Following on from the recent post “What are the bad things in life that can be avoided?” this post looks more at the positive side of the good things that can be added to our lives. Here is a short list of some of these good things;
- contact with nature
- positive thoughts
- fasting periods
- gentle exercise
We are a part of nature. We may not believe this but we are. We were born into the world by nature, no doctor could have “made” us, and we have to put parts of nature (food) into our bodies in order to survive. We are as natural as a tree, a plant, the air. The whole of nature is just a collection of about 100 molecules organised in different ways. We are made from the same molecules. It seems so clear that we are real parts of nature.
However, from the time we are born we are quickly placed into unnatural environments that we’ve created. Right now, while I’m writing this, I’m sitting on the 20th floor of a hotel, sitting on a chair with synthetic covering, my feet are on synthetic carpet, the air is artificially conditioned (I can’t even open a window) and nearly all the food on the room service menu has been artificially altered with some sort of cooking process and added chemicals. There is no real nature to be seen (apart from other human beings in the hotel).
So what often happens when people get diagnosed with a severe illness? They take time out from their “normal” lives and go to a health farm somewhere in nature! It’s calm, quiet, not rushed and right in the middle of nature. We seem to know instinctively that this is good for us. Why don’t we live like that all the time? There are other people that claim that really touching the ground (bare skin on real grass or dirt) is a very healing process (more on that in later posts). I’ve seen a number of studies that claim that contact with the real earth is very calming. I agree with that because I feel it when I get in contact with nature. Maybe we’re supposed to be in contact with nature – it makes sense seeing we are part of nature. But we live in a strange world where most people are frightened to put their bare feet on grass – they think they need to put on shoes (artificial again) before walking on the grass!
Being more in contact with nature can’t do us any harm and, most likely, it does us a lot of good. It helps me de-stress quickly.
There’s a lot of talk about superfoods as if they are some sort of magic, but all they are are simple natural foods that are very high in nutrition. The object of eating is to get nutrients into our body so it can function as intended. Today, most of us eat for taste sensations and personal satisfaction. We often eat foods that are low in nutrition (and consequently have to eat a lot of it to get the required nutrition). There are plenty of simple superfoods out there that taste great and I find really satisfying. Some of my favorites are blueberries, cranberries, broccoli, chocolate (as close to 100% cacao as you can stand – I enjoy 100%), goji berries, spiralina (in smoothies and drinks, or on a salad), many leafy greens and various raw nuts, but there are many more. Note that these are natural, raw, organic, whole foods as this is the state that has the maximum nutritional content and the least possibility of having toxins. It’s simple – just try and get more of these things into your diet. Don’t count calories. Get more of these things in (along with salads) and push some of the low nutritional foods out. You’ll feel pretty good if you do.
This is a huge topic (and I’m still learning about this) so just a short note on it here. This is not a weird thing that crazy people do. It’s actually very simple. It’s mainly about calming that constant buzz that goes on in your head and getting your conscious mind to concentrate on what’s happening now, in the present. One really easy way to start this is just to calmly start observing your breathing. In and out, in and out… Try and get your mind to think only of this. You’ll find it’s not easy at first, but you can gradually improve. It’s great for getting your subconscious under more control and for controlling what your body actually does. Just a few minutes concentrating on your breathing and you’ll find your blood pressure has dropped somewhat, for example. It’s also great for reducing stress. I’ll be talking much more about this in later posts.
Is it possible to only have positive thoughts in our minds? Yes, but it’s not easy. It’s hard to see how any negative thought can help improve our lives, and it’s easy to see how positive thoughts can lift us up. We were born free of negative thoughts and we only learnt how to form these as we grew up. We can unlearn them. We can convert every negative thought into a positive one. It’s really worth doing. It’s so good for our wellbeing.
I started reading about fasting a couple of years ago and I couldn’t believe it at first. How could anyone miss one of their three meals a day? Then I was reading that people could happily fast for days and even weeks. It couldn’t be true, could it? Well, it is, and it is often used as a way to detoxify – to allow the body a chance to get the buildup of modern toxins out of the body. It works out that the body can happily operate using fat stores in the body for quite a long period of time.
When we go to have a blood test, remember that they ask you not to eat for 12 hours before the test? Why is that? Because the blood is not free of the effects of food until you have fasted. Just think about that. Your blood is not in it’s normal state until you’ve done a 12-hour fast. But in the modern world, we normally eat within every 12-hour period, so our blood is never in it’s normal state. That’s surprising. This means that our body is always dealing with digestive processes. It has never completely dealt with the digestion of the previous meal before another one is coming in. That doesn’t sound right.
So one simple rule is to try and have a 12-hour period without food every day. On average, it takes the body 8-hours to process and finish with the previous meal. So a 12-hour fast actually gives the body a 4-hour period where it doesn’t have to work on digesting. Whew! What a relief for the body. During these 4-hours it can now work on other necessary bodily functions (like detoxifying) that it can’t attend to very well if we eat all the time. A 12-hour fast every day (not to hard if you include sleep time) is a really good help for your body to achieve its natural level of health (which is very healthy indeed).
Exercise is normal and natural. We’re supposed to move around, find food and water, catch food, find shelter, avoid dangers, etc. So we should move around in normal ways as much as possible during the day. I don’t think our bodies were built for running marathons every day, running on a treadmill for an hour a day, or anything like that. I can’t imagine that that is needed for us to be healthy. The modern world is stuck in a trap where the poor foods we eat make us unhealthy and fat and we think it’s our fault (a negative thought) and that we’re not exercising enough and must go to the gym. It’s the poor food that’s the problem. With good food intake we wouldn’t need so much exercise. We need to walk around as much as possible, take the stairs and avoid escalators and elevators, walk instead of driving and then stretch and mindfully exercise our bodies at home. I’m using yoga exercises more and more and finding this very good for a lot of reasons (more on this in later posts).
No doubt about it. Sleep is good. Get as much as you need, or more. It’s great for allowing your body to function as intended. New research from the University of Rochester suggests that sleep is the time when the body can flush out toxins that have build up during the day. If that’s true, then sleep deprivation results in chronic toxicity in the brain and that doesn’t sound good.
I think we’re designed to enjoy ourselves and have fun. It feels so good doesn’t it? How could that not be a natural thing that isn’t meant for us? However, most of us have forgotten what fun is. That’s very sad. It’s great to find something that we find to be fun and then do that as often as we can. It’s very good for our wellbeing.
There must be more good things we can add to our lives, but this is enough for this post.