A complex combination of your mind - body - soul. To maintain a healthy and vital spirit, you need the proper balance of restorative practices (mindful meditation, rest, calm, sleep) and practices that inspire - fulfill - stimulate.
Essentially, doing things every day that bring you joy, keep you grounded, and lift your spirit. AND DON'T FORGET TO MAKE TIME TO REST! Even a day that is filled with meaningful, fun activities can be tiresome. Sharing with others, giving to others, giving your all - these activities, while enriching, take a lot out of a person. You need to make sure you are giving yourself opportunities to find stillness. To sleep. To recover.
Here are three key practices that will help you to create and maintain a vibrant SPIRIT
Rest / Sleep
He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.
Ask any physician and they will tell you rest is essential for physical health. When the body is deprived of sleep, it is unable to rebuild and recharge itself adequately. Your body requires rest.
Ask any athlete and they will tell you rest is essential for physical training. Rest is needed for muscles to repair themselves and prevent injury. This is true whether you run marathons, pitch baseballs, or climb rocks. Your muscles require rest.
Ask many of yesterday’s philosophers and they will tell you rest is essential for the mind. Leonardo da Vinci said, “Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer.” And Ovid, the Roman poet, said, “Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” Your mind requires rest.
Ask most religious leaders and they will tell you the importance of setting aside a period of time for rest. Your soul requires rest.
Ask many corporate leaders and they will tell you that rest is essential for productivity. Forbes magazine recently wrote, “You can only work so hard and do so much in a day. Everybody needs to rest and recharge.” Your productivity requires rest.
Physicians, athletes, philosophers, poets, religious leaders, and corporate leaders all tell us the same thing: take time to rest. It is absolutely essential for a balanced, healthy life. Adequate rest (nighttime sleep and daily moments of calm) can benefit you in myriad ways: healthier body, less stress, deeper relationships, opportunity for reflection, balance, increased production, and system restoration, to name a few.
Devotees of mindfulness meditation—often described as attention to present moment experiences—will be well-versed in the many benefits of their practice. Benefits include the following:
- More focused attention
- Positive shifts in mood
- Enhanced self-awareness
- Improved health and well-being
Scientists are still trying to figure out exactly why exercise promotes cognitive health. Some researchers posit that physical activity helps maintain youthful brain structures, but a new study instead suggests exercise changes the way your brain processes information – making the brain more adaptable.
Although our cognitive ability will inevitably decline with age, we do have control over the rate of our decline. Specifically, through a program of regular physical exercise, adults are able to maintain optimal cognitive health for longer.
Jennifer Heisz of the Physical Activity Centre of Excellence at McMaster University in Canada
As we move from childhood to adulthood, the complexity of our brain activity increases, boosting our capacity to process information. This complexity then starts to reduce in healthy older adults, but it is not a uniform reduction: while long-range brain communication, or “distributed processing,” decreases, local information processing increases.
Studies have found that older adults who were physically active had a more unique pattern of brain signal complexity – showing greater local processing of information – than both younger adults and their less-active peers. And that unique pattern was associated with better performance on the task.
Source: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience