Happy mind is healthy life

cheerful women smiling while walking after shopping

Your mind is capable of creating miracles. A happy mind is healthy life. Being confined to a physical space and access to electronic gadgets can leave you with a lot of challenges to deal with. Mental health depends on appropriate use of resources. The mind is the plane of awareness where thinking and feeling happens.

What kind of thoughts you want to feed to the mind is your responsibility. Watching disturbing content on television or social media can stress your organs. Your quality of life depletes. Reduce watching content that spreads fear, grief, sorrow and anger. Be creative. Creativity refreshes your brain and new nerve connections are born.

If you are a parent with young children, make them stuff with cardboard cut outs or paper. You can also rekindle your painting skills, dancing, or communicating through self-made e-cards. Find your expression. Live your dream life. A happy mind is healthy life.

Sitting in meditation is my favourite. Wake up early, preferably before sunrise and sit in meditation. You can learn meditations online from live sessions. Meditation is simple and absolutely necessary for all.

Laugh more, be happy, be cheerful and light. That is the lightest way to stay happy and healthy.

Use your body to stay healthy

woman wearing black sports bra and jogger shorts smiling

Physical activity is necessary to optimise the use of Prana. Your body is meant to walk, run, pull, push, sit, stand, bend, twist, stretch and cringe. All this and more is what your body is capable of doing and you must use your body to stay healthy. A well used body is a healthy body. Bodies with less exercise give in to disease and illness pretty soon. When your body is used well and is exposed to various environments, it develops the resilience and resistance to diseases. A healthy body has a healthy flow of oxygen and prana.

Your lungs supply oxygen to your body. Your lungs breathe better when your body demands oxygen. Your muscles become healthier with physical activity, exercise and Yoga. They are the best ways to keep your organs healthy. Walking is a good start to great health. Spending long hours sitting or lying down reduces your body’s demand for oxygen and so, your lungs work less. You put on weight and that causes lethargy in the body. This is the beginning of various diseases.

Start exercising or practicing yoga. Stretching, twists and free hand exercises can be learnt easily and that is a good way to start improving your physical health. A little everyday will amount to a healthy and fit body.

How much water is good for you?

Water is essential for the body. It quenches our thirst. But, how does water help besides the fact that it feels good drinking water!

Did you know that water helps flush toxins out from your blood? Why must we consume water and when and how and how much? This is a science that Ayurveda scientists studied thousands of years ago.

woman in white crew neck t shirt wearing black framed eyeglasses

Our body has a lymphatic system. A lymphatic system is a network of vessels in an arrangement that looks like a fish net. There are lymph nodes which look like tiny nuts. The largest of these nodes are the tonsils in the throat.

The purpose of the lymphatic system is to absorb toxins from the blood typically after digestion. These toxins include improperly digested nutrients, excreted toxins from the cells and viruses that have been attacked and killed by our defence system. They travel through the lymphatic vessels into the spleen, from where, they are excreted out of the system through the kidneys. For all this to happen smoothly, we need to consume water.

Without drinking adequate water, we won’t be able to excrete toxins. We get constipated. Then, these toxins will find their way out of our skin. Our skin may burst out into boils and rashes.

Further, when you consume less water than what your body requires, your muscles tighten, your ligaments go into a spasm and you may also have ligament injuries. Most sports persons who have ligament injuries are dehydrated at the time of their injuries. Other symptoms of a unhealthy lymphatic system include varicose veins and water accumulation in the body.

How much water is good for you?

How much water is good for your body? Different system speak differently. Some say 3 litres, some say 6 litres. There are all kinds of suggestions. Ayurveda has the answer. It’s again so simple that anyone can follow it.

Your water intake must make you urinate 6 times daily. That’s the measure. So, there is no one quantity of water for everyone. Each person has this check within his or her system. Urinate 6 times daily, that’s your measure. If you urinate less, you haven’t flushed toxins out. If you urinate more, then, you are flushing out electrolytes from your system, which can lead your body to develop cramps in your arms and legs.

Some people have urinary incontinence. They urinate very little and very often. Such people must not count the number of times they urinate and come to a conclusion. Also, people who work in air conditioned environments tend to urinate less because, their bodies experience dehydration due to the AC’s. People working in AC environments must consume more water so as to flush out toxins.

I remember this lady who stopped herself from drinking water because she wanted to watch television. Her daughter had called me to address her mother’s swollen feet. The solution was simple; drink adequate water which helped reduce her mother’s swollen feet condition.

