If you know me, there’s a good chance you’ve heard me say these words at least once. Ok. Maybe a few times.
It sounds simple, but it’s taken me almost 35 years to recognize the importance of this dictum and to practice it consistently.
It takes constant vigilance and an interest in relieving suffering aka making life better.
I have found the results to be profound. And it’s not just my opinion, there are heaps of scientific evidence to support it as well.
Each of these directives is loaded with benefits to the user and these tools are ever at our disposal.
Sit up straight -
Fact: It makes people have more confidence in your decisions and makes you more likely to be hired or elected. It increases your perceived status and whenever we experience boosts in our status, serotonin floods our brain, and we become more confident, relaxed, cooperative, and pro-social. Not to mention just plain more visually appealing. This tedtalk changed my life:
From a biological perspective, there are nerves that extend outward from the spinal cord which pass between the vertebrae. These nerves are responsible for conducting the electrical impulses between our brain, muscles, and organs. When these nerves are impinged by poor posture habits, the message doesn’t reach the intended destination. Our brain could be sending a signal to move a muscle but the muscle fires less than it could. The sufferer of slouching becomes physically weaker.
Stand/sit up straight = get stronger.
Also, now that we evolved into a standing position the curves of the spine act to support the weight of the head. When our head is not aligned with the rest of our spine it becomes much heavier and tension quickly builds further constricting nerve and blood flow. Not good.
Sitting and standing with a long spine also gives one more space to...
Breathe Deep -
In the nose, out the nose. In the nose, fill up the belly, ribs and chest. Out the nose, chest and ribs relax and the belly empties. One more time from the top. And again...
This simple practice will reduce the stress hormone cortisol in your body. It sends a signal to your body to switch from the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) to the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest).
It not only looks good, but if feels good too. And there’s good reason: smiling releases serotonin and dopamine - two neurotransmitters that boost mood.
Smiling is contagious, it lightens the world around the daft practitioner. And don’t even get me started about laughter. Of which the benefits are exponential compared to the humble smile.
Want to know the difference between a good joke and a bad joke timing.
Summer Smoothie Recipe
Keep cool with this 'Cherry Garcia' inspired smoothie
Ingredients per 16 oz serving:
7 oz Coconut Milk
1 Frozen Banana
1 Cup Frozen Cherries
1 Scoop Garden of Life Vanilla Flavored Protein Powder
1 T Almond Butter
1 T Cacao Nibs
1 oz Tart Cherry Juice
1 T Coconut Oil
Blend and Enjoy