Today I am writing about a concept that I think you will find applies directly to you. Abraham Maslow, a great philosopher and thinker, believed that in order for human beings to feel good about themselves they needed to keep on growing. Personal growth means to keep the mind active with new thoughts and ideas; keep the body growing in health, fitness, strength and flexibility; keep the emotions expanding through awareness and healthy expression; and keep the spirit nurtured through meditation, play, prayer, nature and other fun and contemplative practices.
Kaizen is a Japanese concept that means constantly seeking improvement. I often write about ideas you can use to make improvements in your life. These next several months I am going to put a little more emphasis on ideas to keep you in Kaizen, constantly growing and improving. Tony Robbins has said, “That if we make one simple improvement a day then in 100 days we will be 100% improved.” Not that you aren’t already a wonderful human being, but if you are like me you realize there is still room for improvement.
Today I want to talk to you about taking care of your body. Your body is the vehicle you use to get through your day and your lifetime. How well do you take care of it? Cars need good fuel to run properly. Eating, drinking and breathing are your fuels. Your food intake serves you best if it is tasty, healthy, and nutritious. Your body knows what is right for you to eat if you listen to it. I find that my body will guide me to what I need but sometimes my eyes and sweet cravings will lead me astray. Anybody out there have cravings that take you off track? Food often for me is comforting. When I am stressed or tired I seek comfort and my choices can lead my body to feel stuffed.
Drinking water is a very essential fuel. We are made up of 80–90% water so we constantly need to drink and replace our fluids. Water is the best; teas and sports drinks can work well. Pop and alcohol have their limits. If you find yourself low on energy, drink a large glass of water and feel how happy and energized the body becomes.
Breathing is obviously essential. Let’s talk about what works best. In these stressful times, we too often breath very shallow because we are uptight. This shallow breathing is enough to get by on but not what your really need. Next time you are around an infant take a minute to notice their breathing. They breathe with their whole body. Their little bodies expand with the breath in and relax with the breath out. They are excellent teachers of breathing. You and I as adults would benefit greatly from breathing more fully. Doesn’t it make sense to you that having more oxygen in your system would make you function better? Yawning is the body wanting more oxygen.
Let’s talk about how a healthy full breath works and would feel. Have your breathing follow along as you read this.
Sit or lie comfortably so that your can breath in fully. In a relaxed and easy way let all the oxygen in your body flow out, so there is none left. Then feel the body naturally want to breathe in more. When the body wants to inhale, imagine this: your body is like a large flexible container, the bottom of the container is your belly and it extends all the way up to your nose. With your inhale, breath down into the belly and fill the container to the top. Remember to keep relaxed both in the inhale and the exhale. Breathe in slowly until full and then exhale slowly until empty.
This container breath will take some practice. You can do it when you wake up and throughout your day to re-energize, be more alert and to relax. Breathing deeply will make you feel better and healthier.
I will write more soon on other healthy practices for the body. A well-fueled body will take you where you need to go each day.
This is all part of Kaizen. Always seeking improvement begins with good care for the body.
Have a breathful day!