We spend most of our day at work, sitting at our desks. However, desk jobs don’t do much good to our health. Here are 30 ideas which will help you stay healthy at work.
With so many teachers, followers and propagators around the world, Yoga has carved a niche of its own amongst fitness freaks. On this special day, let’s take a look at some of the pointers that can actually help us connect better with this amazing fitness mantra called ‘Yoga’.
Meaning of Yoga
Yoga means ‘to combine’, ‘to use’, and ‘to harness’, depending upon the context in which it is used. In Panini literature, the conceptual meaning of this word emerges from two principal words which stand for ‘to join’ and ‘to concentrate’.
Perhaps, this is the reason why Yoga comprises of poses that helps us combine and concentrate our energy for the betterment of physical and mental health.
Origin of Yoga
The origin of Yoga can be traced back to around 15000 years ago when the first teacher- Aadi Guru, shared his wisdom with seven of his followers- the Sapta Rishis, while meditating at the foothills of the Himalayas. This is when Yoga was born, and India became recognized as the homeland of this very beautiful exercise and meditation form.
History of Yoga
The first teacher, Aadi Guru had extensive knowledge about the workings of the human body, mind, and behavior patterns. He, however, could not convert all his knowledge into a manuscript. Various disciples of Yoga have, time and again, developed various books and manuals to spread his teachings far and wide. Yoga, as per history, was diversified into various branches of learning such as Hatha yoga, Raja yoga, Laya yoga, and so on.
Diversification of Yoga
The seven followers of Aadi Guru (the first teacher) helped to spread the word about Yoga in seven different parts of the world- South America, Central Asia, Middle East, North Africa, the Himalayas, and the Indian Peninsula. All these centers became distinct schools of learning and have followers till date.
How Yoga contributes to the wellbeing of an individual
Patanjali, the father of Yoga, divided yoga into eight subdivisions- Angas, he called it. They are:
- Yama- Denial
- Niyama- Following or observance of a set routine
- Asana- Postures
- Pranayama- Controlling the breath
- Pratyahar- Withdrawal of senses
- Dharana- Concentration/focus
- Dhyana- Meditation
- Samadhi- Contemplate and absorb.
All of these sub-divisions are known to bring about healthy changes in the life of a yogi. They help to stay motivated, eat healthy and in the right quantity, practice right postures, workout effectively, and repel negative thoughts. Yoga can rightly be called as the perfect recipe for attaining complete wellbeing, if followed correctly as well as religiously.
The greatness of Yoga lies in the fact that it has not lost its relevance even after thousands of years have passed since its discovery. Millions of people are benefitted from this discipline and the followers continue to increase every day. The basic aim of yoga is to attain eternal peace and this is exactly what everybody has been seeking since ages.
The entire ruckus surrounding Maggi containing lead and MSG has opened avenues for serious probe into the kind of food we consume. Brands making tall claims about using ‘healthy’ ingredients have lost their impact on consumers. And nutrition experts are now voicing their concern more clearly. They are sharing their views more openly on the real nutritional value of food items we use on a regular basis.
To start with, here are some very alarming points indicated by health experts recently:
- Brown bread does not mean fibrous always. If the sugar content is higher than other breads, it definitely is a caramel-coated variety of the white bread. So, watch out for the sugar content before buying ‘brown bread’.
- Antioxidant preservatives are found to be rich in butyl hydroxytoluene. While this preservative is used to increase the shelf-life of a product, it is certainly stripping the consumers’ of good health. Potato chips, certain confectionaries, and refined grains are actually subjecting the consumer to more health complications.
- Ice-creams, biscuits, breads, and certain cheeses are rich in emulsifiers that actually hit your intestines hard and cause indigestion problems.
The list is endless. From refined grains to snacks, there is hardly any completely ‘organic’ component on our monthly grocery list.
Certainly, the real culprit is our fast-paced lifestyle because of which instant foods have become more of a necessity now. Everybody is drawn towards foods with higher shelf-life, because who wants to go grocery shopping often?
Also, time constraints and busy work schedules have pushed us to choose convenience over healthy eating. No wonder a majority of our nation struggles with obesity, indigestion, heart issues, and diabetes.
There are however, more serious (than the much dreaded lead and MSG), yet silent trouble makers such as sugar, sodium, and calories. If we plan on staying healthy, we need to kick these food items, too, out of our life, especially processed and canned foods, burgers, and frozen foods. In fact, consumption of any food loaded with calories and fats needs to be reduced.
A lesson to learn
It is high time everybody should rethink about the food choices they make. The Maggi episode is certainly an eye-opener.
We’ve all been in situations where we needed on-the-spot stress relief. Stress is unavoidable in everyday life but you can reduce stress as soon as it strikes. Stress is a significant aspect of corporate wellness. All the workplace wellness programs offer a stress management program; but none of them offer tips to de-stress yourself right away.
We all don’t have time for pedicures, massages, therapy sessions and long soaks in the bath. There are a lot of other things that you can do to calm down.
