Is a little stress good for your body? Know the answer to that question here! [Fridays: Mindfulness by Miles]
Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.
A Note from Miles Everson:
Hi, everyone! Welcome to today’s “Mindfulness by Miles” article.
Every Friday, I use this platform to share my insights on a topic or event that I find useful in my life. My hope is that my experiences and personal interests will also help you improve your character and boost your career.
Today, I’m focusing on the topic of hormesis, or the adaptive response of cells and organisms to moderate, usually intermittent, stress.
Interested to know how the right amount of hormesis helps strengthen both your body and mind?
Keep reading the article below to find out.
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute
Mindfulness by Miles
Are you familiar with the saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?”
This quote is based on the theory that by going through difficult experiences, you build up your strength for the next, possibly more painful event that could happen.
Let’s talk about this in the area of physical health…
Scientifically speaking, the what-doesn’t-kill-you-makes-you-stronger idea is called hormesis—the adaptive response of your body to moderate stress. Some of these stressors include:
… and more.
If you’re not used to these things, too much or sudden exposure to them can hurt you at high intensity or for prolonged durations. However, in small, hormetic doses, they make you stronger by stimulating an adaptive response and rejuvenating cellular processes.
According to research, these hormetic doses help you live longer, reduce oxidative stress, improve your immune system, and boost your mood.
Photo from InsideHook
Miles Everson, the CEO of MBO Partners, says he used to be a person who got sick frequently. Just a bit of exposure to some of the stressors mentioned above easily triggered his allergies and made him feel ill.
After experiencing a few more of these instances, Everson decided it’s the last straw for him. He looked for various strategies to manage his body’s system and responses so he could be less susceptible to different kinds of infections and diseases.
That’s what started his health and wellness journey…
If you’re also looking for ways to improve your body’s stress response system, Everson suggests that you try these tips too. He is personally doing these and he’s glad that they’re truly effective!
- Get some sun/heat exposure.
Many people are afraid of the sun because the sunscreen industry has emphasized that sun exposure damages the skin and causes skin cancer.
At some point, they are right—too much sun exposure is bad. However, too little sun exposure is also bad! A 2017 study found that sun/heat avoidance is linked to all-cause mortality.
[All-cause Mortality: A term used by epidemiologists to refer to death from any cause.]
While too much exposure to the sun/heat increases the incidence of skin cancer, the correct dose of sunlight helps reduce your risk of acquiring different types of cancer. Simply said, sun exposure at hormetic doses is beneficial.
Everson says he personally gets his daily dose of Vitamin D early in the morning, within 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., when the sunlight isn’t scorching hot yet.
- Chill out—literally!
Taking a bath using ice-cold water has health benefits too! Everson says he loves taking cold baths in the shower because it’s refreshing and wakes his entire body system up.
According to studies, cold therapy invigorates your mood and cognitive function, and makes you healthier.
If you’re not used to cold therapy, it’s important to gradually build up to it rather than immediately jump into an ice bath for the first time. This is because becoming cold-adapted activates your vagus nerve, which is responsible for boosting your relaxation response and strengthening your nervous system against stress.
Additionally, repeated but brief cold exposure strengthens your immune system in the long run. It also improves your body’s insulin sensitivity, which helps with weight loss and overall health.
Everson makes an emphasis here: Keep your cold exposures BRIEF. Some people make the mistake that since some cold is good, then colder must be better. Being over-exposed to cold temperatures for long periods of time also increases the risk of respiratory infection.
Everson says this is one of the simplest and easiest hormetic exercises. In fact, various traditions from all over the world have used breathing exercises as part of their meditative or healing practices.
There are several breathing patterns that help you achieve your desired mental state, improve your stress resilience, and stimulate your body’s healing responses.
Mindfulness breathing (paying attention to your breathing’s natural rhythm and flow) helps you focus…
… Pranayama breathing (breathing slowly and steadily, and at a controlled pace) helps you calm down…
… and Wim Hof breathing (controlled hyperventilation before breath-holding) helps you prepare for cold exposure.
Breath-holding is also a form of hormesis that makes your lungs stronger. In small doses, it helps boost your airway antioxidant levels to improve your body’s responses to various stressors.
- Try intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is one of the practices Everson is currently doing. Personally, he’s experienced great results since starting this type of fast!
According to the book, “Fast This Way” by Dave Asprey, intermittent fasting is the practice of eating during a shortened window of time. This helps combat insulin resistance and obesity.
Important note: Fasting is a stressor on the body. If it’s your first time to do a fast, it’s best to gradually lessen your food intake so your body can properly adjust.
Dr. Peter Attia, a physician known for his medical practice that focuses on the science of longevity, says sudden fasting or continuously fasting for over two days is bad because it can spike your cortisol levels and dampen your immunity. According to him, the most beneficial fasts are those with a restricted daily eating window.
That’s it—Everson’s 4 recommendations on how you can improve your body’s stress response system!
Remember: When done right, these health and hormetic practices can improve your physical and mental health, and increase your immune function.
… and when you do them altogether, you get to experience more health benefits.
We hope you’ll consider incorporating some or all of them into your lifestyle!
Everson also adds that if you’d like to talk to him about his health practices, feel free to connect with him through his LinkedIn account.
Have a great day, everyone!
(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Fridays: Mindfulness by Miles”
High-performance businesses are run by people who think and act differently.
In other words, these are people who are high-performing individuals.
Companies and individuals of this kind have found ways to escape the grind of commoditization and competition by focusing on the RIGHT goals.
High-performing businesses and individuals are also “return driven” businesses and “career driven” individuals. They conscientiously develop unique capabilities and resources that allow them to deliver offerings in ways no other firm or individual can.
Every Friday, we’ll publish tips and insights from MBO Partners and The I Institute’s “The Business Builder Daily” newsletter.
These will help you gain knowledge on the things that Miles Everson, the CEO of MBO Partners, often talks about regarding the future of the workforce.
We’ll also highlight other mindfulness advice on how you can be a high-performing individual both in your career and personal life.
Hope you’ve found this week’s insight interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Friday’s “Mindfulness by Miles!”
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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