Most of you would agree that life has become very mechanical. We wake up in the morning, do the routine things, go to office, again do the same kind of work, face tension and work pressure, leave late from office, have dinner from a fast food joint, sleep at odd times….
It’s also a fact that we are connected 24*7 on the social media which bombards loads of information (unwanted and wanted info) to your fingertips. There is also a name for it – “Social Media Syndrome” or “Mobile Phone Syndrome”. People are now not able to sleep without doing a few swipes on the touch screen panel on mobile apps.
So, in this blog, I am going to share (at least to start with) tips to change a few daily habits to lead our mind and body to better fitness. I will make a conscious effort to explain the scientific aspects of these tips as well.
James Borg, the author of one of the leading best-selling books Persuasion, reminds us “the mind controls the body and the body controls the mind“.
So what is Mind and what is Body?
Mind is the Energy Management center of our body. It controls the energy distribution to different parts of the body and is also something that creates emotions that are nothing but various flavors of energy. Mind is at a sub-conscious level and doesn’t have a physical form. In Chinese tradition, they call it “Chi”. In Indian tradition, we call it “Chakras”. In western science, it’s called “Aura”.
Body is the physical aspect and is constituted of external and internal organs – 78 organs in all.
Why does it say “Mind controls the Body”?
The mind is the one that controls the energy distribution in the body (the one that creates emotions). So, if you feel angry, the mind changes the energy distribution to speed up hormones, increases blood pressure and pushes you to carry out that emotion.
Why does it say “Body controls the Mind”?
If you force the body to immediately change its mood to anger, the energy distribution in the body has to quickly happen. So, the body commands the mind to react as the body wishes to do. Therefore, the mind becomes very unstable and such kind of people often react suddenly. When a person is given a surprise, the body senses that surprise and the mind helps that person to reflect happiness or sadness, depending on the surprise.
We need to keep our mind as well as the body in healthy & stable state to be productive and take better decisions in life. So, the question is how do we do it?
Here are 9 simple habits you can incorporate into your daily schedule relatively effortlessly, and also see a quantum jump in your activity and efficiency levels – at work and at home.
- DRINK LOADS OF WATER BEFORE YOU GO TO BED
Whenever you are thirsty, it is your body’s way of letting you know that you are already dehydrated. If you have not been able to drink enough water during a busy workday, fill your stomach with water before going to sleep. You may have to wake up for a bathroom break, but hydration will cause your brain to index your thoughts and learnings of that day into its permanent storage in a more effective manner.
- SLEEP FOR HEALTHY HOURS
An average adult requires 6 hours of sleep at night & a child/teenager requires 8 hours of sleep due to more activities. Challenging work environments & personal commitments requires more sleep and relaxation for the body and mind. So, adjust your sleep so that you get max 7 – 8 hours of sleep.
- HELP THE BODY TO SLEEP AT NIGHT
Every night you need to teach your body to fall asleep by avoiding distractions/excessive lights/mobile phone notifications etc. If you can arrange your room to be pitch dark when lights are switched off, that’s great for the eye to command the brain that it’s night, and it is time to go to sleep. If your mobile phone sounds or lights distract you, you are probably teaching your body to attend to distractions.
- SLEEP RIGHT
Choose any sleeping position that keeps your spinal cord straight. Also make sure that your hands and legs are kept parallel to your body. If you prefer to sleep on your side, choose your left side. Most organs in the human body are positioned towards the left side and the blood/gastric juices will flow freely in tandem with the natural force of gravity, thereby improving the general health of the body.
- FIX A WAKE UP TIME
Night owls or early birds? Either way, the best wake-up time for you is the time when you wake up relaxed, get all your morning activities done, and are ready for the day’s work. So fix a wake-up time and stick to it every day.
- WAKE UP IN THE RIGHT WAY
People tend to jump out of their bed ready for the day. Never do that. The blood flow in your body suddenly has to adapt to the G force when you try to stand up immediately. This can cause pressure on your nerves. When you want to get up, turn to your left or right side and with the help of your hand push your body slowly to sitting posture. Gradually lifting your body from the bed helps the body to slowly adapt the nerves to take the pressure of the blood from horizontal to vertical posture. Sit on the bed for at least 1 minute and take a deep breath as it relaxes your body. Now, lift yourself from the bed. This is not a belief but a proven science.
- FIRST THING TO DO IN THE MORNING
When sleeping, your body has been doing a lot of archival and maintenance activities. So, when you wake up, the viscosity of your blood is lesser (what I mean is the blood would be thicker). Therefore, you need to hydrate your body, first thing in the morning, by drinking 3 – 4 glasses of water. This is the most appropriate time when body absorbs maximum water to all parts of your body. If the water is warm/hot, the additional benefit you get is that it dissolves excess fat from your body. How? The normal body temperature is 37 degree Celsius. The melting point of fat in body is usually 35 – 40 degree Celsius. So, drinking warm/hot water will cause the additional 2 -3 degree Celsius to be absorbed by skin tissues and thereby cause the excess fat to start melting from body.
- THINGS TO DO BEFORE TAKING BATH
Before taking bath, always apply a little bit of oil (preferably pure coconut oil that does not have perfume or added scents) on your hair + slightly apply warm coconut oil or Dhanwantharam Oil on your body. Applying oil on your hair lubricates your hair follicles as well as removes dryness of your scalp. Applying oil on your body also moisturizes your skin and helps the dirt to solidify fast. Make sure you wait for at least 5 minutes after applying oil and before taking bath. Moisturizing and cleaning your skin enables the body to get push toxins and waste from the skin tissues.
- DON’T TAKE NAPS DURING THE DAY
Did not sleep well the previous night? Ate too much for lunch? Or feeling just plain bored? Do not take a nap! Instead, try to:
- Take a walk, feel the fresh air outside, get some sunshine
- Start arranging a room/your workspace
- If there are any backlogs, or a charted plan, work on it
The problem with taking naps in the day is that it brings irregularity in sleep cycles. By not taking naps, you are correcting your sleep cycle. This will allow you to sleep better at night.
A set of activities that are practiced for 21 days becomes a habit. So, don’t expect things to fall correctly in the first week! Keep at it and you will see a world of difference in your activity levels.
In my next blog, I will be sharing my thoughts on how to chart out good food habits and stay out of bad foods. This is another key aspect of Healthy Living.
About the Author:
Abhishek Sivasubramanian is a Technical Lead for Salesforce CRM at Suyati Technologies. He is also a technology speaker at International Conferences like Dreamforce. Here is what he had to say about this blog –
“I am also an IT professional who was struggling to keep myself productive and energetic at work and home. It is through lots of trial and error that I finally discovered few simple steps to stay disciplined and keep my memory sharp. Using these techniques, I have also made my way to BITS M.Tech program. Now I am able to spend good time with family and friends, along with my professional circle.”