I prioritize weekly physical activity by planning for it in my calendar. What gets scheduled has a greater probability of getting done! Physical activity is a combination of things for me — including the gym, cardio by running or recreational sport, and at-home high-intensity workouts. Since I’ve prioritized tracking my food intake, I have been able to do more of what I want to do with exercise.
Often when we refer to wellness, we assume that we are talking about physical wellbeing. But one can be physically very healthy but still be unwell, emotionally or mentally. What are the steps we can take to cultivate optimal wellness in all areas of our life; to develop Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing?
As a part of our series about “How We Can Do To Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tyler Boudreaux.
Tyler is a life coach with Life Momentum Coaching, where he prides himself in helping people get unstuck in life by creating & sustaining momentum in the areas of life that matter most. One of those areas is mental & emotional health.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/90ffcb46c214fb49a7964b65cded6008
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
Sure! And thank you so much for having me. I grew up in South Louisiana where my days & nights were filled with sports, four wheeler, music, and oh-too-delicious food. Early in childhood, my father developed some key health conditions that created an environment where I went looking for validation and affirmation in all the wrong places — sports, addiction, and overall performance-driveness. But, after committing to a journey to get healthy, I’m still enjoying much of what made my childhood in South Louisiana so fun!
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
That’s a great question. I’d say my career was shaped more by a major theme as opposed to any one situation. What I found early in my work life was a common theme of creative problem-solving. With a lot of key mentors in my life and right opportunities, it became clear that I could help both individuals & organizations get healthy and grow in unique ways. After all, organizations may need solutions when it comes to strategies, systems, and processes, but the most important part of an organization is the PEOPLE! I’ve been fulfilled getting to serve both of these things in my career.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?
Absolutely. I firmly believe that the greatest favor we can be awarded with is a relationship. There are so many people I could mention, but when I think about encouragement in being who I am today, I think about a work partner I had named Eric. Eric & I did some amazing things in business together, but his main contribution in my life was the everyday example of just being himself. I’ll never forget a business trip we went on together. When you travel with someone, there’s hardly no aspect of a person’s life you don’t see. I remember calling my wife on that trip and telling her that for the first time in my life I felt like I could be everything I was supposed to be and do everything I was supposed to do and didn’t need to be someone else in order to accomplish that. That was extremely freeing, encouraging, and helped root me in my identity & security. Eric showed me how to serve others well, without pretending to be a robot that has it all together in life. We all need help and struggle in some area. I believe it’s important that people get to see some of that in our lives. I will forever be indebted to Eric for giving me that example of complete transparency and authenticity.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?
Well, I’ll tell you, when you’re first starting out, you have to be ready for anything. So I had a work number that was being used for multiple startup ideas as well as anything that I had to use a phone number down for just to sign up for something online, etc. I get a call one day and someone asks me to set up an appointment. In a matter of seconds, I realized I was in trouble because literally anyone could be calling me at that point for anything — is this for personal coaching, business consulting, the free tool I signed up for last week? I had no idea. The question totally caught me off guard. I blurted out “What for?” They went on to describe how they had found me online for life coaching and wanting to set up an appointment. I felt so embarrassed because I did not respond professionally but more so because I had put in some work to be found online but obviously didn’t really expect someone to reach out! I’ve since learned to expect results from the work I put in and ask some key questions when receiving a phone call.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
Two that come to mind are “Reinventing You” by Dorie Clark and “The Next Right Thing” by Emily P. Freeman. “Reinventing You” gave me a fantastic framework and permission to dream of what I could be and do in the future and not just what things had looked like up until that point in my work life. “The Next Right Thing” helped me get moving, take some next steps, and “do it afraid” even when I wasn’t sure as to how a lot of things would work out.
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?
