The lifestyle we lead today is fast paced and hectic. We are a generation of instant gratification; everything needs to be done immediately and the pressures of work and the home can disrupt our wellbeing without us even knowing it.
There are many levels to being healthy- the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level and it is imperative to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle because even if we are not conscious of it, they all influence each other. At times, we can experience high stress at work or in our relationships and this in turn affects our mental and emotional health as well. Therefore, health is a state of optimal wellbeing not just the absence of illness. We are ultimately healthy when our mind, body and spirit are in balance.
Here are a few tips on how to achieve that:
Meditation: it can be extremely difficult to take out time in our busy lives to focus on ourselves and our breathing. Seems trivial, but meditation is where you experience a state of restful awareness, it is a powerful tool to restoring balance between our mind and our body. Because in the state of meditation you silence your mind, you begin to heal yourself by letting go of old patterns of thinking and feeling. Your body and soul can become one and you release any anger or sadness that is pent up inside you. It has been scientifically proven that meditation and the relaxation it provides can decrease stress, hypertension, heart disease, anxiety, depression, insomnia and addictive behaviors.
Diet: you can only achieve a healthy mind if you have a healthy body and that begins with diet. It is important to have a nourishing and well balanced diet which includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. One way to make sure that you are eating all the rights foods is that your meal should include each of the six tastes- sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Most of our meals are dominated by the first three, but our food should also include foods with the last three tastes, such as radishes, ginger, mustard, peppers, spinach etc as they increase metabolism and are anti-inflammatory. Drinking a lot of water is equally important and is necessary for digestion and absorption of food and to regulate our body temperatures and blood circulation. A balanced diet is key in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Exercise: There are numerous studies that have proven that exercise has a positive effect not just on the body but on the mind, as well. It has been proven to reverse the negative effects of stress, improve your memory, helps you get restful sleep and has been shown to alleviate depression, anxiety, ADHD and more. Exercise is beneficial because it increases neural growth and releases endorphins that relieve tensions and stress and enhances feelings of calmness and wellbeing which make you feel good and keep you energetic throughout the day. Just a few minutes of exercise a day can have such profoundly positive effects on your mental health without any side effects.
Sleep: It may not seem entirely important but sleep plays a fundamental role in maintaining mind and body balance. Humans need at least six to eight hours of restful sleep each night and although people tend to boast about how little sleep they can function on, it is extremely harmful to our body to do so. When well rested, individuals are able to pay more attention to their surroundings and handle stressful situations, they can think critically, problem solve and stay alert. Getting an inadequate amount of sleep each night will inevitably lead to a weakened immune system which disrupts the body’s innate balance and can lead to numerous health problems such as various heart diseases, depression, stroke and diabetes.
Relationships: having a positive support system whether it be family, friends or a combination of both has numerous physical and mental benefits. Being a part of a social circle can keep you from feeling isolated and lonely and it is important to have people you can rely on for advice and support. Not having friends or loved ones leads to depression and a feeling of seclusion which inadvertently affects your mental health.
There are numerous ways to maintain a healthy mind and body balance. Above are just a few ways to do that, as the relationship between mind and body is complex. At times, things can happen on a physical level but it eventually also has an impact on our mental level, that is why we need to view health from a holistic perspective and maintain a balance between our mind, body and spirit.