In part one of this series, we learned how having some greenery, eating right, and stress management can help keep the doctor away. There are a few more simple tricks that can help.
The moment we use the word mindful, people immediately relate it to mindful meditation. However, mindfulness per se is not just about meditation. It’s about living in the moment and enjoying life at that moment. This is quite important in today’s times when many of us are addicted to devices. Even when we have people around us, we prefer to scroll through our mobile than start a conversation.
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Mindfulness should be practised in our daily lives and it can be done so in every activity that we do. For example, when we eat, we should concentrate only on what we are eating rather than watching TV. We should fully appreciate the food, the taste, the flavours, etc. We should also feel a sense of gratitude for the person who grew the veggies or cooked the food. We should feel thankful, thinking about the nutrients and the energy that each morsel of food is giving us. This helps a lot in getting the maximum out of the food we eat.
Let’s say, you are watching a movie or listening to music. Put your device away, and pay full attention to it so that you feel immersed in that activity. Out on a holiday in the mountains, before clicking pictures, just soak in the beauty first without any distraction. Mindfulness can even be practised during a simple everyday activity like bathing or brushing. This kind of mindfulness provides immense health benefits. It relieves your stress, gives a great inner sense of calm, helps us better manage our emotions, increases our resilience, keeps depression at bay, and even slows down ageing.
Get your beauty sleep
Adults require 6 to 8 hours of sleep to ensure a healthy life. However, as we age, sleep slowly eludes us. Apart from our habits, worries also keep us awake. Mindful practices and stress management techniques can help us get proper sleep. Apart from these, some simple tips like ‘switching off’ from devices about an hour before sleep helps. A warm or cold shower depending on the weather before sleep helps many people get a good sleep.
Beverages should be avoided after 5 pm, and it is better to have an early and light dinner. Bedtime should be at least one hour after dinner and no snacks should be taken in between. Stick to a routine bedtime as that helps the body fall to fall asleep. It is better not to have long afternoon naps, and take only a short ten-to-fifteen-minute nap. Keep the bedroom cool and noise-free and use comfortable pillows and bedsheets, etc.
Pay attention to cognitive health
A sound mind helps in maintaining a sound body. Hence, it is essential to keep the mind active through various activities. Only watching TV may make one a couch potato and not give our minds any activity. Simple things like learning new things keep our minds sharp. We could try doing crosswords, sudoku, etc. Playing board games, solving puzzles, etc. gives our brain some much-needed workout. Some activities that vastly help with cognitive health are reading, writing, playing a musical instrument, learning a new language, etc. Each of these should be done mindfully. This should also be backed up by regular physical exercise for overall wellbeing. Being social also helps keep up the mental health.
Having pets as companions is a wonderful way of living happily. Pets are no less than humans as a companion. They love unconditionally, understand us and our moods and help lift us when we are down. Pet therapies are helpful for those people who cannot maintain pets due to whatever constraints. Pets reduce stress and anxiety and help people to heal in many ways. They help with physical as well as emotional health. They also keep the pet owners social and connected. Having pets like dogs can also act as a security measure. However, the decision to bring in a pet should be weighed against all the challenges that pets come with. They need attention, and care, is expensive to maintain, and also need you to be physically mobile.