Wow! Thanks to all of you, my survey response has reached 200! One could say that spreading the word through social media really works, but I have to chalk it up to having some pretty special people in my life. Pranams and thanks to all of you that shared my research survey. Please keep it up! Even though I have enough data to analyze, the greater the number of respondents the better.
If you’re just now joining in on the action, I’ve created a short survey (averaging three minutes to complete) as a part of my Master’s thesis to collect original data. The topic is the impact of routine on our health. You can take the survey here:
As former president of the Research Journal Club (yes, this is really a thing), I’m giddy about analyzing the results! A full analysis won’t come until I close the survey, but since the anticipation was slowly killing me, I’ve already taken a look and want to share some things with you.
Three things that made my eyes get big:
- 22% of you report that you don’t feel healthy. 15% of you don’t feel happy. I guess this surprises me, partly because I live in a bubble of health. This is such a minute sample of the population, but what if one in every four people you meet is feeling unhealthy? If we don’t feel well, we are less likely to be patient and kind.
- 33% of you answered that you have a health concern that hasn’t been diagnosed by a healthcare professional. I’d consider many of the things listed as concerns as greater than a small imbalance. These answers (anonymous, might I remind you) included things like joint pain, Parkinson’s, depression, thyroid problems, weight gain and low energy. My inquiring mind wonders if this is because of the cost of healthcare, the hope that it will resolve on it’s own, fear of diagnosis or something else. You can feel better! Let’s figure out how to do this together.
- 40% of you do not have consistent eating times. This is varying on more than a weekday vs weekend basis. You are busy folk!
Three things Ayurveda and Western medicine both know and you should, too:
- The times you sleep, not just the hours you sleep, is important. Sure, most of us function best on about eight hours of sleep, but the time that you go to bed and wake is even more important. Different cycles, such as fluctuation of cortisol and what our liver is up to, happen at certain times in the evening. We should be resting when these things take place. If not, it’s the equivalent of multi-tasking. And no matter how good you think you are at eating, typing and talking on the phone at the same time, it simply doesn’t pan out.
- Our digestion needs at least 3-4 hours, but as long as 6 hours, before you add to the pot. I always liken this to laundry cycles. You add all of the laundry and start it up, only to find later one of those lingering socks. If you add the sock now, it won’t get the full cycle. But do you restart the laundry for the one sock? Putting food in before our body has digested and moved the the previous meal far enough down the digestive tract can be a recipe for gas, bloating, hyperacidity and incomplete or undesirable elimination.
- Routine will decrease your stress. Well, maybe this isn’t fundamental in Ayurveda and Western medicine, but I doubt that they would disagree. Many of us skip meals or delay eating because we are too busy. We stay up too late because… we are too busy. If we start to implement routine in the times that we eat, sleep and exercise, we’ll take more time for ourselves, have more time for pause, stop multi-tasking and allow more time for spontaneity.
There’s more to come! And again, many thanks. The few minutes you’ve taken from your day has provided a world of help for me. I’m forever grateful.