Self-improvement is just one of those things that doesn’t go out of fashion. In trying to stay young, healthy, and beautiful, the true beauty secret is in constantly improving yourself.
Even if that improvement is in simply letting yourself be: finding peace in taking a break from the constant motion that the world demands.
Sounds like a paradox. How exactly do you do that?
First of all, take everything with a grain of salt and don’t take anyone’s word for it. Life is yours to live — not anyone else’s to define or experience. That being said, keep learning about what the world has to offer. Then try and take what works for you. The limits to a better You are endless, but here are at least 5 ways to stay fit and fab.
1. Rest – are you doing it properly?
Sleep is important. It allows the body to enter a state of recuperation from daily wear and tear, benefiting not just the physical but also sensory and mental aspects of yourself. With the 7 types of rest that every person needs, however, sleep only covers three. The other types of rest are spiritual, social, emotional, and creative. Each of these kinds of relaxation and repose are meant to nourish the different sources of energy and vitality for a full experience of life.
Here’s the thing — one or more will always be in deficit. The equilibrium of rest and recovery is a mindful feat that Buddhists call Enlightenment, but a monk’s life isn’t exactly meant for everyone. Instead, try to keep in mind to aim not for perfection, but a manageable and simple practice in rest that balances out the state of effort and activity you put into the everyday.
2. Listen to your body – learn its language & what it’s trying to say.
The body is a complex system of organs, muscles, tissues, and nerves that have just one job: keep you alive and well enough to experience the joys and pains of this life. Again, its purpose isn’t to bring about perfection or optimal performance during every waking moment — so take your cue from the physical capabilities of your vessel in what to realistically expect to accomplish everyday.
There are, of course, ways around how to boost energy such as a nutritious diet, exercise, and even meditation, but there’s no one-size-fits-all. A body can have an overly active brain and under-active muscle group, or vice-versa, and this affects daily function. Listening to your body can be done by paying attention to the physical sensations — such as an eye twitch that could signal Vitamin B deficiency or a dry throat to signify thirst — and attending to a corresponding need. It can also be in being mindful of your feelings — fear, excitement, defensiveness — and recognizing what is triggering this from your environment in order to make decisions that benefit your overall sense of safety and security.
The result? Less worry and anxiety, and more freedom. Sounds like quality of life.
3. Connect – with yourself, others, and even a higher ideal.
Staying young in a mental and physical state comes from a strong sense of alignment. That is, when the external and internal factors of a situation come into sync and connection with each other — not quite in perfection, but a harmonious pattern or flow.
Allowing this to occur through the connection of your body with your mind can manifest in the radiance of your skin and aura. Allowing this to occur in the connection of your personal values and how you express them, with the values and communication of others, manifests in quality relationships. This enriching loop creates a cycle of nourishment that is essential to sustaining overall health and wellness.
4. Expand and grow – regardless of the direction, allow yourself to move.
Trees can grow by the height of its trunk, in the width of its branches, or the depth of its roots. And so can you.
Rainer Maria Rilke wrote, “Go to the limits of your longing.” This deeply spiritual poem iterates the uncharted path of each individual as embedded in a strange map in the soul. Often it takes one to corners with no other peering eyes to see which, in these modern times, begs the question, “If there are no pictures, did it really happen?”
With the prevalence of social media as a performative measure of success, personal growth and development have suddenly become everybody’s business. This makes it difficult to feel satisfied with one’s own unique and realistic benchmarks for progress, sometimes preventing many to attempt to even make a move.
5. Create your reality – and accept it, too.
In the Law of Attraction, the power of the mind is put in the spotlight for its ability to make the physical world come together with intention. Whether it’s health and youthfulness, well-being and self-esteem, or wealth and success — such things can be planted within the mind for it to grow in reality.
Practices in this exercise can include meditation, journaling, affirmations, and even mantra and prayer. Think of these as tools in putting your mind to work for what your goals are in life — and with the other suggestions in this list, allow things to take their course and unfold in time.
So sit back and have a glass of white wine. That can change just the course of your next hour and not much more. Sometimes, allow yourself to think of your life in durations of the next 15 minutes. See how much you can create and control in that amount of time, and how much simpler it is to accept what can or can’t occur, too.