We are creatures of habit but we often latch on to a wrong one faster than cultivating a good habit.
Setting habits and a routine are very important tools. Due to our modern lifestyle we often compromise health. Our habits play a very important role not only to our physical but our mental aspects too. With modernization and westernization we have stopped understanding our body and started depending on pills or machines to help us with everything from sleep to digestion and to even productivity.
Going back to the basics and working on certain habits will surely help us avoid lifestyle diseases and become healthier.
To help us build better habits we need to create
- Utsaaha or enthusiasm as this is what helps us maintain the will to stay true to a task instead of excitement which is short-lived.
- Saahasa which is the courage to stay on the path and prevent the negative self talk,
- Dhariya which is determination to stick to your tasks,
- Tattvajnaana– being able to differentiate between the right and wrong when it comes to knowledge
- Nishchaya- being clear of what you have to do
- Janasangha parityaga- a very important one is leaving the company of people or you could say keeping those who support you and help you flourish.
Now let us connect this and see how we can accelerate our health journey and work on these 5 habits which will change the way we look at life.
Cook your own meals
Yes, finding the time to cook your own meals can be daunting but with practice and planning it will eventually be a part of our day to day routine and happen smoothly.
Cooking your meals gives you a connection with the food and allows you to be mindful about your preparations.
Preparing your own meals gives you the upper hand with what kind of ingredients go in your meal. One of the important things when it comes to ingredients is we know what are the seasonal foods that are going into our meals. When we order from out we are not aware of all the vegetables that go in or rather do not have the choice to segregate it. When you plan and cook your own meals you not only eat healthy but also ensure your family gets fresh and wholesome meals. This boosts your energy, stabilizes your weight and mood, allows you to eat in portion and improves your sleep and resilience to stress. The cooking process naturally prevents you from ATYAHARA– which is over or excessive eating and helps you eat in a controlled or balanced manner – MITAHARA.
Cooking your own meals brings a lot of quality in your life. It helps us be more mindful and in turn plays a great role in relieving stress.
Reading and listening to podcasts
Like how we exercise for the body, similarly reading or listening to positive information is exercise for the mind. It strengthens mental health.
Reading has actually been proven to put your mind into a meditative state. Regular readers infact sleep better, have much more lower stress levels, elevated self-esteem, and lower rates of depression.
Podcasts help us get a variety of information as there is so much to choose from. This can be combined with another task which you may not find fun like cleaning, organising, cooking, etc to which makes the task even more interesting.
Both these habits not only relax us but also help us in better communication as we are also going through a vast word profile in turn improving our vocabulary.
Planning ahead and journaling
Journaling is not only for emotional but also an effective tool for setting routines and reflecting on Nischaya which as we discussed is bringing clarity in what we have to do.
It turns out that regular journaling can be used to train our attention and strengthens our neural pathway as well as enhances decision making and critical thinking.
When we use this tool we are also helping our mind to put down all the heavy thoughts that keep floating around in our head stopping us from being more productive which in turn brings Dhariya which is our determination to stick to the routine or tasks
We all are wrapped in our work be it house work or office work and this often leaves us no time for ourselves and that is where the frustration starts building up. A list or any journaling technique will really bring the balance you are looking for and help in managing your time too.
As without health there is no wealth.
Sitting less and moving more
Physical activity is very important to only for our physical fitness but also for our mental health. Sitting saps our energy, ends up making our joints stiff, and affects our overall health. We do not always have to dedicate 1 hour for an activity but we do have to plan and space it out in such a way that throughout the day we end up moving more.
For example if you have work that involves calls, walk while you are taking your calls. Another thing we all can do to move more is to do your chores like washing your dishes, sweeping, hanging your clothes, etc post your lunch or dinner to enhance your digestion.
By sitting less you also enhance your chances of developing heart disease and hypertension along with many other hypertension.
How does it benefit our mind you ask? Well it helps in releasing our happy hormones and gives us a relaxed feeling throughout the day.
So Stand Up, Sit Less, Move More, More Often!
Being with yourself
We do everything sometimes for our health but still feel down, wonder why?
There are two things that play a role here:
1. Watching your company:
As a child we were always told to watch your company. It plays a great role. Janasangha Parityaga is about eliminating that company which does not give you the strength or support to help you be a better you. It is that company which likes to bring you down with them.
So keep a check on the 5 people that your surround yourself with.
- Do they make you feel positive?
- Do they inspire and motivate you to be the best version of yourself?
- Do they support and encourage you to achieve your goals?
do they tell you that “it can’t be done”, “it’s not possible”, “you aren’t good enough”, “you will most likely fail”. Detox your life from these negative influencers and you’ll lose so much weight, of negativity, lack of support and judgement.
If you want to make a positive change in your life, remember, the people around you have a critical influence on your energy, growth, health and probability of success
A lack of sleep or excess of sleep affects the metabolism which is why it is very important to have a good bedtime routine.
Deep sleep is very important to help you feel fresh and energetic each day
Simple things we can do to get better sleep are:
Have an early dinner.
Avoid electronic devices 45 minutes prior to bed.
Include reading, bedtime stretching routine, listening to podcasts, or meditation during this time to ease you onto the pillow.
Don’t fall prey to the concept of go big or go home but become consistent with tiny changes with respect to each of these habits, bring the Yama[moral discipline and Niyama [observances] together to improve your overall health and make you grow, physically, mentally and spiritually.