We need both mind and body equally to carry out our daily activities. As we age, we face the challenges of ageing, living, working, struggling to have a fit mind and a body. Therefore, food being an important source of energy, we need to give our undivided attention to what we consume daily. This Mind diet is a routine plan of what we need to consume daily to keep our mind healthy and prevent us from Alzheimer’s, dementia and other age-related illness.
Thanks for reading.
Blessings and much love to all 💐
What is luck? All of us at some point or the other in our individual life experiences must have felt lucky or some other point in time as unlucky. I think, every individual can have a unique concept of luck which he/she must have experienced through the life journey. It is also influenced by the concept that we must have developed through our growing years from our elders and parents. People wear or use all kinds of lucky charms, symbols to favour their luck. So, by luck, we usually mean an unknown, mystical force that comes unexpectedly and gives us the opportunity, or provides us with the situation, a circumstance in our daily chain of events which one can perceive as a good one or a bad one. So, when it comes to the probability of events, there are both equal chances of good luck or a bad one. As the Universal truth exists, that everything happens as the consequences of cause and effect. So, the predictability of the luck factor is based on chances or probability rather than accuracy. Therefore, this is quite complex.
Many Philosophers, psychologists and successful people have said, observed and written many books on luck. We must have already read a ton of them, yet the concept seems to lack clarity of thoughts.
Therefore, in trying to understand the concept of ” Luck”, I have come across 4 observations:
1. As the statement goes, ” The harder we work, the luckier we get”. This statement doesn’t seem to be wrong. When we have a clear vision, a goal in our head, and work harder on that particular task, a subject or a passion, we do get successful after some time. We keep putting our continuous effort, we come across opportunities, like-minded people and end up being very successful. We consider ourselves lucky then. Isn’t luck and hard work going hand in hand? But, this isn’t true for all the people. Many people end up doing hard work throughout life, in their area of work without much success. Do they carry bad luck? Or, were they not lucky enough to get the right kind of opportunity and meet the right people at the right time? Isn’t there is something more to know about this luck factor?
2. The word ‘Luck’as originated from evolution time, as ‘locking together’ like (the cogwheel locking with one another and moving the cart forward). So, it can be the trigger of events influencing luck. Sometimes luck can be linked to the intuitive voice within us, guiding us to make the right decisions or pick up the right opportunity at the right time. Suppose, we are starting a business, or following a passion, a chain of trigger events can definitely lead to or most probably will give us good luck. It goes like this, if we attain the full expertise, complete knowledge about that particular area (attaining the skill and expertise), do active networking, meet the right kind of people, follow our intuition to pick the right opportunity, and being more enthusiastic, we end up being lucky, successful. Again, failure and success are both sides of the same coin as though being lucky and unlucky. I think all successful people have gone through great failures and bad luck through many events though they were considered successful and lucky in the long run. So, the option is not to quit, but to keep putting continuous effort in the right direction.
3. Vibration: As the great scientist, Nikola Tesla said, “If you want to find out the secrets of the Universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration”
Therefore, everything in this entire Universe, including us are in vibration. Every atom in our body moves in vibration. So, we must have noticed in our individual life that when we are sad, unhappy, depressed, we are in low-frequency vibration, we get sick easily, and bad things keep happening, bad luck seems to never leave us. But, when we are positive, happy, vibrant, we are in high frequency, good luck seems to attract our lives then. Again, Buddha said “What we think, we become”. In the same way, if we think and consider ourselves lucky, keep following our dreams, we seem to attract good luck. But yes, efforts and hard work are very much required in the process.
4. The well-known psychologist Richard Wiseman has written many books on luck like “The Luck factor”. He has researched many people’s lives on this factor called “Luck”. He has rightly pointed to 4 Principles:
*Maximize whatever chances, opportunities that come.
*Listening to your consciousness, your intuitive voice (the little voice in your head) is important.
*Having a positive attitude towards life can turn even a bad thing or situation into a good one.
*Expecting good things to happen, remain positive in life.
