We focus on the things we see, the "not-enoughs" or the "too-much." We force and teach ourselves to follow fad diets, deprive our bodies, and when we fail, we punish ourselves by even more deprivation or by another vigorous exercise regime. We treat hair, nails and skin with expensive products and treatments, but have you ever stepped back, away from the mirror and thought, what can I do to improve my appearance and health from the inside out?
By reminding yourself that our cells, the building blocks of our bodies, are connected to nature and to the universal flow. They know what to do. You're not barking orders to your body how to grow taller, how to heal after an injury, or how to grow a baby—you just trust it knows better than you.
There are however a few things you can do to show your body the love and consideration it requires to help heal and improve its potential.
Protect The Body And Promote Clean Eating
Eat well - Many health issues derive from poor food choices, mostly over decades, but also in the short term. That is why there is never a bad time to establish a healthy eating foundation, focusing on energy and nutrients, not calories.
Simple ways to promote clean eating are by cutting down on bad sugars, avoiding processed foods, eating good fats and whole foods, loading up on fresh produce and drinking plenty of water.
Snacks - Eating on the run often involves poor nutrition, unnecessary packaging, and inadequate digestion time, which can leave you more tired and run-down. Making time for your own needs will lead to having more energy for your busy day, and more importantly, not having to spend your valuable resources and time recovering from the results of unwise food choices, therefore carrying healthy snacks is an incredibly helpful day to day tip.
Be Aware - Become aware of which foods are most likely to be handled in ways that are detrimental to your health (pesticides, chemical additives, irradiation, and genetic engineering) and eliminate them from your diet, or opt for organic produce where possible.
It is not just what physically put into your body, but other ways chemicals enter your life too. Household cleaners, detergents, and even toothpaste can contain additives that are potentially detrimental to your health, and the health of your loved ones, especially children and pets who are more vulnerable, even the familiar products we take for granted. Exposure to chemicals in the workplace or in department stores can be significant. Indoor pollution is often a greater concern than outdoor exposure.
Supplement - Ensuring your bodies cells and tissues are nourished with vital vitamins and minerals supports optimal function, to allow healing to occur biochemically and physiologically. Deficiency symptoms such as fatigue and coldness may require nutrients and hormonal balance, along with a more nourishing diet. While congestion and toxicity problems like headaches, allergies, aches and pains, along with digestive maladies can be helped by detoxification via herbs, nutritional support and a more cleansing diet.
Cut Down On Alcohol, Caffeine And Smoking - We all know the downsides that come with alcohol, caffeine and smoking, however if you’re going to drink, try a glass of red wine which is richer in antioxidants, or vodka with tonic water and fresh lime. Aim to consume no more than 2 cups of organic coffee per day. Herbal teas such as green tea are also great, as they are natural energisers full of antioxidants.
There is not really any preferable alternative to smoking, although vaping is now an option, but there is inconclusive evidence to prove if this is actually any less harmful than cigarette smoke, one thing is for sure though, smoking and drinking can delay recovery, impair wound healing, and suppress your immune system, so either cutting back or illuminating them from your routine are advisable.
A lack of sleep can play a crucial role in your body’s ability to heal itself. The body works endlessly to repair and regenerate, and a lot of this happens when sleeping. When we’re at rest, our body’s energy is being used minimally just to sustain involuntary functions such as heartbeat and breathing, which allows the body to direct more of its energy to restorative and healing processes. It can be difficult with our hectic lifestyles, but adults should aim to get eight hours of sleep per night. Children between 3-12 years should get between 10-12 hours.
Keeping active is not only crucial for our physical appearance, but also for mindset and vital for good circulation and a strong immune system. A balanced daily and long-term program should include activated such as stretching for flexibility, aerobics and cardio for endurance, plus weight work for strength. Yoga and other flexibility-enhancing movements are helpful for the mind and youthfulness, some say "we are only as young as our spine is flexible," and there is a lot to be said about this.
