Health Lifestyle

Transitioning into a Natural Lifestyle: Tips and Tricks to Smooth the Process

Everybody wants to live a healthier and more “natural” lifestyle. Unfortunately not everybody is in agreement about what that means. For some people it means getting off the grid and doing some homesteading. If that’s you, that’s great! There are lots of articles out there that will help you do that (1).

In this article, though, we’re going to talk about some of the less extreme things you can do when you want to lead a healthier and more “natural” life.

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First Things First

What do the words “healthy” and “natural” mean to you? For some of you, they might mean shying away from products that are mass produced. For others it might mean going vegan. Figuring out what these words mean to you will give you your starting point. From here, the changes you make to your life will, for the most part, fit into one of three categories: your body, your spirit, and your home/lifestyle.

Your Body

Regardless of how extreme you want to get with your desire to be healthy and natural, one change is going to be universal: you have to stop eating processed junk. It’s one thing to have a piece of chocolate every once in a while, or to indulge in a bowl of Frosted Flakes a couple of times a month. It’s entirely another to nourish yourself entirely from the prepared meals area in your grocery store’s freezer section. Start figuring out how to make those prepared and “quickie” meals yourself out of fresh ingredients (2). Once you know what you’re doing, you can usually make them in the same amount of time it would take you to nuke a boxed version in the microwave.

Finally, it’s time to start getting regular exercise. You don’t necessarily have to commit to a gym membership to do this. On the contrary! Even simply getting out and going for a long walk is better than doing nothing! There are also lots of great workout apps you can try if you prefer to work out in the privacy of your home.

Your Spirit

It is just as important to nourish your spirit as it is to nourish your body if you want to lead a healthy life. For some of you, this might mean joining a church and attending services every week. For others it might not be as structured.

For example, a lot of people have found that Buddhism and its teachings have been extremely helpful in their quest to make their lives more natural and healthy. Buddhism has been especially helpful for people in recovery from addiction (3) and illness.

Part of the reason that Buddhism jives so well with people who are shifting to more natural and healthy lifestyles is that it provides an avenue for introducing mindfulness and meditation into their lives. Mindfulness and meditation–even for a few minutes a day–are very important for nourishing your spirit. Mindfulness especially has been helpful for people who suffer from mental health issues like depression and anxiety (4).

Your Lifestyle (and Surroundings)

From now on, when you add something to the home, ask yourself if it will truly make you happy every time you see it and use it. This is called the KonMari method (5) and it will help you build a home that makes you truly happy all the time. As you do this, try to focus your future purchases and decisions around things that are naturally made. Yes, the table from IKEA is cheaper, but you can probably find something more solid and hand made at a thrift shop or online.

How extreme you go with this is up to you. What matters is that you make choices based on what you need for staying healthy. Focus on your health first. The “natural” stuff will follow.

Sources:

  1. Platt, John. “Going off the Grid: Why More People Are Choosing to Live Life Unplugged.” MNN. Mother Nature Network, 12 Nov. 2012. Web. 21 May 2015. http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/responsible-living/stories/going-off-the-grid-why-more-people-are-choosing-to-live-life-un

  2. Luther, Daisy. “The Lost Art of Scratch Cooking.” The Organic Prepper. The Organic Prepper28, 28 Feb. 2013. Web. 21 May 2015. http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/the-lost-art-of-scratch-cooking-02282013

  3. “Buddhism and Recovery – The Canyon Treatment Center.” The Canyon Treatment Center. Canyon Treatment Center, n.d. Web. 21 May 2015. http://thecanyonmalibu.com/drug-treatment/buddhism-recovery/

  4. Lu, Stacy. “Mindfulness Holds Promise for Treating Depression.” Http://www.apa.org. American Psychological Association, 2015. Web. 21 May 2015. http://www.apa.org/monitor/2015/03/cover-mindfulness.aspx

  5. Parks, Chanel. “I Decluttered My Closet With The KonMari Method And Here’s What Happened.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 24 Jan. 2015. Web. 21 May 2015. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chanel-parks/konmari-decluttering-method_b_6533574.html

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