No. 5 – Healing Mind Series
Immersed religious activities
Exercise – No. 4 on Healing series
Of the 10 things that promotes a healing mind, exercise is number 4 on my list.
It increases heart rate we all know but did you know that by sending more oxygen to the brain, it aids the growth of brain cells by releasing hormones? In other words, working your muscles builds your brain bulk! I don’t mean that your head will explode but the tiny membranes and connectors.
There is a lot of science about increasing connectivity in many cortical areas of the brain and so on. You can read about this in detail if you like, but the bottom line is that exercise makes your brain work better, aiding in decision making and solving problems.
However the mental benefit is what is most fascinating. There are antidepressant-like effects due to a drop in stress hormones due to exercising. A Stockholm study tells you more about this. The main point is that exercise has effects on your mind that enables it to heal and be more capable. A mind that is more whole and functioning better is also one that enables the body to heal better.
Here’s a bonus. Exercise slows down the aging process of the brain by enabling the birth of new neurons in the hippocampus, a brain structure associated with memory. How’s that for another reason to exercise if you are getting up there in age? Exercise your way to a longer and fuller life! We tend to view exercise as beneficial to getting that summer body or bulking up to impress the girls (or guys, hey everyone has needs) Now we, that is all age groups, can see exercise with a more profound benefit, the well being of our minds, our brains! It’s a beautiful cycle. A healthy body is a healthy mind, while a healthy mind fosters a healthier body. By a healthier mind, we are referring to the physical and mental states of the mind.
In today’s world where social networking and unrelenting connectivity is producing a population plagued by anxiety and depression , exercise is once again the answer. How? Well I am no expert but there is ample information online which I will share with you.
The benefits are related to neurogenesis (the generation and creation of new neurons) and europlasticity(synaptic plasticity, or alterations to the strength of already existing synapses) I have no idea what all this means, I am not a doctor but there are studies to back this up.
Many of these benefits are due to the ability to reduce insulin resistance and inflamation. (Goldman, 2014) You can read more on this here.
No. 3 – Why Sunrises and Sunsets are good for your health
When you witness a sunrise, you are normally aware of a feeling of euphoria, of hope, of a greater power, a feeling of awe. The same goes for a sunset. Also accompanying this feeling is a feeling of calmness. This calmness is what’s good for your health.
“There are now several lines of research suggesting that our mental perception of the world constantly informs and guides our immune system in a way that makes us better able to respond to future threats.” Studies show that optimistic people are less likely to get sick. We know that a positive outlook has unexplained healing benefits. Look at the effects of placebo application where they are shown to bring about a healing effect in patients simply because they believed that they would be cured.
Just the feeling of optimism and gratitude that tend to accompany these moments of sunrise and sunsets is what puts your mind in a state that promotes the healing and immune system abilities of the body.
Today I embark for the second time to lick my body into shape. There is an element of embarassment that I am starting my benchpress at 65 lbs, but I already know the power of cosistency. Consistency is engine behind the rewards of Compounding Marginal Return.
Today I am starting at 65 lbs but with consistent application of marginal effort and incremental progress,I expect to be benching more than body weight by Thanksgiving, exactly 3 months away, the 24th of November.
1/22/2021 – Update
I failed. I did not stick to my program. Other things took precedence. This is life. There will always be things that will interrupt your path to your goal. So here I go again. Results matter, reasons excuses are the mediocre way.
Remember to be consistent, just follow the basic focus. “Stop thinking, just do” or “Mat socho bas karo” As I have said before your mind is what stops you from being consistent. Just stop thinking and move…forward. As I write this, I am saying it to myself too, because I need to be coached to be pushed to get it done. Did it before and will do it again. I did it using the Mat Socho Bas Karo way.
The Power of Nature
– Love Yourself Series
It is very tough to wake up early and go on a hike to see sunrise or nature in its best light. As a photographer who previously photographed professionally portraits, weddings, quinceñeras, and other events, my favorite type of photography was that of capturing nature. Sometimes just the process of leaving early in the morning, fighting the urge to slip back within the comforting caress of a warm soft bed is a battle. But I can tell you without any hesitation that I have never regretted waking up early to venture out into nature. Even if I didn’t get any great shots, which is rare, because of that beautiful light, I would still feel the euphoria of being up early in the solace of the early morning when nature comes alive in its unabashed glory.
