Depression, heart disease, obesity, cancers and other physical and mental health issues are increasingly viewed as by-products of lives that have become unbalanced. This lack of balance has also led to planetary distress in the form of global climate change, the extinction of species, and an increasingly toxic environment. In response to the negative consequences of consumer culture, there is now a growing movement aimed at restoring balance in our lives and the planet, through a shift toward more holistic and sustainable patterns of living.
Though it is widely established that healthy eating and regular exercise have a significant impact on physical health, within the past 30 years, research has also identified that exposure to nature is equally as effective for regulating our diurnal body rhythms to ensure physical vitality.
Throughout millions of years of evolution, we humans have emerged from our natural environment. Therefore, wouldn’t it make sense that our physical existence would in some form represent the nature around us?
We must think of humankind as the self-aware and reflective part of the universe. In a way, humankind is the last species on the earth evolving according to its own inner dynamic. We have touched every other creature’s evolution, at least in some way. Some we have obliterated and many we are discovering. Notice that human understanding and desire give shape to the fate of the earth.
An ecosystem is like a vast organism with species behaving similarly to cells in the human body; groups form permanent entities, although the entities that compose it are continually being substituted.
When the normal flora is disrupted, there is a shift in the mix of microbiota which can lead to disease. This is true for the planet and humans alike.
Your body is your piece of planet Earth. It’s an ecological microcosm of the planet that you live on and care for.
How we treat our bodies is not different from how we treat the planet. Are we cooperating with the natural environment, supporting its health and wellbeing, or are we creating imbalance, stress and disease? Are we building a toxic waste dump or a vibrant, healthy ecosystem?
Societies are also multifaceted superorganisms, which means that significant changes can only occur from within smaller components. In other words, us!
Caring about ourselves means caring about the planet and its other inhabitants. That is what it truly means to be whole. We can no longer separate ourselves from the flow of nature by getting our rhythm back.
Efficiency and productivity no longer serve our basic human needs because our global health costs continue to spiral at the expense of all life on the planet.
As a single individual, the desire to have a positive impact on global environmental issues can feel daunting and overwhelming. However, you can have a direct impact on the personal environment of your body, act on your own and see the results. Besides the personal benefits of looking and feeling better, your actions influence others and affect the world around you in a myriad of ways. Small changes can make a big impact. It all starts with everyday actions.
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