“Freedom is one perspective away.” I’ve found that in my life, perspective is the most important aspect of my mental health. With the ever so slightest tweak of perspective — by either putting things in context, considering how things could be so much worse, or receiving help from another person with a different outlook or experience — “freedom”, or peace of mind, is almost always possible.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
There are two projects I’m really excited about. We’ve developed an online course called Life Momentum that helps people get unstuck, create clarity, and form a practical path forward in the areas of personal development, health & wellness, and key relationships. We’re also creating coaching packages around this course so that people are not tackling life alone. Life’s too hard to do it without help. On the organizational consulting side, we’ve developed a Momentum Process that helps organizations create clarity in their identity, sure up their strategies, adjust their culture, tweak & optimize their teams, and adjust their everyday administrative tools. This culminates with an accountability tool that helps keep everyone on track and on the same page.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. In this interview series we’d like to discuss cultivating wellness habits in four areas of our lives, Mental wellness, Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, & Spiritual wellness. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or experience, can you share with our readers three good habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
Our minds are engines — they are ever-processing — in the day and age we live in today, more than ever. This can be very overwhelming. I think many people feel the temptation to avoid their thoughts, escape reality, or go the opposite route and overthink. We shouldn’t neglect what’s going on in our minds, but we also shouldn’t have to be overwhelmed! Three good habits I’ve found are having a daily meditation document, having a way to do mind dumps, and mental journaling.
Every day, I read over a daily meditation document that proactively sets my mind on the right things. Everyone’s document should be specific to them. I’ve written out beliefs I have, the 7 decision for personal success from Andy Andrews’ “The Traveler’s Gift”, my definite chief aim (Napoleon Hill), a statement I want my life to be described as when I’ve passed, goals I have and the prices I have to be willing to pay to meet those goals, the acceptance passage, and the serenity prayer. These are things that as I set my mind on them in the morning, I am building out the right mindset & perspective for me going into a day.
As an Enneagram 1, my mind is always on. I have a harsh inner critic that always seems to want to attack and berate me with to-do’s and reminders. That inner critic is trying to be helpful but it ends up being overwhelming at times. I always have a to-do app with a section called “Mind Dump” that I can just throw things in there when they come to mind. I have to free up mental bandwidth. I don’t want the pressure and stress of remembering any of those things. This is also helpful if things are on your mind while you’re trying to go to sleep! They go in the mind dump and I can forget about them until I review that list as a part of my week.
Mental journaling is a term I coined that has really helped me in my mental health. I’ve long known the importance and advantages of journaling. But I kept finding that the ideal time for me to journal was simply not convenient to write. Because of this, I wasn’t journaling nearly as much as I wanted to. So I made a decision to do the same things that I would be doing while journaling but ditch the writing aspect of it and see how that worked. I figured that the practice and consistency of journaling was more important than the medium I used. So I started thinking through a list of questions at the end of my workday on my commute home that allowed me to reflect and decompress my mind before transitioning to home life. It has worked extremely well.
Do you have a specific type of meditation practice or Yoga practice that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about it.
I’d love to provide some insight into what my mental journaling questions are to give everyone a template and framework of sorts to build their own version. I ask myself this list of questions/do these exercises:
- What were my lessons learned today? (Opportunities to improve)
- Do I need to forgive anyone today? Do I need to ask anyone for forgiveness today?
- Take deep breaths — be physically present
- What were my wins today? (Brag Zone)
- What are my prayer requests?
- What were my thought patterns today? Did I seek validation or affirmation in any wrong source?
- What are three things I’m grateful for this evening?
- Affirm self in one way
Thank you for that. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum physical wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
The things I focus on with physical health are not groundbreaking, but they’re essential. I look to focus on these things consistently:
- I track the food & water that I consume for the main purpose of awareness. I’ve learned that I make better decisions when I am completely aware of the data. It helps me and my decision making, especially in the times that I feel most tempted to eat badly — which, for me, is in the evenings. Medical professionals state that an adequate daily water intake is 124 ounces on average for men and 92 ounces on average for women. So I drink a lot of water!
- According to the Mayo Clinic, adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep every 24 hours. I do my very best to average that. I also know the difference between hours and not all hours are created equal. For me personally, my highest quality sleep hours are somewhere between 9:30pm and 6:30 AM
- I prioritize weekly physical activity by planning for it in my calendar. What gets scheduled has a greater probability of getting done! Physical activity is a combination of things for me — including the gym, cardio by running or recreational sport, and at-home high-intensity workouts. Since I’ve prioritized tracking my food intake, I have been able to do more of what I want to do with exercise.
