Intersections are everywhere and it is our job to find those and use them to the best of our abilities. The terms health, body and mind seem interchangeable but are completely different entities which merge together to give us a full life that is the intersection represented in the Venn diagram- the common parts of the three sets.
The ones who can access the intersection are said to truly have gained control over their life. So is it that everyone can access this or only a select few? And if they can, then how?
The basis of good health, with respect to both the body and mind arise from the Vedas- Rigveda, Yajurveda , Samaveda and the Atharvaveda that were said to have been composed by Brahman almost 1500-1200 BCE, and was compiled by Sage Vyasa. Indians do have strong roots in these topics and it is this vast knowledge that we should put to use. I believe that, even solutions to problems arising from overuse of social media, toxic relations and personal loss are given in these scriptures, although not in the same contexts.
Ever since the advent of vehicles, communicable devices and the internet, the world has not remained the same. It has left behind its simplicity and invited an endless number of problems. These factors play a huge role in causing poor physical health, which is most evidently seen, and poor mental health too. It is due to this fast paced life that we never get the time to reach into ourselves deep enough to understand the underlying issues. These problems in our mind are also health problems, and can range from small aches and pains to indigestion, anemia, vision defects and breathing problems like asthma and bronchitis.
These problems are seen in clinics where people are seen seeking solutions for backache, migraines and other such seemingly minor illnesses that may not always be related to poor physical health, but could even show up due to stress and anxiety. Problems like financial and social security, work-life balance keep us tossing and turning in bed all night leading to poor sleep and a cascade of problems which are temporarily solved by mounds of prescriptions.
Fortunately, ever since the pandemic, a greater cohort of people around the world have become aware of the necessity for good physical and mental health, and are trying to achieve the best their body can deliver either by various forms of meditation, yoga, or by doing the things that keep them happy like gardening, painting, dancing etc. The long hours of staying indoors with nothing to occupy the mind, gives it the freedom to explore within itself, for the cracks causing damage to the body.
Instead of staying idle and lazy, many people have stepped up to the challenge and have successfully made productive use of time. From starting small businesses promoting self-care products, to adopting pets, to even keeping the body fit in small spaces with at-home workouts, the pandemic has forced us to prioritise our health and well being above all else. This not only helped us divert our attention from the ongoing stressful situation going on in the world, but also gave us a personal space where we can grow and nurture our positive energies.
I would like to provide some examples from my own circle of acquaintances, who have tried to make a change in their small way:
- Pooja Sahajwani, a colleague, started a page for all ages with at-home workouts and small exercises to keep the body fit and flexible during the pandemic.
- Another colleague, Trupti Bavale, along with her sister and mother, has started a page all devoted to food and easy cooking to satisfy our bed-and-breakfast, restaurant-style cravings. The aesthetics put up by her not only motivate us to eat but also cook the food too! Her journey as she has mentioned on her page, of battling a lifestyle disorder of PCOS by feeling her body with good food and mind with ample exercise is really an admirable feat and one that all must read.
Such initiatives help us wok towards manifesting a healthy mind, body and soul, not only for the present, but also for the future.
A strong mind has no illness to be afraid of but a strong body has all the illness of the world to fight off. Here’s a simple example stating how powerful the mind is when it comes to our health- There was a person who was fearful of swallowing pills. No matter how hard they tried, they were not able to get the pill to go past their throat. One day, this person made up their mind to swallow the pill and told themselves that the pill is miraculous and would help them feel better in no time. They envisioned it as just another mouthful of food that they normally swallow, and over time, the person overcame the fear of the pill getting stuck in between.
It is said that there are 7 habits that can be adopted for a healthy mind and body-
Regular practice of these habits keeps all the functions in line. Although, people mostly in the age groups of 10-40 may not be able to adopt all of them due to their busy schedules, cultivating these habits may help us in the long run.
In a recent interview on the hit daytime television show ‘Ellen’, Indian-American author and alternative medicine advocate Deepak Chopra said, “Embracing the wisdom of uncertainty is the window to creativity”. These words resonated so much with me as everyone in the world right now is in a sympathetic overdrive and require a certain direction of normalcy. His website includes books like ‘Total Meditation’, ‘Metahuman- Unleashing your infinite potential’ and ‘Perfect Health’ etc, videos on topics ranging from Self Love to the future of education and podcasts including his latest- “Mind Body Zone-Living outside the box”. Being a user of them myself, I definitely would recommend all readers to just have a look once whenever they find themselves in a period of uncertainty or anxiety.
This article was not to give you material or to tell you the utmost truth of achieving the intersection nor was it to point out your mistakes but to help you understand what path we are on. How can we deviate from our path of chaos in this world? There are many hidden roads but it is up to us to choose the right one.
To end on a personal note, the constant battle between a healthy body and a healthy mind troubled me for years. If one was good the other always deteriorated and to find a balance was a task. My continuously stressed out mind never let my body gain the nutrients it needed. Luckily, for me during the pandemic, my dog was a saviour. The stability and relief that I got from his presence was priceless (and this has been so for so many others too , maybe even you). Even though according to others, my weight may be below average, my mind is definitely above average which is keeping my health in the good part of the scale. I still have a long way to go to achieve the creamy layer. Until then, it will be an adventure of ups and downs leading to a path of calm.
Aditi Kulkarni is currently pursuing her undergrad degree in MBBS in Smt. Kashibai Navale Medical College. A second-year student who has a long way to go to become a good doctor has an eclectic taste in music and is a firm follower of David Attenborough. She stands true to her belief in “Dogs over Humans” any day.
Co-founder, Director of Website Development and Logistics, The Science Paradox