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11 Actions You Can Take Today That Will Drastically Improve Your Health

11 Actions You Can Take Today That Will Drastically Improve Your Health

You’re lying in bed. Your stomach aches. Your body is done. Why’d you overeat… again? Here comes the verbal beating: “You always do this!”  “You shouldn’t have eaten that!”  “You’re fat!”

You believe that tomorrow will be different; tomorrow you will exercise, eat healthy, and start that new diet… but really, why will tomorrow be any different?

no matter how slow you go

    Health Matters

    Here’s the simple reality: Your health matters, and the choices you make today have a
    massive impact on your quality of life. The situation is black-and-white. If you are healthy you will:

    • have more energy
    • increase your focus
    • increase your self-esteem
    • sleep better
    • live longer
    • look better
    • feel better
    • be happier
    • Improve your sex life (someone needed to say it!)

    Yet, with all of this staring you in the face, you still choose to eat that donut… Why?

    Invest the Time to be healthy

    Being healthy isn’t easy; In fact, it’s quite difficult. If you head to the store and pick up a snack at random, odds are it won’t be healthy. In all honestly most store-bought foods aren’t healthy in general, and most of the items you’ll find at restaurants aren’t healthy either.

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    I have news for you: a diet soda isn’t healthy, a low fat cookie isn’t healthy, and skipping a meal doesn’t mean you’re dieting—it means you’re starving your body of nutrients.

    We live in a society that has confused health with “low calorie”. I can go eat a bag of chips at under 200 calories and call it lunch… Does that mean I’m healthy? Please say no…

    Make the Decision to be Healthy

    Here is the key quality you must do to become healthy: you must decide to be healthy.

    It almost sounds ridiculous,  but it’s not.  It’s very easy to be deceived and get distracted, but if we want to be healthy, we must commit 100 percent to doing so. Once we decide to be healthy, then we can start putting in the necessary time and effort to live a healthy lifestyle.

    If you don’t commit, it won’t happen—plain and simple.

    10 Simple Actions That Will Drastically Improve Your Health

    As you run through the list below you will understand why you must “commit”. There will be cases in the list below where you will want to come up with excuses:

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    “I don’t have time.”
    “I don’t know how.”
    “It costs too much.”

    It’s your choice—you can be healthy and drastically improve the quality of your life, or you can be unhealthy and decrease the quality of your life.

    1. Cook With Olive Oil

    Olive oil has extremely healthy fats, and it provides us with nutrients that help our bodies function. Replace butter, vegetable oil, and “zero calorie” cooking sprays with olive oil.

    2. Sleep 8 hours

    This one is critical! Sleeping 8 hours a night leaves us energized and ready to take on the day. When we get less than 8 hours of rest, we lose focus and are inefficient.

    If you’ve had enough sleep, you will find that you’re able to get substantially more done in less time. Those hours you “saved” by sleeping for only 5 hours are eaten up by the massive fatigue that sets in as the day goes on.

    3. Always Pack a Healthy Snack

    Guess what’s going to happen throughout the day? You’re going to get hungry.

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    When you get hungry, you will naturally reach for whatever happens to be around. By always having a healthy snack prepared, you are setting yourself up for success. I pack an apple, raisins, and almonds in a bag every day to have with me wherever I go.

    4. Add Fruit To Your Cereal

    Purchase some raisins, blueberries, bananas or oranges. When you make some cereal in the morning, dice up the fruit and add it to the bowl—it’s easy to do, and your body will love you for it.

    5. Eat The Vegetables

    Always eat your vegetables. “Not liking vegetables” is the equivalent of saying “I don’t like people”—it’s a massive generalization. There are a vast array of vegetables, so keep on trying different ones until you figure out which ones you like. Once you have that figured out, be sure to eat them with every meal.

    6. Walk, Run or Ride a Bike

    The next time you want to go somewhere, leave your car keys at home. Take a walk, a run, or pull out the bike— in addition to being healthy, it feels great to get outside and be active.

    7. Cook at Home

    When you cook at home you have 100 percent control of both portion size, and what goes into the food itself. When you go to a restaurant, you have minimal control of what goes into the food, and they choose your portion size for you. Cooking at home is healthier, period.

    8. Eat a Full Breakfast

    When we wake up, our bodies have gone a very long time with out any food, and even if you aren’t hungry, your body still need nourishment. By eating a good, solid breakfast you jump start your metabolism.

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    In addition, eating a delicious, healthy breakfast will do you a world of good. You’ll accelerate your metabolism, and you get to eat a delicious and healthy meal—win-win!

    9. Drink Water All the Time

    The average person needs to drink 64 ounces of water a day, but unfortunately most people walk around dehydrated every day. Since we do this so often we become used to it and believe that our dehydrated state is normal. I recommend purchasing a water container and carrying it with you everywhere you go.

    10. Make A Smoothie

    Smoothies are awesome! Pick 2 or 3 of your favorite fruits, add ice and protein powder and BAM— you have a crazy-healthy snack. These are easy to make, and so good for you.

    11.Make Health a Priority in Your Life

    If you are going to be healthy, then you must make your well-being a top priority in your life. Commit to being healthy, and then stop at nothing to make it happen.

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    Last Updated on August 13, 2020

    12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

    12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

    As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

    1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

    I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

    Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

    Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

    2. What is the purpose of meditation?

    The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

    It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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    Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

    In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

    You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

    This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

    The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

    Less Physical, More Psychological

    Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

    This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

    The First Benefit of Meditation

    The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

    1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
    2. Relaxation of the body

    Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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    Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

    That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

    When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

    When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

    Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

    Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

    This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

    Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

    Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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    This benefit takes you to the second one.

    The Second Benefit of Meditation

    While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

    1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
    2. Observance
    3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
    4. Patience

    Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

    You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

    This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

    1. Energy

    Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

    2. Observance

    The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

    3. Peacefulness

    Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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    4. Patience

    The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

    The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

    Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

    Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

    The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

    • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
    • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
    • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
    • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
    • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
    • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

    These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

    Final Thoughts

    Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

    Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

    Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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    Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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