I do not know most of you personally but I feel connected to you while writing. Given a chance I would love to hear from you — about the work you do, your thoughts about life, what you want to read here. Till then I will try to write articles to benefit all readers whether they are 6 or 60.
You may be a student, a working professional, an entrepreneur or a retired lawyer. Whatever your profession or ‘karma’ (the divine duty) is; the fact remains that every one of us wants to be happy, healthy and successful.
You rush to your workplace in the morning, do a lot of grunt work throughout the day and sometimes work late in the evening trying to meet deadlines. While you are at work you somehow manage a hurried bite.
Day in and day out you follow this routine; to realize one day that you have gone out of shape. Chances are you will be affected by one of that deadly or not so deadly disease, if you follow the same routine for long.
These diseases can be avoided and you can be in state of Perfect Health. It is very simple, simple but not easy. It is not easy because it calls for breaking the moulds of old habits. Further, you will have to be friends with some new habits.
But before I share these habits with you, you should understand what Perfect Health is. Perfect Health means a state where you are free from all diseases physical or mental. When are in a state of Perfect Health, you have fair degree of enthusiasm towards life and ample energy to undertake your day to day tasks.
Now let’s get started on the journey of Perfect Health with 7 “golden” habits:
1. Eat Properly — “You become what you eat”, is an old saying and it is worth its weight in gold. So take a look at what you are eating. Eat properly. It does not necessarily mean eating rich food. Right food is the one that is prepared with clean ingredients and in hygienic conditions. One must have ingredient is the love of the cook. Home cooked food tends to have all these ingredients — it is made with clean ingredients, in hygienic conditions with lots of love sprinkled (the cook here is mother or wife in most cases).
If you are eating outside you can say following prayer before you start eating.
“I thank you Mother Nature for giving me the best food on the planet, sprinkled with the love of people who made it. With your blessings, it will give me a clear mind and healthy body.”
This prayer is important because the cooks in restaurants normally serve their duty and chances are they are tired when they are cooking for you. Add to it the meager salaries that are a norm in industry at all levels and you can be almost sure that the food you eat at a restaurant will be lacking the major ingredient of love. The above prayer may pacify that effect to some extent.
After the prayer, relish your food. Chew it properly. Better if you can avoid talking while you eat. Make sure that the restaurant you choose to eat is clean and provide a calm setting. Also remember not to overeat.
2. Take Proper Rest — This is very important if you wish your body and mind to be energetic. You should ensure proper sleep daily for yourself. 7-8 hours is fine. I suggest rising early and there is no denying the benefits; but use your common sense while practicing it. If you slept at 3:00 am then it does not make sense to get up at 5:00 or 6:00 am. The idea is to rise early but not at the cost of adequate sleep. Best strategy is to create a schedule where you can go to bed at a reasonable time (10-12 pm) depending on your situation and practice getting up early every day. A properly rested brain and body will result in increased energy levels, clarity of thoughts and ability to concentrate for longer duration. This will result in better academic performance for students and increased productivity and better results for professionals at work.
3. Exercise Regularly — Proper exercise is of utmost importance if you want to keep a healthy body. The logic is simple — exercise heats the blood, the heated blood is thinner and circulates freely in the body. Freely circulating heated blood creates sweat. This sweat helps eliminate toxins through skin. The best time to exercise is in the morning but you can choose time as per your convenience. Avoid eating a big meal at least 3-4 hours before you start exercising.
A combination of cardiovascular exercise and weight training is considered to be a good program. If you are planning to take up jogging or running, invest in a good pair of shoes. If you want to pursue Yoga then find a good ‘guru’ (teacher) and start learning.
A rule of thumb in all above suggestion is to practice moderation. Moderation means stop before reaching the extreme.
Say if you are a body builder and are capable of doing 100 pushups, then go for 90. This doesn’t mean that you should not strive to achieve bigger goals. Later when you become capable of doing 110, go for 100.
While eating stop before you feel you are completely full.
Similarly oversleeping does not help. There are some exceptions. You can sleep for longer hours if you are sick or have returned from a long journey.
