Less Social Media, More Happiness!

Taking in consideration the stress level increase due to the pandemic situation across the world, I’ve decided to review some of my habits in order to improve my mental health. As you may have seen already there are some quotes that mentions we become what we feed our minds, so I took this into consideration and started noticing what kind of things where present in my routine that were contributing for the increase of the stress level or getting myself into a dark / tired /senseless mood or giving sleep problems.

One thing that really caught my attention was how much social media was present in my routine, which I was spending around 1 hour a day on Instagram and some couple of minutes on the other apps such as Twitter and Facebook. So I asked myself,

“Why am I spending so much time in this digital environment watching people’s lives or watching them trying to sell me products, and in the end of it I’m not even feeling fulfilled or even happy about that? What are the outcomes this is bringing to my life at this moment?”

Jan Purisco

The answer was: None, in the overall majority it was bringing much value to myself and I needed to take a decision upon it.

I couldn’t just stay offline forever, everything today is about digital and sometimes we need to establish communication with someone or search for a specific type of information. So to avoid any radical changes I decided just to remove the apps from my phone and then I would just login through desktop/laptop, decreasing in almost 80% of its usage. The reason behind this number is because usually when I am using a desktop/laptop I am working or studying so I’m way busy to have a space of boredom to be filled by social media.

As I removed the apps from my phone, numerous times I saw my finger trying to reach to the place where it used to be Instagram icon, this way feeling a strange sensation on my mind as I lost something.

While accessing social media through desktop/laptop the User Experience is way different then in mobile where we are used all movements and shortcuts and besides that the access to a desktop is way more difficult while being on the street or any social activity or in transit . In a great number of studies (I won’t list them now) we can see the addiction in social media happens due to stimulation of dopamine on the brain while changing the topics and visuals.

From my first week with the usage decrease of social media I could notice the following differences in my routine:

Notion of the environment

Since I was not facing my Phone Screen or keeping myself “busy” I had more time available and I was searching for activities that were forgotten before due to “lack of time”. Some of those were nothing really productive but were things that bring me happiness, such as playing video games, reading books and comics, listening to music, watching old movies etc.

This way I could enjoy more my activities without any interruption and have more fun during my day! This is an important aspect when you have a stressful day, what would you prefer, spend your free time watching other people or having fun? Of course having fun will make you feel better by the end of the day.

Sleep quality increase

Somehow it was easier to sleep, I believe because my mind was not being stimulated before going to bed with all sorts of information such as politics, corona, cars and others, all of them without any relation just random topics appearing every second.

My sleep also go more stabilized and I could have better dreams, but this is something particular on my side that I can’t say it will be applied for all since we have a great number of variations for each person.

Interaction with others

Of course my interaction with other people increased, just think about how much time do you spend on the cellphone while having a dinner with someone or a group of people, or even on the Gym. It seems we are forgetting about people around us and just focusing on the digital environment where people are contacts, interactions and messages.

Increased sense of purpose

Having more free time made myself look for things that I like to do, even if it’s related to self-improvement which demands energy and thinking, this way increased my sense of purpose in life because I had more objectives. A very different situation compared to spending a considerable amount of time in social media having the sense that others are having a better time or better achievements than I.

Finally I was focused in living just for myself!

Decrease of stress

While consuming useless information about things that I wasn’t looking for or that I don’t have any sort of control over the situation, my stress levels were increasing and I was feeling overwhelmed since I couldn’t do nothing about it or because these type of things were not part from my current reality.

Removing this stimulation on my mind and giving myself the power to look for the information that I wanted to read gave me more peace of mind and focus while consuming the information I was looking for.

Productivity and Focus

Everybody wants a lifehack to be more productive and be the best where they are, you can all achieve that with or without social media usage, the point here is how much it is affecting yourself by the end of the day. Remove the apps from your cellphone and you will see how many times a day you try to reach them. This behavior can make you tired by the end of a stressful day, since you are handling multiple activities and also checking social media for more information to give you “pleasure” of mind.

So what should I do with Social Media?

In my opinion, I believe the best way to not let social media affects your life is to define its purpose, Why do you have it and Why do you want to keep looking into it? For example, some people my use to increase their relationships with people, others to improve their business and others to just show themselves.

Every why or reason to use social media might be valid since you don’t affect your mental health or offend others while using it.

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How to be a better person in Social Media? The paradox behind of it

Social media is one of the main drivers of today’s society, it leads us to apply trends, discover needs, create behaviors and even feel fear or happiness.

