Anytime I go through difficult times in life they are for the most part coming a long time. It’s rarely a one-off event that causes it. Just like an overuse injury. It wasn’t that one day in the gym but the hours of improper movement beforehand that led to the injury.
So when I read James Altucher’s “Choose Yourself” it all kind of clicked. One of the chapters discusses “the simple daily practice”. He makes the point of taking a balanced approach to your health, encompassing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects each day.
Anytime I have been feeling a bit off, unhealthy or injured it has been a result of neglecting one if not all of these four components of health. Maybe you’ve the exercise and mental side nailed but you’re lacking on the emotional and spiritual side.
Personally, I always had the physical side down but the other three were neglected. Since I’ve given all of them equal time the difference has been transformative.
I’m in Mysore, India this month. From Sunday to Friday I practice Ashtanga Yoga for two hours and pranayama for one hour. After practice and food I read and meet other travellers for lunch and dinner. I’m living a very balanced life right now.
What I’ve noticed about Mysore is people stay here a long time. A month is a short time. Most of the other people I meet are here 3-12 months. I can see why though, it’s because you feel so good here. The lifestyle is near perfect, the teachers are excellent and everyone I’ve met are super friendly. It’s just a lovely place to spend time in. Most of the people I’ve met here are proof of the simple daily practice in action.
Of course this is easier when you don’t have to work 8+ hours a day and when you’re in the right environment.Today’s article is going to give you advice on how to build your own daily practice and how to make it a habit.
So here are some examples of ways to add a small amount of each aspect to your life.
- Add 5 minutes of sun salutations into their morning routine.
- Wake at 5 am
- Sleep 8 hours
- Don’t eat after 6 pm
- Cut out energy vampires. Make a conscious effort to avoid those people who drain your energy and spend more time with those who give you energy.
- Be honest with people and be vulnerable. Vulnerability is something I have been making more of an effort to show to people and I have found it leads to a much deeper connection with people. A lot of the time you may have thoughts about people not clicking with you or being open with them but have you also been closed off to them? Confide in someone you would like to create a closer bond with and see how it transforms your relationship.
- Make an effort to help someone everyday, This can be as simple as opening a door for someone, giving up your seat or giving someone advice about a topic.
- This is anything that stimulates the mind. Read some nonfiction text on any subject. This month I’m focusing more on Yoga so every day I spend 1 hour reading up on Yoga anatomy and the Ashtanga Primary series.
- Learn a new language.
- Do a crossword puzzle.
- Write down 5-10 ideas. Altucher calls this flexing your idea muscle. I have tried this but after a few days my ideas dry up and I move onto something else. It’s something I need to make more of an effort with.
- Meditate – I recommend using Headspace app if you are new to meditation.
- Read a spiritual text like the bible or Bhagavad Gita.
- Focus on your breathing – 8 seconds inhale, 8 seconds exhale.
How to Apply the Simple Daily Practice to your life
I’m a firm believer of always starting small, nailing it and increasing when adding a new habit to your life. So this 20 minute allocation could be a complete game changer to your life. Here’s how it goes.
- 5 minutes – meditation or conscious breathing – Spiritual
- 5 minutes – sun salutations – Physical
- 5 minutes of reading non fiction – mental
- 5 minutes – A quick phone call, a letter, an email or a gratitude journal – emotional
That’s it, 20 minutes to a stronger, healthier happier you.