Do you have any particular thoughts about healthy eating? We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?
Well, I really do believe this is different depending on your personality type. While I don’t hear a lot of people talk about it this way, I think it helps to understand your core wiring and what motivates you as a basis for health goals overall. For me, healthy eating has been an area where I’ve really thrived when including outside help. There’s so many aspects of my life that require mental and emotional energy. I’ve found that I don’t do well with the pressure of meal planning, etc. It’s just not one of the areas of my life that I want to be the primary responsible party for. I don’t feel like I’m good at it or disciplined in it. Luckily for me, I have a brother that has tons of knowledge and experience with physical fitness and health. I rely on him to help me with my goals and weekly/monthly decision-making. So my advice pertaining to this is a bit unique — be honest with yourself and take some time to understand what you actually need. Whatever area of your life sucks the energy out of you, demotivates you, and overwhelms you the most is most likely the area that you need the most outside help. Don’t put the pressure on yourself to figure everything out, hold yourself accountable, and be a high performer in an area of life that you have the least amount of motivation for or feel the weakest. And there are a ton of free communities out there to help you on this journey. I’ve loved connecting with Nerd Fitness, if you want to check one out!
Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum emotional wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
Yes! So, the definition of “emotion“ is “a natural instinct of state of mind arriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others”. A lot of people lump mental health and emotional health together and I understand why because they do overlap quite a bit. But what’s unique to emotional health is how much it’s derived from circumstances, mood, or other people. Emotions are indicators but they really just indicate a root. The emotion is not the foundation, the root is. So, there are a couple of habits I suggest for people to focus on that will create healthier roots and, therefore, create more positive emotions.
- Recreation is any activity done for enjoyment. You need to have fun! Many people throw fun out of the window when they become an adult. Mature adulthood is not the absence of fun, it’s just a healthy lifestyle balance that includes it. Having fun, regardless of what “fun” looks like for you, is important to a healthy and balanced life. Life should not be all about business or responsibilities. I suggest that people think through the activities and hobbies that bring them the most joy and truly re-create them. Then take an inventory of and set goals for your weekly investment into these activities and hobbies.
- I recommend creating affirmation statements. Leadership podcaster Craig Groeschel states, “Our lives move in the direction of our strongest thoughts.“ It’s beneficial to ask yourself at least two questions: (1) What negative thoughts are influencing or hindering my life? And (2) What truth can I state that opposes those thoughts? This will allow you to create affirmation statements that keep your emotions high because your thoughts are rooted in something more truthful and trustworthy than just how you feel at any given moment.
- Lastly, a lot of our emotions are derived from our greatest influences, which just so happens to be people. Here’s an exercise I suggest. Have you and your closest relationship go take the five love languages quiz. This will ensure clarity on what the other person actually needs and wants emotionally. A lot of times, we get frustrated when we put in a strong effort to meet the needs of our closest relationships and it’s not seeming to help. But with a closer look, we are actually trying to meet their needs in our default settings — how we receive and desire love. But that’s often not how our key relationships receive and desire love! Do you want healthier emotions? Define an accurate scoreboard for how you and your key relationship best get their true needs met!
Do you have any particular thoughts about the power of smiling to improve emotional wellness? We’d love to hear it.
Smiling is actually a topic on my daily meditation document that I mentioned earlier! The fifth personal decision that Andy Andrews talks about in the book “The Traveler’s Gift“ is “Today, I will choose to be happy.” He talks about choosing to be happy and greeting each day with laughter. One of the statements that I read is “I will smile at every person I meet. My smile has the power to forge bonds, break ice, and calm storms. Discouragement, despair, frustration, and fear will always wither when confronted by my smile. My smile is the key to my emotional make up. I choose to smile and am the master of my emotions.“ I do think that smiling improves our emotional wellness and I also believe it improves our daily interactions and relationships. Because those people influence our emotions, I believe anything that makes us and our relationships connect better indirectly improves our emotional wellbeing!
