To be truly healthy is to be healthy of the body, mind and soul. In order to achieve this, one needs to have self discipline. Below are some rules/guidelines to follow to maintain good health.
Food: Follow a Satvik diet (see chapter on yoga and food)
Exercise: Exercise is extremely important for general health and wellbeing. A minimum of 30mins per day will do wonders for your physical body as well as your state of mind. A physically fit body makes it much easier for the practice of meditation as it allows you to sit in the one place comfortably for a long time. Yoga is the best exercise as it works all parts of the body inside and out, it can be adapted to any age, physical capabilities and disabilities and has many benefits for mind, body and spirit.
Relax: Relaxation and sleep are an extremely important part of life, which are often not performed correctly. Oversleeping, under sleeping, reading books to fall asleep, going to sleep feeling tense, stressed, sad etc. are all habits that are bad for health. One should go to bed in a restful state; one can do this by the practice of yoga Nindra. (See chapter on yoga nindra). Everyone should make time for quality relaxation every day. To some this seems impossible because of increasingly busy work and home life. But by making time, even 5 or ten minutes, wherever possible throughout the day it will refresh and revive you, increasing brain and body functioning.
Positive thinking: How we communicate with ourselves has a great impact on the health of our body, mind and spirit. Constant stress and negativity will ultimately lead to disease, just as positive thinking will lead us towards health, happiness and success. By looking for the positive aspects in every situation one can create a life of ease, joy and lightness.
Proper breathing: Correct breathing is essential to ensure our body is supplied with enough oxygen in order to function without stress or strain. Just by being aware, slowing down and breathing with the full capacity of our lungs creates a feeling of calm and peace in body and mind. Regular practice of Pranayama is essential for getting rid of body toxins, avoiding sickness and disease and helping to strengthen the organs as well as the entire system of the body. (See chapter on Pranayama)
Environment (personal and social): The environment we live in and the things and people we surround ourselves with have a huge effect on our quality of life. In order to reach your full potential you should surround yourself with like-minded people; people who are interested in similar things and who are working towards similar goals. Your surrounding environment should be positive, inspiring and encouraging. Laughing, singing, dancing, playing and crying are all things we have left behind with our childhood. These five characters are extremely important for a happy and healthy life. These days more and more people are being diagnosed with physical and psychological illness and disease. This is due to getting caught up in the ever-increasing stresses, frustrations and disappointment’s of the world and forgetting how to enjoy life. The philosopher hermit has created a formula to cure these diseases based on his idea that all disease is caused by psychological issues. (See next chapter)
Hermits’ formula: The root cause of all disease is psychological (this includes diseases of a physical nature). When we are not happy or at peace and we don’t release these emotions or thoughts we hold onto inner tension which pollutes our body and affects its proper functioning. This will ultimately lead to physical disease; which could be anything from headache, backache, moodiness, depression and constipation to more serious illnesses like heart disease and cancer. Five step formula to help those people who are suffering directly or indirectly from psychological problems:
1. Avoid: Avoid all those things in life which are negative, damaging or destructive to yourself or to your life or cause you pain in anyway. These could include negative friends, jobs, relationships, foods etc.
2. Communication: Do not store feelings and emotions inside. Too often people will hold back feelings from their partner, family or friends in order to avoid confrontation. This will only cause stress and tension on the self and on the relationship. It’s amazing what situations you can change which you had previously thought to be unchangeable just by honest and respectful communication.
3. Accept totally: Accept things as they are physically and mentally. Often we accept things physically but not mentally and so create stress and pain for ourselves. For example: you are overweight and this makes you feel stress and pain, which causes you to seek comfort…in the form of food: a destructive never ending cycle. Instead if you accept that yes I have put on weight, since having a baby I have not been eating healthily and have been eating much more food than I need. You are then in a clear frame of mind to step into action and to do something about this problem.
4. Concept change: If life or your psychology is working against you then change your concept and try a different way of approaching it. Life doesn’t always work out the way we like it, we make mistakes and our plans aren’t always successful. Instead of letting this get you down; take your mistakes not as failures but as lessons, as guidance of what doesn’t work and try something different or from a different angle.
5. Karma: Often by birth we are given different illness’s and disease which seems unfair and unjust. By accepting that this is a result of karma from a past life and accepting this fact, the individuals’ psychology can be changed, freeing them from their problems.