Milena Regos: “Being alone with your thoughts and pondering the meaning of everything can be a powerful practice”

Being alone with your thoughts and pondering the meaning of everything can be a powerful practice. Just immersing yourself in nature and observing the cycles, change of seasons can be a very reflective experience. I like to spy on the divine and use my curiosity as a guide. Nature gives us a chance to wonder, […]

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Being alone with your thoughts and pondering the meaning of everything can be a powerful practice. Just immersing yourself in nature and observing the cycles, change of seasons can be a very reflective experience. I like to spy on the divine and use my curiosity as a guide. Nature gives us a chance to wonder, to be in awe, to shift perspectives.

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 Milena Regos.

Milena Regos is a rebel entrepreneur, visionary, and founder of Unhustle, on a mission to inspire entrepreneurs, execs, and leaders to take their lives back from burnout culture and create sustainable success without the stress. She has presented at the World Economic Forum at Davos, sharing the stage with business luminaries and world leaders to activate change on a global scale. Unhustle has been called “Amazing” by Arianna Huffington (Founder and CEO of Thrive Global) and “Legendary” by Christopher Lochhead (#1 Apple Business Podcaster) and has been featured in CNN, NPR and many podcasts. Begin your journey to Unhustle by downloading her free ebook: “7 Superpowers of High Performing Unhustlers”.

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?

I grew up in Bulgaria and came to the US to complete my MBA and chase the American Dream. After 24 years of successful marketing and a personal burnout experience, I pivoted my career to start the Unhustle Movement and inspire and empower people to begin a new way of living and working so they can build sustainable success with more ease and less stress.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

It depends on which career you are asking about. My marketing career was inspired by Leo Burnett and by the fact that I love storytelling. I’m still very passionate about it. Unhustle was inspired by my own values for wellness, freedom, and living a purpose-filled life. Many people have been instrumental in giving me the courage to make the shift, like Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, Tim Ferris.

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?

Christopher Lochhead has been my mentor on and off throughout the years. His smart business and marketing acumen and different point of view have helped me tremendously in creating my authentic life and business.

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?

When I was the marketing manager for a ski resort I was in charge of ordering end of season employee gifts. I spoke on the phone with the vendor and I asked for 250 sweatshirts, saying STAFF on them. He misinterpreted my accent, and I received the sweatshirts with STUFF embroidered on them. It was a disappointing experience and I learned to double check people’s understanding of what I have asked them to do. Clear communication can save embarrassing moments like this one. We all had a good laugh about it.

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?

I love “Greenlights” by Matthew McConaughey. I enjoyed his engaging storytelling and real-life lessons and takeaways or bumper stickers. I’ve had a lot of red lights and yellow lights in my life and I have also managed to turn some of them into greenlights. One of my favorite quotes from the book is: “The question we need to ask ourselves is: what is success to us? More money? That’s fine. A healthy family? A happy marriage? Helping others? To be famous? Spiritually sound? To express ourselves? To create art? To leave the world a better place than we found it?

What is success to me? Continue to ask yourself that question. How are you prosperous? What is your relevance?

Your answer may change over time and that’s fine but do yourself this favor — whatever your answer is, don’t choose anything that would jeopardize your soul. Prioritize who you are, who you want to be, and don’t spend time with anything that antagonizes your character. Don’t depend on drinking the Kool-Aid — it’s popular, tastes sweet today, but it will give you cavities tomorrow.

Life is not a popularity contest. Be brave, take the hill. But first answer the question.”

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“I don’t think of work as work and play as play. It’s all living.’ — Richard Branson

We talk about work-life boundaries, work-life separation but there’s no such thing, it’s work-life integration and hopefully, at the end of the day it’s more play and less pain.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I’m fully focused on working on my book and I hope the Unhustle playbook gives people a chance to shift their perspectives and see that there’s a better way, a new way of living and working that can help us get out of the feeling stressed, overwhelmed and tired all the time.

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.

Science shows that the benefits of having a gratitude practice can be tremendous for our happiness but also our productivity. Research by Shawn Achor, the CEO of Good Think where he researches and talks about positive psychology, revealed that when your brain is in the present and positive state you are happier. When you are happier, your productivity increases by 31%. Your stress reduces by 23%. If you translate how this impacts the bottom line, you can generate 50% more in revenues and 37% more sales. The best news? It only takes 21 days to rewire your brain.

Expressive writing or journaling is another science-based approach that can help improve physical health, reduce visits to the doctor, and significantly improve your immune system. It can also help you improve your mood. Writing about upsetting experiences produces a long-term effect on mood and health. Personally, I noticed that when I start writing, the world around me disappears and this can be a very good thing especially now. I make it a point to write every day.

