What we need to do first before the body can get on with the job of making us healthier and more energized
Have you ever stopped to consider what sort of miracle worker it would take to run 1000’s of things each second? Did I say 1000’s? Bugger. I left a couple of zero’s off. Like about 000,000,000!! Since there are about 50 trillion cells in the body, there are billions of things happening in the body each second (cells can only function for about 3 seconds without a replenishment of nutrients and oxygen). Plus or minus a few billion, that is. My leading point is the human mind, is SO astoundingly clever it defies our comprehension or scientific know-how.
So what is the story?
Given that the mind is so smart; do you think it does not know how to get rid of a cold, or improve the functioning of our organs, or repair damaged or mutated cells, remove chronic muscle aches and pain or even much, much worse? It created the whole body, it regenerates all the cells in the body, creates new cells for our bones, replaces the entire stomach lining in a manner of weeks. In essence it is miraculous and designed to maintain and enhance life.
However…and here is the small print…it cannot do it, while we are running around like crazy monkeys bouncing off walls and trying to pack a lifetime of living into a single month. It’s like trying to do first aid on a 4-years old’s bleeding knee while they are still running around the playground and swinging off the monkey bars. It is only when that little energizing bunny stops for a breath of air, can you do the repair work needed to keep clear away the dirt, apply an antiseptic and dress the wound so it can heal more quickly. In effect you have created the ‘environment’ where the mind and body, and its infinite intelligence, can get on and do what it does best (helping us make it to adulthood in one piece).
What is the ideal environment?
Just to reiterate that last point. It is about creating the ideal environment, for the mind and body to work its magic. I personally believe in theory, because the mind created everything, it can also un-create stuff; if it has the right environment to do so. There are obviously a few different variables to the ‘perfect’ environment, but I want to touch on one of the biggest. The mind cannot initiate the necessary repair work while you are running around like that 4-year old. But unlike the 4-year old, you are probably doing less laughing and a whole lot more stressing out. Plus when you get the signal to rest (instead of the 4-year old who curls up in a ball and slips into blissful slumber), you dig even deeper into your reserves to push through the natural body response.
Introducing the autonomic nervous system
I promise to keep this simple and short. Essentially the autonomic nervous system – which is essentially a subconscious function run by the brain – consists of two main parts. The Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS).
- SNS = fight, freeze or flight
- PNS = rejuvenation and regeneration
The SNS and the PNS exist at entirely opposite ends on a spectrum and the body can only do one or the other effectively because, they initiate opposing physiological responses in the body. Still with me?
The bottom line is that while you are running on empty, in the fight or flight mode of getting shit done and stressing about it along the way, you turn off the rejuvenation and regeneration function of the body. For the body to self-heal, which is does extremely well; you need to spend time resting, sleeping and winding down (your mind and body).
The best thing you can do for your body, so it can get on with its miracle work, is to ensure where possible you:
- Get 7.5hrs – 9hrs sleep a night (this applies to 80% of the population)
- Integrate a daily ritual of meditation or breathing exercise or mindfulness activities each day
- Monitor and manage your stress levels
- Take a mini break every 90mins – 2 hours through the day
- Take at least one day off from stress inducing activates (or work) one day a week
In The Guidebook to Happiness I have a chapter called ‘Rest up or fall down’ which goes into a bit more detail at the micro and macro level, and speaking from personal experience (a dose of pneumonia and pleurisy) it makes a whole lot of sense.
So know at the deepest levels that the mind and body are amazing healers when given the chance to do their work. Your mind coordinates billions of functions each second, so has the innate intelligence to bring you back to optimum health, if you make a conscious effort to create the environment for rejuvenation, regeneration and healing. All you need is within you now.
If you have not got your copy of The Guidebook to Happiness yet, you can order it through Amazon by CLICKING HERE. There will also be an audio version coming out soon, read by Carl Massy in his most understandable Australian accent. I will let you know as soon as that happens.