Life can really knock us down from time to time and bless us with character-building obstacles. It can make us feel stressed, tired and even unhealthy mentally and physically.
Maybe work is putting too much pressure on you to do more at the office or the kids have crazy busy schedules and you are just exhausted. It could even be more serious like an illness or a personal loss. Life is tough. Whatever may be going on in your life, you can equip yourself with the right tools to give your body and mind a fighting chance against it.
Our bodies are these amazing machine-like beings that work beautifully when taken care of and maintained. I like to think of them like cars. Is yours a Porsche or a station wagon? Lol, it doesn’t matter. A vehicle that needs to be fed really good food and really valuable knowledge. You have to constantly update the computer inside with new information that will help it perform better and give you the best results possible. If you don’t change the oil in your car, what happens? If you don’t put in gas, what happens? Same goes for your body. If you don’t put in the proper fuel or enough of it, the body does not work as well as it was meant to or has the ability to. If you don’t exercise and move, the body does not run as efficiently or as fast. If you don’t fill your mind with educational worthy information on a regular basis, you are not growing as a person and your mind does not work as badass as it was meant to. Stop and think about how amazing the body that you are in right now is. Really, think about everything your body does and how smart you are and
In order to make our bodies work in tip-top performance we need to feed it and feed it well with healthy habits. There are endless ways you can do this on a daily basis. Here are just a few ideas of where to start:
Water comes first because before you do anything in this life, drink a glass of water. Water is literally the most essential part of all life form and the only reason we have a planet to exist on. Think about that for a minute. Without water I would not be sitting here writing this right now. But here we are and we need water. Water makes up on average 70% of the infant human body and 70% of the planet’s surface. Isn’t that a coincidence? I think not. Nothing is a coincidence to me. We sweat. We pee. We lose water. That means we have to replace that water. When we don’t drink enough water our hair gets brittle, our skin gets dry and scaly, our eyes and organs are affected, our muscles are crying inside. Every part of our body craves water and we need to feed it. If you don’t water your plants, they die. You wouldn’t do that, would you? Drink your water.
You can see exactly how much the Mayo Clinic says you should have here. You can also read more about the body’s relationship to water here.
Good Food is not only important but highly satisfying to the body. When you eat high quality healthy foods, you provide your body with the essential vitamins and nutrients one needs to live and feel well. When we eat lots of sugar, salt, fat, fast food and other nutrient-deficient foods, we feel tired, sluggish, bloated and possibly might be overweight. Eating natural foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean meats and fresh dairies can give you energy and keep you lean. When we feel good it seems that everything else in our lives goes a lot better and we feel better overall. The foods we choose to put in our bodies can make the difference between a healthy body/mind or an unhealthy body/mind.
Walking/Being Active, it is essential to have some kind of active lifestyle. It won’t be the same for everybody. Every person is on their own journey and has their own pace. Some people are hardcore lifters and some just like the smooth and slow pace of yoga. There is no right or wrong, just move. Start small and make a choice to do something if you are not already. I always think it’s good If you are not used to exercising to start with walking for about 20-30 minutes everyday. Our bodies love to move and the more we use them the better they work. Start with something and get moving. Play with your kids. Go for a hike. Join the Y. Take some classes. Do some yoga. Join a sports team. Have sex. Swim. Run. Climb. Bend. Get your heart rate up and move your body. That’s it. The more you do, the more you move, the better you’ll feel.
If we are creating ourselves all the time, then it is never too late to begin creating the bodies we want instead of the ones we mistakenly assume we are stuck with.
Reading/Brain Exercises are super important and beneficial for keeping your brain sharp. Like most things, if you don’t use it, you lose it. I’m not saying you will lose your brain or anything silly like that but, if you don’t exercise your mind it can’t grow or expand and you might even lose some of what you have learned. Our mind are capable of so much. Scientists say that on average we only use about 10% of our brains capacity at any given time. Can you imagine if you could access even 50% of your brains capabilities? That is mind-boggling to think about. (If you haven’t watched the movie Lucy, I highly recommend it. Great movie that does touch on this subject.) Give your brain a warm up here and there. Read a book. Play a mind exercising game. Work Out a crossword puzzle. I personally love a good word search. It is exciting to think that there is so much we don’t know. So learn something new. Expand your vocabulary. Exercise your brain regularly to stay sharp.
Solitude. A little solitude can go a long way. I personally like to spend more of my time in solitude than in crowds of people. I just prefer it and I think better when I am alone. We do get so busy in this modern-day, so taking a break from the usual human interactions can be really helpful. I am sure there are lots of people who are never ever alone. It could do you good to get an hour or so of quiet time to relax your mind and/or just think about stuff that truly matters. It’s hard to think when you are constantly conversing and responding to other people. Take a little time every now and then just for yourself to get centered, relax and refocus your energy. It truly helps.
Socializing is also just as important as solitude. If you never interact with other people you become a hermit and it can make you anti-social and estranged. It is essential for human growth to be around other humans and to rely on others a little. Try to put yourself in situations where you can do something as a team and build your skills for working with others. It’s reassuring to know you have people who love you and care about you. Hold them close and make them a priority in your life. It’ll make you feel better and lift your spirits to be around people you love too.
Nature. It’s very rewarding to take some time to be alone in nature. Daily if you can. When you spend time outside amongst the trees, birds and sky in the quiet of nature, it allows you to reconnect to what is infinite and peaceful. It always reminds me how small I am in this giant universe. It reminds me how quickly time goes by and that life is short. It humbles me and brings me inner peace to slow down, stop talking and sit quietly outside. Give it a try. Get outside.
“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.” -Buddha
Balance. No matter what you have going on in your life, there needs to be balance. This is one of my biggest life rules. Everything is a balance. Life is all about balance. There is a natural balance to everything. When you’re spending time in nature you can take notice of this. You can always do too much of anything and that includes healthy habits. Believe it or not, you can exercise too much. Even people who work out regularly know that you need a day of rest. You can eat too much and too little. You can spend too much time working. You can be so fanatical about eating healthy that you don’t balance your diet with some healthy fats and proteins. You can worry too much about what people think and pleasing others that you aren’t really living the life you want but someone else’s. You have to step back and evaluate your time and choices and make sure that you are creating a healthy balance in everything you do. Nothing is perfect, so just relax and do your best.
Start small and create one new healthy habit at a time. It is easier and less overwhelming to tackle one thing at a time. If you work daily on creating healthy habits and balance in your life before you know it you’ll be healthier and happier.
To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.
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