“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” – Buddha
Physical wellbeing is the basic requirement for enjoying your life fully, if you don’t take care of your body and physical health you will not feel energetic, alive and have the stamina to go out there and rule the world. Our happiness is deeply related to how well we feel in our body, how energized and confident we are in tackling every day feeling powerful, healthy and attractive.
Main components for physical wellbeing are:
Diet is the basis of a healthy body, and a requirement for increased energy levels and elevated moods. Our diet should be one that nourishes us and if we have habits that are detrimental to our health we need to examine those core beliefs and switch them around to serve us instead of letting unhealthy attitudes run our lives. All addictions, including food addictions are ways to seek psychological comfort and will power will not be enough to remove or control them. Our conscious mind has the power of around 10% for the majority of people and the rest of 90% comes from subconscious beliefs and habitual patterns that stem from emotions and impulses. We run programs in our minds, and NLP helps with changing the associations we make and start running different programs, programs that are beneficial and empowering for us.
Every effort that we make in consciously changing a habit, will be sabotaged whenever we feel:
These are universal subconscious impulses that when triggered by an event will overrun all of our willpower and make us eat that cake at 11 Pm.
Becoming aware of our patterns and sabotaging beliefs as well as empowering beliefs about our health is a crucial step in creating a different mentality and that will lead to lasting changes.
So a healthy diet incorporates:
Diaphragmatic breathing practices which will promote the vital element of oxygen to our cells and build life force and aliveness. By consciously learning how to breathe we influence positively our nervous, endocrine, lymph, immune, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, with the major benefit of directly influencing our sympathetic nervous system that is responsible for our flight or fight responses, therefore regulating our heart rate, digestion and blood pressure.
Diaphragmatic breath means engaging our diaphragm, the sheet of muscles that lie below our lungs, in the process of breathing instead of just our chest area. By engaging only our chest area we starve our tissues because the blood flow occurs only in the lower lobes of the lungs that have limited capacity for expansion. On the other hand, when we involve the diaphragm at each inhalation the diaphragm stretches downward and allows our lungs to expand to their full capacity. When we do that we can see and feel our belly rising and falling with each breath we take, and in this way we get a feeling of relaxation, increased stamina or vitality, we increase our immunity by activating the flow of lymph- the carrier of immune cells.
Water is the second most important element in our diet. Water makes up around 70-75% of our body and is the carrier of vital nutrients and oxygen to all of our cells, it transforms food into energy, it regulates our body temperature, also regulates our digestion, circulation and excretion processes.
Dehydration basically means that the amount of water present in your body is less than the amount of water that has left your body through breathing, perspiration, urine or bowel movements. The major signs of dehydration are a dry mouth and a dark or orange color urine, usually if you have these signs that means that your body is starving for water.
Foods rich in water are (*2):
Watermelon, oranges, papaya, strawberry, apples, pineapple, bananas, grapefruit, lemon, lime, blackberries, passion fruit
Tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, bell pepper, avocado, carrots, broccoli, potatoes(boiled), corn.
Essential Fatty Acids are needed for every biological functioning of our cells, tissues and organs, especially our brain which is made up of 60% fat. Because our body is not producing them naturally, we need to incorporate them in our diet, and the main two essential fatty acids we are concerned with are Omega 3 and Omega 6. These two increase our metabolic rate, reduce inflammation in the body, block the production of cancerous cells while at the same time helping with the development of healthy cell membranes, they regulate blood pressure and immunity, promote smooth and healthy skin, as well as helping in the development and good functioning of the nervous system by regulating the thyroid and adrenal functions and therefore helping with depression.
Foods that are rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are: salmon, mackerel, herring, cod, tuna, shrimp, soybeans, nuts, algae, sesame, flaxseed and walnut oil.
A Mediterranean diet is based on these principles of water rich foods and essential fatty acids, promoting health and wellbeing.
Balanced Ph(potential of hydrogen) levels – Alkalinity vs. Acidity
Acids are foods that have ph values of under 7 and alkalis have ph with values over 7. In order for our body to be healthy and keep a good chemistry our blood’s ph should be in the range of 7.35-7.45 and because of that our digestion, breathing, circulatory and hormonal functions constantly try to balance the ph and remove the acids contained in the foods we eat. Problems such as obesity, fatigue, high blood pressure, premature aging, poor memory, neurological or hormonal problems are all due to higher acidic level in our body. And this higher acidity comes from foods such as: meat, eggs, dairy, coffee and tea, yeast products( muffins, waffles, pancakes).
Alkaline foods are green vegetables, fruits, peas, lentils, beans, nuts and seeds
For a complete list of alkaline and acidic foods go here:
Exercise is also essential for our health and people that exercise ay least two or three days a week are experiencing increased levels of happiness and relaxation. Obviously, the benefits increase if we exercise daily for at least 30 minutes a day. I personally believe that the practice of yoga gives you all the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits at a higher level than just working out in the the gym, so I personally recommend that over anything else. People often complain about not having the time or being too tired to exercise, but if we push ourselves a little in the beginning and form a routine our levels of energy increase dramatically with the added benefit of feeling clear minded, calm and focused and happier.
Fatigue usually happens in inactive bodies, the more you exercise your body the more energy you produce and by combining aerobic exercises with anaerobic ones you will target your maximum potential.
Aerobic exercises are those such as walking, swimming, biking, dancing, they promote overall health and are done at slower rates of intensity for a longer period of time, and they help with burning fat.
Anaerobic exercises are meant to build muscles, are short and intense such as weight lifting and they burn glycogen for energy. Our body breaks down carbohydrates from the food that we eat and transforms it into glucose, which is the fuel for our cells. A complex combination of different glucose molecules called glycogen gets stored in the liver and muscles and broken down again into glucose and released into the bloodstream whenever we need a short and intense boost of energy.
The difference our body makes in considering an exercise aerobic or anaerobic is through interpreting our heart rate, the lower the heart rate the more an exercise is assimilated as an aerobic one.
Rest is essential as well and I am talking about rest as in sleeping as well as intentional waking rest as in relaxation through meditation or contemplation in nature.
1. Sleeping helps us integrate the knowledge we acquired during the day and it is critical overall for our immune system, memory and learning ability, metabolism, it increases our creativity and focus. On the other hand if we let ourselves carried away by the demands and crazy lifestyle our society with its intense rushed pace promotes we experience increased heart rates, malfunctions in our nervous system, memory and impaired left as well as right brain activities, depression and mood swings, lack of stamina and lethargy, hallucinations.
2. Meditation or contemplation in nature are also relaxation methods that re-charge and bring our mind-body-soul into a beneficial chemistry. Our nervous system is relaxed, our immunity raises, the endocrine system is harmonized, the circulatory system is improved by promoting a lower heart rate, the levels of serotonin are increased, and the list goes on and on..