The Mental Health Foundation has chosen nature as the subject for this year’s Mental Health Awareness week which is running from 10 to 16 May. My health care background comes from Ayurveda, a holistic medical system from India dating back 5000 years where the central focus is on synchronising our life with nature in every possible way to stay physically, mentally and emotionally healthy.
There is huge progression in the field of technology and medicine that help us to diagnose diseases and provides state of the art reports. With all this however there is still a lack of enthusiasm in finding ways to prevent and heal. Sadly the emphasis is on financial profit that steers the focus away from prevention and the immense possibilities of thriving rather than just surviving.
Luckily all this is possible when we learn to live with nature. To flourish we need to take care of our health at its roots by living within the parameters defined by nature. This means we need to align the way we eat, move, think and sleep with nature. In doing so we allow our body to use its natural intelligence called immunity to stay in good health. Nature has all the cures when it comes to healing.
Let’s break this up :-
What we eat:
We should eat foods that nature intended – unprocessed, unrefined and wholesome. Fresh local and seasonal fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, pure oils, whole grains are the best healing choices. Similarly, align our meal times with nature – use the sun as our marker (did you know your digestive system is at optimum levels when the sun is at its highest peak?). Eat when you are hungry and drink when you are thirsty. Force feeding, bingeing, eating with guilt and without hunger goes against nature’s way. After all a healthy gut is a healthy mind!
How we move:
Humans have been designed to move so even ten minutes in nature is a healing process. We should pay attention to what our body is telling us, taking inspiration from animals and children to learn how the body moves when it allows it and rests when it doesn’t. It is best to choose exercises that promote natural movement like walking, jogging, jumping, skipping, climbing, hiking and dancing. It will help you to reduce stress, depression, make your brain function better, increase concentration but above all make you feel positive.
When we sleep:
We are naturally wired to the biological clock and that has a particular circadian rhythm. The body has been designed to wake in the morning and sleep at night naturally, any deviation from this clock leads causes distress.
Tip – Follow the 6 to 10 rule – Awake by 6am and sleep by 10pm
What we think:
With so much going on around us we are prone to get bogged down with so many thoughts. Nature does not know how to hurry yet it fulfils all. We can learn by working with nature through acceptance, letting go and moving on, innocence, patience are some of the powerful things that nature teaches us. There are many ways of healing, provided we are open to the gifts of nature. Trust and believe in its magic and power to heal, prevent and transform.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Nature and us are not apart – we are a part of nature