Five Element Program
Gaining maximum benefit from MindSpa
MindSpa is a tremendous stand-alone tool for self improvement. It is even more effective as an integral part of a simple five-element program that will provide you with a better quality life. This is easy! Just make small, incremental changes in these five areas of your life:
The MindSpa Five Element Program
- Diet and Nutrition
- Exercise & Light
- Proper rest
Diet and Nutrition
Good nutritional habits are one of the five keys to a better quality of life. We have more access than ever to good advice and knowledge in this area. Invest time in becoming more knowledgeable and commit to yourself to make good choices more often. Your body will appreciate it.
For stress, focus, sleep or memory, you can have a positive impact by making a simple choice to choose to eat healthy, high quality foods whenever possible. Get away from junk food and empty calories. Make even the smallest changes when ingesting stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol to reduce intake and maintain moderation. It can be as simple as skipping that coffee refill. Think before eating or drinking!
Exercise & Light
For stress reduction and health, exercise goes hand in hand with good nutrition and can take many forms. Even the simple act of walking just a few minutes more per day is going to pay dividends. We can reap profound benefits from regular physical activity. If you are not exercising now, this is something you can easily work up to and you do not need to join a gym or purchase equipment for success by starting with ten minute walks.
Recently published US federal core guidelines recommend that we should get about 150 minutes of various types of moderately intense activity per week, which can include household chores. However, even a minimum of 75 minutes of higher intensity exercise per week is found to be quite beneficial.
If you are maintaining 150 minutes per week of exercise, which can include activities such as gardening, yoga, walking, running, biking, swimming, doctors are seeing a 25% improvement in health-risk reductions. If you are able to devote between 150 to 300 minutes per week, the improvement in health-risk reduction is an astounding 40%!
All sorts of aerobic, muscle-building and flexibility-enhancing activities offer benefit. If your lifestyle does not allow five days exercise at a minimum of 30 minutes per day, there are many options. Develop a schedule of two weekend days and one weekday of 30 minutes per week.
Outdoor exercise, in particular, offers another very valuable element – natural light. Light has a tremendous positive impact on our overall emotional well-being. Utilize light, especially in the winter months, as a health and well-being supplement. Our physiology is light-based, controlling hormone release and affecting our sleep-wake cycle. If you are conditioned to wearing sunglasses when outdoors, reduce use to allow receiving more doses of beneficial light. (For more information please see our section on Circadian Rhythms).
Part of using MindSpa is to help you to create new opportunities for a better quality of life and to help you see how small changes in lifestyle are going to pay benefits. Every little bit of exercise is much better than none. If you have the opportunity to build up to more strenuous exercise of at least an hour per day, all the better. However, incremental changes like just taking a walk around the block after lunch, or after a long plane flight does make a positive difference. It is all relative and every little bit does help.
Think of every form of exercise as a reinvestment into your long-term health and well-being helping to reduce stress and improve sleep. The American College of Sports Medicine provides excellent guidance including several online exercise videos, and a series of helpful assessment tools here: http://www.myexerciseplan.com/assessment/.
No matter how demanding your life is, create a small block of time every day for a little rest and rejuvenation. Rather than thinking of it as downtime, think of it as a way that will actually makes your day more productive and you will feel better.
You can devote as little as 20 minutes a day. It can mean taking one break you are currently not getting during the day for a power nap. This is where MindSpa plays that integral role in your personal quality of life improvement program.
The changes we are suggesting are not life-altering by any means. We are suggesting small, incremental steps. For example, consider slightly altering your sleep pattern by going to bed just a little earlier, even if it is just 15 or 20 minutes per day. In most cases, it is within your control to improve your quality of life by making slight adjustments.
How often do you completely disconnect from the outside world? To increase focus and attention, and to reduce stress, create just a few minutes every day to unplug yourself. In other words, generate some true personal time for the benefit of your emotional health and well-being. Free yourself of people, children, phones, computers, radios and television.
The fact that many of us are connected all the time by some sort of communication device or to others leaves us constantly in the “idle” position. We never really have the opportunity to turn inward. We each need some basic quality quiet time. It really is essential. MindSpa allows you to disconnect yourself completely from the outside world for these few minutes by entering your own “mind oasis” paying pleasant, long-term dividends.
The final element is the simple act of reflection – paying attention to your deepest internal voice. The exercise of listening to that voice deep inside of you will create tremendous benefit. This is quite different from your thinking, conscious self.
It is that deeper voice that ultimately assists in guiding each of us through life. This occurs often through our dreams and through activities such as meditation or quiet prayer. The way you reach it is through stillness of thought. The doorway is through the alpha state. MindSpa can help you enter that doorway – the place of stillness that resides deep inside yourself.
Finally, it is for you to decide what is best for you and not for us to tell you how to lead your life. Choose your own path. However, for maximum benefit, adjusting your lifestyle by integrating these small, but significant steps, day-by-day, it will add up to a better, more fulfilling quality of life.