets you down of course it is much easier to be mad and return the hostility. I mean IT IS the golden rule after all right? Treat others how you wish to be treated? But you can’t. You respect them none the less because YOU choose to. Because that is WHO you are. You don’t do it for them, you do it for you. If you decide that you are going to work hard in every aspect of your life, then that’s what you do. NO EXCUSES. Whether it be in school, at a job, or in the weight room, you give it your all. Because you have decided that WHO you are is a hard worker. If you are slacking off all the time then you aren’t being true to yourself. Now don’t get me wrong, nobody is perfect. We all have our off days and will fail at this from time to time.  But it is important that we continuously strive to be better.

The next thing I would like to talk about is time. Time goes right along with working hard at everything you do. If you are in the gym and you aren’t giving it your all, then you are simply wasting your time. You need to go into the gym knowing that you are going to hurt. Knowing that you are going to be exhausted by the end of your workout. Knowing that you made the most of the time that you were given. Every successful person understands that time is a precious resource that you can never get back. Once the 24 hours is up, that day is done and is part of the past.  We must make the most of it. This is the SINGLE life that we are given, are you going to waste it? One of my favorite quotes by Ralph Emerson describes this idea perfectly, “I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.” You can feel the urgency of his statement. He understood that his time was limited and was determined to make the most of it. I believe we take the time we have been given for granted far too often.  Wake up each day and say aloud, “Today is a great day to be alive, there is so much potential for today.” I know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s a friendly reminder to make the most of each day.

This blog is already getting a little lengthy and I’m worried Danny won’t allow me back, so I will leave you with only one more thought. While it is important to make the most of the time we are given, it is also equally important to not get too caught up in it. I consider this to be my biggest flaw. I am constantly worried about things that I need to get done and mistakes that I made in the past. I forget to enjoy the moment at hand, which is what really matters. There are a ton of quotes and sayings about living in the present but I have to stick with another one by Ralph Emerson.  “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” While it is important to make the most of each day, we can’t allow ourselves to constantly think about missed opportunities in the past and worry about things that lie ahead in the future. If you sit and actually pay attention for a moment, you will realize how often your mind is worried about something. Whether it is a test coming up for school, a project you need to finish up for work, or a simple errand you have to run, our minds are always semi-distracted from the present.  If we could focus our mind completely on the task at hand, with no worry of what lies ahead and no thought of what’s in the past, it is crazy to think of what we could actually accomplish. I believe the key is to find a good balance between the two. Of course you have to think ahead and manage your time wisely so you can accomplish everything that needs to be done, but don’t forget to enjoy the current moment as well. I feel like we all get so caught up in this CYCLE we call life where our bodies are just constantly in motion doing the same thing over and over day after day. Wake up, eat breakfast, work, eat lunch, more work, eat dinner, bedtime, REPEAT. People get so caught up in SURVIVING life that they forget to LIVE IT. I read a quote somewhere that said, “I was dying to graduate high school so that I could go to college, I was dying to graduate college so I could get my first job, I was dying to finish my job so that I could retire, now I am just dying…..” We get so caught up in all the things we need to do to survive, and before you know it our lives are over. So take care of what needs to be done, but make sure you have some fun during the process.

These are just a few SIMPLE ideas I like to keep in mind throughout my life. I like to think of life in the simplest way possible. There will be more than enough complications throughout our lives that we will have to worry about so why sweat the small stuff? Simply decide what kind of person you want to be, be true to yourself, make the most of the time you have been given, and most importantly live in the present and enjoy each new day.

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My name is Doris Ann High. I am a junior at Oklahoma State University, and love every minute of the college experience. I was so excited when Danny asked me to do a guest post for College Body because I had the PERFECT idea of what to write about!

I am just a regular college girl that loves living the college life! I love hanging with friends, going to parties, flirting with boys, and everything else that comes with the college lifestyle. However, I do feel like I have something figured out that many of my peers do not. I seem to be a lot more confident than many of my friends and acquaintances. I never have and negative “self-talk”, I never feel uncomfortable in situations with boys, and anytime somebody says something negative to/about me I never lose sleep over it. I don’t think I’m better than anybody else, but I am DEFINITELY very secure and comfortable with whom I am.

