NEWSTART - 8 Laws of Health Part 2
Hope that last month you were inspired to make some positive changes in your life and tried something from the “NEW” part of NEWSTART.
N – Nutrition
E – Exercise
W – Water
If you only make one change per week, in 3 month’s time that means 12 changes and 12 times healthier than you were 3 months ago! So don’t get overwhelmed, start small if you need to, but do START.
S – Sunshine
T – Temperance
A – Air
R – Rest
T – Trust
In continuation from what we started looking at last month here are the next five of the laws of Health:
Sunshine is necessary for more than just Vitamin D3 for healthy bones. In countries where people are subjected to long periods without sunshine (or those who work in offices 9-5 in winter), it is not uncommon for people to suffer from seasonal affective disorder (also known as winter depression, or winter blues). Symptoms may include difficulty concentrating, low energy or fatigue, loss of interest in daily activities, moodiness, and tendency to oversleep. Serotonin and dopamine are hormones that are essential for healthy mood. Vitamin D supports serotonin and dopamine production, and in a clinical study conducted in 2002 they found that serotonin levels were highest when men were exposed to the brightest sunlight.. There are many studies proving that sunlight has numerous health benefits. Sunshine in moderation is good for us, as opposed to being the dangerous skin damaging menace that it may be painted to be. By all means avoid sunburn and prolonged unprotected sun exposure (no sun tanning!) , but do try and make a point of frequently getting out there to get short doses of sunshine (10-20 minutes maximum), preferably outside of 11am-3pm.
Temperance is more than not eating or not doing certain things, it is about balance. The Greek meaning of the word defines it as "moderation in action, thought, or feeling; restraint”. Temperance seems like an antiquated word for not having alcohol or not overindulging in food, but in a modern day application it is more about balance in all things. Moderation allows you to enjoy life, because even good things in excess can be bad for you. Think about the balance in your life, what things control you? What things do you need more or less of? Temperance is really just about you being in control, and not letting external things control you. Take time to plan how you could bring more equilibrium and health into your life through temperance in all things- physical, spiritual, social, emotional and mental.
Air or oxygen is the most essential element to sustain life, without oxygen you will die within a few minutes. Fresh air invigorates the body and is essential for toxin removal, it contains negative ions, which help the immune system fight disease and keep the balance of health in the body. Poor health, low mood and lack of energy can be caused by lack of fresh air, so it is important to good ventilation in your home day and night. Deep breathing is important for getting enough oxygen into the body. Deep full breaths can contribute to wellness, clarity of mind, energy, and relaxation. In the morning, step outside and breathe very deeply, then expel all the air out of your lungs. Repeat this about 3 or 4 times.
Rest is more than just getting eight hours sleep. It is about taking time out of your hectic routines to enjoy regular and consistent time out with family and friends, to get in-touch with your spirituality and enjoying hobbies and nature. For some it may be called Sabbath, but the main reason for a Sabbath orrest day is to get respite from all your weekly work and worries and take time to relax and renew. Find a day in your week that you will dedicate as your day of rest, clear the day for things you enjoy and people you love, and for doing good things for others. It is even worth taking a break from technology on that day. You will be surprised how renewed and energised you will feel!
Trust is pivotal for good relationships and for spirituality. Letting others care for you, guide you and love you, is a risky but rewarding part of life. To love we must risk rejection, hurt and even betrayal, but without love and trust we would be alone and fearful. Humans cannot exist without questioning the meaning of life, the maker of life and if there is an afterlife. Studies suggest that people who have faith live more fulfilled lives as they have purpose, hope and meaning. Listening to your spiritual needs, whatever they may be, is an important aspect of health. Take time this week to search for answers to the questions of life, to meditate or to pray, to examine your faith and trust, and to practise letting go of fears relating to trust and faith.