1. The human body in which each of us lives is made up of around 37 trillion cells, to be precise. And every day, about 1-2 percent of the cells are renewing. So, exactly after 90–100 days, a new “me” appears. We remain so busy with our routine lives that we hardly acknowledge this fact, and many of us are not even aware of it. So, ‘change’ is the constant tune, not just within the universe but also within us.
2. Now that we understand that our bodies undergo transformation on a daily basis, So, the question is: how does this self-renewal occur? Let’s go back to our past a little bit. The human body develops from the human embryo, which is fertilized by an oocyte and a sperm cell. This embryo is made up of stem cells. The stem cells are the basic cells (undifferenciated cells) of the human body, which, through the process of mutation and transformation grow into different cells like nerve cells, bone cells, muscle cells, blood cells and so on. Throughout our lifespan, these stem cells undergo cell division and keep replicating; that’s how self-renewal happens.
3. Under normal physiological self-renewal processes, different cells in the body have differing rates of cell division. So, the replication process of various tissues, organs, and blood cells in the body has a different time frame, like the skin epidermal cells, which can take around 10–30 days, whereas a bone cell takes 3 months, or a hair grows about 1 cm in one month, and so on.
4. Though our body is constantly changing due to the continuous self-renewal process through different cell cycles like shedding the old skin cells, renewal of intestinal cell lining, and growing hair or nails on a routine basis, this isn’t a simpler process. The human body is still very complicated and has exceptions. Some cells, such as those in the brain (cerebral cortex), eyes (such as lenses), and heart, do not change from birth to death.
5. But then, why is self-renewal important and must be maintained? Under normal physiological conditions, stem cells have two functions: proliferation and differentiation. Though stem cells have a natural proliferative capacity throughout our lives, disease conditions can affect their physiological self-renewal ability and behavior due to factors such as damage or an unhealthy lifestyle (obesity, lack of physical activity, smoking, or a poor diet).
6. A lack of an appropriate environment within the body or poor maintenance of the human body might eventually lead to the exhaustion of the capacity of stem cell proliferation, which causes premature aging or tissue atrophy. With aging, stem cell activity, tissue regenerative and haemeostasis is significantly declined.
7. Sometime, due to the unhealthy environment within the body, mutations lead to aggressive stem cell division without going through the natural cell differentiation process. This can lead to abnormal tissue growth or cancer in the body. Therefore, the physiological process of stem cell division and the natural stem cell behavior can be affected by four disease conditions, like degenerative, metabolic, cardiovascular, and inflammatory conditions.
8. Regenerative medicine and therapies have arisen as a result of the discovery that defective self-renewal mechanisms in the body are the root cause of malignancies and abnormal cell proliferation. Many disorders are being treated with regenerative medicines based on stem cells. Recent years have seen a significant increase in the use of stem cell treatment to treat a variety of diseases like cancer and disorders including type 1 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Parkinson’s, burns, osteoarthritis, by regenerating cells, repairing tissues, and transplanting organs.
9. The fact about regenerative medicine is that, though it has helped many patients around the world, the cost of treatment is quite high as the procedure is complicated and the failure rate is high. Human stem cell treatment requires culturing human stem cells in a laboratory setting for a longer period of time, which is quite difficult.
10. The market is flooded with products that promote cell regeneration, anti-aging, and longevity. The lofty claims made by these items are still quite dubious. But it is true that some supplements do work to improve health, lower inflammation, and increase immunity. But in the end, having a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, a calm mind, and exercising regularly is all that’s necessary for good health.
Hello everyone! Greetings 🖖 This is my first post after a year long break…
True enough, life is indeed unpredictable. It gives you the most dreadful unexpectedness when you least expect it. That’s what happened to me. Today, when I look back and remember, I still get the goosebumps, the tremble and chill. The misery I went through, will most likely follow me all throughout my life, or for a very long time. The past year was the most challenging and overwhelming for me. In those days, I used to put down my thoughts and feelings to my husband throughout his absence during the difficult times.