I have not always been this confident in myself. When I was a sophomore in high school my grandmother died, and it was the most tragic event that has ever happened in my life. I was raised by my grandparents, so I have always looked up to both of them as my role models, and for guidance in life. My grandmother was a very special lady. There is no doubt in my mind that I am the way I am today because of all she has taught me. I looked up to her in so many ways. When she passed my self-esteem hit an all-time low. I began think negative thought after negative thought to myself. I thought I was ugly. I thought that there was nothing special about me. I was completely depressed. I grew apart from many of my friends, and I became very negative about life.

Then, one Friday night I was alone in my room just reflecting on all the sudden changes that had gone on in my life, and something just clicked. I am not sure exactly what happened, but I knew that I did not like how I was living and I had to do something about it. On that day I made a conscious decision to change how I thought about myself and about life in general. I was tired of being depressed, and looking at myself in the mirror thinking I was ugly. I decided that for now on I would wake up every day and tell myself that I was beautiful, and there was something very special about me.

Confidence is NOT just a switch you can turn on. Confidence is something that takes practice. So no, I didn’t just decide I was going change that night, and woke up in the morning a completely different person. I just made a decision that night to practice being confident and believing in myself.

It is AMAZING how my life has changed since I made that decision. The more I told myself all these positive affirmations the more things went my way! Boys began to approach me, I began making more and more friends, and I began to feel happy again like I was before my grandmother passed.

I now go on dates all the time, constantly meet new people, and I am enjoying every single day of this beautiful life! I am constantly asked how I always stay so positive and confident, so that is exactly what I wanted to share with all of College Body’s followers! So here are my four tips to change your life and become confident. I hope these tips can help you change your life as I did mine.

1) Fake It Til You Make It- As I said before, being confident is not an overnight success type thing. It is a long process that takes A LOT of practice. It is not a difficult task to wake up in the morning, look at yourself in the mirror and say “Damn I look sexy today.” It DOES NOT matter if you truly believe it or not. This is the very first step. It is amazing how after time of repeating the same things day-in and day-out can make you truly begin to believe them. And once you believe them other people will follow your lead, and believe them as well! I know this sounds voodoo-ish, but I swear it works!

2) Put Yourself Out There- Get your ass up and meet new people. Whenever I go out I have ONE thing on my mind: Meet new people! My goal every night I go out is to make AT LEAST three new friends. I do this because it puts me out of my comfort zone. The only way for us to grow is to step outside your little comfort circle! The “meeting three people” goal is just one of the strategies that I use. Maybe for you it is to join a club, talk to that cute girl/guy from class, or sit by a new person at lunch. Just do things that make you uncomfortable, and soon these “uncomfortable situations” become A PART of your comfort zone.

3) Confidence Verse Cockiness- There is nothing sexier, more attractive, or more appealing than somebody with confidence. I remember there was this extremely good looking guy that I was ALL into. But when we started talking I sensed a tremendous lack of confidence and insecurity. Why would I want to be around somebody whom I had to constantly reassure that he was good looking, smart, funny, or whatever. HOWEVER, you cannot take this stuff over the top and become arrogant. What is the difference between the two? “Cockiness” is really just a cover for insecurity. Those who talk about themselves ALL THE TIME are some of the worst individuals to spend time with, and we all know somebody like this. These people do not truly believe the things they say about themselves which is why they are constantly trying to “convince” you of their greatness. Confidence is something within you that you KNOW you have (you know how interesting, special, unique, etc you are, so you do not feel the need to tell everybody). That is why you HEAR arrogant individuals, but FEEL confident individuals.

4) Embrace Rejection- Rejection happens to EVERYONE. Well, at least those with big enough balls to put themselves out there. I have been rejected many times before, and I it sucks. Nobody wakes up and says I really want to be rejected today. This goes back to that tip of “putting yourself out there. Those who do will most certainly get rejected, but it is important to see each rejection of failure as a learning opportunity. If somebody rejects you it is because of something going on with them, and has nothing to do with you. Do not let the fear of rejection or failure allow you to miss out on experiences in life. I would rather go be rejected than have regrets, or saying “what if.”

These four steps have completely changed my life. I try to incorporate these four things every single day. I hope you have found them useful, and use them in your own life! Because I promise having confidence will take your life to places you never thought it could go.

 

I get a ton of emails from friends (and strangers) on how lose “get in shape” or “lose weight” or “gain muscle”, so I’ll usually respond with some sort of 8-week program, and some diet tips. However, when I follow up with those same individuals a month later to check their progress the usual answer is “I haven’t started yet.” I don’t get it? Why would people take time out of their day to email me, and then not take advantage of the information I give them?

