The balance of nature is a concept that describes the state of equilibrium between living organisms: human beings, plants and animals, and their environment. A harmonious relationship reflects a healthy ecological balance. This balance ensures the existence, stability, and development of both an organism and the environment. If any one element is disturbed, the other elements in the system get interrupted.
Nowhere is balance needed more than internally in our own bodies and minds. Balance occurs internally and automatically via a process termed homeostasis. Homeostasis is controlled by the simultaneous working of the nervous, circulatory, and every other organ within our body. Our nervous system controls breathing, regulating the ions and ph of our blood. Our circulatory system carries and passes metabolic waste products and toxins through our hepatic system (liver), and renal system (kidneys), to break down and eliminate them. While eradicating these wastes, these systems continue to maintain ions, ph, and appropriate levels of fluid both systemically and at a cellular level. Homeostasis maintains our core body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, involuntary functions at so many levels...I could science geek out and go on and on because our human bodies are so fascinatingly complex and brilliantly designed, but I will stop. The take home point is that our mind-body connection constantly seeks and attempts to maintain balance.
A state of disease results when our bodies can no longer maintain equilibrium. Diabetes, and its many horrible complications, results from excess blood glucose (sugar) levels. Cancer occurs when mutations in our cells acquired either genetically or from environmental exposure develop and overtake normal healthy cells. If our body is deficient in vitamins and minerals, for example iron, our red blood cells will not transport adequate amounts of oxygen to our tissues and cells, and anemia, heart disease, or heart failure can occur.
How can we voluntarily help our body and maintain balance? Proper levels of rest and physical activity are essential for appropriate functioning of our cells and bodies. Inadequate sleep is related to numerous health problems: irregular heartbeat, anxiety, fatigue, headaches, depression. Lack of physical activity, especially combined with poor nutrition can lead to being overweight and obese, which increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. I often say to my daughters, "all things in moderation," with a few exceptions; cigarettes, cocaine and heroin are on the absolutely near this will kill you straight up list. Be kind to your body. Here are my recommendations:
- Move daily. Do some sort of physical activity every day. You don't need to run a marathon, just go for a walk.
- Don't neglect rest. Try to get a minimum of 6 hours of sleep a night.
- Listen to your body. If something doesn't feel right, don't ignore it. Back off and stop, and seek appropriate medical attention. You are your own best advocate and you know your body.
- Eat real foods at regular times. I believe in whole, fresh, unprocessed foods. If it came from the ground or had a mother, I qualify it as real food.
- Organic is best, but it's also expensive. It's okay to buy non-organic produce if it is something with a thick outer skin, like avocados, eggplants, pineapples, or is naturally pesticide resistant like onion, sweet potatoes, or cauliflower.
- Don't overindulge in alcohol and caffeine.
Help your body stay in balance--be kind to your body and it will be kind back.