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You need a reality check

“Time flies never to be recalled,” says the Roman poet Virgil. This statement was made in the Augustan period and is still relevant. Life passes by so quickly. One moment your child is born, the next blink it’s graduation. The speed of life and the everyday stress may allow you to overlook certain aspects of your life. Sometimes you need a reality check.

Maslow's needs
Maslow's needs
Hierarchy of needs

Ask yourself these questions, “Is what I’m doing making me happy?”, “Is what I’m doing going to benefit myself?” and “Am I doing the best I can?” If your answer was no to any of these questions, you need a reality check.

At times, life can be so busy, you forget where this inner turmoil, unhappiness and misguidance started from. Think of your life and self as a house. If the house is unstable and in shambles you must rebuild it or the predicament it’s in will continue. You need to tear the house down and start at the foundation.

This idea of rebuilding from a solid foundation was originally created by the American psychologist, Abraham Maslow. He is most famous for creating Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was proposed in 1943. The paper was titled, "A Theory of Human Motivation" in Psychological Review. Although the paper never included the mention of a pyramid, it is often depicted as such. The reason it is seen as a pyramid is because Maslow believe that in order to successfully move to the next step, the previous step must be fulfilled. If the steps were not completed, your life and self would crumble. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has five levels. These levels are: Physiological, safety, belonging/ love, esteem and self-actualization. Let’s start at the base of the pyramid with the first step physiological.

Physiological needs are the most basic and vital requirements every human needs to survive. These include; air, water, sleep , food and excretion. We live in an abundant age. Most likely if one lives in a first world country one has access and control over all of these physiological needs. However, quantity is not the focus on this first level, its quality.

Unless you are trapped under water or in an air tight vault, you will always have an abundance of air. You can take as many deep breathes as you want and still take more. If you are surrounded in an area that has low quality of air, it’s not healthy to breathe this air. Breathing in toxins is something that is hard to avoid in a time that pollution is killing the Earth. The smog is so thick in Beijing, China that on January 16, 2014 the sunrise was televised on an LED screen because the residents and tourist could not see past the toxins. It’s hard to try to avoid toxins whether they’re second hand smoke or airborne illnesses. The best you can do is to be outside in nature surrounded by flowers and trees. You may also try to avoid areas that people smoke, sneeze, and cough. In your house or apartment use an air purifier and humidifiers.

Water is the most essential element of life. You may go about three weeks without food but within a few days you’d die without water. The human body needs at least six or eight ounces of water daily to survive. If you live in an area where the quality of water is low, you have a few options. Install or buy a water filter. Water filters can be place in water bottles for on the go cleaning or you can buy a liter or gallon of water for personal use at home. An easy, yet dangerous way to test if your water is pure is by microwaving it for about two minutes then dropping a metal spoon in the water. If the water is not yet clean it will explode, and burn you or anything around you due to the heat. If it is clean, little to nothing will happen. Be careful if you are trying this, use caution.

As long as you can remember you were told you need eight hours of sleep. Most people need eight, however the goal is to maintain at least three cycles of REM (rapid eye moments) sleep. This is the deep sleep your body and brain needs rejuvenate. There have been a number of times when people have slept for ten hours and still have not felt well rested. It’s because they have not had REM sleep. Remember quality over quantity. You may improve the quality of your sleep by avoiding caffeine and food three hours before bed, allowing yourself an hour to relax and try to avoid bright lights, loud sounds and any other disturbances.

Although McDonalds may make you full, having a quality meal is much healthier any given day. Try to avoid fast food, junk food and over eating. Eating a balanced diet is helpful to everyone in any walk of life. Try eating organic whenever possible and consume more green plants. Eating well will lead to living well.

With eating and drinking comes excretion. Excretion is a natural function of the human body. It takes about twenty hours for the human body to push out what it has consumed. That being said, you should be making a bowel movement at least once a day. Depending on what you eat will depend on the color and certain foods may not break down. Your bowel movement should be either brown or dark green. You should never have black bowel movements or any blood in your stool. If that happens consult your doctor. Depending on the amount of liquids you consume, and your health status will depend on the average time you urinate. The average person urinates six to eight times a day. If you are below of above this average number, be mindful. That could be a precursor to a number of illnesses. Your urination should be a light yellow. The darker your urine, the more water you need. There should never be any blood in your urine, if so, seek medical attention.

Over all, take care of what comes into your body and monitor what goes out. The base of the pyramid is to prepare your body to successfully move to the next stage.

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