When we were about to go to bed, on the evening of 8th January 2021, around10.30 PM, after dinner and are routine talk, you complained of a headache. I advised you to take a pain reliever, and go to bed. But to my astonishment, you behaved a little different when you were lying on the bed. You asked me to get the tablet and water for you. When I was back from the kitchen with the glass of water, you couldn’t get up from the bed to have the medicine.The water gushed out from your mouth because you were unable to swallow. Then, all of a sudden, I could understand that something was wrong with you. You began to slur your words. Being a doctor myself, I came to know that you were having a transient ischaemic attack or maybe a stroke. I, immediately called emergency service and requested for an ambulance. I fumbled while speaking as I was very nervous. In the interim, I also called our next-door neighbour Jan, a 72 year old retired dutchman who is quite friendly and is fluent in English. When the ambulance arrived, the paramedics examined you and noticed that your left side of the body was immobile. However you were still trying to communicate and was conscious. They hurried you to the emergency room of the nearest hospital in Eindhoven where we reside. Both, Jan and I accompanied you to the hospital. In the ER, I was not allowed inside. We were both waiting outside. At around 11 o’clock, I asked Jan to go back home as he was quite tired and had recently recovered from cancer.
A little later, I was told that they gave you a Morphin injection for your headache and a CT scan was done. Although I was completely shaken, somehow I was calm, still holding on to my gut that things would be all okay. Once the CT scan report came, they confirmed to me that it’s a right brain hemorrhage, which is quite huge and with some strange findings. I was told that they had planned to shift you to a hospital in Tilburg, which is a nearby city, about 45-minute drive from Eindhoven. On top of my shock and cold shivers, I was confused and petrified by this whole chain of events. I was informed that they don’t have the expertise, so that is why you have to be referred to the Tilburg Hospital, which has a better neurological service. Moreover, I was told that your CT scan findings were quite confusing and the bleeding was huge.
Within minutes, the ambulance came and rushed us to Tilburg. Inside the ambulance, you were lying down, still in your senses, tired and awake, complaining of the headache and discomfort. I was sitting next to you and asking you to rest and reassuring you. By almost 12.30 am, we reached Elizabeth Hospital, Tilburg. They rushed you again to the ER. I was allowed to accompany you there. The neurosurgeon on duty examined you and did a scan again. She, too, told me about the right brain hemorrhage and some strange discovery that resulted in the massive bleeding. All the while, I was very worried and heartbroken from inside. I could not hold my tears, cried and felt so helpless. At that moment, I felt that I would lose you and that I had lost everything in life.
Still awake and tired, you were transferred to a medium-care unit to be kept under observation. You asked the nurse if I could stay with you in the room. I know I won’t be allowed in, so I assure you that I will keep waiting outside. During those painful hours, I called your father, back home in India, to inform him about the whole episode. He was totally shocked. I could not hold my tears and was crying on the phone. Then, I called and informed our son too. He was confused and could not believe his ears. He was terrified as well, as he knew that his dad was the fittest one in the family and had never had any kind of illness. I have no idea what went through him at that stage, as he was all alone at home. Due to COVID, he was in our apartment and not in his college hostel. I also informed my sister and my brother-in-law. By that time, it was almost 1.30 AM. I was told to go back home as you were kept under supervision and it was quite stable.
So, while boarding a taxi from Tilburg to Eindhoven, I realised that the coming days were going to be the toughest to handle.That whole night, after reaching home, I cried and cried, just loitering around the house in anguish and pain. I had the impression that I was in for a long, dark journey with no idea what lay ahead.
The following day ,on the 9th of January was even scarier. I was informed earlier that you would be taken to the Operation Theatre for brain angiography. I was in the hospital, waiting to hear about the outcome of your brain angiography. Till 6 o’clock in the evening, there was no news concerning you. I kept enquiring the OT nurse about you. She informed me that you hadn’t been taken out of the OT. My mind was beginning to crawl with fears and anxieties. I was distraught and in panic. The OT nurse then called me at around 6:30 pm and took me to a room. I could sense the worst as I was sitting alone in the room. At that moment, I was terrified and utterly shaken.
Two doctors entered the room and sat in front of the table where I was sitting. One doctor started talking to me about the procedure they had to perform on you. They said that you had an atrioventricular fistula in your right brain which had to be repaired, otherwise the bleeding was profuse. The procedure went well, but you have not yet regained your consciousness from the anesthesia. They were very uncertain about the outcome and that you might have slipped into a coma. They told me that they were expecting the worst scenario, maybe brain death. My whole world was shattered at that moment. I was almost lost and could not stop myself from crying. I was in a complete state of shock. The doctors and staff did try to console me. Jan, our elderly friend, explained to me to take things practically and control my emotions. I called our son, your brother, and my family and informed them regarding your state. I was told to return home and was assured to be informed of any further developments regarding your state. When I got home, it felt like the longest night, the darkest and scariest night of my life. That whole night, I grasped onto my mobile, waiting for any news about you.
