“To complete your daily mental hygiene, observe any part of you that is upset or anxious, and offer that part of yourself the following simple wishes: ‘May you be well, may you be happy, may you be free from suffering.’ Repeat this until you actually mean it.”
Spring is finally upon us, and with those April showers come the cleaning frenzy known as spring cleaning. While not everyone participates in spring cleaning, we here at iGalen highly support the tidying and sprucing up of not only our environments but also ourselves. Cleanliness is something most people ascribe to the physical—our bodies, our homes, our workspaces, etc., but cleanliness can also be used to describe the intangible aspects of our lives, such as the mind, the spirit, and the emotional health.
Hygiene is another such word associated with the physical. Our personal hygiene is essential to how we feel about ourselves and is directly tied to our moods and outlook on life, but so too is mental hygiene. In this case, we define hygiene as the care and maintenance of the individual and all parts of it, whether that be the physical or the mental.
Our minds need to eat as much as the body does, and, likewise, the mind needs to be maintained to operate at peak performance. Many people in modern society suffer from many ailments and diseases which may benefit from a proper cleansing of the mind. I’m sure our readers can name a few areas of life they’d like to clean up. Today, we are going to discuss how to make the most out of our minds this springtime season. The first and most important step is to want to change.
#1: The Top of the To-Do List
Your name should be right there at the top of that list. Now is the time for reflection and evaluation, to see what parts of our lives need improvement. Ask yourself the important questions:
- Am I happy? If not, what can I do to improve?
- Do I have the desire to change? If not, what can I do to ignite that fire within?
- What areas of my life need improvement?
- Where do I begin?
If the answers to these questions disappoint you, worry not! Even the healthiest of the healthiest people have room for improvement. The sky is the limit, they say, but why not strive to land amongst the stars? Caring for yourself is one of the most empowering things one can do because, without self-care, we cannot adequately care for anyone else.
Even flight attendants stress the importance of putting on your own oxygen mask before helping others. We must translate that idea so that it fits into our lives. Fear not about being selfish; it’s impossible to be selfish when it comes to one’s own health! This is your body, and it’s the only one you’ve got!
#2: Change Your Diet
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” These famous words were spoken by Hippocrates, the “father” of modern medicine. The theories of Hippocrates have always been under scrutiny, even since ancient times, but science and medicine are just now beginning to understand what exactly Hippocrates meant.
Spring is a wonderfully magical time of year. The weather is mild, the flowers are in bloom, and there is new life all around. Take advantage of the lush greenery and change up your diet. Start incorporating local or in-season fruits and vegetables to enjoy their taste and the benefits of consuming produce picked at the peak of perfection.
By supporting local agriculture, you are helping your community as well as yourself. Local produce contains elements found in your local environment which helps boost the immune system by introducing foreign particles that the body learns to adjust to. In fact, eating local produce—especially honey—has been shown to decrease the instance of allergies and respiratory illness.
#3: Check the Physical Body
It’s time to assess the “damage,” so to speak. Schedule appointments with doctors or specialists to address your concerns. While cleansing the body may help alleviate symptoms, it’s certainly no replacement for the professional care and advice of a physician. However, taking care of the self can greatly reduce the severity of symptoms and may sometimes (depending on the illness) even shorten its duration.
It’s important to trust the intuition of one’s own body, but it’s also wise to take full advantage of modern medicine and all that it has to offer. If you’ve been putting off seeing a doctor for a physical or for a chronic illness, now is the time to do so. Ignorance is certainly not bliss. Listen to your body; it’s trying to tell you something.
#4: The Great Outdoors
There’s nothing quite like the smell of a fresh spring day. In fact, there are a number of household cleaning products fragranced with smells like “spring flowers” or “spring rain.” The freshness of spring seems to be a well-known phenomenon in our culture. Perhaps it has something to do with the stark contrast between the bitterness of winter and the tenderness of life beginning once again.
Scientists have conducted research into the benefits of spending time outdoors. Walking, biking, picnicking, or even meditating outdoors offers one the chance to soak up the ever-important vitamin D from the sun. Scientists have also found that walking through a forest or wooded area, known as “forest bathing,” lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and boosts the immune system. There might even be some cancer-fighting properties as well.
Going outdoors frees the mind and offers us space to expand. The ancient art of yoga teaches that the breath is the lifeforce and that we find expansion in the body when we take the time to focus on our breath. We can apply this principle by taking the time to sit outside and simply breathe. A deep breath in brings fresh air and life, while its opposite (the exhale) releases contaminants.
Be sure to read our article titled 5 Ways Meditation Improves Brain Function to learn just how important mindfulness and breathing can be.
#5: Manage Carbohydrate Intake
Carb toxicity is a condition marked by increased blood sugar, excessive weight gain, poor sleep, and sluggishness. Excessive carbohydrate intake can lead to blood sugar spikes, tiredness, and a sense of insatiable hunger as the carbs are being rapidly turned into sugar by the body. Prolonged consumption leads to inflammation which we here at iGalen believe is the root cause of most modern disease.
Thankfully, along with diet and exercise, we can combat the ill effects of carbohydrates in our daily lives. Our newest product, Uncarb®, is the world’s first patented and natural carbohydrate optimizer. It contains a special botanical mix that helps your body manage refined carbohydrates which can wreak havoc on the body.
Be sure to take a look at this groundbreaking product.