Keep your water table healthy.

Eat right and stay healthy

bowl with tasty chips and snacks

Eating right and at the right time is very important. It helps prepare your body maintain it’s immunity. With good immunity your body can withstand any virus or bacteria. Eating right and eating at the right time are two different aspects of your health. You can simply eat right and stay healthy.

Eating right

You must know what you eat. The food you eat must be based on your lifestyle. This means, if you are a farmer or in the police or the army, by all means, eat non-vegetarian food. You will require high levels of protein to sustain the harsh weather and the hard work you put it day in and day out. However, if you are involved in a task such as a IT job, there is no need for such protein intake.

High protein intake without rigorous physical activity can cause protein to covert and accumulate in the body as undigested fats. Hence, eating right is important. Furthermore, it is important to eat the right combination of foods. Certain combinations of foods can cause the body to become sick which some others can heal the body. Knowing which combination works for you is necessary. This is possible with a Nadi Pariksha.

Eating at the right time

Our body awakens with the rising Sun and hybernates a little after sunset. Hunger is an interesting function of the body that helps the body meet its energy demands.

A healthy body feels hungry for breakfast by 8:00am. It is again hungry for lunch by 12:30 – 1:00pm. Your body will feel hungry by 8:00pm latest before it hybernates. If your body does not require energy, it won’t create a demand and you won’t be hungry. You need to exercise enough to be hungry. Several people think, eating three meals is necessary to stay healthy. Most people living in cities can live comfortably on two meals a day.

If you don’t feel hungry by the indicated time, simply drink hot water and let your body digest the nutrients properly.

The principle to eat right and stay healthy

You can follow this simple principle – eat when hungry, drink when thirsty and sleep when sleepy.

What you need to eat is important so as to maintain a healthy lifetime and a healthy life. Food must be lifestyle based. If you are a farmer or in the police or the army, by all means, eat non-vegetarian food. You will require high levels of protein to sustain the harsh weather and work.

On the other side, if you are on a desk job, then, by all means shun all non-veg foods and be vegetarian. You need to digest the foods you eat.

Food must be consumed only when you are hungry. Food consumed when you are not hungry will not convert into nutrition. It will convert in to toxins in the body and weaken your immune system.

A healthy digestion is prime for a healthy immune system to prevail.

Protect your throat from viruses

boy in pink crew neck shirt eating ice cream

Your throat is an important part of your body that need protection. The throat provides actions of swallowing. It also contains the epiglottis which helps us swallow with ease, gulp water as well as breathe. The throat comprises of the tongue, hard palate, soft palate, tonsils, epiglottis, the food pipe and the wind pipe. It is important to protect your throat from viruses.

The first line of defence in the throat is the tongue. It is a lymphatic organ that helps trap viruses from entering the body. This causes tonsils to inflame and your body’s defence system acts on the viruses from processing further in the body.

The easiest way to protect your throat from viruses is by gargling. There are two ways of doing this! Salt water gargle, and iodine solution gargle.

Both salt water and iodine gargle are safe. So, if you must head out to shop or visit your family members, consider gargling before you step out so that you can protect your throat and fight COVID.

To prepare salt water, use 100ml water and add 1/4 teaspoon rock salt or pink salt. Do not use table salt. Adding turmeric and lemon juice helps enhance your gargle solution’s ability to protect your body.

Protect your eyes and nose with Ayurveda

protect your eyes, nose, throat with ayurveda

Your nose is one of the sense organs of your body which directly interacts with the environment. Nostrils are connected with your eyes as well as your throat. As we breathe, we take in millions of bacteria and viruses everyday. Our body’s immune system interacts with these bacteria and viruses and prepares its defence systems to fight and convert them into antibodies. This is how all living organisms exist on this earth. So, here are some tips to protect your eyes, nose and throat with Ayurveda.

Your nose is one of the sense organs of your body which directly interacts with the environment. Nostrils are connected with your eyes as well as your throat. As we breathe, we take in millions of bacteria and viruses everyday. Our body’s immune system interacts with these bacteria and viruses and prepares its defence systems to fight and convert them into antibodies. This is how all living organisms exist on this earth. So, here are some tips to protect your eyes, nose and throat with Ayurveda.