On January 10th, I came to the hospital and was informed that you had been shifted to the ICU. The doctors told me that they had to drain a huge bulk of fluid from your brain and that your vitals were stable. I was informed that your MRI scan showed a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage, which got worse due to a congenital defect of the AV fistula. Such cases are rare.The condition was worse as you had hydrocephalus, so the fluid had to be drained to reduce the pressure.
The first time I saw you in the ICU with a ventilator and machines, drains, and drips all over, it was really hard for me. I went near you and called your name. You did respond with a little movement of your right hand. I was relieved and was happy as I could see little hope of light after these 2-3 hard days. That day was quite positive for me as the doctors were happy with you for being responsive to the treatment and procedure. But then, they still reminded me about the uncertainty of your condition. There was still a huge amount of fluid left in your brain which had to be drained continuously. You were still in a comatose state, with a low score on the neurological scale. I was told to call our immediate family members from India as your chances of survival were low. I called our son, back in India, and asked him to pack his bag to come to the Netherlands. I also informed your family and mine regarding your present state. I called your employer and informed them because they had been trying to reach you for the last 2-3 days due to your professional obligations. I also informed my project coordinator and let go of the project that I was doing.
After going through all the procedures of an emergency visa, our son arrived on January 14th. This was a life-changing event for him as well, as he had been very close to you, his father. He did go through an emotional roller coaster during those turbulent days. And, seeing you in that state, he had acted very mature and calm. He has been my biggest support through this storm. Our neighbors and friends have also been very supportive through the difficult time. Your employer has been a great support system for me and our son. We will always remain grateful to everyone who has been there for us through those difficult hours.
You stayed in the ICU for almost 2 months. Everyday, I visited twice, once in the morning and then in the evening. During my time spent with you in the ICU, your eyes remained close most of the time, but you do respond to my touch with right-hand finger movements. Some days were good and positive, while some days were scary. Our son, too, visited you in the ICU. But, he had to leave as his exams were approaching. Your neurological state improved slowly and your vitals were stable. You had gotten out of the ventilator. They decided to shift you to the rehabilitation centre after you regained consciousness.
I was initially quite optimistic and excited about your development and recuperation during your time in the rehab facility. However, because the prognosis was poor, we, also had to deal with a number of setbacks in that situation. Your severe cognitive impairment and short – term memory problems were not responding well to therapy. Your left side is completely paralysed, and there is no recovery. You still struggle with a few cognitive issues. However, you continue to make good progress in terms of your awareness, speech, memory, and physical development every day. Your speech is clear and concise at present.
After more than a year, you are still residing in the rehabilitation facility, and your therapies are still ongoing. I see you almost every day of the week. While we converse and laugh on certain days, other days are sad when therapy doesn’t work out. As I’ve come to terms with your situation, I’ve begun to feel content. My greatest satisfaction comes from watching you smile while I am with you.The hardest lesson life has taught us today is to be cheerful in the moment we share together right now because we don’t know what the future has in store for us. When I see you now, hope is the only thing in which I will still believe and live.
Thinking is what makes us the most intelligent species on this planet. It is this thinking what drives us to learn, study, analyze. Thinking makes us competent and innovative and help us to perform a task or job. But, when thinking becomes out of control, nagging and overtime, then, we start creating problems for us. As a habit, overthinking is not uncommon. We all may have it to some degree, more or less. Some realize it and correct it while others may be so drawn to it, which may lead to toxic consequences like anxiety, depression, suicidal tendencies and insomnia.
Ten simple ways to stop overthinking on a day to day basis:
1.Awareness: Before you can change the habit or develop a strategy, it is essential first to be aware of this habit of your mind. Whenever a thought lingers you, there is also some emotion attached to the thought. You start imagining worst possible scenario because the mind tends to think about the negative first. Maybe, this is from the time of evolution of our species, to foresee a potential danger first. So, imagination causes the mind to be strained and anxious. An anxious mind keeps brooding again and again. So, being aware of this state of mind is a fundamental key to change.
2.Reshaping your thought process: Instead of avoiding the thought or running away from it, start to reshape your thinking to a positive one. Instead of imagining the worst scenario, imagine the best scene. Instead of brooding onto the fear, create a strategy and achievable goals.
