K Vikram Simha Rao says there is no substitute to having constant vigilance over our health and lifestyle, and as our body and mind are closely linked with each other, ignoring them will surely cost us dear
When I contemplate deeply on myself, what I find is that I am alive and active because of blood and its circulation which is providing nourishment to all the vital organs of the body; and also because of breathing which is providing oxygen to the blood. If one stops, the other will also stop. And for the both to continue to function, certain thinking and our action is necessary for survival, say to fetch water to drink, food to eat and find a place to rest. Health can thus be considered to be in good condition when blood, breathing and thoughts are within reasonable limits in terms of quality and speed.
How to consciously regulate these three factors is an important question. To be frank, in our day-to-day life, we are not at all conscious of them. Either we are ignorant of, or forgetful of or we ignore them as unimportant. Whenever we are carried away by extreme fear, desires or even laziness, our blood, breathing and behaviour are impacted deeply. They are inter-linked. The challenge then remains how to maintain the purity of all these three elements. By purity I mean, their health and intrinsic quality. If any one of them loses balance, bad health is the consequence.
We cannot fully put blame on our parents who gave this body for any of its defects. True, some qualities in terms of health and behavior are inherited but not fully. That is why no two siblings are identical. How each of us use or misuse the given body and the environment around, and the thoughts and desires that we cultivate will indicate our overall physical and mental health.
Whenever we fall sick, invariably the doctor advises us to go for a blood test to check its quality and whether it can be held responsible for our illness. Pulse rate, blood pressure and heartbeat are also checked. The calmness, production and quality of blood are guided by the nature of food intake, exercise, rest and lifestyle. Blockage of blood vessels, thickness of blood are also influenced by our eating, drinking habits and addictions.
Similarly, smooth breathing defines our good health. Irregular breathing can affect the speed of blood circulation and also of our thoughts. When silence is observed, meditation and pranayama are practiced, breathing can be calmed down.
Bad and continuous thoughts have a tremendous impact on our health resulting in psychosomatic diseases. Not just the thoughts which are continuous and restless, even unregulated blood circulation and breathing can affect health seriously. It is interesting to note that all these three factors are continuously happening in our body --- happening in our waking as well as dream state. In a deep sleep state too, except the thoughts, the other two are at work. Hence the extra caution.
A regimen of healthy food, a routine of activity and rest seem to have no better alternative to good health. Even though we cannot prevent wear and tear of the body, our only responsibility lies in not allowing the health to derail due to our recklessness.
Two important conclusions we can draw here: one, there is no substitute to having constant vigilance over our health and lifestyle; and two, our body and mind are closely linked with each other. Ignoring them will surely cost us dear.
(Rao is an author, life-coach and served as civil servant in the Central Government)