6 Ways You Can Boost Your Mood

If you’re suffering from the moody blues, anxiety or angry stress, the key to your mental health may be right outside your door. According to Brant Secunda and world champion Ironman Mark Allen, authors of Fit Soul, Fit Body: 9 Keys to a Healthier, Happier You, connecting with nature not only brings beauty into your life, it can significantly boost your mood. Here’s what they had to say about the power of nature in improving your mental health.



New research from the Netherlands shows that people who live near a park or wooded area experience less depression and anxiety, and a study from the UK found that a walk in the country reduces depression in 71 percent of participants. Scientists have also known that sunlight can ease depression — especially SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, in winter. Secunda and Allen say that there are many reasons nature is so effective in lifting people’s spirits.


The authors explain that people who live close to nature suffer from less depression because:

  • They are connected to life, to the beauty of all of life and the majesty of creation.
  • Being a part of a sunset or sunrise makes our soul happy, therefore also affects our body.
  • Taking the time to simply experience nature can calm our nervous system.
  • By being close to nature we feel a part of life, we feel connected to the birds, the flowers, the trees, and the earth.
  • This process of being connected helps take away depression and other negative emotions, bringing us more happiness that will carry us every day of our life.


People who live close to nature also have a much higher chance of being active outside, moving around and exercising. Think about it — would you rather be running on a tree-lined trail with birds singing overhead or pound pavement next to cars or run on a treadmill going nowhere? Secunda and Allen add, “We all know how moving our bodies — exercising — is one of the most potent tools for combating depression.”


Going outside is the first step in connecting with nature, but your intent will significantly enhance nature’s positive effect on your mental health. Here are a few techniques from Fit Soul, Fit Body: 9 Keys to Healthier, Happier You.

1“Breathe in” the sound of running water

Go to a river or stream and breath in the sacred sound of running water. This simple act helps to make your spirit beautiful. Just think of your plants at home — when they get watered they look beautiful.

2“Breathe in” the ocean sound

If you live on the coast, a good technique for washing away loneliness, depression or anger is to go to the ocean and breathe in the beautiful sound. Then as you breathe out, visualize your exhale letting your problems go.

3Connect to “Father Sun”

Sit on the earth and feel the sky above you and imagine the light of the sun coming in through the top of your head. This helps take away anger and loneliness by helping you feel connected to something grand. It helps you feel a part of life all around you.

4Connect with loved ones — in nature

A deceptively simple tool is to just go out with friends and family to a beautiful place in nature and talk, laugh or even discuss problems.

5Be a part of nature

Go for a walk, run or hike in a natural setting. While you are out in nature, look around at the world going on around you. Forge a connection to the trees and plants and animals around you as you move through this setting whose elements are almost eternal. This can take your focus off your own challenges and help you see that there is a whole world that is enduring and wondrous. It helps us see that, ultimately, even with life’s challenges we are part of this amazing circle of life.

6Draw energy from the earth

One way to draw energy from the earth when you feel depleted is to walk outdoors with intent, and with each step you take, try to visualize Mother Earth’s power rising into your body. The power of Mother Earth is love. Imagine love coming into your body, making your body strong. Love is a tangible power and emotion that many indigenous cultures consciously work with, and it can help all of us living in the modern world.

Reposted from sheknows.com

Fit From the Inside Out: Secrets of a Soul Practitioner

Before Mark Allen was a world champion athlete, he was a loser. His goal? To win the Ironman Triathlon, considered the most difficult one-day sporting event in the world. It starts on the Big Island of Hawaii with a treacherous 2.4 mile open-ocean swim, followed by 112 miles of hard-core cycling, finishing with a full marathon — 26.2 miles on an extremely challenging course in brutal hot weather.

“My first six years racing at the Ironman varied from moderately disappointing to outright disastrous,” Allen writes in his new book. Flat tires, dead legs and internal bleeding were just a few of the obstacles that sapped his energy and blew his cool.

“After so many failed attempts, my patience and confidence were failing,” writes Allen. “I certainly had the desire to win. But desire has a shelf life of about three hours under the intense sun and wind of Hawaii. I began to realize that it wasn’t a failure of my body that was keeping me from winning, it was a failure of my mind.”

