Do you feel that achieving both professional and personal excellence is like walking on the razor’s edge? When we are too driven to succeed at work, we tend to forget that we are humans and our body is not a machine – that it requires rest and love and has to be taken care of. When we are mentally and physically healthy, we are able to yield better results and achieve greater productivity at work. If that rings a bell somewhere, then here are a few simple tips to help you along the way.
Aren't our body and mind like the two weighing plates of a physical balance? Striking a balance between these aspects demands skills, and meditation can be that skill. It is one of the most powerful tools for restoring balance between our mind and body. In meditation, you experience a state of restful awareness, in which your body is resting deeply while your mind gains greater awareness. Meditation is like the foundation of a building. “If you want to build higher, you have to dig deep. The deeper and stronger the foundation, the higher the building", says Bhanumathi Narasimhan, senior Sahaj Samadhi Meditation teacher.
You can also combine your meditation practice with a simple breathing technique called the Sudarshan Kriya. A 20-minute process, the Sudarshan Kriya releases stress from the body and mind, leaving you feeling relaxed and energized.
2. Healthy diet
Let’s say there is an employee working in an MNC who has a very hectic schedule. He has to leave for work early in the morning to reach on time. He is also angling for a promotion and casts food and drink to the winds regularly, reaching his workplace early, leaving late, working hard, just to impress his seniors. In all this, he often misses his breakfast and is unable to pay much attention to his health. He becomes impatient quite easily and ends up frustrated. What should he do?
For that, we’ll have to know what breakfast actually means. If you look at the word carefully, it is a combination of "break" and "fast", that is, to break the fast. The time gap between the previous day's dinner and the next day's breakfast is the longest between two meals for everyone, and so it is very essential to have breakfast.
Why not carry some fruits and energy drinks with you? Take planned breaks from work and have them with your colleagues and friends.
It gives us the energy to help kick-start our day with freshness and enthusiasm. It is healthy to take six meals a day at regular intervals: three large meals, comprising breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and three small meals, comprising fruits, energy drinks, and some healthy snacks. Food is fuel to our body and thus it is very essential to pay attention to our meals. Moreover, food is required to repair old tissues, produce blood, and do the hundred other things that are vital to our survival.
3. Daily exercise
Do you feel you should be looking young and bubbling with energy and enthusiasm when you are actually noticing signs of aging like dark circles, wrinkles, or dull skin? Never mind! Just adopt and adapt to daily and regular exercise and observe the change for yourself. Thirty minutes of daily and appropriate exercise can bestow you with energy, make you feel better, and help you relax and sleep better.
It can block negative thoughts and also change the levels of the "feel-good" hormones in your brain, such as serotonin, which swings your mood to the happier side. Exercise also removes inertia from the body and keeps you active throughout. Daily practice of 20 minutes of Surya Namaskar can be very beneficial.
4. Restful sleep
If we can avoid television and the use of electronic gadgets 30 minutes prior to sleep, we’ll be able to sleep better. Their use disturbs the sleep hormone melatonin, which adversely affects sleep.
How about reserving the dining table for food only and your study for work only? This way, you are more likely to fall asleep as soon as you lie down on your bed.
Busy running the race to be a successful professional while also balancing home responsibilities and having an active social life, most of us become workaholics and often end up compromising on our sleep. But do you know how important sleep is to us? Doctors say, 7–9 hours of sleep each night maintains blood pressure, reduces cholesterol levels, and breaks the circle of stress and counteracts its effects on our body, thus making us feel fresh and happy.
Energy levels after a good night’s sleep are higher. Your mental awareness is more acute and you are likely to smile more. Not only this, it also triggers creativity in us, making us more productive and better at work. So don’t you think you are missing something very profitable without proper sleep?
5. Cultivating loving relationships
Interact and connect with people at your workplace. Plan and go out together with your friends and family over weekends.
Connecting to people is as important as a 24x7 Wi-Fi connection. It keeps us at bay from the feeling of loneliness and isolation and helps us deal effectively with stress. Also, doing things in a group taps your creativity and improves your performance at work. In fact, when the ‘I’ changes to ‘We’, then even illness changes to wellness!
6. Drinking plenty of water
Can you imagine your life without vehicles or electronic gadgets? The answer would likely be a resounding no! Similarly, our body has lots of important tasks to do and the vehicle of our body is water.
Drink water when you’re thirsty and drink extra water when it is warm outside to keep you perfectly hydrated. Carry a fancy sipper to add a dash of style.
Around eight to ten glasses of water every day is all we need to maintain the water requirement of our body. Did you know that water can help burn fat and keep you healthy? And that 70% of our brain is made up of the same water that is so critical to our body's proper functioning? In fact, water also regulates the digestive processes and helps get rid of waste.
7. Smile a little more
Doesn’t this sound wonderful – "A smile is a curve that straightens everything"? Did you know that smiling can release stress from different parts of your face. It is like giving your face muscles some exercise. Smiling releases endorphins – a chemical in the brain that lifts your mood. Smiling slows the heart rate and relaxes the body. So the most daunting problems you face can actually evaporate when you take a minute to express positivity with a smile.
8. Get a little generous
Just take a minute and reflect which of these makes you happier: giving a gift versus receiving a gift.
It is always the joy of doing something for others that makes us feel uplifted. How about devoting some time on weekends to make someone feel special? Plan a surprise birthday party for a friend or visit an orphanage or old age home and spend some time with the less fortunate people there.
9. Keep away from substance abuse
How about a cleaner and greater high that is as powerful as the one you might get from substance abuse—but one that is totally harmless? The sad side of the substance abuse story is that it is like slow poison – harming us, our family, and even society. Since the pull of substance abuse is very strong, we need something stronger to counter it. Meditation can be that antidote. It gives a greater high than any other substance and keeps you relaxed enough to tackle stress without taking a toll on your health in any way—in fact, enhancing health too!
10. Save time for fun
All of us know that passion is what we need to pursue our goals, but did you also know that with it we also need some dispassion? Yes, that’s true. From time to time, we need to relax, indulge in other activities, and recharge ourselves. This helps us maintain the perfect balance between work and life. Watch a movie over the weekend, organize a get-together for your friends or play a sport when free.
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