 

I have found that lifestyle changes are VERY difficult for people. Things like going from an unhealthy to healthy lifestyle, or from a spending money to saving money lifestyle. But why?

 

People, in general, want to be “Perfectionists”, meaning we have an “all-or-nothing” approach to many things in life. In his book, Being Happy, Tal Ben-Shahar goes into great detail of what a Perfectionist is. General beliefs/descriptions of the Perfectionist are: focused on a destination (rather than being present in the process), a fear of failure (resulting in inaction), All-or-Nothing mindset, defensiveness, Faultfinder tendencies (“A faultfinder will find faults even in paradise” -Henry David Thoreau), harsh (on themselves, and others), and tend to be very rigid. Most of us has some sort of Perfectionist in us.

This is why it is so difficult for us to keep our New Year’s resolutions, change our bodies, change our minds, change our spending habits, and all other lifestyle changes. We try to do it all-the-way or not at all.

 

Let’s use this Perfectionist model with fitness. How can you possibly expect to go from never working out and eating fast food everyday, to working out six days per week on a chicken & asparagus diet? It is absurd to think you can do this. It is the same thing as waking up today, and saying  “next week I am going to go do Olympic trial runs.” Olympians train for years and years and years to get where they are! The key to change is small victories. For every small victory you have, pat yourself on the back, and be happy about it! Here are some tips on how to go from not doing ANYTHING to living a healthier, more fit, life.

 

  • JUST GO to the gym: Do not set a ridiculous goal of going to the gym 6 days/week for 2 hours/day. Begin with 1-2 days for just thirty minutes each session. For the next 4-6 weeks make it a habit to get your 1-2 days. Write up a workout and just do that same routine for the next 4-6 weeks. After that 4-6 weeks is up (and you succeed!) be happy about it! Congratulate yourself, and then maybe add another day or two.
  • ELIMINATE 1-2 things: Look at your current diet, and pick 1-2 things that you can limit, or eliminate for the next 4-6 weeks. If you eat pizza 3 nights/week knock it down to zero or one night per week. If you drink alcohol 4 nights/week knock it down to 1-2 nights per week. An idea for the first foods to look at eliminating are:sugar/starchy carbohydrates (such as cereals, breads, candies, chips, cookies, and cakes), and the combination of fats/carbs (such as pizzas, cheeseburgers, alcohol combined with cheese).
  • WRITE DOWN your goals: I am the WORST at writing down my goals and keeping them. However, I wrote down my New Years Resolutions in 2012 for the first time ever. Much to my surprise I am not only still on path with these goals and resolutions, but have already completed some! So write your fitness goals down, and put them somewhere you can see them every single day.
  • DON’T get down on yourself: Maybe you are doing wonderful, and are on track to crush your goals, but then one week you drink three nights in a row, eat two large pizzas/day, and don’t make it to the gym. DO NOT get down on yourself. Just make a conscious choice right to get back on the game plan. Sometimes I will have my diet on lock, be killin’ it in the weight room for two weeks strait, and start telling myself that I look sexy when I check myself out in the mirror. But then I hit the movies, eat a large popcorn, and then refill it (kind of gross, I know. I like it to be wet with butter too! Don’t judge me..). When I walk out of the movies I feel sluggish, tired, and bloated. However, rather than getting mad at myself, and picking up a cheeseburger, and going home to watch TV I go do heavy squats and sprints. I am not saying you have to do squats every time you crush an ice cream this is just what works for me. The point is to ease up on yourself a little bit. If you mess up your plan it’s all good just force yourself to get back on it.
Remember! Celebrate your successes, and learn from your failures. This model will not only work for body change, but any major lifestyle change. How do you implement body change?

College can be stressful, nerve racking, full of uncomfortable/awkward situations, generate anxiety and depression. I know this through my own experiences and just by observing other people. I love to just sit back and watch people in certain situations, and how people respond completely different from one another in the exact same circumstances.

We all get stressed/sad/happy/angry from different things and to different degrees. My stress levels don’t really rise that much during finals week or in a social situations, but I get sad/anxious when I think about my ex-girlfriend, or when I have $4.36 in my bank account, or when I eat a big ass pizza. We are all different in what brings our mood down just as we all seek different outlets to make ourselves feel better.

 

Some people smoke, some people drink, some people take anti-depressants (which is becoming way more prevalent unfortunately), some people play games/sports, some people exercise, some people (not a lot of people I know) read, and so on. Some of these are probably healthier outlets than others, but I am not here to judge. How people deal with sadness or anger is their business, and people are going to do what makes them feel good because that is what us humans do; we are pleasure seekers.

