Healthy lifestyles are built on habits, and those are dang hard to make or break— that is unless you know the 3 Rs. The three tricks to creating new habits are this: reminder (i.e., daily visualization), routine, and reward.
Here’s the Science of Breaking Habits
When we repeat a behavior, our brains reward us with dopamine, whether or not it's good for us. So when introducing something new, make it less uncomfortable by following up the new behavior with a reward (e.g., go to your favorite bookstore after the gym). The dopamine rush from doing something pleasurable is why we stay with a bad habit in the first place. Allow beneficial habits to feel just as rewarding as eating sugar and binge-watching your favorite series.
We have one last bit of advice, to successfully break a habit employ a new system that can replace the old one. It’s easier to start doing something rather than to stop. The new behavoirs should be structured and allow you to feel accomplished. In many ways, routines make or break our satisfaction with life.
The system we’re talking about today is several thousand years old, The Chinese Organ Body Clock.
Finding the Routine That Fits Your Lifestyle
I think we’re all aware of the countless ways we can switch things up, but there are myriad ways because it's not as simple as “one size fits all.”
For some, it may be the diet they struggle with, but for others, it’s various aspects of their lifestyle that need attention.
For example, our Start Living Kit includes not only protein and dietary supplements but vitamins, collagen-boosting powder, a water bottle for hydration, and a glow serum for clear skin. It goes beyond protein supplementation because we know without a comprehensive approach we can’t truly feel good.
Case in point, studies do show that living with acne can lead to anxiety and depression. “Some people need to continue treating their skin to prevent breakouts,” says the American Academy of Dermatology Association. “For most people that’s probably a lot easier than dealing with the emotional distress and permanent acne scars.”
All of this to say, to achieve wellness, it cannot be confused with simply dieting, the whole person has to be considered. That's exactly what a Chinese Organ Clock does. It's a routine that's rooted deep in traditional Chinese medicine, it gives you insight into diet, work-life balance, and moods. Yes Moods.
A lifestyle is composed of a hodgepodge of things like:
- Taking Vitamins
- Drinking Frequency
- Smoking Status
- Recreational Drug Use
- Active movement over Sitting
- Sleep Quality
- Emotional Management
- Spiritual Wellness
Each of these life choices impacts how well the body functions and in turn our sense of accomplishment and capability which are integral to our ego. So by taking care of your entire body— mental health, included you find everything else falls in line.
The trick to embracing wellness is finding a balanced lifestyle that fits your physical and spiritual needs. If you like concepts like Ayurveda, then the body clock might be for you.
Traditional Indian (Ayurveda) and Chinese medicine (the organ body clock) focus on correcting the lifestyle, rather than treating the symptoms of illness, which is the focus of western medicine. As such, treating symptoms is certainly an option, but a good life with balanced habits will allow for less time spent experiencing manifestations of a poor lifestyle and more time spent living.
Holistic approaches take a little while to catch fire, after all new habits are certainly challenging, but once it’s done it is done. By the time you’re nice and settled you’re going to prefer it that way.
There was a reel that was popular a little while back and it said, “if you don’t make time for wellness now then you’ll have to make time for your illness later.
Why would anyone try something as old as traditional Chinese medicine in today's society?
We’re all tired…
- To be exact 56% of Americans reported in a 2022 survey, that they’re exhausted from crappy sleep schedules.
- And then there’s the discomfort, 65 million Americans reported experiencing chronic back pain.
- And to top it all off, at the end of 2021, only 7% of Americans reported they were currently working their dream job.
Some of us are at the beginning of our professional lives and starting over for the seventh time, which is okay! Many of our ‘bad habits’ were learned. The issue is that unlearning and reassessing how you go about life is uncomfortable. No one wants to be uncomfortable for long. The idea of making any impactful change of course seems overwhelming, and so people stay with the stress they know.
But what if we didn’t, what if we broke the repeating narrative? What would your life look like reimagined?
What is a Chinese Body Clock?
If you're regularly searching for ways to make your day as productive as possible or how to feel your best, this might be your plan. The Chinese body clock is basically a “lifestyle plan” based on bodily functions and the qi (energy) optimization. If you try using this method then be prepared to alter a lot of your daily routine, but don’t be overwhelmed. Adjustments and modifications can be made as needed.
The Chinese body clock addresses not only what time of day you eat, but also when you wind down for bed, what sorts of activities you do, and how your organ functions impact your mood and productivity throughout the day.
Every two hours of the day certain organs are at peak function and each organ influences your energy levels (qi, which is always in flux), mood, and overall sense of wellness. By harnessing the body's natural energy dips and surges, body clocks indicate which activities are best performed at what time.
The clock determines how you plan your day: based on which organs are at peak function and what activities would be best done at this time.
5 am to 7 am is dominated by the large intestine: wake up, use the bathroom, and drink water.
9 am to 11 am is when the spleen gets to work fermenting your breakfast. This process is said to propel energy upward through your body.
11 am to 1 pm is the heart and according to the body clock, this is the time of day to lower your stress levels and allow yourself to be at peace. Some interpretations of the body clock say 12 noon is an ideal time to eat.
1 pm to 3 pm in the small intestine and apparently, it’s a great time to eat a heavy meal because your energy levels are expanding and then peaking.
3 pm to 5 pm is dedicated to the bladder and kidney. At the beginning of this time, your body is containing its energy and working to remove waste from your body via the kidney and bladder. Around 4 pm energy is believed to be restored.
7 pm to 9 pm focuses on the pericardium, the protective sac surrounding your heart. The qi is said to be focused on protecting from nausea or vomiting at this time. Some interpretations of this say this period is ideal for your wind-down routine and acts of self-care or intimacy.
9 pm to 11 pm is called The San Jiao or the “Tripple Burner” or the period of time when your endocrine and metabolic systems are balancing and you start feeling tired as your body regulates and water is moved about your body by qi.
11 pm to 1 am is dedicated to the Gallbladder. It’s said if the gallbladder can’t properly do its job (storing and excreting bile) then its likely sleep was disturbed. Upon waking there may be some aches and pains. It’s also known to be a transition period from yin to yang.
1 am to 3 am is the liver. This organ plays important part in recovery, cleansing our blood, and storing it. If you put extra strain on your liver (drinking or not dealing with anger) then it will not be able to do its job effectively, and you may notice that your liver health and sleep are affected.
3 am to 5 am is dominated by the lungs, during this time your lungs are strong and according to traditional Chinese medicine, its better to work out during this time not 3 pm to 5 pm.
We know traditional medicine is a very intuitive concept and it’s totally okay if you don’t agree with all of it, feel free to borrow some concepts and at least improve your sleep quality so you’re not a part of those 56 percent of Americans who are tired af.