Mindfulness And Self Care
While it’s not always easy to take time for yourself, self-care is the foundation of wellness and good health. Our culture doesn’t encourage putting yourself first, but if you don’t take good care of yourself, who will?
Discovering the many dimensions and mysteries of our humanness can be quite an adventure. Many people have bad habits, self-destructive behaviour because they feel victimised by life and don’t feel deserving of love, health, good food, and other ways of nurturing and pleasuring themselves. Sometimes, the number one thing we can do is to heal our attitude towards self and life, your body will reward you.
You only have one life, one body, it's not a dress rehearsal, so treat it in a loving and respectful way. If you can really feel and believe this, naturally you will begin to eat better, exercise more, learn to handle stressor better, and have a new and different approach to life.
Talk more Or Journal - Being aware of your own cycles is a key knowledge to acquire and use throughout life in regards to personal choices, activities, diets, etc. How did you feel last year at this time, and what were your dreams then and now? If you talk and journal about these things, you’ll have some reference for yourself and this will help you learn and treat your symptoms. For example, if you notice a change in your behaviour due to seasons, you may suffer from S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder,) which is when the Winter weather affects your mood so much that you feel depressed. If you are aware of your feelings and emotions you can at least explore options to help yourself, after all, fear and sadness is the enemy of wellness.
Laughter - It's true, laughing can improve your health dramatically. It relaxes the whole body, boost immune system, realises endorphins, protects the heart, burns calories, lightens mood and helps you live longer.
So to summarise, laugh to reduce the risk of heart disease, build muscle by working out, slow ageing with meditation, boost immunity with optimism, sleep better by journaling, except any problems physically and mentally and work with them, finally, focus on your life purpose to to live longer.
Notes by professional Nutritionalist Neeyaz Zolfaghari from @unspokennutrition
Healing has to happen beyond the surface of our physical body. Beyond what is noticeable and seen by the naked eye. Conventionally when thinking about healing, caring for the symptoms is the first and often only part addressed. However this approach is similar to putting a band-aid on an open wound. Yes it might keep it covered for some time, however if the wound is open, it needs to be addressed and given more comprehensive care.
This is the very concept of holistic medicine and healing. Holistic means to care for the individual as a whole person, including any mental and emotional factors. The band aid on that wound might help, however overtime because the wound was not addressed as a separate entity, it overtime becomes tender, susceptible and vulnerable. Healing means to address each layer of the human body individually and not leave any part of that person unseen or neglected to nurture and care.
So, how does one begin the journey of healing from the inside out? There is usually always a defining reason why someone is experiencing symptoms or roadblocks to their goals. Another phrase for this is the root cause - what is the reason for someone experiencing various health symptoms? What triggers it etc. When you search for and define the root reason, you are then able to treat it, and in treating it, find the solution.
I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease when I was 19 years old and the first thing that I began addressing were my symptoms. I had a consistent heart palpitation, so I was given heart medication. My hair was thinning and falling out, so I started using shampoo for thinning hair. Did these methods take care of my symptoms? Sure they did, but they did not address why I had an autoimmunity in the first place.
As years progressed and my interest in holistic medicine grew, I realised that I had neglected a huge component of my being that likely limited my body's potential to heal - I had neglected my emotions. I began working with a coach to help me identify, understand and nurture where my anxiety, worries, fears and doubts were stemming from. This turned out to be the most challenging part of my journey, because it forced me to unlock areas of uncomfort and come face to face with experiences I had tugged away deeply.
This is where I began to heal from the inside - from the place where my emotions and intellect sat. As I healed this greater root cause, my physical symptoms went away and my body was able to naturally heal on its own.
The human body is so capable and powerful. We as humans tend to neglect its potential because we feel that we need to be in control of it. However when we soften, when we choose to turn inward and tend to those areas that are tugged away and forgotten, we unlock greater potential and greater measure to authentically heal from the inside out.