Do we really know how much our internet presence impacts society? How many of us take accountability for our posts? How many lives are we impacting through our message that is probably containing self-images, status exhibition, social or political views or just funny media trends, often leading ourselves to a great mix of feelings such as vanity, low self-steam, fear and depression.

Social media mainly leads ourselves to self promotion (it’s only about ourselves, not about others) building new values on society, where having likes and being well known by others are considered success. In order to achieve it people might do almost anything for it, form plastic surgeries, jumping from moving cars or even recording accidents or people getting hurt.

This connects directly to Narcisism.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder affects around 1% of general population and high levels of narcissism can manifest in a pathological form also leading to this disorder, whereby the individual overestimates his or her abilities and has an excessive need for admiration and affirmation, also with arrogant thinking and behavior, lack of empathy and consideration to other people. People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are often described as cocky, manipulative, selfish, patronizing and demanding. These surfaces in every area of a Narcissist life, from work and friendships to family and love relationships.

Narcissist people are extremely resistant to change their behavior, even when it’s causing them problems, the tendency is to turn the blame on others and they are extremely sensitive and react the slightest badly to criticism, disagreements, which they view as personal attacks.

The paradox existed in social media is while we connect to others to be closer, we keep increasing our distance by thinking and looking only to ourselves, expecting praise, admiration and affirmation from those around us, badly resulting in the lack of empathy and unity.

How can society grows together and equally in a good direction with those values and traits? How can a Narcissism based society with lack of empathy can be even sustainable if we don’t hold for each other but only for ourselves?

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

Social media if is well used can turn into a powerful tool for the great of society, numerous cases can be listed where people received donations and support in urgent cases, inspirational stories were shared, intelligent debates arose and from it great solutions were achieved and people who we admire are easier to reach more than ever.

Thinking or serving to other people in our daily basis, including in social media, leads us to increase our empathy and to have a greater and positive impact in society. For every action that is taken we must ask ourselves what are the main outcomes that will be brought in other people’s lives, are those matching our main purpose or values in life? Social media makes communication easier, so how should we use this tool to bring a positive impact in other people’s lives as well?

Our Internet presence is as much important as our daily physical presence, that’s why we must dedicate our time wisely and define how can we bring a positive impact to others through our content and behaviors, it seems simple but it’s a big challenge in a world where Narcissism is valuable as a common trait.

Post inspired by the following content:

Jocko Podcast 221: Jonny Kim. Navy SEAL, Doctor, Astronaut. The Unimaginable Path.

Narcissism – Wikipedia

Narcissistic Personality Disorder – HelpGuide.org

Art: Bosch, Hieronymus – The Garden of Earthly Delights, right panel – Detail Bird-headed monster or The Prince of Hell – close-up head

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How do I get rich?

In a world full of comparison through social media, we get used to think being rich is the solution for all problems in life, but things are not like this, more often we see famous artists or rich people in the news with depression, drug addiction or even suicide. For example, It doesn’t matter how rich you are, if you are not happy with yourself or not treating others equally, you may have all the money in the world and still be poor, so in this case wealth does not come from money itself but form other aspects in life.

Based on my experiences I’ve listed 3 main aspects that will make you rich:

#1 – Health

Your body is like a machine and health is the engine, if you don’t operate it properly or choose to fill it with bad quality fuel, it will break or ask for maintenance through diseases. Good health is the primary key to drive you to success and will be the “one step ahead” factor from your competitors. Without it, everything can get more difficult through tiredness, depression and lack of motivation. If you have any type of restrictions, focus on eating well and doing at least 30 minutes a day of any kind of physical exercises, avoiding drugs, alcohol and finishing your day with a good night of sleep.

Key points to increase health:

  • Exercise 30 minutes every single day
  • Decrease sugar and carbohydrates, increase vegetables and grains
  • Avoid any type of drugs or alcohol

#2 – Spirit

Be in peace with yourself, avoid overthinking and make your way out of depression, find balance between you and the environment, who’s in peace with yourself will be with others. Make the difference, treat others equally (from the janitor to the CEO), no prejudice or bad treatment and focus in always doing good. Have more empathy, connect with nature, find what drives you to peace. If you don’t have inner peace, you will never be satisfied with the things you have or accomplished, it’s going to be an endless journey pursuing happiness.

Key points to increase your Spirit:

  • Start doing outdoor activities, increase your contact with the nature
  • Take a moment to listen only to yourself, without any external interference, might be meditation for example or doing a solo activity
  • For each negative thought you must seek for other 2 positive ones

#3 – Knowledge

After having everything set up (Health and Spirit), you can seek for knowledge which is the key to open new paths and opportunities to your life, only like this you will be able to reach to your objectives. Knowledge is one of the true differentials in our society who values futility and appearance is more important then the actual reality.