3.Change your Perspective: This is important because overthinking is ground to fear of losing or failure. So, instead of thinking on the negative terms, start thinking on the time frame—prioritize the perspective. Whether the thought or emotion do hold any value in your future, maybe five years from now or perhaps just next month.
4.Distracting the mind constructively: Many people tend to overthink when they are alone or lonely. So, it is essential to do things or develop hobbies to keep your mind occupied and let out the emotions like painting, dancing, photography, gardening, playing an instrument or even jolting down the thoughts.
5.Perfection: Aiming to be perfect is just not done. This will lead to unnecessary anxiety or stress. Instead, focussing on your progress and growing day by day is the more practical approach.
6.Overcome fear: Fear comes with failure in the past or with a bad experience in the past. But, having a past loss, doesn’t mean you will have the same outcome every time. 7.Realize the truth: The truth is that we cannot predict the future. Future is associated with an element of uncertainty. So, instead of thinking and worrying about the end, it is wiser to focus on the present moment. Focus on all the positive aspects of your life, which makes you joy and cheerful.
8.Accept your worthiness: Overthinking is usually associated with fear of failure, that you are not good enough, not worthy of success. Keep yourself reminding that you are good enough; you are capable enough to accomplish all your goals. 9.Be grateful: Living in gratitude is the most important view in life. We should never forget to be thankful for the life we lead, being able to breathe and for the things and loved ones we have around.
10 Last but not least, the physical body affects the mind and vice versa.So, regular exercise, meditation, walking in nature all help profoundly to keep a healthy mind with a healthy body.
Today, I wanted to write something about this amazing but underrated fluid called bile inside our body without which our normal digestion process get distrupted. We only come to know about it’s importance when we land up in a physician’s clinic with an abdominal pain. Bile is a yellowish green fluid which is released from the liver and stored in the gall bladder. The main purpose of bile is to breakdown the dietary fat and help in absorption. Bile is mainly comprised of bilirubin (a product from red blood cells), bile salts and cholesterol. The gall bladder store and keep the bile concentrated.
Bile is very important because it helps in the digestion process. The food we eat every day, get mixes up with the bile and digestive fluids and help in the absorption of nutrients. It also helps to dispose of some of the wastes like excess cholesterol and haemoglobin which are released from destroyed red blood cells. Therefore, it is very necessary to run the digestive process in everyday life.
So, when there is bile deficiency, we develop many symptoms and consequently diseases in the long run. Instead of going elaborate, let me give you some important symptoms that you may suffer while having bile deficiency :
1. Jaundice, itching 2. Gall stones, the commonest symptom is colicky pain. (causes bile duct obstruction) 3. Fatty liver ( abdomen swelling, weight loss, lack of appetite) 4. Fat-soluble vitamin deficiency (Vitamin D, E, K, A) 5. Bloating (burping, belching). 6. Constipation 7. Light coloured stool ( as the fat remain undigested)
Consequently, the diseases following bile duct obstruction can be cholangitis, biliary stricture, cysts, pancreatitis, hepatitis, cirrhosis and severe liver damage.
Therefore, how do we maintain our bile acid level (normal range is 0 – 10 micromole) and stay away from all these troubles? The most important answer is maintaining our diet.
Dietary sources are mainly
6. Betaine. Common sources are sweet potatoes, spinach, quinoa, wheat bran, beet.
7.Choline. Common sources are chicken, salmon, eggs, low-fat dairy, broccoli, green peas.
Pure bile salt supplements are recommended only under Physician’s guidance.
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.
Scientifically, crying is a flow of tears from the lacrimal gland which lies between the eyelids and eyeball for a strong emotional response. Then, you might like to know how emotion stimulate crying?
The external situation, event, response, experience, or a stimulating event send 2 messages in the brain simultaneously, one to the cortex, other to the hypothalamus. In the cortex, the emotional response is created, like hurt, pain, sadness, sorrow, stress, depression, anxiety, or fear. The hypothalamus is connected to the autonomic nervous system carries the stimulus of emotion via acetylcholine which stimulates the lacrimal glands, and tears start flowing.
Some 7 wonderful physical, mental benefits of crying:
1.Emotional equilibrium: Researches say that crying is an important way to restore emotional balance. Crying doesn’t always happen when someone is sad, hurt, pained, scared, stressed but also when extremely happy. So, this is a way for the body to respond and recover from strong emotion.
