Former monk turned author Jay Shetty reveals his secrets.
Former monk turned author Jay Shetty reveals his secrets.

How to live like a monk by making healthy choices

Usually when someone tells you they've been living like a monk, what they really mean is that they've cut down on alcohol, or on eating out, or maybe that they've been exercising a little more than usual.

But when Jay Shetty tells you he's been living like a monk, he means it. For one, he was an actual Vedic monk, spending years living in an ashram in Mumbai, complete with the long meditation sessions, the abandoning of all material items, and the hours upon hours of chanting.

Shetty eventually left the ashram, and began sharing what he'd learned with the world. And in a society that's more fast-paced and frenetic than ever before, people wanted to listen.

The monk-turned-public speaker and author now has more than 7.2m followers on Instagram, and his videos have been viewed hundreds of millions of times.

Former monk turned author Jay Shetty reveals his secrets.
Former monk turned author Jay Shetty reveals his secrets.

"One of the great things about monk training is its emphasis on routine, which helps us to maintain balance regardless of what's going on outside ourselves," he tells Health Hacker.

And that's been especially important during this strange year of rolling lockdowns, with the British-born, USA-based Shetty "leaning in" to his routine of healthy habits, even as the rest of us reach for another bag of chips.

The secret, he says, is finding time. Just not in the way you might think.

"I've been able to lean into healthy habits that are already built into my daily schedule, such as meditation and exercise," he says.

"There's a daily routine I often recommend, the acronym for which is T.I.M.E.

"Every morning, express 'thankfulness' by writing down at least three things you're grateful for, gain 'insight' by reading or listening to something that enriches you, 'meditate' by spending at least 15 minutes alone deep breathing, doing a visualisation, or simply noticing what appears in your mind, and 'exercise'."

So with all that in mind, I thought I'd talk to Shetty this week about how we can all live a little more like monks.

 

MOTIVATION

"The single most important and impactful piece of advice I can give anyone is to serve," Shetty says.

"When we set our intention to serve and we see and feel the good that our service does in the world, our lives become filled with meaning and purpose. We become driven by our deep internal motivations rather than external ones, such as money and status."

 

SUCCESS

"I think one major secret to success is to redefine failure," Shetty says.

"Fear of failure holds us back in so many ways; often it keeps us from even trying. But if we can train ourselves to see failure as learning, then there is no real failure, only another step forward on the road to accomplishing our goal."

 

INTENT

"I like to set an intention at the start of the day, which often centres on how I might serve others. In terms of diet, generally I still adhere to a monk's approach, which is to eat meals that are relatively simple and to be present with gratitude and mindfulness when I eat, rather taking meals at my desk or eating on the go," he says.

"The beauty is that all of these practices are good for both your physical and mental health."

* Think Like A Monk by Jay Shetty is published by HarperCollins and is now available in paperback, e-book and audio.

 

 

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Originally published as How to live like a monk by making healthy choices


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