After reading books and listening to various talks (Youtube) on luck, I have concluded that the luck factor or the thing called ” Luck” isn’t so unknown or mystical. Luck is very much within our control. We can attract luck in our life. The only important thing is being in the right state of mind. Not necessary, that we may get the right opportunity at the right time or meet the right people at the right time. Each one should consider oneself as lucky, having a positive attitude towards life. Acknowledging this, attaining the skill, putting continuous hard work and effort, being focussed on our goals, I think nobody can stop us from attracting good luck in life. We are bound to be lucky in life.
Physical fitness is not enough. A state when you are physically light and look fit but emotionally drained and heavy. This is not a healthy state of affair. Therefore, give yourself another chance every day to grow, build and improve yourself and present the world with the best version of yourself.
7 ways of Daily emotional fitness program :
1. Attitude: Take life as it is. Take each experience at each moment like it. Analysing and overthinking makes it good or bad.
2. Breathing: It is important to do deep breathing ( around 10 times) both morning and evening. Deep breathing calms down the brain and relieves us from tension and stress.
3. Creativity: Every day, learn, create, understand new things, new ideas. This way, we create new neural pathways. Memorizing new things, old lessons do refreshes the memory too.
4. Laugh: Laugh as much as you can. Laughing not only lighten up the mood but also releases happy hormones and keep stress in check.
5. Forgive yourself and another: Forgiving yourself often is important because it reduces the emotional baggage that you carry for something or the other. Forgiving others is equally important because we don’t know what the other person is going through.
6.Maximum Nourishment: Try eating healthy every day. Eating healthy not only influences your physical health but also your mental wellbeing.
7: Be grateful: Last but not least, being grateful for everything you have. Being grateful for every moment and every breath, I live. Being surrounded by people whom I love. And, there are a lot more reasons to be grateful for. Acknowledge them.
Our mind is illusional. Whatever, we think and perceive is our own derived illusion. It’s our biggest friend and at the same time can be our biggest enemy. Therefore, a common quote says ” You may die a hundred deaths without a break in the mental turmoil “ Our mind makes up everything that happens in our life – good or bad, big or small, ugly or beauty, sad or happy, success or failure, it ‘s all within this thing, called mind. So, how do I control this thing ‘mind’ and remain focus on my goal and life purpose?
Understanding the mind, and its content is very important and fundamental. What makes our thought world? How do thoughts are generated? We build up mental impressions through the different inlets of this outer world. The inlets can be : *Five senses: sight, hear, smell, touch, taste
*Memory: That has been built up over the years of this outside world experience, right from the day we were born.
*Activity: That we perform , habituated and do throughout the day.
We create thought by an idea backed with emotion. Through different inlets, we build up thoughts as our mental content every day. We generate, perceive, analyse, process and ruminate our entire thought world. So, we keep doing the same mental activity of thinking, analysing, ruminating every day. The thinking pattern doesn’t change. So, does our behaviour and habits. It is uninterrupted, a never-ending process which we may not be even aware. According to Yoga Psychology ( Yoga Sutras), our thought world mainly depends on mental fluctuation (Vritti) and thoughts (prataya). The mental impulses (vritti) are created through the different inlets like the senses, memory, activity which inturn create mental impressions generating thoughts (prataya). This is the reason, when we are in a positive , vibrant environment, surrounded by positive people, we generate positive, beautiful, creative thoughts. But, when we surround ourselves with negativity, we generate negative thoughts of guilt, anger, pain, hurt, jealousy and so on.
Normally, what happens, when we centred our mind for a particular activity, at the office or home. There are endless distractions. Okay, we try to control the distraction or cut down to some extent, but still mental fluctuations and wondering thoughts continue to distract us. This is because the memory continues to generate unstable thoughts in an unstable mind.
Therefore to manage our mind, we need to control our mental fluctuation and thoughts. The only way to control them is through a concentrated mind. A concentrated mind can be achieved through the power of attention. The power of attention is our very own property (which arises from self) which we can achieve by practising and training our mind. It is a steady power of awareness which is created at our own will. It is the only capability that we can learn to develop for mind control. Whereas, the mental fluctuations (impression) and thoughts are greatly influenced by our outer world, the external distractions. They are not completely within our control.