4. Possess Proper Thoughts — Let’s start with the meaning of proper thought. A proper thought is positive energy personified. It has the good of the society and the self at its core.
How can you possess proper thoughts? Train your mind to ask right questions. If you have a task at hand; do not say why, say why not? Do not crib about others. To practice this is very simple — do not talk about somebody who is not present, if you have to talk then only talk good things about that person.
Stay away from emotions like hatred and anger. If you have problem in controlling your emotions then physical exercise will help along with regular meditation.
5. Be In Touch With Your Inner Core — First step here is to spend some time in solitude every day. This aspect of life is overlooked by most of us.
Teens and youth of today are too much engaged in studies and having fun. Same is true of working professionals. They are busy in working, moving up the corporate ladder and giving their families lives they could not enjoy. Senior citizens are busy lamenting their past and discussing what is not good about the current generation. They turn to meditation only when pushed by state of depression or ill health.
Best strategy is to proactively choose meditation and solitude as an essential part of daily life. It is better than choosing it when pushed by circumstances. You do not need to devote long hours to it. 15 minutes in morning and 15 minutes before bed time is a good start.
Simply sit with an erect posture, either on a chair or on the ground with folded legs (better to keep a folded blanket under you) and focus on maintaining this posture without any movement for one minute. Once you have attained a still posture, focus on how you are inhaling and exhaling.
If you are too tired to concentrate, just lie on your bed without a pillow under your head and relax. This is especially beneficial when you come back from work. Also practice this relaxation if you are feeling anxious for some reason.
This daily ritual will help you regulate the movement of your breath. Relaxed breathing will bring harmony to your thoughts and ultimately to your life.
6. Be In Touch With Your Loved Ones — If you want to achieve perfect health, you should be in touch with those who matter to you. Find quality time to communicate with them – quality time means no distraction like watching TV or talking on mobile phone to somebody. Talk to your kids and wife (if you are married) every day. Talk to your parents even if you do not stay with them. Once in a while write to your friends; better if you can talk. By caring for your loved ones you create a “love deposit” which will come back to you in multiples in forms of blessings and good wishes. This is a deposit worth making and the returns are in excess of what any bank can offer.
7. Give Your Best to Your Work, Every Day — This point may not look very important when we talk about creating a healthy body; but it no less important than 6 habits that we discussed above.
The logic is simple when you finish the day’s work as planned; you get a feeling of immense satisfaction. You end your day without any burden. This results in high energy levels. With this energy you can relish your food and enjoy quality time with your friends and family. The result is increased satisfaction in life. Thus a virtuous cycle of happiness and health begins.
COMPANION HABIT: Take Care of Your Financial Health — Believe it or not your financial health is linked to your physical health. This is not to suggest that a sound financial condition alone will make you healthy. You need regular practice of above mentioned 7 habits and good financial condition to keep you physically and mentally healthy.
It is easier said than done. Again like good health, simple but not easy. Simple because if you keep your expenditure less than your income; your financial health will be taken care of.
Assuming that you are already have a source of income; a little budgeting and investment planning will go a long way in keeping you financial healthy.
Add good financial health to the 7 habits of proper eating, proper rest, regular exercise, proper thoughts, maintaining connection with the inner core and loved ones and giving your best to your work; and you have the recipe of creating perfect health for yourself.
It may not look easy to incorporate all these habits into your lifestyle. But it is worth a try. Best part is that they do not cost a dime. The only investment is your time and a healthy dose of discipline to do it regularly. Then the fruits of labor will be yours to enjoy.
Start with one habit you feel is easier to practice and add the rest later. Also do not expect the state of perfection very soon; it may be some time before that state is achieved.
Today is the best time to do it. Take that very important first step by deciding that you want to do it. Your decision will take you closer to your ultimate goal. It is better than not doing it at all, thinking that you may not succeed. Remember first step is the most important step of the entire journey.
Wish that you reach your destination soon. Once you reach there, new summits will be waiting to be scaled by you.