And finally, savoring the moment — whether you are outside in nature, taking a shower, or doing the dishes — being fully present can be very stress-relieving. I love going outside with my dog without my phone and just paying attention to everything around me. Today, I saw a red hawk in the trees. Such a beautiful sight. If I had my eyes on my phone I would have missed it.

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’m trained in mindfulness meditation so that’s my go-to practice but I love all types of meditation. Sometimes, I just sit with my eyes close or do a guided meditation, and sometimes I go outside for movement meditation. I also like the app Flow Lab and use it to improve my focus and motivation. For yoga, I’m a fan of Yoga with Adriene, her free YouTube Channel, and Bryan Kest’s ashtanga yoga — it’s how I got into yoga in the first place.

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.

Sleep, move, breathe. It’s pretty simple really. We get so busy that we forget to breathe.

The CDC declared sleep disorders as a health epidemic. A third of Americans report not getting enough sleep and during the pandemic these numbers have probably gone up. Insufficient sleep is linked to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and depression. Sleep affects not only our health but our productivity. Sleep is the first to be ignored when we have too much to do. I make it a priority to turn off screens after 8pm and I don’t use an alarm clock to wake up. My body knows better how many hours it needs. I don’t always sleep well but giving my body a chance to wake up when it has had enough time to rest, allows me to stay focused and productive throughout the entire day.

Movement is so important to our indoor, sedentary lives. Most of us spend days sitting on our desks indoors typing away on our keyboards. Tap, tap, tap. Slouched over the screen, bums in chairs. Our bodies are not designed to sit or even stand for long periods of time. We are designed to walk, run, chase, squat, stretch, kill. So, we need to make sure we move. All the time. Preferably outside, also known as green exercise. Green exercise has much more impact on self-esteem than exercise alone. Going outside is my choice of exercise. Since I live between Lake Tahoe and Baja this is easy for me. If you can find a place to go outside where there are trees then you can benefit from forest medicine, a science based approach that originated in Japan known to reduce stress, improve sleep and increase creativity.

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?

I’m not a nutritionist but I can tell you that the Standard American Diet (SAD) is not just sad. It’s bad. Food is one of the most important ways to maintain your physical health. Unfortunately in America, we have turned into a fast-food country of junk food. It makes us fat and sick. If you don’t take time to cook and enjoy your meals — you are not taking care of your body and your mind — your biggest assets. So, really it comes down to time and habits and it’s impacting not only our physical health but our brains too. Sugar causes brain fog. So I choose carefully what I purchase and make it a point to cook every day. It’s challenging to set the time aside but I enjoy the process. It relaxes me.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum emotional wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Becoming stress resilient is important to emotional wellness. The World Health Organization referred to stress as the biggest health epidemic for the 21st century. Americans are the Stressed Out Nation — more so than any other country in the world. 3 in 4 Americans are stressed out. Stress causes a decrease in productivity and health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis and inflammatory diseases. Chronic stress turns into anxiety, panic attacks, depression, a decrease in ability to function and lower levels of energy. In an email newsletter from Thrive Global, Arianna Huffngton wrote: Two thirds of Americans say they’ve felt anxious, depressed, lonely or helpless, and more than half say coronavirus-related stress is negatively affecting their sleep, the foods they eat, their alcohol use or their chronic conditions. To manage my stress, I like to practice daily self-care. I have morning rituals that I stick to. I take evenings and weekends off to spend with my family and do things outside of work. Having a purpose is instrumental in emotional wellness and I’m grateful for the work I do. I receive a lot of messages from people thanking me for giving them hope. I love connecting with people and it’s been so challenging to do during the pandemic. I try to get together and go outside for a walk or a hike.

Do you have any particular thoughts about the power of smiling to improve emotional wellness? We’d love to hear it.

Smiling stimulates neural connections that cause a surge of mood boosting endorphins, dopamine and serotonin, leading to feelings of happiness. Smiling is the easiest way to improve your mood. Even if I don’t feel like smiling every day, I try to smile. Your brain doesn’t know any different whether you are smiling on the inside or outside. Keep smiling.

Finally, can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

I consider my meditation and yoga practices spiritual. Time in nature, alone with my dog, is spiritual. Travel is very spiritual to me too. This is why I love spending a portion of the year in Baja where I can get immersed in a different culture.

Do you have any particular thoughts about how being “in nature” can help us to cultivate spiritual wellness?

Being alone with your thoughts and pondering the meaning of everything can be a powerful practice. Just immersing yourself in nature and observing the cycles, change of seasons can be a very reflective experience. I like to spy on the divine and use my curiosity as a guide. Nature gives us a chance to wonder, to be in awe, to shift perspectives.

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 have found my calling with the Unhustle Movement and I’m fully committed to it.

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 🙂

One day, I will have breakfast with Richard Branson on Necker Island after a kitesurfing session. He’s been my business and life hero for a very long time.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

You can connect with me at You can find me on Linkedin or Instagram.

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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