I wanted to talk about this because I recently came across some interesting research facts. It has been shown that exercise increases mood BETTER than anti-depressants such as Prozac. How interesting is that?! Pushing around heavy shit or running around actually makes you happier than “happy pills”. Plus, as a bonus, when you are exercising there is no voice talking really fast  that says “side effects may include: increased chance of heart disease, internal bleeding, or possibly death”. I know you know what I am talking about, right? Those medication commercials where they list all the negative side effects at the end of the commercial as quickly as possible with a screen shot of a happy couple walking on the beach. yeah.. maybe that was a dumb joke…

So based on how you are feeling, different types of exercise can cause different types of mood change.

Lifting Weights -> Improved Confidence

Running/Longer Duration Cardio -> Increased Mood (Feeling depressed? Go run a stadium!)

Sprinting/High Intensity -> Decreased Anxiety

Research continues to show these positive results correlated with exercise. I personally swear by this! If I pump massive iron (or lift weights that maybe aren’t so massive) I have a new renowned swag of confidence when leaving the gym. When I start to feel kind of sad I will go do a stadium workout (longer duration cardio), and all of a sudden I will be in a great mood. And when I do sprints I feel very calm and peaceful. It is truly astounding!

For me, it is easy because I love to exercise. A lot of people HATE exercise or “mean” to at the end of the day, but are too tired in the evening from a long day. I get that for many people it isn’t easy to consistently go to the gym, but for those days where you are in a funk use your negative emotions to push hard in the gym or out in a field or in your dorm room. Research has also shown that exercise helps with:

  • Cognition: Exercise increases blood flow to brain which helps creativity, problem solving, and smooth talking the hunnies (or guys for you ladies reading this)
  • More Adaptive to Stress: Those who exercise are more emotionally stable which can lead to healthier relationships, and cause people to be less likely to “lose it”
  • Living Longer
  • Prevent Disease: There is NO better drug for ANY disease. Including cancer; people who exercise tend to be less likely to get cancer, and those with cancer who exercise have higher survival rates
  • Mood Enhancement: There is no better mood enhancer than exercise.
  • Better anti-inflammatory than asprin
  • Having Sex: You can mess with all the Viagra you want, but exercise is the BEST thing to do for stronger erections and higher sex drive. Drugs, alcohol, and being overweight are all a bad deal for your sex life.

I hope you guys found these research results as interesting as I did. What kind of exercise do you do? What is your stress free outlet? Leave a comment below 🙂

3 Challenges for 2012

Posted: January 6, 2012 in Mental Health

Whats good College Body Nation?! I ALWAYS go M.I.A from CB when I go back home to TX no matter how much I tell myself I’m not going to let that happen.. BUT I am back in action now, and one of my New Years resolutions was to be more consistent & active with College Body, and BLOW it up! I want to incorporate recipes, more workouts, mental health blogs, interviews, guest posts, and even relationship/dating blogs! I tried to set each day of the week with a different type of blog. SO since Friday’s are going to be “Mental Health” days here is my first one of 2012!

Mental health is JUST as important as physical health if not more important. The FIRST thing to realize is that every single one of us is f’d up in someway. We all have our own stuff going on, and one person’s bullshit is NO more stressful than anybody else’s, it’s all relative. SO with that in mind here are my challenges to you in 2012:

1) BE AWARE that everybody has insecurities. Stuff you are insecure about is probably the same stuff 1,000,000 other people are insecure about. Just having this awareness that you are not “weird” or “strange” enables you to have SO much more confidence. I use to walk around campus with my headphones in & head down purposely avoiding eye contact with people, and thinking people were looking at me & judging me & shit when in reality they were probably thinking the SAME thing! The funny thing is that I had been told that I was perceived as confident even though I didn’t feel that way on the inside at all! Once I had this awareness that EVERYBODY feels some sort of insecurity inside it helped my confidence skyrocket.

2) ASSUME the Mayans are right. This is the year the world ends according to the Mayan calender, correct? Maybe homeboy just got tired of chiseling dates into that stone, or maybe 2012 is their favorite number, or maybe those dudes really DO know whats up and the world is coming to an end. Either way, my second challenge is to assume that the rumor is correct. Pretend like 2012 IS your last year living. Do things you enjoy, take risks, make moves, or whatever else is on your bucket list. “What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail” is one of my favorite quotes. Let that be the theme of you 2012!

