To get to the heart of ‘practice stacking’ (what is it and and how can we do it?!) we sat down with Marc Champagne: mental fitness guru, podcaster and author of best-selling book Personal Socrates: Questions that will upgrade your life (@mchampagne)
Hi Marc! You recently spoke with our founder Lauren for your wellbeing podcast Behind the Human, where you talked about her motivations for starting Heat Healer; now, can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you’re all about?
Happy to! I’m a Dad to two young kids, based in Canada, and I’m a mental fitness strategist, which means I help individuals and teams practically implement mental fitness practices into their workflow and personalized routines. I have personally practiced mental fitness for over a decade now and I use it to fuel my mind with great content each day, to learn about myself and to grow. When I started I was frustrated with the digital tools available, so I created my own guided digital journaling app (KYO), which went on to reach nearly 87 million users. Although I’ve since closed the app, I continue to use questions as a fundamental tool to help people bring clarity, intentionality, and possibility to their lives.
Where does the term ‘stacking’ come from, and what exactly does it mean?
I worked within the technology industry for many years and was very familiar with the phrase ‘tech stack’: which is the combination of technologies that a company uses to build and run a project. After I started consulting, I found myself using the concept of ‘stacking’ to explain the variety of mental tools we all have at our disposal, and how we can combine them together to augment our results.
‘Practice stacking’ is looking at all of the practices that help you flow through life - this could be meditation, journaling, breath work, hot or cold therapy or other things - and then experimenting with different combinations of those practices. This allows you to find what works best for you, the ultimate formula, or the ‘secret sauce’ so to speak.
Can you give us an example, how do you use ‘practice stacking’ in your daily life?
Sure. I like to wake early each day, as I find it very peaceful before the rest of the family is up! I do some exercise, like a spin class or strength training. I alternate days where I do a strong workout with mornings in the Heat Healer personal sauna blanket, as I find it really supports my physical recovery. The thing I love most about the sauna is that I can add on breath work, guided by the @othership.app, or visualization. No matter whether I’m exercising or using a sauna, I will also have my vision board nearby so I am reminded of the goals that I’m working towards. I follow all this with an energizing cold shower, it’s a great way to wake up! In a nutshell, that’s how I stack my practices to make sure I show up as my best self for myself, family, and clients each day.
What tips can you give to someone looking to get started with ‘practice stacking’, or mental fitness in general?
I recommend first thinking about the practices that make you feel great and where they fit into your daily routine. Which ones could you combine? And could these become part of a consistent morning or evening routine? Or it could be something you do weekly.
Another practice I like to incorporate - personally, and with my clients - is to ask a few key questions, or prompts, to make sure you have clarity. Here are some examples to start with:
Morning priming prompts:
End of day or weekly review prompts:
Deeper prompts and visualizations:
In my experience, we are all just one good question away from a different mood - or a different life!
Thank you Marc!
For more information about Marc and ways to personalize your own mental fitness routine visit: https://www.behindthehuman.com