Sleep & eat well, exercise, and meditate.
Habits (or their absence) shape our way of seeing the world and the tone of perceived reality: our optimism and pessimism depend more on psychosomatic balance than popular culture suggests.
To prevent or overcome stress, anxiety and other compulsive disorders, science, philosophy and cognitive science agree on their recipe: listen to body and mind.
Listen to your body
It is not so much about “eliminating” stress, but about understanding what physical, chemical and mental processes make up a whole in our body and what we rest, eat or think about affects well-being and long-term performance.
We can analyze the relationship between lifestyle and well-being with as much pragmatism or abstraction as we wish, without forgetting that regular exercise, a varied and non-compulsive diet, rest and introspective activities feed each other.
Meditating (introspection) helps sleep, as do exercise and good eating habits, while good sleep affects mood, health and mental performance. Something new? Yes and no. The classics intuited it (the concepts of excellence or moderation are associated with a balance of these practices), while now there is a growing scientific consensus on the matter.
Children of cultural dualism: body and mind are a whole
As suggested by classical life philosophies and contemporary philosophy -from Nietzsche to George Lakoff-, mind and body are indissoluble entities that react to illness, atrophy or exhaustion in an integrated manner.
Traditional and specialized media rush to comment on old and new studies that relate psychosomatic health and well-being without compiling or relating complementary information to each other, thus achieving a cacophony that is as incomplete as it is simplistic, diluting the value of information that, well-considered, could have more influence on the quality of life of anyone than the combination of all the policies decided by others to -supposedly- improve our day to day.
It is enough to visit the Well blog of The New York Times and consult related literature in specialized publications to refresh what we are learning in-depth about the state of mind and body and our attitude towards the world.
Sleep and eat well, exercise, practice some introspection techniques (meditate, read in-depth, do some gardening or DIY, engage in some pleasant activity that allows us to wander) and drink coffee – not to be confused with those sugar bombs on the chains of most popular coffee shops, nor to excess – will do more for us than any other thing.
Here is a short list to keep you on track:
- 1. Maintain a healthy diet.
- 2. Exercise regularly.
- 3. Get around 7-8 hours of sleep.
- 4. Try to manage your stress levels.
- 5. Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks.
- 6. Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
- 7. Make time for relaxation and self-care.
- 8. Stay connected with friends and family members.
And since you are in Tulum, be mindful of the sun, however needed a sun bath is.