3) Get OUT of your comfort zone. The more you get out of your comfort zone, the more confident you become! Write down on a sheet of paper EVERYTHING that sounds like fun, but you have never done based on fear of what others thought, and go do them this year! Here are a couple of my things

  • Take an improve class
  • Join a basketball league in the “hood”
  • Learn a cool dance that the ladies will like
  • Get into a rap freestyle battle with a stranger
  • Sing Karaoke

Those are just a couple of mine, but I plan on completing my whole list before 2013!

These are 3 challenges I want you all to focus on this year! Have challenges of your own? Leave a comment or let me know at Collegebody@gmail.com. Looking forward to 2012! It’s going to be a great year, legoooo!

And one more thing… be sure to check out thedormdiet.com and “Like” the page 🙂

Parents help create the person you have become today. Many of your core beliefs come from your parents, and most of us can show nothing but gratitude for everything that they do. However, now that we are beginning to form “who we are”, what we enjoy, and the direction we want to go in with our lives it can occasionally cause some tension with our parents.

  • Do you want to do something that maybe your parents don’t approve of?
  • Is your major picked by you or your parents? Really though? You REALLY want to go to law school? REALLY want to go to med school?
  • Are you trying to become independent, but your parents still want to direct you?

There are many things that can be happening in your life right now that can cause tension with you &  your parents. This is perfectly normal, and I would think it’s strange (but cool!) if you don’t have ANY issues at all. It’s not that they are “wrong” & we are “right” OR vice versa. It’s just that many times, now that you are in college, you might begin to see things differently, begin to form a different value system or simply crave the freedom to figure it out yourself.

 

Things can get especially “heated” when you are gone to college for (particular your first) semester and come home for break for the first time. Last time your parents interacted with you, you were fresh out of high school. And though now you may feel older and wiser, the discrepancy between where you left off and now can be a glaring issue staring you both in the face upon homecoming.

 

SO here are a couple tips to help smooth things over during this winter vacation when you are at home.

Me & my mom last Christmas 🙂 

  1. Don’t take things personally (a lot easier said, than done I know). The ONLY person that can make you upset is YOU. Try to relax when a parent may start to push your buttons. If you do not allow yourself to get angry then how can you be angry, right?
  2. Tell them you DO appreciate them. Sometimes parents just get worried that you don’t need them anymore. Constantly tell them you love them, and appreciate all they do. It is an easy way to gather support (which is what you really want anyway, right?) while at the same time showing gratitude.
  3. Spend time with them. Your parents miss you when you are off to school, so take a day or two to spend JUST with them sometime over this break.
  4. Share stuff with them. Let them know what you have been up to, what you have learned, etc. Your parents just want to be “in the loop” and a part of your life still, so let them! What’s the big deal? The more you share, the more they can begin to trust you.

 

I hope this stuff helps! Problems with your parents? Or anybody else you are going home to? Tell me about it at CollegeBody@gmail.com

10 Tips to be Happy :D

Posted: November 18, 2011 in Mental Health

Hey guys, I know CB has been MIA lately, but it’s because I have been working on my ebook “The Dorm Diet” the past two weeks! I think it’s pretty bad ass to tell you the truth. I never really worked on something that hard, and had a vision of what I wanted it to look like, and then succeeded at creating it! Usually I have all these wonderful ideas, and then just end up going to see a movie instead of implementing them. Since I finally finished it, I wanted to post a quick blog for you guys.

I have been reading this book called Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar. Ben-Shahar is a professor at Harvard University whom teaches one of the most popular class at Harvard on positive psychology. Reading his book has had me thinking about college kids all over the world and how happy they are. Honestly, college students can be some of the most unpleasant & depressed individuals in the world. Some schools have multiple suicides every single year! EVERY YEAR kids are ending their lives because they are so unhappy. That is such a tragic situation.

When I think about it, my freshman year in college was probably the most unhappy I had ever been. All my friends had all these “wonderful” majors like petroleum engineers, pre-law, chemistry, pre-med, etc. and my major was “undeclared”, so I felt all this pressure to decide what I was going to do for the REST OF MY LIFE. I had some issues from the opposite sex, which sounds whack, but that shit is stressful! All my friends couldn’t understand how I was so upset over a girl, but I was, and it was a terrible deal. I had pressure from my parents to do well in my classes, but the shit I was learning was SO uninteresting how could I possibly be “eager to learn”? Maybe that stuff is silly to stress over, but we all have our own thing that can put us down. There are just so many outside factors in this world that can take a huge toll, mentally, on us.