Here are a few things you can do to de-stress instantly:
- Grin and hold it: Smiling, even when you don’t feel happy, can instantly lift your mood. Instead of frowning or tensing up your forehead in reaction to a stressor, grin and feel it! Try it now!
- Call a friend: Sometimes, you just need to call a friend and vent. Just getting off whatever is troubling you will help you calm down and keep things in perspective.
- Aromatherapy: Certain scents can help you calm down, rejuvenate and revitalise. Keep your favorite scented products around and take a few whiffs when you’re stressed out and notice the instant calm you feel.
- Visualize: Close your eyes and imagine the world’s most perfect, serene place. It can be rolling hills or even a familiar childhood place. You’ll notice how safe and relaxed you feel by picturing this place. Whenever you need a short escape, remember you can always return there in your mind.
- Music: Listen to your favorite music, the one that you find most relaxing. Tune into soothing music and tune out the world around you.
- Close your eyes: The simple act of closing your eyes and breathing deeply can do wonders during a stressful day. You can do this a number of times throughout the day to help your body and mind relax.
- Take a walk: Exercise, even when done leisurely, is a wonderful way to alleviate stress and boost endorphins, the feel good chemical in the brain. Go outside and walk for a few minutes, you’ll be astonished at how much better you’ll feel.
So, the next time you feel like you need an instant stress buster – try the above!
With Truworth Wellness’s Employee Assistance Program, you can reach out to a qualified psychologist through chat or call if you’re feeling overburdened with workplace or personal life stress.
Many of us struggle with energy issues. “Just like houseplants need water, our energy reserves need regular replenishing,” says psychologist Michelle Segar, PhD, associate director of the Sport, Health, and Activity Research and Policy Center for Women and Girls at the University of Michigan.
Here are a few ways to feel more energized:
- Artificial or natural light helps optimize the body’s wake-up processes. Leave the shades open or flip on a light switch in the morning to imitate the effect of sunlight.
- Don’t snooze. Those extra minutes of sleep will just leave you feeling bleary later. You will feel much better getting out of bed when you first wake up.
- Eat a power breakfast, which will fuel your body so you have enough energy to get going.
- Don’t be glued to your chair. Your body requires occasional movement to change channels and get oxygen flowing so you’re alert enough to complete tasks.
- Exercise on most days of the week for an energy boost.
- Get good sleep every night and wake up at the same time every day
These tips are usually helpful but hard to follow when you are at your workplace. Therefore, with a personalized mobile app, Truworth Wellness helps your employees stay active and energized even at work.
Do you ever get this fruitless feeling? It may be a burnout. This is a state of severe exhaustion, which is brought about from prolonged mental, physical and emotional stress. So, how do we eliminate this burnout beat?
Here are a few ways to stay on track and refresh your motivation:
- Learn to say “NO”: You’re not a machine and you can only complete certain tasks within a given time. You are going to have to say “NO” to some people or tasks. Remember that it’s better to do a good job with a few obligations rather than disappoint everyone with many obligations.
- Reach out: Learn to trust people around you and ask for help. Delegate the work accordingly. Eliminate unnecessary tasks, stop multi-tasking and take strategic breaks.
- Disconnect from technology: Try to set sometime aside in which you shut down all your gadgets and breathe!
- Make a schedule: Make a schedule and stick to it. It’s important that you take time out for yourself on weekends and unwind.
- Eat, sleep and exercise: Eat a well balanced diet, get adequate amount of sleep and exercise. Sleep will keep you functional throughout the day, exercise will improve blood flow and keep you attentive and diet will keep your body more effective.
- Be realistic about success: There’s nothing wrong with having big dreams and ambitions but if you’re constantly annoyed by a lack of progress, it might be time for you to step back and scrutinize your goals.
- Take it slow: Everyone around you is telling you to rush things: “Make money quicker, retire sooner”. While these things aren’t necessarily bad, they can take a toll on you. Hence, if you’re feeling burned out, it’s time to slow down.
It’s a matter of putting in a little effort into getting what you want. If your goal is stress reduction, start with these:
- Re-label a negative experience in your head. Say you leave your headphones in the car when you go to the gym. Interpret the return trip to the car not as a nuisance but as a chance to warm up before you even get on the treadmill.
- Give to someone else. Studies show that doing something nice for others can make you calmer and happier.
- List doable goals for the week and aim to achieve one every day This helps you to keep account of achievements. .
- Build up your social support. Research methodology using brain scans indicate that, emotional pain is manifested as physical pain too. Social support helps slow this circuitry down a lot. . This is probably why you instantly feel better after sharing your feelings and thoughts with friends.
- Make note of the good experiences you have each day, no matter how small they may be. Notice at least one good thing you experience each day. Then make it “real” by telling someone about it or writing it down. The event can be as small as getting to work on time.
- Meditate at least for 15 minutes/day. It has been scientifically proved that meditation has the power to alter the brain by increasing the level of gray matter in areas connected with emotion responses. Also, it diminishes activity in the amygdale, the almond-shaped mass of nuclei associated with autonomic fear responses and emotional responses.
