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Two habits to build lifelong discpline around.

Gyanesh Mishra
December 24th, 2020 · 6 min read

This post is very close to my heart because after many, many, many, MANY trial and error of trying different habits and practises in my life, these two habits are the only consistent ones that I keep coming back to. They’re none other than Breathwork and Nutrition . That’s it really! You can close the article and be on your way now. 👋 I generally despise the articles that make you sit through paragraphs of intrigue, so I figured I’d not rather not add to that statistic.

Everytime I have had to achieve, suffer, and endure any challenge in my life, these two habits have helped me persevere. Practicing a disciplined routine around the two will not only enhance your mindset, it’ll help boost your mood, give you a moment of calm, and improve your physical health as well.

Now before we get into it, I would like to very carefully make a distinction between self-control and self-discipline. What I am preaching here is self-discipline and NOT self-control. There’s plenty of articles on the web explaining the difference between the two, but the way I understand the two is you use self-discipline to guide yourself whereas self-control is to restrict yourself. Generally when you mess up, self-control can act more as negative reinforcement and frustration is only natural when that happens! Whereas, with self-discipline you accept what has happened and rely back on the principles of the discipline you are following. I fall off the wagon more than I care to admit and with self-discipline, I am able to focus on the end goal instead of punishing myself for losing “control” 😄

So let’s dive right into the why and how they can help you be your best self!

Why Breathwork and Nutrition?

Well, because suffocation and starvation are bad! 😅😂 (Granted not my best joke, but I stand by it.)

I am not the first one and won’t be the last one to preach the infinite benefits of controlled breathwork! Trust me, when I learnt that most of us have been breathing wrong our entire lives, I was less than impressed. How did I screw this up? It’s just one in, one out right? I was waiting for someone to also tell me that I’ve been blinking wrong too! 😒

Many famous hindu and buddhist literature focus on controlling the breath to achieve enlightenment.

Pranayama, a practise as old as yoga, focuses solely on breathwork between movements and how to best control it. In ancient yogic traditions, breath is also referred to as “life-force”, which makes so much sense when you understand how it helps regulate our mood, mental health, blood flow, and everything else. People like Wim Hof go around doing insane things like climbing the mount everest in shorts, just so people would listen to him about how breathing right has helped him do such an insane task.

I personally have had many breakthroughs since I incorporated breathwork into my lifestyle. My workouts (weights AND cardio) are better, I generally feel more healthy, cold showers are enjoyable, I stay calm and clear-minded, Anxiety is a bit more controllable etc. There are a lot of different breathwork excercises you can do which we’ll talk about in the next section.

As for Nutrition, we all know the adage

“You are what you eat.”

At first I didn’t believe in it much. I relied on the basic principle of calorie counting. As long as I am eating a reasonable number of calories, it shouldn’t matter what I eat right? Turns out what you eat, matters a LOT MORE! Even nutritional experts agree that if you’re eating foods that are “good” for you within reason, calorie counting isn’t even remotely necessary.

Note that I said “Nutrition” and not “Diet”, even though the word “Diet” itself is innocent, it comes with a negative connotation so we’re just going to avoid it.

Eating food that’s good for you plays a huge role in your energy levels, health, how you look, and how you feel all day. If I’ve eaten sugary junk foods all day, I’m going to feel happy while I’m ingesting them! But the rest of the day I’m going to be lethargic and uneasy. If I continue that for days, my performance at the gym depletes, I’m prone to acne, and I crave more food. However, If I eat a healthy serving of vegetables, protein, fat, and fibre; I feel energetic, satiated, and overall happier. Then the rest is just domino effect:

More energy = Better workouts, Focused Work

Healthier body = Cleaner skin, Self confidence, Less likely to get sick

Proper portions = Less snacking, Less hunger

etc. etc. You get the gist.

If you don’t want to go off my personal experience, read the biographies and listen to the podcasts! All successful/healthy people have disciplined eating habits based on their lifestyle and dietary needs.

How do I start?

You’re here! That means you’re convinced that this is the secret elixir to life! This is the “42”. Please send me $500 and I’ll give you my 4 page e-book on this! (jk jk)

The principle and steps are quite simple actually! Just like my other posts, this one will also follow a similar theme of daily routines! However, the hardest part as always is sticking to them EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

It’s ok if you miss a day here and there! The important part is coming back to it, over and over again 🔥 There’s this youtube video I watch for motivation and one of my favorite quotes on it is this:

“At the end of your feelings is nothing, but at the end of every principle is promise. Behind your little feelings it might be absolutely nothing, but behind every principle there is a promise”

So if you wake up one day and aren’t “feeling” like it, just remember the principle and what it promises you and push through that barrier!


  • 4/4/4 practise (Box Breathing)

    It’s the simplest beginner practise and one my favorites! You breathe in for a count of 4, hold your breath for 4, and then exhale for a count of 4. That’s it! You do it for 10 minutes every morning and slowly work your way up with 5/5/5, 7/7/7, 4/7/8 etc. and play around with them. This practise will help you feel calm and grounded whenever you’re feeling anxious, or if you are breathing irregularly due to stress.

  • The red light stop

    In pre-covid times a lot of us would spend time in our cars in traffic jams or red lights! I’m sure that’ll return pretty soon with the vaccine hitting the markets. So everytime you hit a stop, instead of succumbing to road rage, take a minute to take in some deep breaths and be present in the moment. It’s a nice reminder to ourselves to take a deep breath and pause when we feel “stuck”.


This is by far the toughest challenge you’ll ever face if you really enjoy eating, especially if you snack consistently, or frequently visit fast food/restaurants.

Now I’m not saying to NEVER eat “unhealthy” things! That’s going to be impossible! I eat junk food every so often and ice cream is consistently present in my fridge. It’s more about being mindful of how they’re affecting you and what’s the best way to find balance.

  • Switch the narrative around unhealthy foods

    The first and foremost thing you’ll need to do is switch the narrative in your mind around these foods! Instead of focusing on the instant gratification you’ll get from finishing that entire tub of ice cream, think about how icky that may make you feel in the near future and longer term. Everytime you are about to ingest something, think about how it’s affecting you mental/physical health and ask if you really need it.

  • Keep your hands busy

    If you’re a frequent snacker, pick some hobbies that keep your hands busy! I knew someone who took up knitting and shed off 10+ pounds in a month simply by not snacking constantly.

  • Portion control

    This is the best advice I’ve ever recieved and it seems to be the core of any proper eating plan. Instead of an entire plate full of Mac n Cheese, allocate some portion to veggies and protein to get the food that’s good for you in addition to the flavor you crave.

  • Meal planning

    Figuring out what meals you’re going to eat in advance can save you loads of planning/contemplating time throughout the week and you can focus your energy on other things. It also helps lighten your mental to-do list and there are MANY websites now that can create healthy eating plans for you for free! Remember to switch up meals every so often or the boredom can throw you back into take-out land.

Final words 🙏

First of all, thank you so so much for reading this article! I am full of gratitude and I thank you for your time and interest 🙏.

I hope this post has helped you and If you have any feedback or would love to get in touch, please reach out! I truly believe these are excellent stepping stones to help you build other habits/practises upon and live a more fulfilling life 💝

I’d LOVE to hear what habits you practise regularly that helps you lead a more disciplined life. If you haven’t already, make sure to follow us on Instagram or Facebook.




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