Enter Brant Secunda, a shaman-healer who’d spent 12 years living with the Huichol people of Mexico, an exceptionally healthy and happy tribe with secret knowledge about many transformative practices, including the strength and serenity that comes from connecting with nature and uniting body and soul.

Hold on a minute. What does your soul have to do with your ability to run faster, bike better, overcome weakness and develop a more positive outlook on life? Everything, according to Secunda, who started working with Mark in 1989, teaching him the Huichol system of health and healing.

The result? Mark started winning. Between 1989 and 1995, Mark Allen won the Ironman Triathlon six times. Now he and Brant Secunda have collaborated on a fascinating book filled with insights and exercises that can help all of us deal with our own versions of Ironman challenges.

“He (Secunda) helped me change pain into joy, inner struggle into gratitude, impatience and fear into calm and courage,” writes Allen, who came to a whole new understanding of fitness once he started training the Huichol way.

“The reason we fall short of our goals so often is that exercise is part, but not all of the answer. True health and happiness is about developing a sustainable lifestyle where you not only achieve long-term physical health, but also long-term emotional and spiritual health. This is what we call having a fit soul and a fit body.”

No surprise, that’s what shaman-healer Secunda and world champion Ironman Allen named their book — “Fit Soul, Fit Body” (published by BenBella). It’s a helpful how-to for people who want to train their mind as well as their body — who want to be, as the co-authors say, “fit from the inside out.”

A lot of the advice in the book will be familiar — set goals, check your heart rate, eat modest portions of real food. But the most interesting advice is the least familiar, the Huichol-inspired exercises that use nature to boost your mood, lower your stress and develop your soul. Here are two from the book to get you started:

— To connect with Mother Earth’s love, the strongest power of all, start by taking a walk. In the city, the country or the wilderness. Feel at peace. Stop all thoughts and internal dialogue. Walk slowly, quiet your mind. With each step, visualize Mother Earth’s love coming into your body through your feet and traveling to your heart. Do this for 15-20 minutes. Feel her love flowing into your body, and empower yourself with it.

— To bring balance and energy into your life, to become centered between Earth and Sky, sit or lie down on the ground. Feel your connection to the sun and earth. Visualize the light of the sun throughout your body and in your heart. Imagine that light going down into Mother Earth. Draw the love of Mother Earth up into your heart and throughout your body. Send that love to Father Sun. Feel your connection to all life.

Sound crazy? Even impossible? So does winning the Ironman six times.

Reposted from womanpokerplayer.com

Fitness Served Fresh

It’s spring. Do you know where your ribs are?
There’s one layer of padding that can be easily shed when it gets warmer, and one that cannot. Yes, when your winter clothes are put away, you can’t blame your extra bulk on a hand-knit sweater. Time for action. Our friend, triathlete Mark Allen, shares some tricks that we swear will help you get into an exercise groove:

• Change up your usual walk. For instance, try going the opposite direction on the other side of the street. “Downhills turn into uphills, you’ll notice new things, and you’ll be more mentally engaged,” says Mark. “All of that will make your workout go by faster.”

Reposted from mybestyou.com

• Take advantage of the additional daylight hours by doing an activity in the morning or after work, such as a walking club or boot camp.

• Get on the bike. Mark suggests, “Make it a rule that any errand under a mile from home gets done without a car.”

• Build a walk into your commute. If you take a bus or subway home, get off a few stops early and walk the rest of the way.

Find your energy, lose the sweater.

Blog Talk Radio Show with Brant Secunda and Mark Allen: Fit Soul, Fit Body

Dr. John Deri, a Psychiatrist in Mill Valley, CA interviewed Mark Allen, a six-time Ironman and Brant Secunda, a Shaman and healer. Mark Allen and Brant Secunda published a book “Fit Soul, Fit Body”. During this Radio show they discussed how we can become truly fit from the inside out and experience joy, happiness, and fulfillment like never before. Mark and Brant know how to get people into the best shape of their lives- both mentally and physically. They have been motivating and inspiring people for decades. Brant and Mark continue to work together at events and retreats teaching a unique roadmap for fostering optimal health, happiness, and wellbeing. Many people around the world learn from them how to live a healthy life filled with lasting joy, happiness, and contentment.
Reposted from happytipsdaily.com