Thursday, May 21st, 2009 | Author:

If you have never been unwell in the last 15 years this article might not be very useful for you. In case you find a little better state of health can help you live more of your life every day – try one or more of the options below:

Eat Less
We often eat much more than we need to. Someone recently told me that the physical size of our stomach is not much bigger than the space that we can create between our palms (when bloated in a Namaste shape). Eating a bigger volume than that is just overloading the system and giving it more stuff than it needs to live healthy. This brings in the overhead of processing a lot of food that the body does not need – wasted energy which could have been used in playing a game we love or putting in that additional hour into work that was needed to meet  that deadline! I suppose when one starts over eating the body thinks that you are headed into a famine and starts storing food. But when the food is stored for years and no famine happens then it begins to rot like wheat which has lived too long in storage without being used! The stored food starts floating around in the blood looking for a consumer and since there are no takers for it, starts choking from arteries to organs!
Ignore the gore above and take the crux of the message – eat as much as you will burn today!

Sleep Less
Popular myth says sleep eight hours for a healthy life. If you sleep for eight or more hours everyday – try this simple test. Observe how fresh you feel ten minutes after six hours of ‘good’ sleep and compare it to the moment ten minutes after the eight hour sleep. Most people have found that after the eight hour sleep the body actually needs to ‘recuperate’ from the sleeping – some parts of the body like neck and back feel a little stiffer after the marathon and a general feel of fatigue and laziness lingers for a while before you are ready for action again. In comparison the moment ten minutes after the six hour sleep is often ready for action already! The more important thing here is the quality of sleep. When you keep yourself ‘mildly’ under-slept on occasions (maybe once or twice a week) the quality of sleep that you get everyday keeps improving. Most of the very successful people were awake for eighteen to twenty hours a day and doing things that they really wanted to do (instead of sleeping in preparation for doing them the next day!)

Do More
Find all the things that you really want to do and do them a lot. After all good health’s only use is giving you the opportunity to do more of what you really want to do! One of the things that helps one do more is to not play the ‘OR’ game too early in the decision making cycle. Instead of saying that if I do this then I will be able to do lesser of that try to see if you can do lot of this ‘AND’ a lot of that. An example in this could be the Work/Play balance. Don’t get into OR too early there – work hard and party harder!

Smile More
Very essential daily activity that we keep forgetting to perform at the right frequency – Smiling. Look at the days when you really stretched yourself to meet a target and managed to smile through it – days like those were probably a greater joy than the best vacation (especially if you spent the vacation worrying about a problem that you were not even solving at that moment!) Here again one can achieve two levels – level one is where you are able to smile through the ups and downs of life – level two is when you can make the others smile!

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10 Responses

  1. 1

    The sleeping part is a bit tough…. I have never been able to sleep less than 8 hours… could you please suggest some tips to follow that?

  2. Wonderful tips, But I agree with Ankit, its the tough thing,
    however once I used to have an habit of sleeping only 3-4 hours a day for 1-2 years & i got paid with some health problems 😐 I personally feel minmum 6- maximum 7 hours of sleep is what a tired body requires & We should eat less (n healthy), but eat on regular basis (not after a gap of long hours). The last option is a must 🙂 ‘Smile More’ 🙂 to live healthy as well as look healthy (even without being healthy) !

  3. 3

    I thnk ths article is worthy as it paved a way to acheive sound health n body..a minimum of 6 hrs sleep is must..n smile is a cure for all ailments..thts true!

  4. Nice one… Piyush sir.. . I particular like the section about Do More. Lot of time we do get into the OR syndrome.

  5. 5

    This is one of the best piece at VEranDA. Very Informative and useful. A beautiful blend of health, management and life in general. I liked the ‘Eat less’ portion and the example with the unused wheat (energy) rotting in a storage (body).

    We need more from your system (brain)..

  6. 6
    Piyush Nigam 

    Tips on how to sleep less actually merge into how to do more when you are awake. Don’t try to sleep for four hours – find things that you love to do for 20 hours a day. This is where the ‘Or’ versus ‘And’ concept comes in from the ‘Do More’ section. When the fact that you are working 12 hours a day does not limit you from going for a singing lesson, or an early morning photo session, or finetuning the script for the play that will be performed this weekend…then you have got the 20 hour day working for you.

    I am also still dabbling with the concept and fine tuning it. I was an eight hours sleep a day person for a while. Often i would sleep lesser on days but that necessitated a catch up on the weekend. The first time i tried to reduce my sleeping hours it did not last more than a week, because i did not have enough to do for those twenty hours. The first change came when i had to do an ‘Or’ versus ‘And’ for meditation. I realized that i could meditate on each working day if i slept for six hours. The change happened without any resistance. Now the latest one I am working on says that I can play golf every time i sleep for four hours. I am not playing golf everyday….but probably do manage it on two occasions a week when I am not travelling – guess that is a start!

  7. 7
    F Martin 

    Just was wondering what made you post this article. It’s extremely interesting, I have been searching info about this since last Thursday. Thanks!

  8. 8

    @piyush: I love you yaar…seriously

  9. 9
    health fitness 

    I have been searching online to know more about this and your blog provided good information. Thanks.

  10. 10

    Read this on
    so true n relevant to the smile part –

    When’s the last time the guy at the fast food restaurant smiled and thanked you for buying the cheeseburger combo? While it may be too late to reformat a whole generation to making eye contact and thanking someone while you hand them their change, SM presents the opportunity to rebuild how brands service customers. Be polite. Smile when you write.

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