- Get enough shut-eye. Poor sleep can cause stress hormones to peak and this can lead to imbalances.
- There is no denying that regular exercise is one the best stress relievers. Exercise releases the feel-good hormone, endorphin and increases the growth of new brain cells. Try to fit in at least a hundred and fifty minutes of mild to moderately-intense exercises for a week. You can make it more fun by mixing different exercise styles or working out with your partner or friends.
Truworth Wellness provides the employees with a dedicated mind-health coach, reachable through phone or chat, who helps them cope with any work-life related stress.
Your exercise regimen might be more than just about staying fit. Many studies in the past have proven that exercise extends beyond improving physical health and stamina. It turns out that exercise may in fact be the single best thing you can do for your brain too. It improved mood, memory, and learning.
Sports psychologist Dr. Charlie Brown, summarized the possible mental health benefits that exercise can have on us. Check them out below:
- Exercise increases the production of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, hormones and neurotransmitters that help control the brain’s pleasure point. The secretion of these may help to put off daily stress.
- You will know this to be true, especially if you exercise at a gym. The whole experience is more or less a social interaction. Exercise gives you the opportunity to meet other peoples and socialize and this is immensely helpful for people coping with depression and anxiety.
- Exercise has been known to remarkably improve self-esteem. Fitness and good health help a person become more confident in their own skin. They also learn to accept and love their body.
- Regular exercise raises the body’s core temperature by increasing blood circulation to the muscles and reducing muscle tension. Additionally, optimum core body temperature improves the efficacy of the brain’s neurotransmitters.
Ever heard athletes or trainers talk about endorphin-rush or runner’s high? Well, they really do exist. Exercise helps to increase endorphins (endogenous opiates), another type of feel-good hormone.
The question to be answered, then, is “How much exercise do I need?”
Ideally we should all exercise five days a week for about 30 minutes. But don’t panic if you are busy and this is impossible.
Start with the time you have available and gradually work up to the time needed. It helps if you “book” your exercise times/gym appointments in your diary. That way, you can see what other commitments you have and can work around them. Don’t always focus on the evenings for exercise; you can exercise in the morning before work or at lunchtime too.
Joining an exercise class is always a good place to start. That way, you have to be available to exercise at least one night a week and it gets you into the good habit.
Start that work out & start feeling good!
Dealing with negativity, both temporary and permanent can prove a real challenge for someone trying to stay positive amidst the chaos. Especially at workplaces, negative people, at any level, can be a severe roadblock to organization’s productivity.
Negativity can be contagious, and negative people usually drag the positive individuals down with them. Recovering from this may prove tough, but while you’re there, you can try these 7 techniques to keep your head above water:
Let it Pass: Never argue with a negative person. Approaching them during a negative thought process or arguing will only intensify their negative beliefs, causing the situation to become worse, pushing you into a negative frame of mind as well. Stay silent and wait for the negativity and anger to pass.
Offer Love: While it may be tough to offer love and attention to a negative person, it is often the best way to get them off the negativity track. No individual is inherently mean, cynical, or critical. Negative people are usually the most injured because he/she is constantly feeling unloved. In such a situation, the best approach would be to try and find out the reason behind their troubled mood and acknowledge it even if you can’t relate to it. Try offering a hug or a comforting pat. Negative people identify this as a sign of you showing interest in their problems. This will help to ease the situation a bit.
Focus on the Positives: The trouble with negative people is that they are constantly drowning in their own misery so much so that their negativity eventually becomes a sort of habit. When you come across a negative friend or family member, steer them to the positives. Talk about their other significant achievements. They may not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel right away, but during some break time, they will ponder over what you have told them.
Convert Generic to Specific: Negative individuals tend to place everything in a bad light. They also tend to generalize their opinion or rather frame their opinions over one specific negative experience they have had in the past. During such times, try and streamline the conversation and make it more specific. For instance if they say- “You can’t trust doctors”, ask them “Which kind of doctors can’t you trust?” This specific question will make them reanalyze and reevaluate their negative statement.
Detach and Avoid Changing Negativity: It is extremely difficult to change a negative person’s point of view. Therefore, the wisest thing you can do is to temporarily detach yourself to prevent the negativity from getting to you.
Stay Away: You don’t need people to constantly pull you down on a day-to-day basis. Some people are so negative that it always proves good to remove them from your life. This is easier said than done. While it can be possible with friends, one cannot necessarily do the same with a family member. This is when professional counseling may help.
Run a Check on Negative Thoughts: Keep a check on the thoughts (positive and negative) coursing through your mind. Negative thoughts can bog you down and influence your behavior as well. Interact with positive people that help bring out the best in you. Reflect on all the positive things in your life at the beginning of each day and before going to bed at night. Express your thankfulness for all the positivity in your life and engage in activities that make you happy.
The world can be good or bad, depending on how you decide to view it. Positivity is as contagious as negativity is. So by being positive and hopeful, you are not only helping yourself, but also the people around you. Read the article here for tips to stay positive.