“Knowledge is power.”

– Francis Bacon

Key points to increase knowledge:

  • Study at least 30 to 60 minutes everyday, it can be any theme you want
  • Listen to podcasts during commute
  • Filter your social media and start subscribing to good quality content that will ad value to your life

Having those 3 aspects in balance, money will eventually come to you as a consequence of all your behaviors, and maybe you won’t need as much as you might think because when being in peace with yourself and others everything will be better and will be no need of pursuing happiness through money.

Photo: Kamilla Kvamme

How to achieve greatness?

Behavior change, reaching objectives, overcoming barriers or anything related to these might be considered daily challenges for most of us, but this can become easier if we accept the reality and embrace the challenges that will come.

The most common situation that I’ve noticed is that most people set huge goals or decisions for their lives in a short period of time, such as losing 14 kilos in 4 months, running a marathon in less than 1 year of trainning, start triathlon to do a full Ironman or even start a business immediately without any plans or researches. The issue here is that you are starting from scratch and trying to reach that far objective as fast as you can avoiding or disconsidering any type of barriers like bad days, disappointments and mistakes.

We are living in a society where everybody appears to be better and happier than you, and that achieving goals seems to be pretty easy, but in real life things are not like this, it involves a lot of struggle, sweat, blood and tears, and if people tell you that things are easier than you think, they are lying to you.

A few things must be considered while setting goals or facing challenges and barriers, first of them is to Think Like a Ship, because ships don’t change their directions so fast or in a abrupt way, every decision is well though and made in small degree adjustments in its direction and speed. To turn or to stop a ship you must think about it way before doing it and execute it in small steps until it really happens. Thinking like that you can consider that the small actions in your life will drive you to change and to achieve your objectives, small actions like waking up early, choosing the right food, or dedication at least 30 minutes or 1 hour of your day to studying can really change your life path. What is 1 hour of study compared to at least 3 hours of social media wasted during the day? Chose What is Right!

Embrace the Suck! Stop expecting that life will get better or easier, accept that life is a fight regardless of what you are doing, start building mental toughness and get stronger to face all adversities that will be thrown in your way. If you want to achieve success nothing will be or ever get easier.

“Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.” – John F. Kennedy

Eagles don’t fly with pigeons. Have you ever thought if the people around you are telling you good things? Or are they just putting more negativity and barriers to discourage yourself be the your best version? Surround yourself with people that will unleash who you are capable of.

Set Small Goals. Try to do the basics before doing the most outrageous accomplishment, why thinking about doing an Ironman or a Marathon if you don’t even run three times a week? First you must adapt your mind and body for a new routine, it’s easier to accomplish running once a week and then increasing to twice and then to three times. Remember that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, and it must fit inside your routine that is already full of tasks, that’s reason we must always Prioritize and Execute.

If you define big and outrageous goals, it will be easier to quit since it feels to be so far away from what you can do at this moment.

Take small steps every day toward your goals and don’t stop for any reason, only like this you will achieve greatness.

Picture: Took this photo of FDNY Engine 54 / Ladder 4 / Battalion 9 and it’s amazing flags remembering some of their roots and the fallen heroes.

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When I need peace, I look for nature

Uncertainty and stress are not new to human beings, our ancient ancestors had their share of challenges to staying alive in a world filled with wild animals and unpredictable food supplies, consequently shaping our bodies to set the right triggers in case of any danger. Today, we don’t have to worry about those kind of adversities, instead we unconsciously turned our mind and triggers to focus on work, performance, family, exercise activities and even war.

Despite having new accomplishments, goals and habits, the main difference from our ancient ancestors is the lost of spiritual connection to life that infuses us with trust and confidence that everything will work out in the end.

We no longer seek for healing or regenerative power in our environment, and we can notice this in our daily basis through:

Open landscapes are now city blocks, most of the time we are surrounded by concreted and metal, from buildings to cars and buses, without any sight or sound of nature. You might listen to birds singing but from a .mp3 in a train station.

Sunrises and sunsets take place while we are stuck in the confines of an office, when was the last time you stopped your routine to watch a sunrise or a sunset, even if you see it, you might be stuck in traffic or inside a building. That makes you lose entirely the connection and power of healing from the sun.

Time spent admiring nature’s beauty was replaced with traveling Instagram photos, instead of feeling the nature as alive as it is, people are hitting likes on vacation selfies while imagining themselves there and complaining how life is unfair. Even if there is a park, a forest or any type of nature environment next to their houses, people prefer to stay in the concrete.

