3 Simple Habits for a Clearer Mind and Better Moves

Right Mood – Right Move. That’s the tagline of ChessMood – I love it and fully agree.

Feeling good (confident, happy, relaxed) while playing chess can help you find better moves and ultimately get better results. A clear mind can focus better on complex chess positions, leading you to make better decisions – which lead to better results.

To celebrate ChessMood’s unlocking of all their courses (I’ll tell you how to take advantage of it at the end of the article!), I want to give you three simple ways you can improve your mood in today’s article.

Here are the three simple (and free!) habits that have significantly improved my mood on a daily basis:

1. Cold Exposure

For the last month, I’ve taken a cold shower every single day. Sometimes I even went for a dip in 6-8 degrees Celsius (42-46 Fahrenheit) water. It’s a super simple (initially not so easy) method to activate your immune system, feel more awake, and get a better mood. Don’t believe me?

The recent “cold exposure wave” on social media is actually backed by science. Cold showers are, for example, ​used as a treatment method for depression​. Obviously, this isn’t the solution to all your problems, but if a short (1-2 minute) cold shower can improve your mood, immune system, stress levels, and blood circulation, why not give it a shot?

Here’s a quick starter guide for cold showers, but remember, safety first! Consult a doctor if you have any health concerns.

  • Start Slow: See how your body reacts. Finish your normal shower with 15 seconds of cold water, starting from your chest down.
  • Gradually Increase: Increase the cold water exposure by a few seconds daily.
  • Embrace the Discomfort: A little discomfort is normal, but don’t push yourself to pain. Focus on your exhale to relax under the cold water.
  • Explore Resources: ​Wim Hof​ is a leading expert on cold exposure. His methods can be found online, but always prioritize your safety. Watch this video to hear from someone who completed a ​3​​0-day challenge​.
Wim Hof - A Leader on Cold Showers

© Wim Hof

2. Writing Diary

After reading about cold showers, this will feel like a breeze.

Writing down my thoughts in my diary doesn’t just help me come up with better ideas, it also helps me process difficult emotions and navigate tough periods, ultimately leading to a better mood.

I can go for periods without writing, but I always feel an instant relief when I finally capture my thoughts and feelings again.

  • Just Do It: There are countless ways to write a diary; find one you can stick to. An easy way to build a habit is with the ​5-Minute Journal​.
  • More Isn’t Better: Sometimes, I feel great after writing 2 sentences; other times, I write 5 pages. The habit is important, but how much you write doesn’t matter as much.
  • Use It For Chess: Consider having a special chess diary, where you plan your training sessions and review them.
  • Get a Journaling App: I prefer writing with pen & paper, but there are tons of Journaling apps on the market that make journaling a simple daily habit. Get one if that is easier for you.

Journaling is a great Habit to improve your Mood
The 5-Minute Journal with pre-set questions to answer every morning & evening

3. Daily Walks

“Just walking can improve your mood?”

That was my first thought, too.

But moving your body and breathing fresh air has a powerful positive impact on mental and physical health.

Even a short burst of 10 minutes of brisk walking increases mental alertness, energy, and mood, a​s written by the Mental Health Foundation.​

Think about it – humans used to walk daily for basic needs.

Now, most of us sit all day, which negatively affects our well-being. Walking improves my mood and sparks creativity – most of my article ideas come during physical activity, not while staring at a screen.

  • Start Small: Find 10 Minutes every day and get out.
  • No Devices: Walks are so much more regenerating if I don’t have digital devices with me. Put away your phone and enjoy the nature.
  • 30-day challenge: I did a 30-day 10,000 steps/day challenge last summer, which had a great impact on my physical and mental well-being. If you want to change your walking behavior, this is a great radical way to do so.

Better Mood, Better Moves

These three habits – cold showers, writing diary, and daily walks – won’t solve all your problems.

However, they can consistently improve your mood in just 30 minutes a day, without crazy supplements or risky side effects.

Give them a try and see how you feel!

ChessMood Courses Unlocked

Until Sunday at 7 PM Armenian time, you can watch hundreds of hours of GM video courses for free. Just create a free account by using ​this link​ and start watching.

If you love what you see, you can then ​sign up for a membership​ and lock in their current lower prices before they increase on May 1st. Using my ​affiliate link​ gets you an additional 20% discount on these cheaper prizes.

“Where should I even start?”. I got you:

Three video courses for you to check out this Weekend:

  • ​Blunder proof​ – Everyone blunders. This course gives you great ideas on how to reduce them – no matter your level.
  • ​In GM Studer’s Mind​ – Yup, I recorded a short video course for them. Watch me walk you through 10 of my most interesting games. From biggest win (against a 2700+ GM) to most painful defeat (losing for the Youth WcH title/medal)
  • ​Tactic Ninja​ – For players up to a rating of 2000, this is the ultimate Tactic course.

Again, if you love what you see, make sure to ​get a membership​ before May 1st. This way, you can lock in the old prizes and save a lot of money.

I wish you a great weekend filled with a good mood and good moves.

Keep improving, Noël

PS: For those already in love with ChessMood, they offer a discounted lifetime membership as well. That means pay once and then get all of their current and future courses, for as long as you want.

PPS: This article was initially sent out to my Newsletter list. If you want to get chess improvement advice for free into your inbox, join 17,000+ chess improvers by signing up for Friday Grandmaster Insights here.

Whenever you’re ready, here is how I can help you:

  • Want to know How to train chess well? Check out Next Level Training – The Chess Training Blueprint for Adult Improvers. This course taught 600+ students the How of Chess Training. Create your high-quality chess plan and learn how to study each part of Chess, from tactics to openings & endgames. ​Click here to learn more​.
  • Check out my all-in-one Beginner Video course, Beginner Chess Mastery—Reach 1200 Online. You’ll learn all the fundamentals, from strategy to how to get the most out of your pieces, tactics, and endgames. You even get a full opening repertoire for free. ​Click here to learn more​.

I firmly believe that

anyone can improve their chess through the right mindset and training techniques.

I’m here to guide you on your journey to chess mastery.

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