Our body has been wonderfully conceived and has all things required to live on this planet! Multiple systems of the body, optimize function to the time of day. It seems we are each born with a certain amount of flexibility but, over time, our systems will respond less effectively if force out of this 24 hour schedule.
Athletes and their coaches have long known this as they encourage a strict adherence to an optimized schedule before a big game or meet. Additionally, athletes have to be very aware of optimizing their daily training. They must each day take their bodies to limits of their endurance if they expect to be at the top of their game.
In a way, we are all like these athletes. We need a comparable structure for our peak performance. Mentally we optimize by integrating or assymilating new information. We then use this information to make critical decisions and differentiate this new knowledge to grow our lives and the lives of those around us.
In our brain we have what neuro-scientists call our ‘default mode network’. Basically, this is the part of the brain that remains ‘on’ while conscious mind focuses it's efforts on something other than this moment. We communicate and make decisions more by automated responses, rather than carefully assessing all that is going on.
With practice, we can learn keep our conscious focus on the here and now. As we do even this 'default mode network' can develop further integration with the other parts of our brain, building deeper levels on conscious knowing.
Meditation has been shown to encourage this higher level of brain integration in both short term and long term analysis. Also, critical to the process of staying on top of our game attending to our daily flow. Being aware of, whether we are "in the flow" or not, takes a bit of practice in self monitoring. This is what is expected of athletes, and available to us all!
Our body’s hormones and neuro-hormones not only follow daily rhythms during the day, but during the night as well. You may have heard of the different stages of sleep and how we go through phases 1, 2, 3, 4 and REM, four to five times a night. Electrical currents in the brain change during each phase. What may be less known is that during REM sleep there are significant neuro-hormonal changes. Our Serotonin, Norepinephrine and Dopamine levels drop to their lowest levels during this phase of sleep.
Decisions made during our waking hours effect the dance of our bodily systems during the day and the night. We require a total amount of total sleep and cycling through these phases sleep four to five times a night to be at our best. When we don't have adequate rest we practice suboptimal living and our communication and decision-making skills drop.
Let’s review some of the factors that can assist us on our journey to be increasingly all that we can be! We need to remember to feel into our own individual flow for a healthy optimized life style:
1) Wake up every morning at the same time. Allow your thoughts to drift fro a minute or two. If sad thoughts appear smile at this part of you knowing you are perfectly made and welcome these thoughts home. Also, recall one thing you learned/accomplished from the day before.
2) Drink a full glass of water.
3) Develop a morning routine that includes sun exposure, body alignment, attention to flexibility and aerobic exercise.
4) Consider opportunities to make each relationship type 1% better that day. (Relationship to your spiritual source and then how you will take this relationship to the Oneness of your intimate partner, family, friends, colleagues, life interest partners and meters.
5) Organize the timing and size of your meals and hydration attending to how you feel 30-60 minutes after each meal.
6) Optimize the timing of social contacts and include time in meditation.
7) Create a well integrated bedtime routine. A sleeping space providing optimal rest is usually dark, cool, and well ventilated. This is a time when we are preparing our brain to solidify memories of the day. Before falling asleep bring to mind or, even, write down, the day’s successes, leaving planning for the next morning! Also, limit heavy exercise, caffeine, alcohol and large meals before sleep.
Give yourself these gifts. By caring for the Oneness that exists in you, you will be serving the Oneness of each person you meet!