The different states of mind depending on the power of attention can be defined as *Ordinary mind: When both the mental fluctuations (vritti) and thoughts (prataya) are unstable. The mind is rather restless distracted, jumping from one thought to another.
*Focused mind: When there is less mental fluctuation (stable vritti) but thoughts are still wobbly (unstable prataya). This is the learning mind.
*Concentrated mind: When both the mental fluctuation (vritti) and thoughts (prataya) are on the same line, stable enough. This is the highest level of attentive mind.
*Meditative mind: When the vritti and prataya are concentrated at the same point, on a similar goal. That is the mind is concentrated at one point say, your attention is entirely on your breath or a point of focus. That is when both mental fluctuation and thought are at the same point. This is the highest level of concentration.
The power of attention is similar to a focused beam of light where all your energies are focused. With this power of attention, you can learn, achieve, complete tasks and attain success in whichever areas of life you want to. That is the reason, we should always learn to perform an activity or task one at a time. So, we give our full power of attention. Handling multiple tasks all at a time can be like a scattered beam where all your energies are distributed. You can be able to do some while some are left undone. Your mind will keep fluctuating and your attention span will be variable and unstable.
So, how do I learn to achieve a concentrated mind with the ultimate power of attention? How do I control my mind, my inner thought world, daily? How do I focus my mind on one activity at a time? How do I take charge of myself? This is a self-learning task, an ongoing process. Two comprehensive ways:
1. To achieve the power of attention, two important things matter the most : Awareness: Being consciously aware all the time. Feeding our thought world and thought process with positive, constructive and creative thoughts.
Will: Self-training and developing a restrained impulse towards worthy goals, purposeful life.
2.Control of thoughts:
*Exposure to right kind of thoughts: Feeding the mind everyday with right kind of thoughts. Reading good books, being in a positive, good company, surrounded by positive vibrations.
*Right behaviour: Good conduct, right behaviour pattern influence thoughts and emotions. That means reframing our cognitive abilities. Correcting our behaviour patterns as on when required.
*Right lifestyle and habits: Maintaining a regulated lifestyle and habits will greatly influence our mind. You cannot have a stable mind with an unstable lifestyle. *Purposeful life: Working towards a specific goal, understanding and working towards a meaningful life. Developing a stable mind through meditation and prayers. This cannot be achieved overnight. It is an ongoing, self-learning process. You and I have to keep working on it daily.
Thanks for reading.
Blessings and much love to all 💐
References: Science of Focus by Pravrajika Divyanandaprana (Vivekavani)
Beliefs are a certain pattern of thinking in our brain that must have been perceived and ingrained in the course of our lifetime. It is a way of making sense and understanding the world around us, the people, behaviour, perceptions, facts, realities. Beliefs can be on our faith, religion, things, people and the world in which we live. Based on our beliefs, we assume something or someone as good or bad, whether something is worthy, acceptable or achievable. The mental representation of our beliefs makes us create our boundaries and limitations concerning every aspect of our life. It is these subconscious mind beliefs which autopilot our day to day life, career path or choices, or the life journey itself.
Since the time of human evolution, certain thinking pattern has been carried out as strategies to learning, simplify things or conceptualized certain experiences, facts or perceived realities. The perceptual beliefs are mainly based on sensory experiences. That is how beliefs keep moving from one generation to another. As the child grows up, his whole personality and belief system start moulding and developing based on his parents, his experiences, environment in school, college and other authoritative figures. Whether true or false, facts or distorted, the person already grows up with a set of a belief system which helps him undertake his life journey. Since our beliefs are rooted deeply in our subconscious mind, our mind will constantly look out ways and means to prove them right. This is what the subconscious programming does. Every action, behaviour, habit, the emotion of our’s are all based on our belief system.
Beliefs are not necessarily based on truth. They can be based on distorted facts or can be misconstrued or can be simply mistaken beliefs. They can be negative or self-limiting beliefs. Many of our beliefs are based on observations, what we think, hear or see the physical world around us. So, as we start learning more and more, a wider understanding of this world, opened up to a great sea of knowledge and Science, we realise that some of the beliefs which we have been carrying, holds no truth in them. They are just false beliefs. But in spite of knowing clear information about the fact, we still hold onto such beliefs, unable to change them. They are so much ingrained in us and are difficult to change.
Certain examples of common disempowering beliefs, some of us may have like I am not good enough. I have to achieve a certain level of success to be happy in life. I cannot trust the people around me. I am not attractive enough. I cannot lose weight. I am not good at public speaking. I am not a happy person.
These are some examples of subconscious programmed beliefs that we hold onto to be true. So, subconsciously, we will behave and act trying to proof or validate them, each time to be true. The realisation comes much later in life when we fail to achieve something, unable to achieve our goal, failed relationship, unsuccessful career path. Therefore, a real soul searching, self-awareness is required to identify our self-limiting beliefs which made us fail or difficult to achieve our full potential in whichever aspect of life, it may be.
Some simple ways, we can try changing our beliefs :
*Changing the old pattern of beliefs is not an easy task. You have to be completely self-aware. *Try putting down in a note because writing gives you a clear understanding of the mind. *Once identifying your self limiting beliefs, reframe them with an empowering positive belief like I am good enough to succeed or I deserve to be happy, no matter what.
*Then, startreminding yourself consciously every day with your new beliefs. Keep repeating because your subconscious mind learns by habit and repetition. It takes a long time. Reminding and repeating does create an impression in our subconscious mind and the outcome of our new beliefs will soon unfold.
Neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis, two terms commonly used when it comes to brain health. We, just don’t need to dive so much into Neuroscience to learn what they mean and how we can help ourselves to keep our brain healthy. Brain health is important because as long as our brain is healthy, we keep learning new things and our memory is intact. As ageing progresses, we can prevent ourselves from certain chronic conditions like dementia, Alzheimers and Parkinson’s disease by maintaining good brain health.
Neuroplasticity,meaning that our brain is continuously changing through our entire lifetime depending upon our experiences, the environment, habits, behaviour. Neural pathways keep rewiring and dewiring depending upon what is necessary and what is no longer useful. Therefore, being in a positive environment, thinking and feeling positive is all very important.
Neurogenesis meaning formation of new neurons, that is our ability to learn new things and retain in our memory. Previously, it was believed that neurogenesis stopped once we reach our adulthood, that is around the age of 20. Now, researches have shown, that neurogenesis occurs throughout our lifetime.So, we can learn until the day we die. In our brain, the neurons are formed from the neural stem cells and progenitor cells which are in the Hippocampus mainly and also in other regions of the brain. Though every day, new neurons are formed, before, theycould get matured, many of them get pruned. A special protein BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) has been identified which is responsible for promoting the maturation, survival and maintenance of the neurons.
So, how do we facilitate this process of neurogenesis and maintain the level of BDNF? 5 simple ways
1. Exercise: Any exercise which can increase the heart rate mainly aerobic exercise, running, brisk walking.
2.Food: Rich in omega 3 fatty acids like fishes (salmon, tuna, sardines), avocados, chia, hemp seeds and nuts. Other sources which help are turmeric, blueberries, goji berries, lotus roots, algae, green tea, coffee. However, too much caffeine is detrimental to neurogenesis.
3.Emotions:Experiencing positive emotions like joy, excitement, love and feeling good, stimulate Neurogenesis. Such emotional experience can appear by being creative, learning a new skill, going out in Nature, proper sleep, listening to Nature sounds, good music and sex. A positive relationship with partners, peers, relatives is helpful. Being in chronic stress, anger, anxiety are detrimental to neurogenesis.
4.Mind stimulation: Cognitive abilities like reading, learning, memorizing, discussing new ideas, taking up music lessons, problem-solving, all stimulate neurogenesis. Cognitive reserve (resilience against brain damage) can be built up by engaging mind stimulating activities or intellectual work.
