An unlikely poster boy for meditation, Wolverine star Hugh Jackman revealed in the latest issue of Men's Health that meditation "changed his life." The August issue of the magazine features a world exclusive on his workout (and some mighty fine muscles he has too).
Talking about the gruelling training involved to shape up for the film, he said: "The bottom line is you’ve got to train until you want to throw up and you have to eat until you want to throw up. And that’s pretty much it.”
Meditation may play a role in the mindful attitude he takes to working out. He added: “Over the years I’ve really got to know my body. I know what it takes to get ready, I know how long it’s going to take to get there and I know what I need to eat. I’ve really adjusted my diet and narrowed it down to the least painful way for me.”
Looking fit comes at a price however, as his diet involved eating one piece of steak a day and was so off-putting towards the end, that he's thinking of becoming a vegan. “I eat one steak a day minimum. Now I don’t know any doctors recommending a 12oz steak every day. I’m pretty sure that’s not good."
The star has been very open about relaxation and meditation, which has become a fundamental part of his wellbeing over the last 20 years. He said: "I practise different strains of meditation and its really changed my life. It is not a religious thing.”
This isn't the first time the actor has spoken about it - he explained in an interview to Oprah:
Transcendental meditation has also featured in Hugh's life, and he uses it to give himself space in an otherwise busy life. He says: "Nothing has ever opened my eyes like transcendental meditation has. It makes me calm and happy, and, well, it gives me some peace and quiet in what’s a pretty chaotic life!"
What is transcendental meditation? It is a simple, natural, effortless procedure involving a sound or a mantra, and is practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed.
Take A Two-Minute Mini Vacation
Choose one of your favorite vacation memories and relive it -- all while skipping the airfare! "Every single one of us has memories from our favorite places. You can relive the best moment of your life to feel like you did when you were there," Wortmann says. Why it works: It helps you recognize you have a choice in how you feel in a stressful moment.
Surf Around On A Zen-Friendly Website
It might seem counterintuitive to find solace on your screen (<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/28/national-day-of-unplugging-2013_n_2760114.html">because unplugging <em>is</em> important)</a>, but you can do exactly that with the many centering sites out there. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/30/positive-thinking-the-10-_n_2582102.html">Here are 10 of our favorite URLs that inspire us</a>.
Download A De-Stressing App
Your smartphone might be partly to blame for the stress you're feeling (hello, non-stop emails and phantom vibes), but it's also a great resource for de-stressing tools. Try a couple of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/02/de-stressing-apps-10-ipho_n_2397200.html">our favorite de-stressing apps</a>, and <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gps-for-the-soul/id586099254?ls=1&mt=8">download the GPS for the Soul app here</a>.
Keep Essential Oils At Your Desk
Essential oils will do more than mimic an escape to the spa: A whiff or two could actually help you relax. Aromatherapy has been <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19571632">shown to decrease stress levels</a>, so shop around for a scent you fancy and get sniffing.
Since stress is <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/182980-what-can-make-you-feel-extremely-tired-sleepy-all-of-the-time/"> physically exhausting,</a> you might benefit from a little movement for an instant energy lift. An action as small as swiveling in your chair with a couple of deep breaths can help you get back to business, <a href="http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/2008/10/how-to-destress-at-your-desk-instantly#slide=3">Glamour reports</a>.
Bounce It Out
If your employer allows it, you might consider swapping your desk chair for something a little more fun. While there is <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/290341-the-benefits-of-using-a-stability-ball-as-a-chair/">yet to be conclusive research </a>that a stability ball improves posture, the ball <em>does</em> allow more room for fidgeting -- which can wake you up and help get you back into the zone.
Handwrite Your To-Do List
Think of your handwritten to-do list as a sacred document, kept away from distractions of the inter-webs. You'll know exactly where to find it when you need to refer back to it since it won't be lost among the many open tabs of your browser. Plus, the act of physically writing down your tasks<a href="http://lifehacker.com/5738093/why-you-learn-more-effectively-by-writing-than-typing"> may help you organize your thoughts and remember them more clearly,</a> which, in turn, will help you to be more focused and less stressed. Fear you'll forget your to-dos on your desk one rushed night? Make a point to snap a photo with your phone at the end of each day.
Snack On An Orange
Your co-workers will think you're just craving a juicy mid-day snack, but besides satisfying tummy grumbles, you'll be reaping the benefits of the stress-relieving powers of citrus. <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11862365">A 2002 study</a> found that a dose of vitamin C helped people bounce back more easily from a stressful situation.
Take A Screen Break
You'll have to get up for this one, but it will be worth your while: Just a five-minute break from your desk will have <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110208131529.htm">you returning refocused</a> and a little less anxious. Plus, <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/eyestrain/DS01084">your eyes</a> will appreciate the rest.
Try A Breathing Exercise
<a href="http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-management-breathing-exercises-for-relaxation">WebMD cites deep breathing</a> as one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. That's good news, since it's an exercise you can perform anywhere, sans candles or gongs. Try out a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/19/dan-goleman-gps-guide-relaxation-techniques_n_2712260.html">few of</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johnroger/breathing-exercise-_b_2247713.html">these</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-magone/stress-meditation-_b_1671435.html">techniques</a> to see which you like best.
Turn On The Tunes
According to <a href="http://www.samfak.gu.se/Faculty+of+Social+science/News/News/News_Detail//everyday-music-listening-reduces-stress.cid1066914">a 2012 study</a>, listening to music every day can help keep your stress in check. The (not-so-hard-to-fulfill) catch: You have to listen to music that you actually like. Check out our <a href="http://open.spotify.com/user/mindfulliving/playlist/3IGicJWDNRy8aNe2TZEmvE">mood-boosting playlist here</a> for some inspiration.
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