HEALTH itself is LIFE
A healthy man does not and need not know about life. It is clear from the life process analysis that the whole life is a continuous storm of stimuli. All processes should go on effectively and efficiently to have a better life. Our Health, quality of life and even the very span of life are very much affected by our way of living, mental and emotional state. Nature has a rhythm - the rhythm in the nature, atmosphere and body, when in harmony, is called HEALTH.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. The signs of health and happiness are the feeling of wellness, enthusiasm, high energy and contentment.
PHYSICALLY - This means we need to have a healthy heart, good digestive and spinal health. Healthy heart is achieved through good physical and emotional harmony. Physical and emotional stress affects our heart. Our spine is equally important as it is the backbone and the foundation of our body where all the nerves are straddled. Poor spinal health affects overall health. There is a close connection between our physical and emotional states of mind. Mental stress affects our bodily systems and bodily stress affects our mental and emotional states. For example tensions affect our digestion causing stomach aches, cramps and other disorders. So, good digestive health is important for general health.
MENTALLY - This means, we should feel a sense of balance, belongingness, able to sleep well and have peace of mind.
SOCIALLY - This means a well maintained self esteem and poise, ability to move through the challenges by accepting people and situations as they are with harmony and respect for each other.
What are the factors that deprive us of a healthy life? They are our life style, tensions, stress, environment, and aging affect our body and mind altering the natural balance and throws us out of balance. STRESS and EFFECTS of MIND on the body are more harmful than external pollution. Stress in our lives disconnects us from our precious life and from others.
Stress is the main cause of all sufferings. American Medical Association says “stress” is the number one proxy killer. The physical and psychological effects of stress on the body can make us sick, accelerates aging and is deadly. Unfortunately, many of us do not know how to handle stress effectively? We will now look into the physical and psychological effects of stress.
What is stress? A simple definition is that Stress is a state of mind. Stress occurs when physical and emotional demands exceed our capacity to handle a situation or person. Stress is experienced when you have too many things to do and too little energy. Stress is a mind/body reaction/response to a situation and as such, stress occurs when a situation/condition is not acceptable to us. Stress also occurs when you want to do/get something but is unable to do so, or when the EGO is hurt or when you lose something which is important.
Let us see how stress affects our body. When mind perceives a threat, the initial reaction of our body is to switch from a “rest and relax” state to a “Fight or flight” mode. This triggers an animal instinct (Flight or fight) in the body which leads to …an increased supply of adrenalin to prepare the body, increased heart beat to supply more food and oxygen, increased blood pressure, fast and shallow breathing, increased metabolic rate readies stomach to prepare more food, excretory systems gets overloaded to clear the toxins, imbalance in the endocrine glands, imbalanced emotions- fear anxiety, anger depression and finally falls into a panic condition. As a result of all this, brain continues to operate in higher beta state (15 to 26 cycles of electrical impulses), EEG (Electroencephalogram), Brain damage breakdown of blood vessels in brain which can cause paralysis, heart attack etc.
When our stress goes unchecked, our reproductive system gets affected. In women this leads to irregular monthly cycles and men gets affected with reduced sexual desires and even impotency. Stress also cause sleep disorders, nervousness and irritability which affects our relationship with others. Stress can also cause weight disorders - with unusual weight gains and losses. Stress simply affects us totally, throwing our body and mind out of balance.
Allopathic medicines directly adds chemical in the body and interfere with the internal chemical factories. For e.g. taking antacid for acidity neutralize the acid in the stomach. The body starts thinking that the acid is not sufficient in the stomach and starts producing more. Prolonged use of anti depressants suppresses the ability of brain cells to produce electrical impulses and becomes dull. Ultimately, the effect of all these reduces immunity and makes the body susceptible to diseases all the time.
How does stress separate us from life? Stress causes disease, sin, fear and poverty which is not life - to cling to them also is not life. Stress causes anger, regret, guilt, blame, fear, anxiety and worries which is not life but partial death. What do these emotions do when they come up in us? They drain our energy, our life force. If you observe the emotions of anger, regret, guilt and blame, you realize that they relate to the PAST, something you can never change! Be aware that past is past and you have no control over it. Similarly, notice how much time you spent in fear, anxiety and worries? All these are associated with FUTURE where again you have little control. This constant vacillation of mind causes stress in the nervous system and throws us out of balance. Realize that, we not only drain our energy but other’s energy too. To be healthy and to lead a healthy life, we need to find a way to maintain our physical, mental and social well-being.
Let us see how this is possible! Firstly, don't you feel that we are losing our precious life, by not being in this moment - Realize the power of NOW! What makes the status of being 'in the now' so powerful? When we are ‘in the now’ or exists in the moment, various attributes like joy, love, peace, enthusiasm, calmness, efficiency, effectiveness, alertness, clarity, concentration, productivity are at their maximum. This is what health is, life is, energy is and where happiness is and what it means. If we look at our life we are constantly vacillating, the mind is constantly moving between the past and future and we really spent very little time in the moment. But when we were children we lived fully, pleasant and in the moment, very vibrant, very alive, and spontaneous. Our ability to let go of negative events was very high. Because, then, our life force (prana) was very high.
Life force is the one which carries out the life process and Breath is the main source of this life force (Prana). Prana is attached or associated with breath. Using Breath as the tool or means to Prana, we need to learn how to improve and control our energy (Prana). If you observe carefully, you will notice that our breath moves in a very specific rhythm when you are angry. And there are definite sensations happening in different parts of the body - like some tightness in the forehead. Haven't you experienced this? Similarly, when you are sad, your rhythm of sadness is different from anger. And the definite sensation happens in some other parts of the body like throat, chest and stomach. The same way when you are very relaxed and very peaceful, the breath is in full rhythm and the sensations are pleasant and smooth all over the body. In anger our breath is very rapid and in sadness inhalation gets heavy and exhalation becomes very predominant. In peace, rest and relaxation the breath is very smooth, steady & charming. This is the secret - breath is life and correct breathing alone can relax your body, get rid of unwanted tension stress and worries from your mind.