The age-old prescription for health and wellness of diet, exercise and rest transcends the physical, optimizing our emotional and spiritual well-being. A proper regimen of diet, exercise and rest for your mind can benefit you in many ways, allowing you to maximize efficiency and productivity in functioning.
For most people, diets equal crazy crash eating routines. They are short-term commitments, resulting in quick visual sliming of the physical body. Ultimately, the allure of diets is to look good, to fit in that outfit, and, because we look good, we feel good.
Diets promise that if you take action to change your behavior for X number of days, you will get a particular result. For example, if you go on a watermelon diet for two weeks, you will lose 10 pounds.
Fads and trending diets promoted in the market today such as high fat or low carb diets offer improved physical appearance and a quick fix. Perhaps you have tried one, or currently on an eating restriction of some sort right now?
What does your current physical diet comprise? Are you receiving an adequate supply of nutrition for the needs of your body? Do you have a condition that requires special dietary needs? Might you have a food sensitivity today which you are not aware? Are you eating a balanced diet that is right for you?
For a more in-depth conversation, ask yourself whether you see food as fuel for your body? If so, are you feeding your body unprocessed whole foods? Or are you a fast food junkie that, when hungry, will eat up a full bag of potato chips?
The purpose of these questions is to (1) insight awareness of the physical needs of your body regarding diet and (2) foster self-inquiry to your eating habits. Creating a defined path is but a process of discerning what is right for you.
The awareness of our physical, nutritional needs and associated practices can apply to the dietary needs of our emotions. Just as our body needs the energy to power our movements, so too does our emotional well-being require an adequate diet.
Our emotional diet comprises of the energy we take in. This energy, positive or negative, can fuel our moving body as food does for our physical body. Each person‘s emotional diet is tailor-made to suit the needs of its host. Are you giving your mental facilities what it needs to run optimally?
Presence of mind in evaluating your emotional diet can bring awareness as to what you are feeding your soul.
The Mayo Clinic recommends 30 minutes of regular exercise a day. Benefits of exercise include increased happiness, energy levels, muscle/bone density, skin health, memory and brain function It reduces the risk of chronic disease and balances weight.
Exercise improves our circulatory system, enabling blood to flow fluidly within the various modes of our body. It also increases oxygen allowing increased energy and alertness while reducing stress. Exercise utilizes the food we take in as energy to fuel our day. In the same light, how might we exercise our minds?
To exercise our mind is to practice what we have learned. Applying the knowledge we acquire helps us to become more efficient at coping, substantially reducing our stress levels and promoting our engagement and productivity in life. To get good at it, we must put our knowledge to use and practice daily.
Even those of us who are born with inherent raw talent, be it physical or intellectual talent, require practice to hone your skills. (Think of the athlete or the surgeon!)
When we learn about a new concept, perspective or principle, we must be willing to practice this new way of thinking so that we can integrate it into our way of life. The concepts, perspectives or principles need to be useful to us in the way that nutrition is helpful for our bodies. This emotional and mental way of taking in energy through new ways of being fuel us like food fuels the body.
Practice and application of new concepts, perspectives and principles allow us to process and integrate what works for us in life. We are always free to take what works and leave the rest.
Do we practice what we learn so that what we have learned will be integrated into our daily routine? How many times have we discovered a new concept that, when not practiced, goes by the wayside? We may say we know a thought, but until we demonstrate it through our living, we still do not have mastery of it.
What exercises do you practice daily to integrate the fuel for body and mind?
In what ways are you practicing the concepts and principles you are taking in? In what ways are you integrate my them into your life?
Proper rest includes actual sleep, self-care, and relaxation. When we sleep, we allow some of the systems of our body to slow down, and even shut off so that the body itself can regenerate.
In addition to resting, benefits of sleep are plentiful, and include improved memory, longevity, decreased inflammation, increased creativity, sharpened attention span, lower stress, and decreased depression, among many others benefits.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults sleep 7-9 hours per night. Are you getting enough sleep? In a similar light, are you providing adequate rest for your mind? Or, do you find yourself continually “on” to the point of burn out?
How do you rest your Mind so that your system has time to regenerate?
Remember: only you know what you need to rest wholly. Explore what rest means to you, and give it generously to yourself!
A proper balance of nutrition, calisthenics, and relaxation improves both physical and mental health. Feeding our minds through a diet of new concepts and perspectives may give us energy. Applying practice to our psychological state of being parallels the exercise we offer our bodies. Along with proper rest, we can integrate a positive mental diet with mindful presence for sustainable health and overall well-being.
About The Author
Rev. Evelyn Foreman is the founder and CEO of Path of Presence (www.PathofPresence.com). Her mission is to help heart-centered souls stay positive, present, grounded and inspired.Click here for 50 TIPS AND PRACTICES TO IMPLEMENT RADICAL SELF-CARE to stay positive and mindful on your sacred journey.
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