Let’s take inspiration from something that Mahatma Gandhi said: “World peace begins with inner peace.”
Life in the 21st century oftentimes threatens and erodes the peace that naturally resides within us. It is this sense of calm that serves as the foundation of our personal balance. Without it, there is no balance. This serves as our first defense against stress.
Proponents and advocates of natural health speak with a language understood by people who are in touch with their inner selves. These health experts have long held the belief that the root of disease is “dis-ease.” The lack of and the absence of ease disturbs one’s inner balance.
Today, conventional medicine is catching up with natural medicine and has found commonality in their modalities versus disease.
This is the reason why natural medicine was once called “alternative.” Today it is better known as complementary medicine. The idea is that complementary medicine is so designed to actually complement existing conventional ways of treating disease.
Both fields agree that the individual is a holistic being made up of body, mind and spirit. Therefore, if you treat the body, the spirit must be addressed, too. Looking for what ails the body automatically requires an investigation on what ails the spirit.
And this is exactly what true wellness is all about—the harmony of all three aspects of being human.
Doctor Gary Zukav, in his book “The Heart of the Soul,” explains it as well as Doctor Deepak Chopra does in “Ageless Body Timeless Mind”: “What you think and feel will become physical.”
Mind over matter
Here is how it works: It is really all in the mind. Even if modern medicine explains that one’s personality is influenced by brain chemistry (or the combination and levels of hormones), there lies within the brain the hidden power to look at least 15 years younger. This, according to Dr. Eric Braverman in “Younger You.”
He explains that if the brain is in a perfect state of balance, then it is healthy and young. Thus, the saying “Mind over matter” in the full context of that statement is correct. By thinking things through in a calm manner, one can certainly overcome the highest levels of stress. If we consider optimum brain health, our thinking will become more lucid and our mood steady.
What’s eating you
As graphic as the expression “What’s eating you” may be, there are, indeed, many things that are slowly eating us up every single day of our lives. And every little bite taken from our equanimity can reduce us to a state of helplessness and hopelessness.
If you’re asked, “What’s eating you?”—only you can answer the question. It’s about the little things, some say, or even the big things.
A study was made on the effect of stress on people. What would you consider to be the most lethal to our inner peace? The little things or the big things?
In the small stress category: job/office pressures; money problems; emotional issues; marital complications; lingering illnesses; and some say even traffic.
Big stressors: death in the family; moving house or office; changing jobs; and tragic/violent experiences.
The study revealed that it is the little challenges we face each day that threaten our inner balance more. Slowly, surely and unconsciously we are being eaten up by the pressures of modern-day living.
Because of the conveniences of modern technology, mankind is able to do things faster. But is it better for our well-being in the long run? What if we go back to the old ways when life was not so hurried?
Consider this: If we race through our lives, our body is unduly exposed to stress. We could age faster and die sooner. It is now evident in the prevalence of lifestyle diseases like cancer, heart disease, gout and auto-immune disorders.
Our lives are threatened or supported by the same way we live out each day through our habits, cravings, attitudes, pace and rhythm.
To start the new year with an attitude of slowing down by no means asks us to achieve less. It simply means to become more aware of the quality time we gift ourselves with. This includes acts of kindness that we can do for ourselves.
The list should be both personal and valuable to you. Here’s a proposed to-do list:
Take your time. Don’t rush through things. Rushing causes us to make mistakes. Haste is waste.
Ask yourself. It is common to talk to others, but have you talked to yourself? Try it sometime because it is empowering.
Nonviolence. Try just for just 24 hours not to lose your temper and avoid being disagreeable or unkind.
Laugh. It fills the body with endorphins or feel-good hormones. It also stimulates the brain.
Smile. It’s your best defense against the blues.
Express your feelings. For once don’t hold back your feelings of appreciation or affection. If you feel it, say it. The results can be healing for both the giver and the receiver.
Sanctuary. Above all, find your sanctuary, your place of serenity. It could be a small corner of your house or garden, or a cabin in the mountains, or a circle of trees in the forest. Wherever that may be, find it and claim it. It is in this special place that you will connect with yourself. And by connecting with yourself, you improve your connection with God and the rest of the world.