by Jon Belt
Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory." Dr. Seuss
If you are like me you love to collect journals with the hope of filling them up, and then months go by and nothing. I always have these grand ideas of "I'm going to journal today!" I get pumped and at night I write my thoughts - maybe even the next day I write something down and like any new skill, the excitement slowly fizzles and the journals start collecting dust. I have a nice collection of journals.
There are numerous amounts of health benefits to journaling, and here are some blog posts I have found to be helpful plus this helps me to justify having so many blank journals.
Last year I found a journal I can actually fill in. I fill in this journal every morning and most nights, but it's not the type of journaling you are thinking. It's called the Five-Minute Journal, it's a beautifully designed hard back journal that focuses on being grateful for the day. It's more or less fill in the blank, and its mission - to take five minutes to fill it out. It comes with a daily quote and a weekly challenge. I love it, and I will continue to fill it. So, that is where I started, and lately, I began having a 'Google Doc' practice. I made a 'Google Doc' and put the date, and then I googled two-minute timer, and I have two minutes to type my thoughts, feelings, or whatever is on my mind. At first, I began with one minute, but have gradually added more time. It's a practice I get excited for, and many of the health benefits are happening from it, such as:
We can all do two minutes a day.
Begin this week by just thinking about this positive practice
My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.” Ernest Hemingway
by Jon Belt
Here is a list of three that I'm reading, learning, and listening to that appeared in my first "3 Dash Thursday" newsletter I send out weekly fo' FREE!
Here is your weekly shot of "3-Dash Thursday," a record of what I'm appreciating and learning.
The lists could include people, books, blogs, videos. podcasts, how-to's, audiobooks, quotes, apps, photos, etc...
-What I'm listening to-
Podcast - Here's the Thing w/ Guest Ira Glass (Host Alec Baldwin)
This is an episode I came across searching the name Ira Glass ("This American Life") and the great thing about this podcast is Alec Baldwin, the host, and he is a spectacular interviewer.
*Disclaimer - Most episodes have explicit language*
-What I'm reading and learning-
"The Daily Stoic" by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman.
I'm still a novice with Stoicism, but Ryan Holiday has immersed himself in this ancient philosophy. In this book are short daily meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living.
There was a passage on May 16th about Jerry Seinfeld's "Joke a Day" strategy. He writes at least a joke a day and marks an "X" on a calendar he creates specifically for this project. The goal is to not break the chain. I love this because many of us feel like we need to overload ourselves with a new positive habit to be better when in reality this dies out eventually and we revert back to our comfort zone.
Implementing it down to one minute, one set, or one healthy meal = doable and sustainable
-Favorite quote from the week-
We just finished up the gothic fantasy young adult novel "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman. I then downloaded the audiobook narrated by Neil Gaiman (he is an amazing narrator) to make the story more exciting for my sixth graders.
He was interviewed and asked - Do you only write when inspired? and his reply was "If you only write when you're inspired, you may be a fairly decent poet, but you'll never be a novelist...." Neil Gaiman
Send me any requests or suggestions through email or Twitter. What dash is your favorite? What do you want to see more of? Let me know. Send me a tweet @teachertunnel and put #3dashthursday to make it easy to find.
Enjoy the rest of your week...
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By Jon Belt
Cold showers are crazy! Why on earth would anyone jump in a cold shower unless tortured or on a game show to win money? Two months ago I decided to be crazy after watching a TedxLUC by Joel Runyon and I can't go back.
To preface, I was in a dead spot in my life and remember reading an article from Tony Robbins about the power of cold water.
Cold water immersion activates the body’s natural healing powers that can relieve the symptoms of many medical conditions and promote a sense of health and well-being. And when practiced on a regular basis, cold water immersion can even provide long-lasting changes to your body’s immune, lymphatic, circulatory and digestive systems that enhance the overall quality of your life." Tony Robbins
Cold showers and cold therapy have been popping up a lot lately and for good reason - the benefits far outweigh the cringe-worthiness.
Benefits such as:
1. Decrease in depression
2. Stimulates weight loss
3. Refines hair and skin
These benefits are excellent but weren't the motivating factor to jump in. The motivating factor was when Joel Runyon spoke of doing uncomfortable things. Cold showers are never comfortable, they always hurt. My life is fairly easy, and even easier to get into comfort zones. Teaching or jobs in itself can become comfortable at times. I am a proponent of the quote "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone" by Neale Donald Walsch - and I continue to stretch myself out of these on a daily basis. Cold showers do this for me every day, and I'm not saying that my comfort zones have magically dissipated (far from it), but I am stretching that uncomfortable muscle every day in hopes of being comfortable doing uncomfortable things. Things like writing this article, talking to strangers, public speaking, exercising, fasting, being social, and many more uncomfortable things that I know will bring me closer to understanding myself and being happy - because progress equals happiness, and comfort zones are not progressive.
Progress Equals Happiness
How I Got Started...
Watched the TEDxLUC talk from Joel Runyon
Understand that you need to do this about four times before they start becoming "comfortably uncomfortable."
They are much easier if jumping in after a workout.
*Sidenote If you absolutely cannot just jump in, end your hot shower with a minute of cold (baby steps).
Set a timer for 5-7 minutes, and play dance-worthy music, because after jumping in the cold you are going to want to dance to rid your mind of the sting.
After the timer is up, and you are drying off don't focus on how cold you are, but focus on how great you feel and the habit will be worth it in the end.
**Note Jumping into a cold shower can stimulate the immune system and increase your risk of developing cold symptoms. Also, jumping into a cold shower causes the blood vessels to constrict, and become narrower which could affect blood flow.
***Always consult a physician if you have a history of heart related problems.
Jon Belt is a middle school teacher in Oklahoma City, and the host of the Teacher Tunnel Podcast.