Keep your body in shape - Healthy Food, Vigorous Workout, Regular Sleep & More
Sure, you have known this and probably done a lot to keep in shape. Now the neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett in her book “How emotions are made” gives us a new scientific justification and additional motivation.
One basic message of her research is that your body and your mind are deeply interconnected. Our internal alarm systems for measuring heart rate, blood pressure, breathing etc, work continuously to maintain a healthy body balance. This process is at the same time the origin of feeling pleasant, unpleasant, aroused or calm.
That means if your body is not in shape – meaning your body balance is out of order - you will feel bad. If you would not be aware of the physical origin of these feelings, you could mistakenly connect them with what happens around you externally. In consequence, you might base your actions on your disturbed body balance and not on what you realize in the external reality.
A night with very little sleep might make you criticize your partner without obvious reason. A more problematic situation was found in a study about judges deciding over prisoners’ parole cases. Verdicts of judges before lunch, when they were hungry, were stricter than in the afternoon. They perceived their body feelings when they listen to the prisoner not as hunger but as their personal evidence for their parole decision.
However neuroscience has some good messages for us. By taking care of our body we influence our wellbeing:
Advice no 1: Healthy food – eat your greens, forget sugar and bad fats (see your diet specialist); work out vigorously and regularly; get plenty of sleep.
Your body sensations will be aligned to your body’s actual needs. And surprise, surprise you have done a great step towards a healthy and balanced emotional life.
Advice no 2: Yoga and Meditation
The physical activity of Yoga will strongly increase the flexibility of your whole body structure and contribute to your well-being. Meditation with deep breathing and being in the moment will quickly and effectively calm you down in moments of irritation.
Both together have also been proven to reduce your chances of developing depression, heart disease or other illnesses.
Advice no 3: Human Relationships
We are “social animals” and need fulfilling relationships, which support us in many life situations. Building and maintaining healthy and trustful connections with people is therefore a necessity in your personal and professional life.
Advice no 4: Sensual and Intellectual Stimulation
Treat yourself with a massage; human touch will be good for your health. Spend time in the nature; walk in the woods in calmness; let sun and wind embrace your body. Read nourishing books and escape (occasionally) the temptations of social media.
Happy days with a balanced body-budget and a healthy emotional life
Dr. Ernst Bechinie, Master Certified Coach – www.solutioncoaching.ch
Integrative Coaching - Connecting Work and Soul