Shamanism is based on healing and living in harmony with the spirit of nature where everything is alive and has a spirit, like trees, flowers, mountains, lakes, rivers, sea and its animals. Based on Huichol Shamanism, we assume that we are oneself as collaborator with all life.

Kupuri is considered by the Huichols as the powerful essence of life force. They obtain life force and energy from environment and charge themselves with this natural life energy. To find new ways to feed your Kupuri try to go to special place in nature or even sit under a tree or stare at the ocean and imagine the life force of this environment nurturing your soul.

Neither of gyms, exercise classes or diet suplements are solving our problems, the reason is that we must treat body and soul together and not separated as it is today. To improve overall health, we need to tune the health of our emotions and spirit as we do physicality.

The body responds positively when exercising, becoming stonger and leaner, as your soul responds positively when you connect to the nature, it becomes stronger, happier and more at peace.

Instead being connected to the environment we spend most of the hours connected to mobile devices and its applications, seeking for comparison, likes and approvals from others, while consuming bad information like gossips, tragic news or any kind of information that won’t add value to our lives.

The connection between body and soul has been lost in the modern world, being disconnected from our outer environment, causing loneliness (even if surrounded by people), depression (even if having everything you need) and angriness (even if living in a peaceful environment).

We must find in this world of fast pace changes a way to reestablish the connection between our body and soul, only like this we will be able to find inner peace and live well with others.

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Turning Mondays Into a Better Day

It’s pretty common to feel bad about coming back to our responsibilities after a weekend or even a long period of a lot of fun. When getting closer to to it, specially by the end of the day, the mind begins to be fulfilled with bad thoughts wishing there was no tomorrow.

The thoughts and the wishes are real, we all love having fun, taking long afternoon naps and eating all kinds of delicious food but the reality is waiting for us, filled with responsibilities and annoying tasks, so there are no choices or even an escape, so we must embrace it and get it done!

But how can we get it done if the days like these seems to be endless, we lack of concentration and just don’t know how to start or what things needs focus on.

From my experience I’ve listed 5 actions that can turn mondays into a better day:

1 – Treat yourself in the best way as possible

Remember that we can always find happiness in the little things, how about choosing nice meals during the day, i’m not talking about having a huge amount of sugar o fat, but going to a nice place to eat and choose the food that will improve your health.

If you are the type of person that enjoys company, invite that best friend to be with you, but if you are the type that stays quiet during mondays don’t feel guilty to avoid people and have lunch with yourself.

Don’t forget about the way you look, choose your favorite clothes, wear that make-up and fragrance that you love, i bet that when you pass in front of a mirror you will be happier with yourself.

2 – Wake Up Early and do something

Recently I’ve posted Why and How to Wake Up Early

Waking up early and do something, specially going to the gym or doing any type of aerobic exercise will boost your endorphin levels and your confidence. I bet that within 15 minutes of exercise you will start to feel better and refreshed to start the day.

3 – Set your routine previously

Don’t set your to-dos by the time you start the day or you might waste time on tasks like checking that long boring email box. Set your routine in the previous week or day, preferentially on fridays so you can detach from your problems and fully enjoy the weekend. If you are heading to a vacation or holidays why not setting up the day you come back to work?

Setting up a to-do routine will avoid you from forgetting important things or procrastination. Remember to Prioritize and Execute!

4 – Avoid or don’t pay attention to toxic people

Avoid the complainers, those will only add negativity or bad thinking to your day. When meeting a complainer that will surely say, “oh i hate mondays”, “the holidays are over, I wish I could be back” or even say that you look bad and tired. Remember there is nothing you can do about it, just focus on your objective and give a generic answer.

Sometimes will be hard to avoid them, so don’t pay attention to them and return to your path of getting monday done in the best way as possible.

5 – Set your main objective

If you have an objective you will not have barriers in your way. Set your main objective, that one that will be used as a driver to complete your tasks, this way you will always find a way for a solution and to be motivated.

Having an objective will make you Chose What is Right for you. Objectives can be related to family, professional goals, mindfulness, health and others, they just need to be your driver when facing a challenge or difficult or annoying task.

Mondays are the first day of the week, the first chance to get things right, everybody knows that it’s difficult to handle it, so why sharing bad thoughts about it since you can’t change it? You only have control of your actions and how to make the best way through it.

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Projeto Mãos a Obra Providência Achievements

This month I was involved in the disclosure and collection of donation for Projeto Social Mãos a Obra Providência.

