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

Chris Powell also went through a difficult chapter in his life, which made him realize the importance of not only staying physically fit, but mentally fit as well.

PHOENIX — For the past 20 years, fitness expert Chris Powell has helped countless people transform their lives and get them through some of the most challenging times of 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 fit, but also mentally fit.

Powell started over when his life took a turn for the worse. “It started around 2015 and went into 2019, and I mean well into the pandemic. But it was actually in 2019 that I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder. And it was both anxiety and depression. And at that point that was the point where i was referred to a psychiatrist…to deal with the anxiety and the depression but through the process i learned some other really powerful tools to help my mental health and deal with the stress the anxiety and, to bring myself much more present in the here and now,” Powell said.

Powell was divorced and it was a struggle 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 hopeless. And I couldn’t see a way out,” he recalls.

But with the help of drugs and various mental health techniques, he overcame his depression. “I was all about, you know, diet, exercise. That was my physical stuff. 20 years. And it was like, Oh, this is the answer, but it wasn’t. It didn’t help me. And it wasn’t until then I started learning mindfulness, meditation, breathing, acts of kindness and gratitude, these were the different things the therapists taught me. I started using those,” Powell said.

Now Powell wants to share some of those 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 I’ve had for the past three years, is I wake up, it’s either early in the morning or late at night. And I think of three things in my life that I’ I’m really grateful for it And they can be the same things But it’s not just listing them This is the secret here It’s not listing, you really have to think about them And you have to feel the gratitude because it’s not just again; it’s not writing. It’s feeling the 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 the 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 mental clarity. You just breathe hold for four seconds, hold for four seconds with your lungs full, exhale for four seconds, and then hold for four seconds with your lungs empty, then breathe in. You just repeat that for one minute, two minutes, three minutes, however long it even before you suddenly regain control of yourself. And it’s wild how powerful it is.”

The second breathing technique is called a “physiologic sigh.” He explains, “So what you do is you take two deep breaths through your nose, you go, I think you exhale almost completely with the sigh and this is one I use at night especially sometimes when I can’t quiet my mind. I will use the physiological spot at night. And I use box breathing during the day to handle stressful situations.”

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

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

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