Protecting your nostrils is extremely important. Ayurveda prescribes application of certain medicated oils. These oils can nourish your blood vessels and nerves. Oils such as Ksheerabala 101 Tailam are used in certain physical health conditions such as bells palsy, paralysis, and also in sleep disorders, snoring, insomnia and psychological disorders. These oils are used as nasal drops.

There are other oils such as Anu Tailam which are used on a daily basis to maintain health of nostrils, eyes, ears, mouth and throat.

As a family, we use Anu Tailam every morning. Our nostrils are clear and unclogged. There is hardly any mucous accumulation in the nostrils.

Put 1-2 drops Anu Tailam into your nostrils the moment you wake up. That is all. Getting these drops once a day is enough to protect your eyes, nose and throat with Ayurveda.

Contraindications for using Anu Tailam Ayurvedic Nasal drops

People who have adenoids can contact their doctor before instilling Anu Tailam nasal drops.

COVID-19 Ayurvedic shows the way to Maintain personal hygiene

With the onset of COVID in India, several people shared various kinds of therapies which they claimed, will keep you away from COVID. People followed what they could. Some people claimed that they were protected. Some even claimed that they were cured of COVID without having to take medication. Ayurveda is the most ancient text on preventive health and healing. Let us see what our own traditional science says what we can do to maintain personal hygiene during a pandemic.

Ayurvedic instructions are spread over innumerable texts, all of which date back to few thousands of years. The instructions were written in sanskrit and were codified. So, they required a guru to reveal it to you. By yourself, you couldn’t decipher all of it. Here are a few instructions that have been extracted for your benefit.

The below text is from Manusmruti on maintaining personal hygiene of your sense organs

अनातुरः स्वानि खानि न
स्पृशेदनिमित्ततः ।।
मनुस्मृति ४/१४४

Translation: Without a reason don’t touch your own indriyas (sensory organs your eyes, nose, ears, mouth).

The below text is from Vaghal Smruti on basic and personal hygiene

स्न्नानाचारविहीनस्य सर्वाः
स्युः निष्फलाः क्रियाः ।।
वाघलस्मृति ६९

Without a bath or Snan and Shudhi, all Karmas (duties) done are Nishphal (do not bear a favourable result).

This one is from Markandeya Purana on personal hygiene pertaining to clothes

अपमृज्यान्न च स्न्नातो
गात्राण्यम्बरपाणिभिः ।।
मार्कण्डेय पुराण ३४/५२

Translation: Don’t use clothes already worn by you & dry yourself after a bath.

न धारयेत् परस्यैवं
स्न्नानवस्त्रं कदाचन ।I
पद्म० सृष्टि.५१/८६

Don’t use the cloth (like towel) used by another person for drying yourself after a bath.

तथा न अन्यधृतं (वस्त्रं
धार्यम् ।।
महाभारत अनु १०४/८६

Don’t wear clothes worn by others.

न अप्रक्षालितं पूर्वधृतं
वसनं बिभृयाद् ।।
विष्णुस्मृति ६४

Clothes once worn should not be worn again before washing.

न आद्रं परिदधीत ।।
गोभिसगृह्यसूत्र ३/५/२४

Don’t wear wet clothes.

Here is an instruction how to maintain clothing hygiene at home

अन्यदेव भवद्वासः
शयनीये नरोत्तम ।
अन्यद् रथ्यासु देवानाम
अर्चायाम् अन्यदेव हि ।।
महाभारत अनु १०४/८६

Use different clothes while sleeping, while going out, while doing pooja.

The below text is from Sushruta Samhita Chikitsa Sthana on maintaining personal hygiene before eating

हस्तपादे मुखे चैव पञ्चाद्रे
भोजनं चरेत् ।।
पद्म०सृष्टि.५१/८८
नाप्रक्षालितपाणिपादो
भुञ्जीत ।।
सुश्रुतसंहिता चिकित्सा
२४/९८

Translation: Wash your hands, feet, mouth before you eat.

And the last one written here is from a text called Dharma Sindhu to maintain personal hygiene while serving food.

लवणं व्यञ्जनं चैव घृतं
तैलं तथैव च ।
लेह्यं पेयं च विविधं
हस्तदत्तं न भक्षयेत् ।।
धर्मसिन्धू ३पू. आह्निक

Salt, ghee, oil, rice and other food items should not be served with bare hand.

There are innumerable ayurvedic texts that show us how to maintain personal hygiene. These are only a few.

— Compiled by Dr. Mahesh Krishnamurthy