Each of us has the power to create a healthier way of life. The choices we make today impact our physical, mental and spiritual health tomorrow, whether months or years from now. Our choices also impact our family. What we choose today regarding the care of our body, mind, and spirit will determine what our future health will be. If we would realise that everything we do is building a foundation for our own life and those of our family and children, we might think and act differently.
Medical research is pointing to two ways we can be proactive for increasing our wellness. Here are simple steps to staying healthy:
Step 1: Meditation
Be still. We know that our parents had the solution for us when we were children. When we were rambunctious and naughty, they had five words for us: “Sit down and be still.” These words are a precursor for a healthy lifestyle. Being still is another word for meditation.
When we meditate, we slow our heart rate and breathing to a point where we are calm. When we are agitated and upset, the body produces fight or flight hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline which may be useful when in danger to help us defend ourselves or run, but not useful when the simple problems of life upset us. We do not need cortisol and adrenaline to kick in when our spouse or children leave the toothpaste cap off or someone cuts us off on the highway. We have been so conditioned to become upset about things that are not life-threatening that we produce stress hormones that react on our body in a way that can break down our organs and bodily systems.
Meditation helps us sit in a calm, relaxed state so that we can ward off the effects of daily life challenges. When we remain calm, our body is not producing hormones that can lead to stress-related ailments such as a heart attack, stroke, hypertension, headaches, digestive and skin problems. When we meditate we also keep our mind calm.
Through meditation we can keep a calm and peaceful mind to help us lead happier lives.
Step 2: A Vegetarian Diet
Another key to a healthy lifestyle is living on a vegetarian diet. Doctors have proven that a plant-based diet reduces the risk of many diseases such as stroke, heart attack, diabetes, digestive disorders, and even some cancers, among other illnesses. By cutting out meat, and even fish, fowl, and eggs we can reduce the risk of many ailments.
Vegetarianism also has benefits for our state of mind and our spiritual well-being.
Think of the state of the animals when slaughtered. Hormones of fear and stress run through them at the time of their captivity and slaughter.
It has been said that we are what we eat. All that was a part of the animal becomes part of us when we eat it.
This means we are ingesting their fear and panic hormones, which can contribute to our own state of fear and anxiety when it becomes a part of our body.
We also are taking into our body anything the animal ate. For example, antibiotics fed to the animal become part of us, and if we have too much it can cause bacteria to become antibiotics-resistant.
If animals are fed hormones to make them grow faster, they too become a part of us which can lead to problems because now those hormones are in our body. We also are taking into our body any diseases that the animal may have contracted.
Today, there are numerous delicious and nutritious vegetarian, plant-based foods that we can eat.
It is now easier than ever to be vegetarian and the benefits are enormous. One can try the experiment of incorporating meditation and a vegetarian diet into one’s life. Then, you can see for yourself the benefits you will experience.
If you can track the changes these two choices make and find that you are healthier, physically, mentally and spiritually, you will have proven for yourself the benefits of meditation and a vegetarian diet.