Two years later I am the happiest I have ever been. I enjoy writing these “Mental Health” blogs because that is eventually where I would like to take College Body. From just nutrition & exercise to a complete college lifestyle company. For this blog I put together my top 10 strategies for happiness that helped transform my life, and since they worked for me, hopefully they will work for you too!

1. Exercise: I am big believer in activities. One of my favorite things my father tells me is “do something”. Which is honestly some of the best advice that can be given! Exercise & physical activity is shown over & over again to reduce stress and increase mood. It doesn’t matter what you do. Whether you lift weights, play sports, run, bike, swim, go streaking, and all other activities where you are out and moving are all great forms of exercise! So like my dad says “DO SOMETHING”.

2. Read: All throughout high school I would tell jokes about how I don’t “do reading”. I have since changed this viewpoint that reading is “not cool”. I have actually completely reversed this perspective. I now think reading IS cool. First of all, the hunnies are now attracted to intelligence, so one of the reasons I read is so I can use intelligent sounding pick-up lines. The second reason I read, and why it really helps with happiness is because of all the new perspectives it brings. Every time I finish a book, I always say “damn, I never even thought about that”. Reading is so powerful, and it is just as important to “exercise your mind” as it is to exercise your body.

3. Find Meaning: One of Tal Ben-Shahar’s main points in his book is that a human’s desire for meaning is brings the most pleasure in life. So find something that has meaning to you, whether it is kindness to others, or music, or whatever, and pursue it.

4. Socialize: College is such a melting pot of individuals that are all searching to meet new people & make new friends. Yes, you are going to meet some assholes, and people you just don’t click with, but TRY to put yourself out there.

5. “Do you”: If you attempt to satisfy somebody else than you have lost the desire to satisfy yourself. If you aren’t making yourself happy, noody else will. If you are being somebody that you are not, than there is no way you can be happy. You have just do your thing. Chances are, no matter what you do, people are going to dislike you. If they don’t like you? Fuck them. Excuse my language, but that is the mind set you need to conform to.

6. Get out of “Poor Me” mindset: I can’t beleive they did that to me is not the mindset of a happy person. Shit happens to everybody, and we all think “nobody can understand what I am going through. Every time you “had the worst day ever” there is probably somebody else who is having a worse day. If you think others are DOING things to you, you are going to have a bunch of shit “done to you” throughout life. Example: “My neighbor made me fail my test because he kept me up all night playing loud music, so I couldn’t study.” Yes, that sucks that you have an asshole neighbor, but if you keep telling everybody how bad that sucks, what does that fix? Nothing. This is one of the hardest things to do because that is just how our culture is. We want people to feel bad for us.

8. Laugh: This may just be my thing, but laughter brings me more happiness than anything. I love people with good jokes, I laugh at embarrassing moments, and I love funny movies. I surround myself with people who have good senses of humor, and people who smile a lot. Laughing has been shown in research to decrease stress, and increase mood, so maybe I am on to something?

9. Don’t have expectations: My younger brother Brandon, had this problem when he was younger. Every year for his birthday he would have these parties. He ALWAYS expected them to be these big blowouts like you see on MTV’s Sweet Sixteen (or whatever that show is with all the spoiled kids that have Jay-Z show up to their parties?). But when instead it ended up just being 12 of his friends over for pizza & presents he would get all upset and it would ruin his day. So don’t have expectations of what things should be like because then you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Just let things come, and enjoy them as they are happening. Brandon has always excelled at 9 of the 10 elements on this page making him probably one of the happiest people I know. As he as gotten older, he is now getting away from the expectation thing also. This dude is truly what happiness is, and observing him is where these tips come from!

10. Take Risks: “High Risk, High Reward”. Taking SMART risks have resulted in completely transforming the person I was. What do I mean by smart? If your risk is jumping out of an airplane with no parachute I am probably not putting my money on you.

Happy ^

These are my top ten things that have made me 100x happier in the past two years. As always, it is just advice, and you guys can take it or leave it. I hope this something you guys can relate to though! Enjoy your weekend :D.

QUESTION: What makes you happy?

“Haters”

Posted: November 9, 2011 in Mental Health

I was on hotnewhiphop.com the a while ago, which is a site that puts out all the new rap songs that come out on that particular day. When you go to the site you can click on songs, listen, and comment on them. I saw a song by my favorite artist, Drake, so I get all excited and click on it immediately. As I am listening to the song, I scroll down through all the comments, and people bashing on him saying “the song sucks” “he is terrible” “overrated” and on and on. My first thought was, “Who the hell are these people? Why don’t I have their album? Why can they no be found on iTunes?” This absolutely enraged me! Which it shouldn’t have, really. They were not talking about me, so why should I get all defensive?

