So yeah… I met ‘that guy from the Bachelor NZ‘ at a conference we were both speaking at. I hadn’t watched the show but I did know that all of New Zealand was talking about it. I didn’t really know anything about Art Green other than the general consensus of the nation was that he was hot, and a ‘nice guy’.

Turns out they’re right on both counts… (I’m not ashamed to admit he’s a good looking man.)

As most of you know, I don’t do small talk, and both Art and his lovely partner Matilda were wonderful people to chat to about things that actually matter. Yay for good people and good conversations.

So here’s Art’s answers to five of my questions:

When everything starts falling apart, what’s the one thing that brings you back to calm?
At times when I’m feeling down, or frustrated, or if someone has really fucked me off – I run. I find that running really works for me. It works on multiple levels – it tires me out physically, it clears my mind, and it makes me feel more upbeat.
What’s the one book that has had the most impact on your mental health and why?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Many people find this book to be a life changing book that makes you think, while others find it a stupid and glorified children’s story. For me it was the former. It made me put my life in perspective, challenged me to see my life as a journey and to take things as they come. The result is that my outlook on life causes less stress for me day to day.
What is the one thing that has made the biggest impact on your mental health?
My diet. About six years ago I stopped eating processed and refined foods, and adopted a way of eating that relied predominantly on naturally grown food (Paleo). I did this because I was searching for the best “diet” for biological/nutritional purposes – I never thought that cutting out processed and refined crap “food” would result in me having more energy and generally had a more positive outlook on life. And so six years later this is the way I choose to live because I know it makes me feel better mentally and makes me a better person to be around.
(He didn’t, but I’ll plug his Paleo food business here: Clean Paleo. It obviously changed his life enough to start a company around it! – Jimi)
What rituals do you do every day for your mental health?
I do some form of physical activity every single day. I vary it up almost every day so that no two days in a row are the same as I tend to get bored easily. I go for runs, hikes, go to the gym, do yoga, kayak, play tennis – whatever, as long as I’m moving and enjoying it. I don’t call it exercise as I’ve grown up thinking negatively about the word ‘exercise’ so I call it activity and make sure that if I’m not enjoying it, I’m not doing it.
I have also recently incorporated meditation into my mornings and into a morning routine and am to meditate every day but on average probably do it every third day.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
You are capable of absolutely anything.

 


 

I decided to feature Art first in this series because his answers are nicely diverse, from nutritional, to physical to mental…

I have heard many stories over the years of the benefits of the Paleo diet in regards to mental health. One I re-tell about a man who went from suicidal to stable in about two weeks after starting to eat Paleo. The research showing that the correlation is in removing both sugar and processed carbohydrates from your diet, both of which are known to cause inflammation in the body, inflammation now being seen as a major component in depression and low mental health states. So, I can completely understand how Art is a major proponent of this diet for him and anyone else that wants to join him.

Moving your body everyday is also something that has been espoused by many for good mental health but I think that Art hits the nail on the head about the word ‘exercise’. I hate ‘exercise’, but I love activity… The key is to make sure that whatever the movement is, it’s something that you enjoy. Or for me, also an activity that has some sort of purpose.

And I’m so happy that he has started a regular meditation practice, the one thing I recommend more than anything else.

And to re-iterate Art… You, yes you, are capable of absolutely anything. So go and do it…

 

Be well,

 

Originally posted on www.jimihunt.com

 

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