Updated: Sep 24, 2021
Latin poet Giovenale said “mens sans in corpore sano," which means that to conduct a good life, your mind and body have to be healthy. Being a poet and a rhetorician, Giovenale knew how important the quality of our thinking is. Similarly, the Greek philosopher Socrates, credited as one of the founders of Western Philosophy, said that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Scientific studies have demonstrated that we strive as individuals when we have a healthy diet, exercise frequently, and dedicate time to a form of introspection.
It's no wonder then that to reduce the limiting beliefs we constantly have in our mind, we must keep examining our thoughts, especially when we face adversities such as a failed test, an argument with our partner, or a setback at work. When we realize that we’re operating under a limiting belief, we need to stop and dispute it by questioning why we have it and what ground it’s based on. This requires energy and concentration, which is why we need to develop habits that facilitate our success. The more energized we feel, the more optimistic we become about the task at hand.
Luckily, we can rely on “five gems” or “Five-JEMS” to help us achieve this:
These activities help us to reach an optimal mental and physical state. They augment our cognitive skills, alertness, and self-esteem.
Food enables our body and brain to extract the nutrients needed to function properly. Our brain requires about 25% of the nutrients that our body consumes. Eating fresh, natural, unprocessed food has a positive impact on our health, mood, mental readiness, and clarity. Foods such as blueberries, avocados, broccoli, coconuts, sardines, salmon, and nuts have a beneficial effect on our brain. Overall, consuming the best quality food possible augments your holistic health.
A journal is a good place to reflect on your day, for example, it helps you detect whether you react to adversity with a negative belief that prevents you from taking action. It also helps you build self-esteem, as any progress you make is a consequence of your desire to improve, regardless of your starting point. Moreover, when you keep track of your daily achievements, you experience a bias shift toward the positive. With a whole set of pages reporting your daily, monthly, and yearly achievements, you have no choice but to congratulate to yourself and stop playing the victim. You also build a habit of setting goals and achieving them, which influences the way you perceive your life. Helplessness melts, and so do limiting beliefs.
Your mind can’t work properly if your body isn’t in good shape, and vice versa. The mind and body are interconnected, so exercising helps your body to keep your mind performing at its best. Jim Kwick said that when “your body moves, your mind grooves.” As humans, we are made for continuous improvement. Working out helps you overcome physical hurdles and teaches your mind to overcome mental ones. For example, thirty minutes of running helps your mind to process the events of the day detached from the emotions you felt at the time. In this way, you’re able to focus on what is important and leave out the clutter that would otherwise slow down your stream of thought.
Meditation is the intermittent fasting of our minds, to quote Naval Ravikant. Meditation helps us become aware of our thoughts, and their positive or negative charge, and helps us let go of the negatives. Meditation helps us concentrate on our inner self, leaving out whatever is happening in our life and focusing on our emotions without being judgmental. While meditating, we become aware of the greatness of ourselves.
Sleep helps our brain to get rid of useless information and prepare us for the next day. While we are sleeping, our brain processes the information received that day, smooths out the emotional extremes, and fixes new beliefs. While we're asleep, our bodies also go through a healing process that is beneficial to our health and our mood. If we wake up fully rested, we're more motivated, energized, and optimistic. Overall, sleeping well helps us to think clearly and elevates our mood.
Why do these five things help us overcome limiting beliefs?
Once you build habits of healthy living that touch your body, mind, and soul, you will find it easier to detect when a negative belief gets in your way and tries to condition your decisions. Embracing good habits builds self-esteem, positivity, and clarity of thought. It enables you to set goals and examine how you’re doing every day to become better over time.
Embrace these Five-JEMS, make them part of your life, and you will experience a consistent improvement on the quality of your life.
This is the fourth and last article of the “From Agony to Bliss” series which shows you how to defeat your limiting beliefs.
You can find all the articles here.