2.Detoxification: Negative emotions like stress, anxiety, sorrow build-up of many toxic chemicals inside our body. So, letting out emotional tears releases stress hormones and toxins from the body. Besides, emotional tears, reflex tears help out to release smoke and dust from the eyes and continuous tears help to lacrimate the eyes and give protection against infections. Therefore, tears are detoxifying.
3.Soothing: After shedding tears for sometime, the parasympathetic (PNS) nervous system is stimulated. The PNS helps you to relaxed and is comforting. The body also releases the oxytocin and endorphins (feel-good chemicals) which slowly help you to feel calm and soothing. It also helps you to numb the pain. So, next time, you have a broken leg, don’t stop your tears.
4.Mood lifting: When you allow yourself to cry, you are numbing your negative emotions of sadness, pain, stress. So, the other emotions of joy and happiness will start to prop up slowly. While crying, you take quick short breaths, this also helps the brain to cool down and you will feel relaxed. Your mood slowly lightens up.
5.Cleansing: It is the tears that clean up the eyes and keeps them moist preventing you from eyesight problems. While crying, you also clear up your nasal passage from dirt and foreign bodies.
6.Interpersonal: It helps you develop bonding with your closed ones. You always cry in front of someone you trust which is typical human behaviour. So, you ought to cry in front of family members or close friends. Therefore, your bonding with them is strengthened.
7.Healthy: When you are at stress, your body is vulnerable to sickness. So, when you cry, you release cortisol, releasing the stress level. Therefore, you are doing a favour to your immune system of lowering the stress level and helping yourself to stay fit. You also tend to sleep better. Therefore, you stay healthy.
Inflammation is a body’s normal immune response to injury, wound or disease to protect, defend, fight and repair against the damage. It is our body’s defence mechanism on the cellular level. When we are young, the body’s immunity is at an optimal level. But as we grow older, though the body’s cell renewal process goes on, the immune system slowly decline if we do not take proper care.
So as we grow older, not only we have to maintain a healthy lifestyle but also consider the anti-inflammatory aspect of living a healthier and disease-free life.
Risk factors of inflammation are chronic stress, anxieties, depression, pain, anger, hurt, fear or most of the negative emotions. Other important risk factors can be unhealthy food habits like bingeing habits, fat (omega 6 fatty acids) rich foods like soy, peanuts, mayonnaise, plant-based oils ( sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, vegetable oil), alcohol, refined sugar. Sedentary habits, with no or very less physical activities, are all pro-inflammatory.
Some more pro-inflammatory factors like processed foods, heavy metals, pollutions, smoking, drugs and disturbed or toxic relationship.
So, how do we incorporate the anti-inflammatory aspects of our lifestyle?
1.Less is more: The more we lead a simple basic life, the better and longer, we can live healthier and happier. Essentially basic life, meaning, eating well, sleeping well, a good amount of physical activity in the daily routine. Keeping away from any negative emotions as much as you can. Staying away from stress and anxieties as much as practically possible. Living a life of Gratitude and contentment are the keys.
2.Wholesome diet: Plant-based food, plenty of vegetables, fruits to have daily, whole fibres are all good. Certain known anti-inflammatory foods like food rich in omega 3 fatty acids ( fishes like salmon, sardines, tuna), avocado, olive oil, whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, dark chocolate, nuts, berries,chia seeds. Spices like ginger, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon all have anti-inflammatory properties.
3.Physical activity: Workouts and gymming are all very good in keeping the body shape and weight at check. But the important part is you should also keep your cortisol level (stress hormone) in balance. It’s always wise to avoid heavy workouts which can shoot up the cortisol level. Because stress hormones are risk factor responsible to contribute to chronic inflammation. Design your workout and physical activity routine plan as the way you are comfortable and as far as you enjoy doing them. Yoga is another practice which has a lot of stretchings as well as help to keep your mind at peace. Don’t forget to meditate daily which gives you the much needed mental peace and solace.
When your mind, body and heart are in a balanced state, you feel more free, calm and grounded. A balanced life cannot have set standard rules for everybody. What work for me may not work for you? So a balanced life cannot be followed according to a rule book but instead can be created by each one of us in our own life.
For me, like many of you, balance life is a balance of personal, professional and social life. It is also a balance of mind and heart, both practical and emotional aspects of life.
