Do you find that balancing professional and personal excellence is like walking on the razor’s edge? Sometimes when we are consumed with succeeding at work, we tend to forget that we have a human body– that has certain requirements like rest and nourishment. When we are mentally and physically healthy, we are able to yield better results at work and outside of work. If that rings a bell somewhere, then here are 10 simple tips for mind and body wellness to help you have a healthy lifestyle:
Striking a balance between the demands in life requires some tools, and meditation can be that one tool that makes a significant difference. It is one of the most powerful tools for restoring the balance in our lives. In meditation, you experience a deep state of restful awareness, in which your body and mind are resting deeply while your mind gains greater awareness.
Meditation is like the foundation of a building, giving you better footing, or the means to withstand greater challenges and pursue your goals. “If you want to build higher, you have to dig deep. The deeper and stronger the foundation, the higher the building”, says Bhanumathi Narasimhan, senior Sahaj Samadhi Meditation teacher who has been teaching meditation globally for 30+ years.
2. Healthy diet
The old adage, ‘You are what you eat,’ could be expanded to include, ‘You are how you eat and when you eat’. Keeping a food diary can give you a clear picture of all the ‘what, how, and when’ effects you. But even just thinking back to when you overate or missed a meal or grabbed something on the go, you may remember feeling dull, unclear, and less dynamic. Taking care of our body definitely contributes to our physical health but also our mental wellness.
Food is the primary fuel for our body which then affects the quality of our minds. When we eat fried foods, spicy foods, leftovers, high fat, and sugar-laden foods we not only experience various health issues but our minds also suffer. Giving attention to a healthy diet eaten on time in a relaxed manner is possibly one of the most overlooked ways of improving mind body wellness, immunity, and even our level of happiness.
3. Daily exercise
If you are not exercising daily you are probably noticing some lack of vitality, health issues, or possibly even premature aging. Everything from our complexion, ability to be mobile and flexible, as well as the quality of our sleep, are all connected to whether or not we have a regular exercise routine.
It is recommended to do thirty minutes of daily and appropriate exercise which can give you more energy, help you relax, and sleep better- even the quality of our mind improves with physical activity.
Exercise changes the levels of the "feel-good" hormones in your brain, such as serotonin, which brings your mood to the happier side. Exercise also removes inertia from the body as well as pent up energies. Daily practice of yoga contributes to mind-body wellness utilizing the power of your breath and awareness with the body. Try doing a few rounds of Sun Salutations to start your day and see your energy increase along with mental focus.
4. Restful sleep
Do you know how important sleep is for us? Doctors say, 7–9 hours of sleep each night maintains blood pressure, reduces cholesterol levels, and breaks the cycle of stress and counteracts its effects on our body, thus making us feel fresh and happy each day. After a good night’s sleep, energy levels are higher. Your mental awareness is more acute and you are likely to smile more. A good night’s sleep also makes us more productive.
5. Cultivate loving relationships
Connecting to people is as important as, or even more than to have a 24x7 Wi-Fi connection. It keeps us from feeling lonely and isolated and helps us deal more effectively with stress. Connections can happen even on the phone or a Zoom call, when meeting in person is not feasible. When possible, do things in a group. This can lead to an increase in dynamism and creativity and even benefit your performance at work. In fact, when the ‘I’ changes to ‘We’, then even illness changes to wellness!
With depression reaching higher and higher numbers across the globe, connection with others is paramount. Sometimes depression comes when we spend too much time thinking, ‘What about me?’ A couple of simple antidotes are to extend your hand to another person in need or do a random act of kindness for a stranger. For a bigger impact on depression and anxiety, learn SKY Breath Meditation which significantly decreases both clinical and non-clinical depression and anxiety. Participants have also noticed improved personal relationships.
6. Drinking plenty of water
Did you know that water can help burn fat and keep you healthy? And that 70% of our brain is made up of the same water that is so critical to our body's proper functioning? In fact, water also regulates the digestive processes and helps get rid of waste. Without water or enough of it, our bodies either function at a reduced capacity or sometimes parts simply stop working.
Definitely drink water when you’re thirsty and drink extra water when it is warm outside to keep you perfectly hydrated. While there are some differences of opinion, around eight to ten glasses of water every day is all we need to maintain the water requirement of our body. If you like, you can carry a fancy water bottle to add a dash of style!
7. Smile a little more
"A smile is a curve that sets everything straight." Did you know that smiling can release stress and tension from different parts of your face? It is like giving your facial muscles some exercise along with relaxation. Smiling also releases endorphins – a chemical in the brain that lifts your mood. Smiling slows the heart rate and relaxes the body. So when faced with problems you can reduce tension if you take a minute to smile. You might just find along with the tension leaving, a new perspective arrives.
8. Be generous
Just take a minute and reflect: which of these makes you happier: giving a gift or receiving a gift. It is always the joy of doing something for others that makes us feel uplifted. Just as a random act of kindness benefits the recipient, it also uplifts the giver.
The possibilities are endless, whether it is a small gesture or a large donation to a non-profit, random acts of kindness and charity, contribute to your physical, mental and even spiritual wellness. Consciously planning for ways to be generous is both worthwhile and needed.
9. Say no to drugs
There has never been a time when it was easier to gain access to both prescription and non-prescription drugs than in today’s world. Pain medications unfortunately often come with builtin addiction risks. And recreational drugs have so many negative effects, from lung damage to brain damage.
10. Save time for fun
Having fun may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of mind and body wellness, but fun can be a big influencer when it comes to healthy living. If we don’t take time for fun then stress could have an even bigger impact on our life. Having fun helps us balance work and home, and also recharges us in ways no other self-care tool can. So take a break and meditate, then do something playful, surprising, and FUN! Your mind and body will thank you!