Transform you Kokoro (mind-body-heart) and get re-motivated and re-energised to fulfil your personal and professional goals. Life can be an immensely fulfilling experience if you thrive in all of its dimensions, such as both the physical and the metaphysical realms. To live only in one without the other is to deny yourself higher levels of growth.
To explore higher dimensions of growth we need to have a healthy ❦, a stress-free ♥ and nourished ⼼, Kokoro. By slowly incorporating the practices listed below into your daily routine, you will realise their impact on your overall well-being immediately, which in turn will dramatically impact your performance and productivity.
Here is my top ten to consider incorporating into your healthy routine to help improve your Kokoro at work and kick-start your productivity and performance!
1. Use every part of your body, every day – you can start with 10-minutes of stretching, doing yoga, lifting weights, hiking, dancing while you do your chores or just walking (i.e.: park away from the front door & take the stairs at the mall!), then add a few extra minutes every day. What you do is not important – just MOVE as much as you can & do it EVERY DAY for as long as you can, to boost your bone density, oxytocin levels and mental health benefits.❦ Helps your Kokoro be happy & healthy!
2. Express your gratitude, stay positive & smile – Think about everyone in your life that supports you in some way and everything you have going for you and appreciate them. FOCUS on the POSITIVE to every person or situation you experience, even the most challenging ones – like that 100th speed bump you just drove over and how it actually makes all the speedsters slow down or how that annoying person who keeps frowning and stepping on your toes on the bus is bringing your attention to finding the positive aspects in every situation – smile at them and let them know, that you know, that everyone is struggling with burdens and trying to do the best they can. These are key to a deeper understanding of yourself and your perception of the world around you. Thoughts impact perceptions, that in turn, impact your mental, physical and spiritual energy that manifests everything in your life ⼼ Helps your Kokoro grow & attain more.
3. Get plenty of rest – SLEEP is regenerative ESSENTIAL for your body-mind and spirit. If you are not finding time to sleep then you may be not managing your time or expectations well, which only adds to your stress that prevents you from sleeping more in the first place. If you get to sleep too late and you get up for dawn prayers, then try having a nap after work, or organising everything to get to sleep earlier. The more sleep you get the better your body is able to heal and protect itself, the clearer your mind will function, and even your spiritual intentions will benefit.❦ Helps optimise your Kokoro.
4. Breathe deeply – Whenever you think of it, or are feeling hot emotions start to well up (anger, frustration, disappointment, anxiety, etc) stop and take a deep breath. Wake-up & breathe deeply from your diaphragm. Meditate, reflect or pray while observing your breath. Breathe on your commute to/from work. Breathe-in when you are feeling hurt, disrespected or disappointed. Breathing helps FOCUS the body-mind-spirit and activates intentional, conscious, MINDFUL thinking or processes. This also helps lower your heart rate and destructive hormones like cortisol and adrenaline which are helpful when you need to escape a marauding lion in the wild, but not helpful when you just missed your bus or you are feeling annoyed with your partner ♥ Helps your Kokoro maintain the right attitude towards achieving success.
5. Minimise exposure to toxins & bad bacteria – like the amount of chlorine you inhale or absorb through your skin while showering – Radio Shack has shower-heads with refillable FILTER. Get some kind of filtration system for your drinking water to help minimise the chlorine and the heavy metals (bottled water is more expensive & wasteful). WASH all your green produce in vinegar & serve with squeezed lemon to minimise any chemical residue. Wash your hands after you have been in public places and gale with salt water. USE the lid on the toilet – keep it closed while flushing. CLOSE your windows in your house and when travelling in heavy traffic.❦ Helps keep your Kokoro strong & for working well.
6. Ground yourself & connect with nature – Literally. Get OUTDOORS and bare your feet in a natural element as OFTEN as possible, connect to the earth, stomp around in the grass, in the sand, on a rock or in the sea as often as possible. Stand on a rock overlooking the city in Moqqatam; play in the grass at Al Azhar park, walk in the sand around the Saqqara pyramids in Giza, take a felucca down the Nile river, or walk along the beach in Alexandria, Ain Sokhna, Hurghada, Dahab, etc or visit a friend who has a patch of grass. ♥ Helps your Kokoro stay connected & balanced.
7. Eat well, especially greens & drink clean water – We are so lucky to have an abundance of drinking water and gorgeous fresh foods in Egypt to eat in MODERATION and to stay hydrated. Eat more dark leafy greens like gargir (roquette/arugula) that are rich in vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll that help alkalize the ph BALANCE in your body. Leaving a few slices of cucumber or lemon in a bottle of water overnight in the fridge is also a refreshing beverage to wake up to & helping to MINIMISE our caffeine and sugary drink consumption❦ Helps your Kokoro stay healthy.
8. Express & experience more love & joy – Follow your passions and do more of what you LOVE, with the people you love. Ensure you make time for the people who matter to you & that you tell them they do. This includes yourself! Consider what unconditional loving act you can do for yourself today and what you can do for others. LAUGH at yourself and your mistakes, and help others have a laugh today and boost your serotonin levels! ♥ Helps your Kokoro destress.
9. Meditate, pray, journal &/or reflect – Set some time aside each day to rest your body-mind and enrich your spirit. This is where the deepest transformation really takes place. Coupled with breathing, these techniques can both energises, as well as de-stresses your body-mind and spirit. Whatever your beliefs, whenever you hear church bells or the muezzin call, or in the QUIET spaces of the day at dawn or nightfall, take the time to just be silent with your thoughts. Think about how your day went, and what you did right. Many of our problems are rooted in our minds. Quiet REFLECTION or DISCOURSE can help us achieve clarity on the issues at hand, as well as to discover the deep resources and knowledge we have WITHIN ourselves to address our outer concerns. It also helps to see yourself more objectively, so that you can begin to see everything that you previously only saw in others (i.e.: the annoying person on the bus), within yourself. If we can sincerely see and ACCEPT our true selves, our relationship with ourselves will CHANGE and this naturally changes and improves our relationships with others. ⼼ Helps your Kokoro transform.
10. Experience something new & being creative – write in a journal, practise a different language, LEARN a dance routine, think of NEW WAYS to do the same daily mundane tasks, visualise, paint, travel, have new experiences and use your brain in different ways. My first instructor at design school told us that there was no such thing as authentic originality since we only have the capacity to recreate the colours and shapes and things that we have previously experienced, but the way we put them together or use them can be new. ⼼ Helps your Kokoro become more innovative.