Imagine if you had, within your body, every prescription you needed to feel healthy, vibrant, and energized. Great news: Just like Glinda the Good Witch said in The Wizard of Oz, “You're capable of more than you know.”
The first step in harnessing your body’s natural pharmacy is to look for obstacles to good health in your lifestyle or environment; recognize the symptoms like inability to sleep, overeating, digestion issues, mood fluctuations, and skin irritations. These are just a few ways that your physical body uses to indicate a state of disease.
After you have identified how you want to feel differently, your body has some simple remedies that help with almost any symptom.
Just like a good conversation requires both speaking and listening, good health means listening to what your body is telling you. When you feel fatigue, your body needs sleep. When you feel hungry, your body needs food. When you feel tight, you need to stretch. Practice really listening to your body and acting on its cues. The more you hear your body’s signals, the less loudly your body will need to signal you.
Sleep affects metabolism, immunity, stress responses, and inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked to many diseases. During deep sleep, your body helps to regulate and repair the cells that have been harmed by accumulated stress and toxins. Simply put, if you're not getting enough sleep, you're doing your body a big disservice. An average adult needs 7 to 9 hours nightly. If you aren’t able to wake up without an alarm, it could be you are not getting enough sleep. Another indicator that you could need more rest is if you are already tired when you wake up.
Almost every mother knows the power of breath. During childbirth, it has been used to help focus and relieve pain. When a child has a temper tantrum, you can tell them to take deep breaths.
Breathing is a wonderful regulator. It can reverse the physical stress responses and it can calm emotional turbulence and diffuse reactive emotions. Deep breathing slows your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure. Energizing yourself when you feel tired or sluggish is also possible through breathing. Learning a few simple techniques can help you feel energized, grounded, and calm.
Exercise affects every aspect of your physiology. According to David C. Nieman, PhD and author of The Exercise-Health Connection: How to Reduce Your Risk of Disease and Other Illnesses by Making Exercise Your Medicine, “There is no medication or nutritional supplement that even comes close to having all of the effects exercise does.” Movement allows the opportunity to get out of your head and into your body. Exercise builds muscle and bone, and according to a recent study, physical inactivity increases risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression, and osteoporosis.
Every single time you smile you, begin a little chain reaction that increases your potential for future well- being. Have you ever noticed that when you walk down the street or through the office with a smile on your face people seem friendlier? Thich Nhat Hanh said “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
Fuel with Good Things
Powering your body with proper nutrition, thoughts, and environments is also extremely important. Choosing foods that support your health rather than challenge it will mean a healthier body and mind.
Another type of fuel you may forget is the fuel for your mind. What type of thoughts are you allowing into your consciousness? Do you start and end every day watching the news? The powerful negative images often used in the news, television, and film do affect your physiology. Be conscious when choosing what to watch and to read.
Also consider who you spend the most time with. Do these friends, family, or colleagues lift you higher and challenge you to be the best version of yourself or do they drag you down?
Spend a little time each day looking inward and reflecting. Everything seems to work better after it has been unplugged, including you!
Have any great stories about how you healed your heart, your body, or your spirit naturally? Please share in the comments. Who knows who you might inspire?