From athletes to office workers, everyone wants to know what the secret is to having balanced health. How do you achieve your health goals and maintain it? How do you lose weight and keep it off? How do you prevent cancer? How do you get your 6-pack and maintain it for life? Well, Ayurveda has the secret in its famous quote: “These are the three types of causes (of diseases) – excessive utilization, non-utilization, and wrong utilization of senses, acts, and time.” (Charak Samhita Sutrasthan, 11.37). That’s right, the ultimate reason behind illness is the overuse, underuse, and misuse of time, senses, and actions. So what does this mean in simple English?
Its all about Moderation! Too strict of a diet or rigid lifestyle can actually throw you off balance. For example, going on a calorie-restricted diet will help you lose weight initially, but then when you go back to “normal” eating, you will put even more weight back on. If you stay up late watching tv, you will have less energy the next day, and if you choose not to drink enough water, you may end up with heartburn or indigestion.
Essentially, the overuse, under use, and misuse of your time, senses, and actions are the cause for all and any imbalance in your physiology. Senses include all of your sensory organs and sensory perception…touch, hearing, sight, taste, and smell. If you think about it simply, overuse would be anything in excess, under use is not using your time, senses and actions properly or not at all, and misuse is abusing your time, senses, and actions.
Many factors, such as overeating, is both an overuse and misuse of your time, senses, and action. Overeating leads to problems with digestion, which ultimately leads to an imbalance or disease in the physiology. Likewise, if you skip meals, you are misusing and under-using your time and actions, which will lead to starvation in the body and thus your body will be nutrient deprived. To achieve a balanced state of health, you have to have balance in all areas of your life. And that is why I recommend the 80-20 rule, in which you eat healthy 80% of the time, and the rest of the 20% of the time, you allow yourself to deviate from any plan that you are on.
Its important to use your time wisely, not take on any undue stress, and eat balanced meals because when you have the right balance, you will achieve a state of balanced health. Time management is just as important as what you eat, which is also just as important to prioritize sleep and exercise. Therefore, here are my top 5 tips for finding that balance:
1) Make the right food choices by having a balance between carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. Fill your diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fresh meat, legumes, fish, eggs, and healthy oils. Avoid processed, packaged, and canned foods, biscuits, pastries, and other high sugar foods. Remember, having sugar is a misuse of your time, senses, and actions.
2) Make time to relax and distress by engaging in an activity that you enjoy. Examples include journaling, meditation, yoga, reading, crochet, etc. High stress levels means that you are misusing and overusing your time, senses, and actions. High stress means that you are also less productive and your immune system is compromised. Make time for yourself to de-stress daily.
3) Make time to exercise. When you exercise, you actually become twice as more productive, so giving up an hour a day could mean you get double the work done in less time. Exercise is also another way to boost your immune system, self-confidence, good for heart health, and it’s the perfect anti-aging remedy. Exercising is a perfect action that also balances your time and senses.
4) Don’t forget to sleep. Sleep is just as important as any other part of your day. Don’t skimp on sleep because when you don’t get enough sleep, you are overusing and misusing your time, senses and action. Sleep is the body’s opportunity to repair itself. So next time you stay up late watching tv, record the show and watch it the next day. Or rather than staying up late to work, go to bed early and wake up earlier to get the work done.
5) Lastly, get outdoors, even in the winter time. Its important to get fresh air daily, which also happens to relax the senses and calm down stress levels. This aspect of staying healthy and having a balanced lifestyle often doesn’t get enough attention. Many of you may remember that as children, we used to play outdoors and our parents had trouble getting us to come inside for dinner. Now, most of us are always inside whether we are at work or doing household chores. Getting outside and inhaling fresh air is a great use of your time and senses and its also a great activity to do with your friends and family. Whether it’s a stroll in the park or walking and shopping down Oxford St, spend some time every day taking a walk.
When it comes to your health, remember, moderation is the key. Don’t diet too much (read here why diets don’t work) and be mindful of your food choices. Be sure to balance your daily lifestyle with managing your stress, exercising, getting plenty of sleep, and getting outdoors. This may sound like a lot to do in a day, but remember when you do all the above, you will actually have more energy and you will also be more productive. If you are having trouble balancing your time and health, feel free to get in touch with me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wishing you balanced health,