However, being in nature appeals to deeper instincts within us that affect our mindset, our creative wheels, releasing our mental faculties to function without the constant noise. In a 2012 study, a scientist by the name of Strayer, found that given our environment plays an important role in how we function mentally and intuitively, exposure to nature increased our ability to function cognitively and creatively, including our problem solving skills. He found that there is a unique effect of being immersed in a natural setting on our mental capacity.
But nature does more. In a 2015 study by Gregory Bratman, of Stanford University, he found that those who walked in nature experienced less anxiety, rumination (focused attention on negative aspects of oneself), and negative affect, as well as more positive emotions, in comparison to the urban walkers. There are numerous studies that support the positive effects on a person’s perspective and outlook towards life.
From experience I can tell you that I experience an exhilaration from my encounters with nature. When you are in nature, for example when I am kayaking, you have to stop thinking about worrisome thoughts and pay attention for your very survival. Nature with its beauty brings threats which require you to be attentive and alert in your surroundings. This state of being is what allows us to escape the noise of modern life.
This removal from negative thoughts into basic instinctive almost primeval state is what fosters the removal of stressful weights of life, the relentless schedule of making a living, a social life, preserving status, impressing others and so on. All this is discarded allowing room for unrestrained unprescribed thinking. When I return home, I am tired physically but mentally refreshed.
Nature with its innocent routine devoid of ego, conflicts of personalities, goes about business as usual without judgement. It is an environment that appeals to your better “nature”. It reminds you of the need to embrace life more fondly. A healthier state of mind fosters self appreciation which is the root of self love and a more robust and resilient self esteem.
Try it. Wake up early. Go for a walk in the park, by the beach, near a lake. Experience the company of birds, animals, the sounds of nature, the pleasant natural order of life. Bathe in this and feel your heart swell. Do it alone. Do it with your loved one, with your family, just do it regularly for the love or you! It works! Science says so.
Impress yourself first
In life we begin by trying to impress our parents, then relatives then friends, bosses, peers, and the list goes on and on. Pretty soon our own concept of what it is to be a good person who we can love gets drowned out by the voices of others impressing upon us how we should be, to garner enough likes, enough followers and basically the approval of others. We may say that we know what we want to be but how often is that enough for us? How amazing would it be to just be a person that meets our own expectations of ourselves. As a bonus, this practice actually gives our self esteem an energizing boost!
I once read that how we see ourselves is based upon how we think others think about us. Why not cut out the middle man and just base this upon how you see yourself without filtering that perception through the eyes of others? It would be liberating, wouldn’t it?
Try this. From now on, just focus on impressing yourself based upon YOUR OWN expectations. Try this for a week. Word of caution: you know those instagram posts that you like to browse? watch out, they are a culprit of how you think about yourself too, especially the ones with a gazillion of likes. For this week of trial of impressing yourself, have a vision of the person you would like to be and make a list of tasks based upon that vision. This week, have some tasks to complete that fuels this vision, simple tasks that you WILL complete, like reading a few chapters to a child, which may be part of your vision to be a great parent.
Impress yourself first and you end up being well planted on a path that yields a journey you will love to reflect upon proudly. Do it! Impress you first! As always, mat socho bas karo. Don’t think, just do!
– Love Yourself Series
Can’t seem to have enough time
Intention without execution
Lately it seems that my time runs out, it gets late, but I am not covering those tasks that need to be done. I remember starting with the list approach and getting stuff done but now it seems that my list has once more become just an intention without execution. I know that life is short that you start with a goal/objective, spin off the tasks to get there with a deadline and go forward. However it seems that I am involved in things that devour my time and I am left once again feeling unaccomplished.
