Fitness guru Chris Powell shares 3 key tips for staying mentally fit

PHOENIX — Over the past 20 years, fitness expert Chris Powell has helped countless people transform their lives, getting them through some of the most challenging times in their lives.

But Powell himself also experienced a difficult chapter in his life, which made him realize how important it is not only to stay physically, but also mentally.

Powell revealed when his life took a turn. “It started around 2015 and continued into 2019, and I mean right into the pandemic. But actually in 2019 I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. And it was both anxiety and depression. And at that point, it was a point where I was referred to a psychiatrist… to deal with anxiety and depression. But through the process, I’ve learned some other really powerful tools to help my mental health and deal with stress, anxiety and, I’m performing a lot more in the here and now,” Powell said.

Powell was divorced and it was difficult to be in the public eye while trying to protect his children. “Everything felt so empty and hopeless; that would be the best word to describe as hopeless. And I couldn’t see a way out,” he recalls.

But with the help of medication and various mental health techniques, he overcomes his depression. “I was all about nutrition, exercise. These were my physical things. 20 years. And it was like, Oh, that’s the answer, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t helping me. And it wasn’t Until I started learning mindfulness, meditation, breathing, acts of kindness and gratitude, these are the different things that therapists taught me. I started using them,” Powell said.

Now Powell wants to share some of these techniques with you.

Here are three tips for a healthy mind.

Talk to someone

Powell said, “It doesn’t have to be a health professional or you know, a mental health professional, just a friend. And maybe they can help direct you to the right people where you can get the help you need.”

Practice gratitude

Powell explains, “I do it every day, and for the past three years, when I wake up, it’s either first thing in the morning or last thing at night. And I think of three things in my life that I’m really grateful for. And these could be the same things. But it’s not just listing them. That’s the secret here. It’s not a list, you have to really think about each one. And you must feel the gratitude, because it is not just again; I don’t write it. It’s a feeling of gratitude.”

Learn to breathe

Powell uses two different breathing techniques. The first is called “box breathing”. He describes, “It’s incredibly powerful for instantly calming the body, like Navy SEALs use it, first responders use it when they’re in these extremely stressful times, to bring them here and now and for extreme clarity of mind. You simply inhale for four seconds, hold for four seconds with full lungs, exhale for four seconds. Then hold for four seconds with empty lungs and then inhale. You just repeat this for a minute, two minutes, three minutes, however long it takes you to suddenly regain control. And it’s amazing how powerful that is.”

The second breathing technique is called the “physiological sigh”. He explains, “So what you do is you take two deep breaths through your nose and you go, I think you exhale completely almost with a sigh, and that’s one thing I use at night, especially sometimes if I can’t calm my mind, I will use the physiological place at night. And I’ll use box breathing during the day to deal with stressful situations.”

Powell Saod Being mentally healthy is like being physically healthy, it’s an ongoing process. He explains that you can’t go to the gym and suddenly you get fit. We must practice both every day to stay strong from the inside out.

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