Top 4 Ways to Boost Your Mind-Body Balance
One thing is for certain – maintaining the right balance between the body and mind is crucial for optimal functioning. It’s quite obvious that physical fitness and good nutrition improve one’s overall general well-being, but what is often overlooked is the vitality of maintaining cognitive health.
Three basic stresses can disrupt the much-needed balance between the mind and body, namely physical, chemical, and emotional stress, so it is critical to keep potential triggers in check. Let’s take a look at a few tips that can help us strike the right balance:
1) Get the Right Nutrition
It is simple – what you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood. Multiple studies have found a correlation between a diet high in refined sugars and impaired brain function — and even a worsening of symptoms of mood disorders, such as depression. So, it is evident that focusing on your diet is the first plausible step to aligning your body with your mind.
2) Move more: Engage in Daily Exercise
Physical fitness not only helps achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, but it also affects the brain in many ways. As an example, physical exercise that increases your heart rate pumps more oxygen to your brain, which has been shown to have an antidepressant effect and is associated with more cell growth in the hippocampus (i.e. which regulates memory and emotions). So, exercise not only keeps you young and active, but it also improves cognitive function, mood, and emotional wellbeing.
3) Meditate More
Meditation is one of the most powerful and effective tools to restore the balance between the body and mind. According to many scientific studies, meditation is a very effective way to decrease anxiety, depression, hypertension, insomnia, stress, and fatigue. Incorporating even 30 minutes of mindful meditation into your routine can reframe the way you perceive your day and interact with people.
4) Get Proper Sleep
Our body and mind cannot function properly if they are not well-rested. A good night’s sleep can do wonders for your physical and mental health. Poor sleep habits can not only lead to insomnia but can also contribute to depression, weight gain, ageing. In worst cases, inadequate sleep weakens our immune system, makes us moody and irritable, and impairs brain functions such as memory and decision-making. Make sure you get your daily requirement of sleep, i.e. 7-9 hours, so that your mind and body stay in sync!
From a holistic perspective, good health is not the absence of a disease/medical condition, it is when one has optimal wellbeing. We are healthy when we have the right balance of nutrients, exercise/activity, relationships, work-life, and other life experiences. When any of these factors go out of balance, the symbiotic relationship between our body and mind gets disrupted, and if this is long-lasting, the health-related side-effects discussed above may materialize. So make sure that you are mindful of small things in your daily life - such as sleep, food intake, activity levels, breathing exercises - that are in your control, because it is these small changes that will have the most noteworthy impact.