What’s Needed to Find Good Health and Clarity is Mind, Body, and Spirit
It’s a crazy time in a crazy world. After a day at the office—and a constant bombardment of politics and negative news across news sites and social media—we sit in gridlock traffic in our efforts to get home, throw a roast in the oven, and allow reality TV to wash over us. We are looking to escape from the mundane. We are trying to outrun the clock. We are looking for calm, peace, and connection—with others and with ourselves. Quite simply, we want to feel amazing—in body, in mind, and in spirit.
It sounds so simple, yet most people struggle to breakout of their long-standing negative patterns and baked-in emotional atrophy. Instead of making changes, we cover things over with short-term solutions or distractions. We make excuses for why things don’t change. We get in our own way, not realizing the true simplicity of the situation:
Inner peace, a feeling of connection, and the betterment of one’s self comes down to a single thing: choice.
Regardless of creed, culture, financial status, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, or childhood experience, we all experience ups and downs: personal challenges, time shortages, prioritization issues, mental clarity and perspective, and procrastination. Staying centered and emotionally present has impact on career, family, love, and the world around us, and it requires a combination of activities and behavioral shifts to be successful.
What you take in will affect you—now or later. In a world of 24-hour news and information, we are constantly bombarded by words, sounds, slogans, and offers. Be aware of what you’re allowing in, as it has a tendency to stay with you long after you believe it’s gone. Social media and negative news can create and further anxiety, distrust, and a general feeling of discontent. Reduce your negative intake and self-curate the content you choose to allow in; you will see an improvement in your outlook on life almost immediately.
Reduce your tech use. It’s written everywhere that tech usage is at an all-time high. It gives us the feeling of connectedness, but in truth it drives disconnection and isolation. If you’re on your phone or computer, then you are not in the present or concentrating on being in the moment. Your mind stays full even when you are supposed to be disconnected and quiet. Put your phone away and instead interact with those around you. And keep all technology outside your bedroom when sleeping. Multiple studies show that vibrations, updates, notification, and audible alerts from phones disturb REM sleep, causing restlessness and irritability for days after.
Spend some part of your day without noise or interruption. Getting time alone isn’t supposed to be a luxury; it’s a necessity. Reflecting on the day, getting mental clarity about life, your job, or what’s needed in today’s fast-paced world, or just sitting quietly and thinking about… nothing; all these things create something your mind needs to think and act clearly: mental space. Whether it’s five minutes or 30, taking time for yourself—away from kids, responsibilities, significant others, or to-dos—is critical for inner clarity.
Eliminate physical clutter. Our environment is oftentimes a mirror image of our mental state. Likewise, if your surroundings are filled with papers, trinkets, and random messes, your thoughts and mind are probably following in-kind. Take a moment to reduce the stuff that accumulates. You’ll be surprised what you don’t need.
Get active. Technology does so much for us these days; too much, in many cases. Get out of that chair and move. Choose: a long walk, yoga, Pilates, HIIT or cross-fit—it’s your choice. But without motion, your body will not be happy in the long run. If you want to keep clarity and inner peace, you have to work your outside as well as your inside.
Balance out your body’s chemistry. Whether it’s vitamins, good food, or holistic supplements, we can all use a little help to improve our health, strive for longevity, or foster a general feeling of personal wellbeing. It’s well-documented that organic is better, that office workers need Vitamin D, and real fruit is better than a smoothie at your local juice bar. But what I’m suggesting goes a little deeper than that.
Most of us believe that our health, BMI, and the effects of aging are driven from genes, environment, diet, and other factors. As showcased in a wide number of reports, this accurately portrays some of our ongoing health challenges. However, we seem to be moving past being forced to play the cards that we’re dealt. We can, it seems, ask for different cards to tweak and alter our health.
I recently came in contact with Basis, a supplement marketed and distributed by Elysium. The company hangs its hat on improving NAD+ levels—nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide—that improves our cells’ mitochondria. In layman’s terms: Mitochondria are our cells' energy generators, but they lose their vitality as we age; as a result, so do we. While no research clearly states why our mitochondria fade as we grow older, evidence suggests that they’re responsible for a variety of health issues “downstream,” meaning that they are helping run the show, biologically speaking.
I conducted some research—Scientific American, and a couple of other credible scientific sources—and after reviewing the amazing credentials of Elysium’s Scientific Advisory Board of Nobel Laureates, and leading researchers from Harvard, Yale, and the Mayo Clinic (among many others), I decided to give Basis a shot. In short, it’s been an amazing two-month experience. I feel… good; great, even… and I’ll be continuing. Granted, I have continued my other personal improvement activities—3-5 days-a-week working out, healthy eating, and daily meditation. However, I absolutely feel a noticeable difference. Perhaps it’s too early to tell and this is a placebo effect; perhaps it’s my mitochondria getting back to work. Regardless, I have been monitoring how I feel. For $50 a-month, I’ll take it.
- Get enough sleep. You can’t think or be effective if you aren’t rested. Kids and teens need serious amounts of sleep in order to be happy, effective at school, and not drive parents crazy. (Yes, I have two adult children, and I enforced a bedtime.) Adults are no different. Develop good sleep habits. Go to bed at a decent hour the majority of the time, and watch your mood, productivity, and general sense of wellbeing improve virtually overnight (pun intended).
Be grateful. When your morning alarm goes off, don’t hit the snooze button. Instead, take a few minutes to just lie there; close your eyes and think about your life, the people in it, and the opportunities for which you are grateful—health, job, clothing, and residence, love ones… even the fact that you are here. Then, continue to give thanks throughout the day—from the Starbucks barista who gets your order correct to the co-worker who gives you there ear.
Practice acceptance. Acceptance doesn’t mean allowing yourself to be treated poorly by others; it means that you accept others as they are. You can’t change them, their behavior or their approach to life, but you can choose if you accept it. Acknowledge the issues that have led you to this point in your life, and then choose: Embrace what you are able to do and channel it into strength, and release what is out of your control. Accept your life as a series of experiences—experiences that present you with situations to learn and grow from.
Living a life that is happy and fulfilling requires three things: reflection, recognition, and a shift in thought and action. You have to choose, and then act. Your mindset is the basis for everything you want from this life. Don’t settle for mediocrity, and don’t wait for someone to offer you fulfillment; go get it.