Time went by, and all of a sudden I had people coming after my College Body stuff. Saying I “spout off nonsense.. it is sad that I don’t know what I am talking about.. that they are just trying to teach me” and some other things that I took kind of personally. I was upset for a little while, and actually started to believe them. Then, all of a sudden, I got angry. Who the hell are these dudes? If they “know so much” why are they reading MY blog? A fan of MY page? They don’t have blogs, or websites, or anything! Knowing this, has had me SO frustrated with these assholes! The reason why it bothered me so much is because I could not understand them. My mind just does not work like theirs does. “I could NEVER search the web, just to find something that I did NOT agree with, just so I could comment negatively on it” I thought to myself. I do not have the time, energy, or lack of friends to go out and do that.

The fact is that people are going to hate you. It sucks. Especially for those of us who want to be liked by everybody. Unfortunately, somebody who is liked by everybody is not a successful person.. Maybe College Body isn’t a big deal, but the fact that it has haters makes me believe it is getting there! I have big plans for CB that are going to change people’s lives, and the haters will still be on the couch, with their laptops, with something up their ass, and full of hate for the world. As wonderful as that life sounds, it’s not my style.

My point of this blog is to encourage you to get some haters. Not by being an asshole, let me be clear, but by accomplishing something. Whether it is receiving strait A’s in your classes (people will hate you for it), being the fittest person in the gym (people will hate you), inventing something new (they will hate you), or whatever else it may be. To be the best, you must be hated, at least a little bit, as depressing as that sounds. Lebron James, the New England Patriots, Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, Barack Obama, Tom Brady, and Lil Wayne are all hated on everyday. You may have some “exceptional” reason of why you hate them, but you are still a hater. They are are successful individuals, and you all know who each one of them are because of their success. They didn’t get there without pissing people off, and it doesn’t seem, to me anyway, that any of them are “bad people”. Successful people keep a positive mindset, and people that nobody knows (haters) keep a negative mindset. That is what it ultimately comes down to. Positive people vs. negative people. So try to keep a positive mind, do something that you enjoy & are good at, and you will be successful.

“those who know the most realize how much they don’t know and those who know very little think they know everything”. –Unknown 

“If they hate, then let them hate, and watch the money pile up” –50 Cent

‎”Good things happen to those who hustle.” –Anais Nin

‎”Opportunity dances with those who are ready on the dance floor” –H. Jackson Brown

“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.” –W.C. Fields

‎”When you say YES to others, make sure you are not saying NO to yourself.” –Paulo Coelho

“People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – John Maxwell

“The fear of rejection or failure creates inaction”– John Maxwell

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” –Wayne Gretzky

Top 10 Ways to Reduce Stress

Posted: October 24, 2011 in Mental Health

Due dates, exams, the opposite sex, all-nighters, roommates, pressure from parents, & work are some of the many things college kids all over the planet get stressed out about. How do you handle stress? Do you call up somebody to tell them all you’re going threw just to hear them say “yeah, that sucks”? Do you drink a ton of alcohol? Smoke weed? Hit somebody in the face? Cry? Well, those probably are not the best things to help decrease stress to tell you the truth. Here are College Body’s top 10 ways to reduce stress in a little bit of a healthier way.

Sometimes, when I get stressed, I sit in the dark & eat chicken wings..

