A simple habit for immediate presence and energy
Are you unsure what "being present" feels like?
Do you want to supercharge your day without coffee?
Many of the guys I work with are struggling with two things:
They procrastinate for many reasons, all of which come from fear. They fear failure, fear not knowing what to do, or fear they're being judged. For some, it could just be that they respond better to pressure, so they put things off.
When we're talking about moving towards the life we want, we have to have clarity and then hold ourselves accountable for taking action. If we habitually procrastinate then (without a coach to keep us accountable), we will keep putting off starting.
Procrastination has us playing small and hiding out rather than stepping up to the big leagues and being all we can be.
(Find out more about "Hiding out" here).
When we procrastinate, we usually avoid unpleasant or important tasks by doing more favourable things. The consequences of procrastination can make us feel guilty for being unproductive. This habit can lead to demotivation and depression due to low self-worth and can impact our career to the point where we could get fired!
Ok, I've hammered home the point about procrastination; now, let's talk about being present. Many guys struggle to understand what this means and have no clue how to cultivate being in the moment, and I want to underline that it is a skill that needs practice. Men also wrestle with the actual point of being present, so they procrastinate about trying it or cultivating it.
Let's put the definition to bed:
Being present means being fully conscious in the moment and being free from the internal dialogue in our heads.
Being present is crucial because it's proven to help with mental health around anxiety and depression. Superstar Coach and author Tony Robbins says,
"If you're in your head, you're dead."
Tony is saying that if you're too busy thinking about to-do lists or worrying, you're not living at all! Overthinking about the past or the future can cause stress, which is detrimental to our mental and physical health.
Ok, so we've talked about procrastination and presence being an area of struggle for my clients. The great news is that there is one cheap and straightforward way to experience being present and overcoming procrastination... cold showers!
I have been taking a 2-minute cold shower every morning for five years, and the results are fantastic. I know what you're thinking, it sounds terrible, and no one likes to be cold but stick with me...
Let's start with how cold showers help procrastination. After I've had my usual hot shower and washed, the most challenging part of my day is turning the shower tap as cold as it will go.
There's a book called "Eat that frog" by Brian Tracy about combatting procrastination. The idea behind the book is that a frog is something you're putting off doing because it's unpleasant, so we procrastinate. The book states we should step up and eat the frog first thing, as it will be the hardest thing we do all day. Not only will we have accomplished something challenging, but every other task will also seem more manageable.
A cold shower every morning will help us combat procrastination throughout the rest of the day, as it will be the hardest mental and physical challenge we face.
Now let's talk about being present. Standing under a cold shower will bring you instant presence. Even now, when the icy water hits me, I can't think about anything else apart from controlling my breathing and the feeling of the water.
This is what being present is, experiencing everything in the moment. Now, I appreciate it's not that comfortable, but it's only for two minutes, and there are so many additional benefits:
You will feel a sense of achievement
You will feel highly energised and focused afterwards
You will experience reduced stress levels
Your immune system will boost its white blood cell count
You will have an increased metabolic rate to help with fat burning
You will develop a more resilient mindset
Here's how I recommend you incorporate cold showers into your daily routine:
1. Build up slowly - Have your regular shower and then finish with 30 seconds cold (turn it all the way, no half efforts!).
2. Breathe - Your initial response will be to gasp and breathe erratically. Focus on your breath and take control of it with long continuous breaths.
3. Relax - Your muscles will tighten as a reflex to the cold. Focus on the tension and relax your muscles as you breathe.
4. Celebrate and notice - After your 30 seconds is up, turn the shower off, commend yourself on a brave job done and notice how you feel.
You'll find yourself reaching for the towel to get warm immediately. However, when you stop and notice how your body feels and suppress the urge to jump into warm clothes straight away, you feel energised. This is your body flooding the muscles with blood to warm them. This blood is also rich in oxygen, so we feel pumped and ready for action.
A pro tip is to have a watch to time 30 seconds. You can't reliably use your brain to count; it will be the shortest 30 seconds in history!
So there you have it, a 2-minute daily routine to pull you into the present, address procrastination and energise you more than any double espresso will.
I'd love you to try this for seven days in a row and leave comments about your experience. You'll be surprised how quickly you can build up your tolerance to 2 minutes.
When I work with my clients, the first thing I focus on is healthy habits and daily routines to boost their well-being. If you want to know more about this, I'd love to help. Please click this link to book in for a complimentary 30-minute call.
Here's to your journey.