In today’s world when we have become ‘workaholics’, when this ‘Hustle till you’re there’ attitude is the motto, it’s hard to find balance. Most of the people don’t even consider it important to find balance between our body & mind and as a result, our bodies wear out too soon.
A survey was conducted among a group of people aging from 20 to 35 yrs. It was found that about fifty-two percent of the people do not find time to exercise, whereas thirty-six percent lack motivation. Also, according to a report from WHO, every one of five adults have mental illness. That’s concerning.
Now, I know you’re here because you know the importance of finding balance between your body & mind and want to understand more about it. So, I won’t give you the ‘Why’, I’ll talk about the ‘How’. Let’s begin with our bodies.
Our bodies (our physical health) is something that we’ve taken for granted for a long period of time. Because of the pandemic, we’ve finally started becoming more conscious about our health. We do not realize that our body has been our constant support system for as long as we’ve lived. And instead of taking care of that we keep on following all the unhealthy habits and ignore the signs that our body keeps giving us.
How can this affects our mind & soul?
Your unhealthy habits are not only related to your physical health but also to your mental health.
‘What you consume, you become.’
The kind of food you put in your body has a direct impact on the kind of enzymes released by the body. Eating low nutrition food can increase anxiety and depression. Mental Health America emphasizes that taking care of your physical body can make you feel better. Also, exercise can release feel-good brain chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that can ease depression and anxiety. Getting out of the house and walking around in nature has been shown to reduce depressive symptoms.
According to a 2012 study by the Economic and Social Research Council, a survey of 5,000 adolescents, revealed that those who lived a healthier lifestyle were happier than those who indulged in unhealthy habits such as drinking, smoking and eating junk food. All physical diseases have mental reactions. For example, a person who needs to undergo surgery may find himself or herself struggling to eat or sleep.
How to balance our body?
Here are a few things that you can keep a check on regularly. Ask yourself these questions as you go along. These habits, followed intentionally, will help you create a healthier lifestyle for yourself.
1. Healthy Eating Habits
Imagine the amount of junk that you put in your body on a regular basis. The amount of salads you’ve traded for burgers, giving the excuse that ‘A single burger won’t hurt anyone’. And I get it, a single burger never kills anyone but those ‘single burgers’ over a course of ten years are seriously harming your systems, blocking your muscles, impairing your digestion. Eat meals enriched with protein, vitamins & minerals, carbs, fiber and other nutrients.
How many times do you work out in a week? Today, we all have desk jobs, even I spend half of my day in front of my computer. And the rest of the time that we get we sit on our couches, scrolling through Instagram. We hardly move our bodies. Your body isn’t designed to stay at one place, it needs movement, regular movement. Health and Human Services (HHS) activity guidelines recommend youth (ages 6-17 yrs) to get sixty minutes or more of physical activity each day.
3. Sleeping Schedule
What about your sleep schedule? When do you wake up? At what time do you get to bed? Is that too messed up? Your sleep is directly proportional to the amount of energy you have throughout the day. NSF issued a report that suggested adults (ages 18-64 yrs) to sleep for 7-9 hours, as per their bodies. Learn more about maintaining a better routine here.
Do not ignore the signs your body sends. Be extremely self-aware when it comes to your system. Notice the foods that make you lazy, the milkshakes that make you want to sleep, the greasy food that makes your bowel movements bad, the alcohol that stays in your system for up to 80 hours, creates hangover and doesn’t let your brain function or the messed up sleep schedule that gives you headaches and reduces your efficiency the next morning. You need to pay attention to these small signs before your health gets worse.
Mind & Soul
‘You can create hell on earth or heaven on earth and both of these are created by your mind.’
Health advice is everywhere, but much of it focuses only on the body. We go to gyms to improve our physical heath, but what about our mind. Lately, people have started to be more aware about mental health & it’s importance. Even though your body is healthy, your mind can be a toxic place. Poor mental health can create poor physical health (causing problems like high blood pressure, increased heart rate, asthma, lower immunity or premature deaths). Remember, you’re only as healthy as your mind is.
How can this affects our body?
Poor mental health can create poor physical health. Problems like depression alone can cause chronic fatigue, insomnia, loss of memory and increased sensitivity to aches and pains due to abnormal function of neurotransmitters in the brain. Those struggling with mental illness may turn to dangerous or compulsive habits, such as drinking alcohol, smoking, or using drugs to self-medicate the uncomfortable symptoms. Research from the Mental Health Foundation shows that depression is linked to double the increased risk of dying from heart disease.
In addition to disproportionate worry, anxiety is also closely associated with several physical symptoms including muscle pain, fatigue, headaches, insomnia, rapid heartbeat, sweating, and dizziness. Also, studies show that people having a healthy mindset & deep relationships are found to have a longer life.
How to balance our mind?
There are many ways in which you can develop a healthy mindset & cultivate greater joy. Here are a few things that you should practice daily in order to find more balance in life.
Meditation is the habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. You can use it to increase awareness of yourself and your surroundings. It helps in reducing stress. The practice can also be used to develop other beneficial habits and feelings, such as a positive mood and outlook, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns, and even increased pain tolerance. You can try apps like Headspace to begin with mediation.
Journaling can be very therapeutic. Writing down your thoughts when you feel overwhelmed can help you assess the situation in a better manner. Our thoughts are abstract. Writing them down on a piece of paper makes it easier for you to assess them. There are different ways to journal like morning pages, art journaling, planning your day, reflection journal etc. You can journal daily or once in a while, whatever suits you.
Affirmations are nothing but positive reminders that you keep telling yourself every day, for them to be locked in your subconscious mind. We are our biggest critics but we also need to be our biggest support. Often it’s a lot easier to affirm others than it is for ourselves, but we need to remember to encourage ourselves as well.
4. Spend more time in nature
Scientists are beginning to find evidence that being in nature has a profound impact on our brains and our behavior, helping us to reduce anxiety, brooding, and stress, and increase our attention capacity, creativity, and our ability to connect with other people. Try to spend at least 30 minutes outside each day.
Sleep has a major effect on your mental health too. Studies using different methods and populations estimate that 65% to 90% of adult patients suffering with major depression, and about 90% of children suffering with this disorder, experience some kind of sleep problem. I’ve mentioned about the importance of a proper sleep schedule in a pervious post too. It is advisable for adults (ages 17-40 years) to sleep for at least 7-9 hours.
I hope now you have a clear vision that your mind and body are co-related and how important it is to balance them. Implementing these simple practices can bring a great sense of balance in your body, mind and soul. Comment down below which tip helped you the most in gaining a sense of balance.
Do let me know how you feel about this blog!