What many people experience daily is nothing more than struggling with all the responsibilities and expectations that, more often than not, seem to be outside of our grasp. We frequently and easily become passers-by in our own lives, mere spectators that have no other function than to observe.
Such feelings and thoughts may resemble our detachment from what is essentially us. When we realize that we’ve lost control and find ourselves knee-deep in quicksand, we often don’t know where to start. A sudden need for change materializes, prompting us to take action. It is at this point that a serious question emerges. Where do we start?
We’re all widely different individuals, yet our problems and difficulties cross paths sometimes. Today, we’ll present you with five tips to fuel your mind, body and soul, and some of them might be right for you.
1. Take Time to Do What You Enjoy
It might seem too obvious, but sometimes the simplest solution is the best. All of us have different sorts of responsibilities toward other people, but that doesn’t mean that we should start neglecting ourselves and our needs. What use are we to anyone if we are not optimistic, supportive and fulfilled? Taking just a bit of time every day to do things that increase our energy levels will positively impact your health and spirit.
As life goes by, responsibilities keep piling up, especially if you’re a parent. It becomes increasingly difficult to spend time on things that you used to enjoy. Getting preoccupied with completing activities ends up damaging our health. Not relaxing enough will strain your nervous system and may have a negative influence on your brain functioning, and then other consequences follow. We’ll repeat it: not taking care of your needs won’t let you take care of others either. Not getting our mind involved or invested in anything results in its deterioration.
So, grab those skis, or your paintbrush, or knitting set or whatever it is that makes you happy and relaxed.
2. Read a Book
There is a big reason why we didn’t mention reading in the previous section, and that’s because you should read even if it were never a hobby before. It doesn’t have to be Homer, Shakespeare or Dostoevsky. Some light reading will do the trick. So, what is this trick, you might ask? It’s a very simple fact: reading enriches the mind and enlightens the soul. We get to experience the lives of some fictional or non-fictional characters, find out about some factual events or simply expand our vocabulary.
There is really nothing better than reading to take your mind off things and relax, all while delving into some mystery or ancient worlds. To read a book is to enter a meditative state that lets us introspect more clearly and gain knowledge that we probably didn’t have before.
Suffice it to say, this is becoming more difficult with each passing day. Technology provides a much faster, more instant gratification than books, and it’s slowly replacing them on all levels. Audiobooks and ebooks are nice for some people, but the point is to improve our health as well. Most people are already spending serious amounts of time staring at a screen. Why not step outside and read a book in the fresh air instead?
You might wonder, though, if reading truly is beneficial for your health. Obviously, it has a powerful effect on our minds and bodies, but does it really affect our health directly? Most of our bad, unhealthy habits stem from boredom. Replacing those with a more high-quality pastime is very good for health.
3. Nurture a Healthy Eating Habit
Regardless of whether you like reading or not, healthy eating is definitely going to be the most difficult “exercise” on this list. The fast pace of lives that we lead has a direct impact on how and what we eat. We become sluggish, low-energy beings that cannot live without our stimulants. Instead of fostering a healthy eating habit, we force poisons into our bodies that do nothing but mimic what our bodies should be doing on their own. Sugar is in almost every food that you eat today. It will provide just enough energy to push through the obstacles that you face every day, leaving you exhausted and weak at the end of the day.
The jury is still not in on what comprises a healthy eating habit. We read so many conflicting articles each day, making it impossible for us to really know what’s best. Scientists come up with one thing; then they realize that it’s not really good. Some of them then accept it while others reject such a theory and keep researching. Of course, this is what they should be doing, and one day, we can hope for an all-inclusive answer.
However, that doesn’t mean that we’re completely in the dark about these things. There are some facts that we really should uphold:
● Eat vegetables and fruit. Whether you prefer fruit or vegetables doesn’t really matter. What matters most is that you’re intaking precious vitamins that our bodies need.
● Consume “good” carbohydrates. In other words, besides ingesting fruits and vegetables, make sure to have some whole grain foods and nuts. Likewise, avoid “bad” sources of carbohydrates such as fizzy, sugary drinks and processed foods.
● Proteins are gold. Provide your body with the needed amount of proteins required to maintain the necessary structure and functions of your organism.
● Don’t eat after 8:00 p.m. We know how hard it is to resist eating at night but try making it a habit. You won’t starve in your sleep, and the funny thing is, most people aren’t even hungry in the morning.
Develop a habit that suits you personally and stick to it. Healthy body, healthy mind, they say.
4. Physical Activity Is Not Your Enemy
Humans are built to move, run and develop. Our sedentary lifestyle is undoing thousands of years of evolution, weakening our bodies and slowing our minds. No one says that you have to be Arnold Schwarzenegger, just treat your body with at least 30 minutes of activity every day.
You will feel much better about yourself, knowing that you’ve made a step in the right direction. Exercising is really difficult for some people and they don’t really know if it’s right for them. Depending on how long it was since you last exercised, you might want to consult a local physical activity specialist. Consultations, along with a medical check-up, will make your exercising more enjoyable while avoiding potential health and injury risks.
Alternatively, walking and spending time outside can do wonders for your overall sense of well-being.
One last thing that’s worth mentioning in this context is, of course, dancing. You don’t have to go footloose or anything. Any kind of dancing releases your soul from its constraints and lets you truly feel alive and existing.
5. Stop and Breathe
Breathing is happening both voluntarily and involuntarily, as Alan Watts so eloquently explained. We need air to breathe, just like we need food to eat. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t focus on this most lifegiving activity.
Sometimes, stopping whatever it is you’re doing and taking some deep breaths is all that you need to calm your mind. If there is one activity that truly elevates your body, mind and soul at the same time, it’s breathing. Without it, we have nothing, yet we’re barely aware of it under most circumstances.
Stop for a moment, inhale, exhale and appreciate the magic that is happening.