In life, it is important to remember, that like time, energy is limited. When we feel that any aspect of life is consuming too much attention and energy, it is time for a change and correction otherwise it will affect the life’s balance.
Imbalances not only affect the mental health causing stress, anxiety, sadness or unhappiness but also affects the physical health causing sickness and diseases.
Many successful people and business leaders have been giving their success formula, their tips of creating a balanced life in the form of books, interviews, lectures. But do they really work for me or you? Each one of us leads a unique life, and it is up to us to create a balance in our unique ways.
3 basics which go to create a balanced life :
1.Set Priorities: It is important to acknowledge my priorities and boundaries. At whatever age or stage of life, we are, it is important to know which aspect of life such as professional/financial, personal, family requires more attention and energy. Accordingly, we need to divide our focus and plan. It is important to have goals and aspirations in terms of career/ finance but also keep a balance on the personal/family life. Too much attention on either side may create a whack. Be it personal, professional, social life, it is important to set our priorities right.
2. Self love and care: An important aspect of balance life, is taking care of your physical wellbeing. In spite of your daily grind, you should always take out time for yourself. Practically speaking, if you don’t have physical wellbeing, how will you cope up with everything? Meaning your professional or personal/family life or grinding towards your goals and aspirations. Taking care of yourself, eating healthy, maintaining an active lifestyle are all very important for good physical health. Whatever be the day , good or bad, always keep loving yourself and stick to your healthy routine.
3.Enthusiasm for life : In today’s stressful life with continuous adversities, it is very important to have an adequate mental balance. Keeping an open mind, carrying an optimistic attitude is the best way to approach and deal with life. Things don’t turn out always as planned. Although you keep thriving for your goals and success, you need to have a bigger purpose in life. Life is not only about materialistic success. And it is too short to live with regrets and unhappiness. Some day, even if you may achieve your career success, you may not feel happy or contentment in personal life. So, it’s important to create a balanced life on every aspect of life to experience peace, calm, happiness and sense of fulfilment. So, enjoy and live life to the fullest.
“Happiness lies, first of all, in health.” George William Curtis
Whatever your goal is, maintaining a fit body, weight loss, maintaining your blood sugar, cholesterol or reducing stress, adopting changes in lifestyle is not hard. But maintaining them is a tough calling. Old habits are hard to quit.
Avoiding a piece of brownie, or an extra glass of wine during Christmas or thanksgiving is far less appealing than on a normal routine day. You have no time to think about that extra calories in those moments. Hitting the gym or jogging in the morning on a cold chilling winter doesn’t seem appealing at all even if it may affect your lifestyle changes goal.
Evidence-based researches have shown that people get motivated to adopt and maintain their lifestyle goals based on 2 types of reward system.
1.Hedonia; When lifestyle goal is associated with more superficial outcomes like you are looking good, losing weight, your wrinkles have reduced, your belly fat has reduced. These rewards are short-lived, gives you superficial pleasures and temporary satisfaction but lack a deeper meaning or a purpose. So, when you default your routine, may give you unhappiness as you will miss the superficial outcomes.
2.Eudaimonia: When your goal is attached to a more deeper meaning or a purpose, you tend to get motivated longer or even life long. In the process, lifestyle changes don’t become a forceful routine but instead, turn into spontaneous habits which gives you more lasting benefits. Emotions are mainly expressed due to the limbic brain. When we are deeply happy, contented, this feeling has a lasting memory in the structures amygdala and hippocampus. So, when you have a purpose, a satisfying meaning which gives happiness, attached to your lifestyle changes, you are always motivated to follow.
Some examples of different scenarios while attaching your lifestyle goal to a purpose :
A middle-aged woman has started to become physically active, taking her exercises regularly to build up more stamina to look after and play with her grandchildren.
A young loving husband who was obsessed with junk food and alcohol, have started to quit his habits and adapt to a healthy lifestyle for the sake of his wife and his newborn child.
A young man or a woman who had a past unhealthy way of eating, irregular routine start to adapt healthy eating and lifestyle for the sake of his/her career.
A doting grandfather starts taking care of his diet and maintains his routine physical activity so that his diabetes is better controlled and that he can be alive for a long time to spend his days with his growing grandchildren.
Attaching lifestyle goal with a purpose, not only help you in overall health-related aspects but have also other hidden rewards. You are more in charge of your life, you have self-acceptance and self-respect as an individual, believing yourself better, improved relationship with others and overall personal growth.