The physical and emotional benefits of syncing your life with your biological cycles
The rhythmic biological cycle influences our mental, physical and emotional activities
You may have experienced days when literally everything feels so right, you get every green signal, the best parking spot, your meeting is fruitful and the boss even praises you. And there are days when absolutely nothing is ordinary — you spill coffee on your favorite shirt, you just can’t complete that cryptic crossword, you deliver a painfully flat joke in front of your associates and you think maybe your stars aren’t aligned. These are your biorhythms at play. The pseudoscience of biorhythms is often considered close to astrology — except the fault, dear reader, lies within you — not the stars.
We all are affected by biological cycles as we follow the flow of the universe. A Circadian Rhythm is a 24-hour body cycle, which explains why we prefer to sleep when it’s dark, wake up at daylight and need a mid-day break. So if you feel like napping after your lunch meeting, blame it on your circadian rhythm!
Health and wellness gurus can’t stress enough on the importance of aligning our lives with these natural rhythms, to experience a shift in our overall wellbeing.
Research about biological rhythms affecting emotions, mental alertness and physical stamina, first appeared in the late 19th century by a physician named Wilhelm Fliess. Biorhythms are based on the belief that the human body operates on three longer cycles (as compared to circadian, which is a 24 hour cycle).
1). A 23-day physical cycle
2). A 28-day emotional cycle, and
3). A 33-day intellectual cycle implying that we start at neutral, peaking our abilities mid-cycle and then gradually slowing down in the second half of the cycle.
Studies show why it is empowering to understand your individual biorhythm, expect and embrace the natural highs or lows and possibly plan your month accordingly.
You can calculate your biorhythm with the help of various websites like Web-O-Rhythm (www.qns.com/html/weborhythm) and Life Sines (www.lifesines.com).
As the pace of our lives has got quicker and busier, many of us have lost that divine connection with the cycles of mother nature. We have grown to accept life as linear — we graduate from school, college, university, get a job, get married, have children… and we expect that sequence of events in order to be happy. Life is, however, anything but linear. It is full of curves, peaks and troughs. Only when we slow down do we see that and get past it.
America’s first female pilot and author Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote, “We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible in life is in growth, in fluidity, in freedom.”
Becoming aware of these waves or biorhythm cycles helps us feel more grounded, more accepting and better prepared.
So how do you know if your
biorhythm is out of balance?
When our biorhythms are not functioning well, we face:
1. Sleep disruption
2. Difculty falling asleep
3. Increased appetite
4. Difculty losing weight
5. Reduced mental concentration
6. Not healing quickly from an injury, illness or an intense exercise
How can you restore your
German scientist Jurgen Aschoff coined the term ‘zeitgeber’, which means ‘time-keeper’ or ‘synchronizer’. As per Aschoff, the best way to strengthen our biorhythm is to strengthen our ‘zeitgebers’, which are certain exogenous (external or environmental) cues that influence our internal clocks. Though we resist routine in order to allow flexibility in our schedules, what our body truly needs is a set routine. This helps establish a predictable pattern of hormone release and set our body clocks.
Basic mantras to enhance zeitgebers:
1. Sleep and wake up, and get natural sunlight at the same time each day.
2. Eat your meals at the same time each day, and avoid snacking at unusual hours. Avoid fads, think long term and sustainability.
3. Stretch your body, add regular movement and mobility exercises
But most importantly, understand that life is a series of peaks and troughs. One minute you’ll be touching the skies and the next minute you’re flat on the ground. That’s just how life is; it doesn’t function standing in one spot. Just recognise this great cycle of life, it’s impermanence and what each phase brings to you.