Finally, can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
Spiritual wellness is a challenging topic because we all believe different things. When I talk about spiritual wellness, I often refer to the definition of insanity. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So when I coach people related to spiritual wellness, I always take the approach of satisfaction & fulfillment. If you aren’t currently satisfied and fulfilled in your spiritual wellness, then you need to do something that you’ve never done before. Otherwise, you’re acting within the definition of insanity. We can’t just do the same thing in the same way and expect different results. Here are the 3 main habits I have related to spiritual wellness:
- According to a study by the research for Bible engagement, when you read the Bible four times or more in a week, incredible things happen in your life. A few examples they list are that feeling lonely drops by 30%, anger issues drop by 32%, addictions drop by 57%, and feeling spiritually stagnant drops by 60%. I read the Bible every single day. I have a plan that I follow on the Bible app. I read a chapter from two different books in the Bible and then read a commentary on those two chapters. There are also audio versions of the Bible anyone can listen to. My goal has been to go deeper so I couple my Bible reading with knowledge from experienced scholars.
- I also pray daily. According to multiple studies, prayer reduces anxiety, stress, depression, brings peace of mind, and most importantly connects us with God.
- I am well-connected with my local church. There are multiple statistics that I could give to convince someone that church involvement is good for them and their family, but the most important thing I can say is that being involved in a Bible-believing and teaching church has been transformational in my life and countless others. I have personally grown, been transformed, and established lifelong friendships and relationships with like-minded people.
Do you have any particular thoughts about how being “in nature” can help us to cultivate spiritual wellness?
Emphatically yes! I read a book one time called “Sacred Pathways” by Gary Thomas. He talks about nine sacred pathways and how people are wired differently and connect with God in different ways. One of those ways is naturalists, which connect with God outdoors as their primary pathway. It was very eye-opening to me because I have always felt close to God in nature. Some of that has to do with the fact that I just enjoy solitude, a lack of noise, and being by myself. But I would say regardless of what your primary pathway would be, there’s something to be said about nature, stillness, and quiet being a phenomenal contrast to the noise and distractions of our society and current culture. We need to unplug. We need to remove competing factors that fight for our attention. Every year I conclude the year by going to a local state park to spend time in nature. I reflect on my year, I connect with God, and I think about the year to come. I always look forward to it and it’s always been one of the most rich times in my year spiritually.
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I’ve been telling people lately that when it comes to job security in the future of the world, some of the most secure jobs moving forward are the ones that simply help people be healthy people — counselors, therapists, coaches, pastors, etc. Because there will always be people and we will always have problems! What we all share in common is that we all have issues! With that being said, I think my answer would be mental health awareness and helpful paths forward. I believe mental health is a part of the next wave of daily importance. You see businesses and HR departments prioritizing it already as a perk, that for some, is becoming even more attractive than pay or location. I believe our focus has to be simple, practical, and simply human. It doesn’t need to be overly complicated when it comes to the day-to-day aspects of mental health. We shouldn’t get too formal about mental health awareness. Having said that, we do need the depths of education, science, and qualified professionals to help us understand the microcosms of mental health. The most amount of good for the greatest number of people will come from defining the ultimate source for each person’s greatest needs and desires to be met. When our greatest needs and desires are met in the appropriate sources, our negative emotions and the actions we take will start to transform.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them. 🙂
Haha! That’s great! Yeah, it would be Kanye West. 808s & Heartbreak is my favorite album of all time. I even remember tweeting to him to please make a part 2 album to that one. Kanye has, without a doubt, been a polarizing figure. Almost anybody that knows anything about him has an opinion on him. With Kanye, we’ve seen a lot of his humanity — good, bad, and indifferent. I’d love to sit down and talk with him because I believe he is a genius in many ways, battles perceptions and its pressures, and has a desire to help people in mental health as well — being that he fights that battle.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
You can follow us on Instagram at @lifemomentumcoaching and connect with me personally on LinkedIn at @tylermboudreaux.
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.