Thoughts on World Health Day

Man running through the countryside

It’s one of the strange ways the body and mind work – when you’re feeling fit as a fiddle, with no aches and pains, you seldom take time to appreciate that all is well. No pain means your health and wellbeing is out of mind. However, when you are unwell, seriously ill, or hurt, it is difficult to think of anything else. The pain and discomfort take over, pushing everything else out.

There are many people around the world experiencing poor health who have no access to health care, and if it does exist it is beyond their means. Some of these people, throughout the course of history, have been introduced to the ancient technique of Vedic Meditation to help improve perspective and aid the transition from to disease and unease, to ease.

As meditators, we will sometimes set out on our meditation journey from a starting point shrouded in pain. From my own experience as a long-time meditator, our daily meditation practice is hugely beneficial because we are twice daily experiencing a ‘bliss cocktail’ of endocannabinoids, dopamine, endorphins, serotonin, oxytocin, and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). The health benefits of this are massive, because we are getting these naturally forming and beneficial chemicals in our systems every single day. People who don’t meditate have an intermittent experience.

The mind-body connection

The mind-body connection was well understood by the Indian sages living in the Indus Valley in what was then Northern India (now Pakistan). Today, thousands of years later, this connection has been proven in scientific research and laboratory work over the past forty years. Vedic Meditation is what they taught ‘householders’ back then. Not highly privileged, or exceptionally wise, or especially spiritual people – people like you and I who have jobs, relationships, and get on with life. They fully understood that a healthy mind was just as important as a healthy body, for everyone. As is often said: what you think and feel today will become manifest in your body tomorrow.

In the Western world, we have long been familiar with the need to look after ourselves through exercise and diet and, if we’re experiencing health problems, we are lucky that we can reach out for readily available advice and assistance. Recently, the rise in ‘mindfulness’ practices and the plethora of self-care messages on the internet is helping us to look at managing our mental health in the same way.

7th April 2018 is World Health Day, let us take a moment to acknowledge our health, whatever state we may be in. Let us practice gratitude for the health we have, and appreciate that even if our condition is extreme, painful, or frightening, we are able to enjoy the privilege of hope and support when many others around the world don’t even have that.

To find out more about the MindMojo Vedic Meditation courses, join me at a free, no-obligation introductory talk. These are held regularly in and around London. Book your free place online here

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Anthony Thompson