5.Meditation: Prayers and meditation can stimulate neurogenesis. Practising mindfulness, compassion, being in silence, stillness all facilitate neurogenesis.
Some lifestyle factors which can decrease neurogenesis are a high intake of carbohydrate, sugar, fried foods, inflammatory foods, chronic caffeine intake, smoking, alcohol, obesity, chronic stress, lack of sleep, negative emotions like sadness, depression, lack of engagement, boring life. Direct trauma to the head can be very detrimental to neurogenesis. Nowadays, even environmental pollution is quite hazardous to brain health.
If you are intending to learn more about lifestyle changes that you can do to improve your brain health, I recommend the book: Neurogenesis diet and lifestyle by Dr Brant Cortright
Chronic diseases contribute to huge healthcare expenses. Regular doctor’s visits, buying the prescription drugs, undergoing procedures, hospital treatments and stay, all of them incur huge expenses.
We know by now that inflammation is the key to all chronic diseases in the body. Chronic diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, lung diseases like COPD and asthma, Crohn disease, arthritis, HIV, Cancers and the list goes on. Not only these, even brain diseases like Alzheimers, dementia, and Parkinson are also related to inflammation in the brain.
The only solutions to this huge health issues are prevention and controlling the chronic conditions. So, how do we do that? Researches have already proved that most chronic conditions are caused by food and unhealthy lifestyle. So, the easiest and efficient way to reach our goal to prevent and control chronic conditions is by switching on to a healthy diet and making lifestyle changes. 80% of our immunity comes from good gut health. So, eating right, removing stress, active physical life, all contribute to a healthy gut. Therefore , the five some ….
1.Food:The problem is that too much information on food flooding the internet, conflicting information, different diet regimens like keto, paleo, vegan, Meditteranean and the list is long. Too many lists of superfood come out daily. So, how do we know what is right for us?
I think following any diet, there is always pros and cons because you eat some and skip something else. Depending on your goal, whether to lose weight or maybe for some chronic conditions like diabetes, your diet is scheduled and designed. Though following a particularly strict diet, do benefit like losing weight in case of a Keto diet. Sometimes, it can lead to unhealthy outcomes. And, following a particular diet seems to be like, you are doing for a temporary phase. But, to have a goal of a healthy life, the food and lifestyle changes has to be permanent and adopt it as a way of life. It has to be a mentality shift. Again, not every type of grain, vegetables, fruits available in every part of the world. Different regions grow different crops according to their climatic conditions. So, the best food is preferably,organic (devoid of pesticides) and locally produce grain, vegetables and fruits so that they are fresh. And locally produce grains, veggies, fruits are usually affordable. Your daily consumption should be a majority, about 70% of plant-based food like greens, veggies, fruits, nuts. About 30% should be whole grain fibres, low fat and protein like eggs, chicken and fish. This is how simple a daily healthy diet plan can be.
2. Exercise:Right from evolution, we, humans are meant to be active. So, being active is essential. Follow your daily routine exercise of at least an hour. Do whatever you like, running, walking, swimming, cycling, gymming., dancing. The workout you enjoy doing. There is no hard and fast rule.
3.Meditation/ Mindfulness: I have already written posts on meditation and it’s benefits. it is important to empty our mind daily, at least for some time.Spend a few minutes in silence every day. If you can, be mindful (being aware ) as much as you can. Being mindful means, paying attention to your thoughts, emotions without being judgemental. Staying mindful, by following your natural breaths, simply just being aware of, at least 20 mins or more is very beneficial. It reduces your stress level.
4. Support: Have always a support system. Loneliness is a major factor in many health issues. People with a good support system can better control chronic conditions. Rely on your spouse, partner, friends or a social support group where you can open up.
5.Sleep: Though ideally recommended in adult as 7-8 hours of sleep. But the fact is, the quality of sleep is more important than the quantity. When you follow sleep hygiene of going to bed and getting up from bed at a routine timing, whatever hours of good sleep, you get is enough.
All these 5 steps can guarantee you for a healthy life for the longest time. Even, if you suffer from a chronic condition, it can be maintained better with a disciplined lifestyle.