  1. Sex– Having sex reduces stress tremendously.
  2. Exercise– Sometimes when I get really stressed, I make a bad ass playlist for my ipod, and go workout. Sometimes I pump massive iron, and other times I’ll go shoot hoops (outdoors if I can). This ALWAYS helps me distress. I actually got into working out because I got my heart broken, (sad, I know) and use to get so stressed out and upset that the only thing that made me feel better was HEAVY weight training.
  3. Laughing– Another thing I do when I get stressed is call my little bro, Connor. Connor is a goofy kid that enjoys my jokes, and tells some good ones himself. He for real makes me LOL. After a couple minutes of shooting the shit with him I always seem to feel a little better.
  4. Decrease Caffeine Consumption– Chill out on the Mountain Dews & coffee for a couple days. Increased caffeine = increased stress
  5. Yogi Bedtime Tea– You can get this at a store like Whole Foods, GNC, or the Vitamin Shoppe. It is great to relax you before you go to bed. If you are REALLY stressed, take 3-4 bags at once to cause an effect similar to a low dose Xanax
  6. Green tea– When I was brainstorming ideas for this blog, I asked my bro-in-law Jade if he had any ideas. He told me green tea contains theanine which increases alpha waves in brain, and when I looked up what alpha waves were, it said they help your brain relax. Increased alpha waves = decreased stress.
  7. Slow Walk– Slow walking has been shown to decrease stress, especially in nature. If you have a nice campus to walk around, this may be something you are interested in.
  8. Massage– Anybody who has ever got a massage knows how relaxing it is.
  9. Sitting in a Sauna
  10. Hot Shower-3 minutes of hot water, one minute blast of cold (always end in cold)
These have all been discussed with the CB Science Team, and are supported by research. However, I know from experience that all of these things reduce my stress levels. We are all different, so I would love to hear how you decrease your stress! Leave a comment on this blog or email me at CollegeBody@gmail.com.

All-Nighter Tips

Posted: October 18, 2011 in Don't be lazy, Mental Health

I am not one to pull an “all-nighter.” Even if I have a test the next day that I am not prepared for, I usually choose to get a couple extra Z’s rather than study. However, there have been a couple nights (usually during finals week) that I have made it through the whole night, and went to class with NO sleep. I know some of you guys probably do this on a regular baisis, so I put together some tips that will help you out.

Elevate Feet– Anything that gets blood to your head is going to “make you smarter” research shows. So if you are reading a textbook or looking over notes, you might as well chill out and kick your feet up.

Short Breaks– Take multiple breaks (every thirty minutes) because it is shown that you remember what you learn at the beginning and the end of a study session and not so much the stuff in the middle. Therefore if you take a break after 30 minutes, rather than 2-3 hours, you should remember more!

Blitzes– You should do these during your break mentioned above. A blitz is a one minute burst of an exercise. I recommend studying for 30 minutes, do a blitz, study 30 more minutes, do a one minute blitz, etc. When you exercise, it acts as a mental “reset,” getting more blood to the brain via opening up of the arteries leading to the brain (vasodilation)–blood in the brain is a good thing–helping to power mental function, i.e. focus and memorization (from the book Spark by John Ratey)!  Below I listed a couple ideas for blitzes.

  • Push Ups
  • Sit Ups
  • Dips (using bed, desk, chair,etc)
  • Burpees
  • Squat Jumps
  • Switch Jumps

**Or get creative with it! Maybe try chain movements? 1 squat/1 squat jump/1 squat/2 SJ/1 squat/ 3SJ seeing how high you can get in a minute? All of these things can be done in a dorm room with nothing but body weight.

BCAA’s-Branch chain amino acids help stabilize blood sugar. I recommend taking 5g every 3-4 hours to avoid blood sugar swings caused by the stress hormone cortisol.  We all know staying up all night trying to beat a deadline is stressful as hell so doing everything you can to help lower stress hormones is beneficial. BCAAs also help to maintain muscle.

Avoid Big Meals– Do not crush 2 Big Macs, a supersized french fry, 6 apple pies, and a diet coke right before you head out to the library for the night. When crushing a big meal it sends blood rushing to the stomach, rather than the brain. Also, you are sending your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride–energetic one minute, in an insulin coma the next. Instead, choose smaller meals spread out, and eat a serving of protein at each meal, which will stabilize blood sugar levels, allowing you to stay focused for longer. Cortisol will stay in check too.

Eat SMALL Meals– If you are staying up all night, it is important to eat small meals throughout the night consisting of protein to help control stress hormones.

Black Coffee-While shopping for beverages skip out on the Red Bull, Monster, & Mountain Dew. If you need a drink to keep you awake go with black coffee, or unsweetened cocoa powder mixed with water (at stevia or splenda to sweeten) to make a fake hot chocolate. Cocoa helps to boost mood, lowers cravings for sweets and supports the health of your adrenals better than coffee or red bull. I also like green tea, it’s a little lower on the caffeine scale, but it’s also a natural estrogen detoxifier, so if you currently have man-boobs, you better start drinking it.

Sleep (the next day)-When you miss out on a whole night of sleep it’s important to get rest as soon as you can. If I pulled an all nighter, I would go take my test, come home, and knock out for the day. Remember, sleep is the body’s “reset” button so even if you can only get a few hours in, it’s worth it.

Example of one-minute blitz