Living a balanced lifestyle in our fast paced, modern world, is always a challenge. There is so much contradicting information available, it's easy to feel confused or overwhelmed.
Don’t worry though, the secret isn't locked away in an ancient monastery at the top of a snow covered mountain. The solution is much easier than you think, and it starts with the basics.
We explore 7 simple practices that will help you live at your highest potential.
1. Clear Your Space.
Have you ever had a light bulb moment in the shower? Or maybe when you're jogging? It's usually when we find time to ourselves and practice being rather than thinking when our thoughts and actions just seems to flow.
Sometimes our busy modern day lives feels like a kaleidoscope of external input. There is so much information and distractions constantly at our fingertips. The ability to multi-task/focus is highly useful in certain scenarios but sometimes it is actually doing us more harm than good.
By clearing space for yourself with meditation, yoga or even just sitting down with a book and a cup of tea, you gain clarity.
2. Give Yourself Permission.
Now this one seems like a no brainer but how many times have you been somewhere taking time out for yourself, while thinking about what emails you need to send on Monday or if there's enough food at home.
Now don't get me wrong, most likely they are important details but as the saying goes, there's a time and a place.
Your brain is a wonderful tool, think of it like a muscle. The more you work with it, the stronger it will become.
When you give yourself permission to relax, love and laugh, you are exercising one of the most powerful emotional states, self love.
3. Thank Yourself.
Everyday we learn many valuable lessons. Some bring joy, like being able to ride a bike for the first time. Others bring pain, like riding that bike too fast and falling off.
We are constantly in a state of learning but there is one skill that seems to be a lost art in this day and age. The ability to thank yourself.
When you take the time to acknowledge your effort, your whole physiology changes. You stand taller, you have that confident stride in your step and once more you practice another powerful emotional state, gratitude.
4. Love The Sun.
With so much emphasis on the negative effects coupled with the unfortunate truth that most of our workplaces have us work indoors or away from this life giving source of energy, means a lot of us don't seek out as much healthy, balanced time in the sun as we should.
Working on night shift for several months at a time, made me realise how something so simple as the Sun can be taken for granted. Without the correct environmental cues from natural light your body suffers from some rather unpleasant effects.
Balance is the solution. Under and over exposure to the Sun is not recommended, however a balanced level of sunlight interacting with your skin everyday will increase your overall health, mood and sleep quality. Decrease screen time, open the curtains, sit near a sunny window or plan some time out in the backyard. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
5. Water, Lots Of Water.
This one is so, so simple but often overlooked. We remember to drink water when we are hot or when we sweat but how many times have you thought about drinking water to nourish your brain?
A healthy brain is made up of about 73% water. So when it is dehydrated it has to work much harder to perform the same functions.
So when it comes to brain function, balanced moods, improved concentration, memory function and better sleep, hydration is key.
6. Just Move.
Our bodies are designed for movement. With more focus now on sedentary workplaces and lifestyles, it has never been more important to focus on exercise and movement whatever shape or form it may take.
The beauty here is that you don't have to be a yogi expert, fitness enthusiast or even an athlete to move your body. Simply by stretching you are allowing blood to flow into your muscles, increasing circulation and improving your mood through the release of endorphins.
Wherever you are in your fitness journey, just remember to make it enjoyable.
7. Sleep Is Powerful.
Sleep is like the foundation that holds every other aspect of your healthy routine together. When you have a healthy sleeping routine, your body and mind work together in harmony.
Removing your phone from the bedroom might be a hard concept for some but the effects of the blue light and stimulation just before you enter sleep is one of the most common causes to a restless night's sleep.
With a good night's sleep comes decreased levels of stress through cortisol suppression, strengthened immune system function allowing the body to fight of colds, flu and infections, weight management and reduced inflammation while promoting heart and circulation health.
When it comes to enjoying your life at its highest potential, sleep is truly your best friend.