Negative stress can be seen as an effect on the body which reduces vitality and takes it out of balance. Many of our lifestyle choices contribute to the stress in our lives and these 5 habits are some of the top robbers of vitality in today’s modern lifestyle…

1. Poor Sleep or Lack of Sleep – This is probably the number one vitality stealing habit. If we aren’t sleeping properly for around 8 hrs a night then we aren’t getting the amount of sleep needed for optimal function. I know there are people who say they can function fine on just a few hours a night…but in my experience this ‘functioning’ is far from optimal. If one misses out on the 4hrs of physical repair sleep and the 4hrs of psychic repair sleep, then one’s vitality is usually compromised the following day. If one does this repeatedly, then the knock-on effect can be quite destructive. Having a regular sleeping pattern (ideally around 10pm – 6am) gives you the foundation for mental clarity, vitality and emotional balance. I battled as an insomniac for years and after dealing with my underlying causes of this insomnia, I now sleep around 8hrs a night most nights….and I attribute much of my improvements in my life to this…

2. Negative Thinking – I suppose negative thinking is quite a broad term, but in my opinion, it is any kind of habitual thinking that brings stress to the mind and body – a definite vitality stealing habit. These thoughts usually focus around judgement of oneself or others, and worrying about events that have either already happened or haven’t happened yet. This is mostly thinking that takes you out of the present moment, into a crazy back and forth barrage of self-perpetuating scenarios and internal dialogues that work to put you into a stressed state. This negative thinking is viewed by the body as a threatening situation and results in the release of cortisol repeatedly throughout the day, which in excess, breaks down tissue and overworks your body’s sympathetic nervous system which will never allow one time for proper recovery and regeneration.

3. Not Drinking Enough Water – Many modern diseases and debilitating lifestyle issues have been linked to dehydration and can be seen as a common vitality stealing habit. When the body is dehydrated, many of the body’s natural health processes are compromised and function at a cellular level is impaired, resulting in, amongst other things, lack of energy. In my experience, most people don’t drink enough Vitalflow water. A good way of working out your daily required water intake in litres, is to multiply your body-weight (kg’s) by 0.033. Make sure it is the best quality water you can find (use a home filtration system if possible – there are very reasonably priced options available) and spread your water intake throughout the day.

4. CRAP food and drink – Lack of energy and unhealthy living is usually a vicious cycle and definitely works to steals one’s energy and vitality. Many people are tired all the time because of sub-optimal lifestyle choices, which leads to them reaching for CRAP options for short-term energy and comfort. CRAP stands for caffeine, refined sugar, alcohol and processed food. All of these, especially in excess, only rob your body of nutrients and deplete your vital energy reserves…which usually lead to one consuming even more of the offenders in question. Like i said…a vicious cycle! I am definitely not encouraging a pleasure-less, ascetic existence, but know from my own life (I used to chase instant gratification at the expense of general well-being much of the time) that if one doesn’t focus on conscious, healthy habits at least 80% of the time, then one is going to suffer the consequences of the CRAP! The 80/20 rule, when followed with consciousness, makes your “let-loose” times a lot more special and your everyday life a lot more inspiring…

5. Sedentary Living – The average modern man or woman sits on their backside for much of the day. This promotes poor posture, muscle imbalance, stagnation of energy and poor functioning of our biological pumps. All of these leave one with aches and pains, visceral and hormonal issues and an overall lack of energy. So, sitting down all day is most certainly a widespread vitality stealing habit Doing some exercise for an hour a day will help to an extent, but there are still the other 9 or so hours during the day spent being sedentary (the average person sits for 9.3 hours a day). This doesn’t bode well. The solution is to take any opportunity one has during the day to move! Walk or ride a bike instead of using motor transport when possible, go for walks outdoors during one’s leisure time and take “mini-movement’ breaks at work. Doing a random set of squats next to your desk may look odd to some, but at least you’ll know who the real fool is…

So there you have it…The Top 5 Vitality Stealing Habits! Address these and you’ll find a whole lot more energy accessible to you and a whole lot less stress holding you back from living the kind of life you dream of!

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