Thanks to friends from L’Oréal, Marcia Ferreira Triathlon and Sports Mix, we could collect enough to purchase 25 tatame plates, kimonos and belts, besides supporting 16 kids and 7 adults for the Rio Challenge Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

From the 25 tatame plates, we could duplicate training area, giving much more space to be used in simultaneous training and warm-ups, avoiding crashes between students or waiting for roll.

We took the kids and adults for their first Championship, where they fought very hard, did great matches, conquered medals and realized a dream, that will be used as a base for discipline, focus and learning for their lives.

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Social Project Mãos a Obra Providência

The Projeto Social Mãos a Obra Providência supports and inserts kids and adultos into Jiu-Jitsu with the main objective to bring discipline, good values and health for their lives. The minimum requirements to join is to be studying and not miss any training class. The project is lead byNey Robson (Ney Bolado).

The project is located in CT do Cachorrão at Morro da Providência – RJ, and covers all residents from Saúde, Gamboa, Santo Cristo neighborhoods and nearby.

Besides Jiu-Jisu, the CT do Cachorrão offers Boxe, Wrestling and fun activities for kids and is lead by Eduardo Cardoso (the Cachorrão).

Ney invited me for a visit once but suddenly it became a habit and now I’ve been participating and supporting the project both in kids and adults classes. All affection received, the will to learn, become a better person from everyone and how they welcome me really kept my attention. Besides that I couldn’t find anyone that was wishing to rest and most of times I needed a way to train with as many people I could during the time we had in class.

Even with a lot of will and strengh to reach the objectives, most of those present in the project had needs, even the Training Center had its own, but that wasn’t a reason to discouragement, so we focused our energies in sharing the project and gathering donations.

I showed the project to my friend Rafael Vilela, who got engaged with and together with Ney we could acquire:

  • Cold water Drinking Fountain
  • 25 dojo plates, duplicating the training space
  • Kids and Adults Champonship Registrations

Project Address: Ladeira do Barroso, 40 – Gambôa, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20221-310

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Why and How to Wake Up Early

People always ask me why I enjoy waking up early, so here is a complete guide describing why and how to do it!

Why waking up early?

  • You’ll make time to dedicate only and true to yourself, because there won’t be any kind of distractions since most of people are sleeping
  • Doing something truly for yourself by the early hours contributes to have a better day because you’ll be starting it with the right mood
  • Your day will have more hours to be spent
  • Establish a better routine for yourself resulting in more discipline and better focus and results

The early hours of the day can be used for those activities that have been put away for any type of reasons. You will be able to improve yourself even if you dedicate only 30 minutes of your time on doing something related to sports, spiritual health, studying or any kind of thing that would make you feel better or archive your long term goal.

How to wake up early?

  • Choose a day to start, can be any given day, don’t focus on mondays like everyone else does.
  • Organize all your stuff in the night before, such as gym clothes, gear, breakfast, pre and post workout, hydration, work clothes etc.
  • Set at least 2 alarm clocks in at least 2 different devices
  • Try to sleep a little bit earlier than usual

Tips

No caffeine after noon, its effects can last at least for 5 hours in your body.

No heavy meals at night, avoid sugars and fat, try to eat clean to avoid indigestion during the night of sleep. Remember, this meal will be responsible for how you’ll feel in the next early morning, it will be your fuel for your activity.

Stop procrastinating in your cell phone near bed time, screen brightness and all that brain stimulation from social media can fry your thoughts and put you away from a good resting night of sleep.

Bed is for sleep or sex, start to slow down and don’t use it to think of problems or having heavy conversations with your partner.

Don’t Think Twice, when the alarms goes on just get up and get dressed. If you think for a few seconds maybe you’ll go back sleeping again. Remember the 5 second rule.

Start doing this tomorrow and I’m sure that you’ll start to feel even better. If that doesn’t fit in your routine, that’s ok, adapt it in order to always have at least 30 minutes of the day dedicated only for yourself.

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Choose what is RIGHT!

It’s a inherent for humans to seek comfort in things that appears to be easier or doesn’t have to many risks, however is choosing difficult paths will bring bigger accomplishments.

Each small decision we make in our daily basis will contribute to build a new future, in that way fight against your own mind to get after the things that will count to reach your objectives and not what is easier or comfortable for the moment.

5 seconds is the time we need to give up or move on, even if it’s difficult like waking up early in a monday morning, staying focused in a diet or finishing that annoying avoided task, move on will always make you feel better and more valued in the end.

Our decisions start by the time we wake up, so make it count every second and put in your mind what really needs to be done.

Have a good week!

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