First of, there needs to be honest accountability. “What we can measure, we can change”, the motto of my employer. I know this to be true so I need to start reviewing where my time is going. It is obvious that time is limited and even more so if you squander it. What is squandering time? By doing things that are not relevant to your purpose and goals? Don’t you need down time? I know this to be important which is why I like to have Sundays as the day without disciplined time slots. It is a day to use my time carelessly and freely. These days I normally schedule, I can never get a way from scheduling, to do things that I love, like kayaking, golfing, etc. I should add reading to that mix. Imagine kayaking to a nice remote safe area, putting up a hammock and reading a book? This is definitely going to be scheduled for a near Sunday.
I believe that answer to this predicament lies in my pattern. Habits reveal the path you are on towards your future, which is why it is important to review your habits from time to time.
Remember though that there are tasks that need to be done, household tasks, family tasks, financial budgeting and record keeping tasks, and so on. Therefore there needs to be a balance. In the past I have assessed my time by allocating it to segments of my life on a pie chart to see where the time was going. I need to do this again.
Action plan. Review current/past pattern and correct. Ensure that time is spent on the meaningful tasks of your purpose
I am excited to review, revive and refocus! It is a journey without perfection but with perseverance towards perfection.
Finding out that I’m easily diverted into activites that eat up time. Once you set time constraints on how long you have to do a task, you realize that you’re very inefficient. Fix: Acknowledgement of weakness is first step. Now to lock myself into a task and finish on time. Doing this frees up more time for other fun stuff. Here we go.
No Perfect Decison
No perfect decison
Many outcomes that are beyond expectations did not start with a perfect decision. It appears that the only perfect decision is the one to begin. From that decision, evolves a process of more decisions that intuitively lead to a desirable outcome. One thing one must overcome is the natural tendency to overrate our ability to fail.
Lesson: It is a learning process and invariably you cannot make the perfect decision with the current knowledge at that moment. You must begin to arrive.
Once the decision is made, the single ingredient needed at this venture is commitment. This commitment to learn and adapt towards that desirable outcome. In other words, you must inform yourself that there will be pitfalls and hurdles to overcome and the need to constantly review your progress, in order to adapt your strategy as you gain knowledge from experience and further insight into your goal and yourself. You must have an unshakable resolve that your destination is achievable, even as it changes.
Lesson: Your committment is what will hone and support your decision(s) to the perfect or desirable end.
The path to a desirable outcome sought, consists of less than ideal decisions. However this path is the journey of gathering further data and information to aid in further decisions and improvement of performance. This newly acquired information would not have been available had you not embarked upon the unfettered path of your virgin decision. This is what creates further decisions that refines your goals, improve your productivity and clarifies the path.
Lesson: Begin with the understanding that the means to the end involves learning and adapting as you go.
Conversation with a veteran, a marriage veteran.
Met a 98 year old woman today who was married for 60 years.
MARRIAGE RATE: 6.5 per 1,000 population
DIVORCE RATE: 2.9 per 1,000 population
Me: “Wow, that is unheard of these days. What age did you get married?”
Her: ” I was just out of high school, so 18.”
“So if your husband passed away in 2010, then you were married for 60 years!! That is incredible but maybe not so unusual for your generation.”
“Not really, back then when you got married, that was it. You had no other choice so you only thought of making it work or working with it”..chuckle.
“Now it’s one thing to be married for a long time, but were you happily married?”
“Now that’s the thing about marriage. You are not always going to be happily married. You make it work.”
“That’s very different from today. Today, it’s “I deserve better”, “Oh my, I made a bad choice”….too much second guessing, too many escape options”
Disclaimer: I divorced and remarried. I am happily married. However what I know now, may have saved my first marriage and avoided much inconvenience for my children. I was married the first time for 15 years and now happily married to a beautiful and diligent wife, herself a divorcee. We were engaged for over 7 years before we officially tied the knot. Talk about caution!
The legacy of marriage
First the cold reality of a happy marriage:
All of this is based upon talking with and observing couples in successful marriages. We will continue to consult with men and women to provide real advice from folks who speak from experience not theory.
A successful marriage fosters and yields a great legacy normally, the effect of which is felt by generations to come. In the same manner broken marriage may inflict damages that have a cascading effect on subsequent generations.