ONE Moment with Rich Franklin: Learn to be selfish

In this bi-weekly column 'ONE Moment with Rich Franklin', ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC)'s Vice President (VP) talks about his life lessons through the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA). The 'Ace' is a former World Middleweight Champion with a professional record of 29-7.This week, he shares a valuable life lesson about learning to be selfish.

Rich Franklin teaches us to be selfish - take care of yourself first so you can take care of others.Rich Franklin teaches us to be selfish - take care of yourself first so you can take care of others.

At the start of any flight, the crew will give a safety demonstration stating, "In the rare event that we lose cabin pressure, your oxygen mask will fall from the ceiling. Place your mask on first before attempting to help those around you."

While I am sure there are many reasons for this, quite simply, if you pass out while assisting someone else, you become useless to both parties.

We can apply this lesson to life in general.

Many of us operate in a world with a tremendous workload, hectic traffic, a schedule of extensive errands and the list goes on.

Increasingly, it becomes more difficult to take time for ourselves and our health. Our sleep schedules start to suffer, the busyness creates more stress and we slip into the convenience of fast food.

But I cannot emphasise this enough – never underestimate the value of a good night's rest.

Sleep is important

Brain activity is higher while sleeping than watching television, because hormones such as growth and testosterone are highest when you are asleep.

These hormones are crucial for rebuilding body tissue damaged through the daily stress we endure (both physical and emotional).

Thankfully, I have the luxury of waking with my body's natural rhythms and sleeping seven and a half hours per night.

When I am in fight camp, I usually take a 45-minute to one-hour nap between the morning and evening sessions.

Napping is a necessity to recover from my first training session, if I plan to be productive in the second session.

The physical benefits of a well-rested body before any endeavour are obvious and a nap also allows me to mentally reset so I can focus properly during my second training.

Dealing with stress

Although sleep is a good stress management system, do you have an effective way to otherwise deal with stress?

Each time we experience stress throughout the day, the body releases a hormone called cortisol in response to that stress.

For example, when I train, my body goes through physical stress producing cortisol, but my body will also produce cortisol if I am running late to a meeting because I got stuck in traffic.

While an amount of cortisol is healthy, the body is not equipped to manage the excessive amount many of us experience in the chronically stressed state we live in.

How do you manage your stress?

Spend time in prayer, reading, working out or some other activity to decompress from life?

I challenge people to give up 4% of their day (about an hour of time) – which does not sound too demanding – and invest it in your health.

Food causes stress too

Finally, what kind of fuel do you put into your body?

I maintain a strict nutritional regimen even when I am not preparing for a fight.

It reduces the amount of time I need to prep for an opponent, because I have minimised the damage done to my body through poor nutrition.

Your body endures stress through the foods you consume as much as it does from a stressful situation.

Many of the foods we eat are acidic, thus releasing "free radicals" into our system. These free radicals create an oxidative state in the body, similar to metal sitting outside and rusting (oxidation).

This will then visibly manifest in the body through signs such as wrinkles or age spots!

Healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, contain anti-oxidants which bind to free radicals and thus minimise oxidative stress.

Maintaining proper sleep, stress management and a consistent nutritional programme is a lifestyle that requires you to make yourself a priority.

Those around you will only benefit from the best you that you can be. So, go on... learn to be selfish!

For more inspiration from Rich Franklin, follow him on Facebook and Twitter (@RichFranklin).


Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.