10 days before my birthday, on October 2nd 2017, I received a gift. A gift from an unlikely source that seemed to want to help me and many others in my profession convey with scientific rigour a fact of life: All aspects of your being (body, mind & emotions) are synchronised with the rhythms of nature. If you are out of tune, or out of sync with these rhythms, you will experience stress, strain, pain and discomfort.
I’ll tell you what that gift was in just a moment, but first, let me give you a brief explanation of what these rhythms of the Earth are and how they influence our physiology and psychology.
Circadian Rhythm.- It is the 24-hour cycle in the physiological processes of all living beings. Our body-mind behaves in specific ways depending on the time of the day. For instance, at 6.45 am we experience the highest rise in blood pressure to get us ready for activity, at 10 am most of us experience heightened alertness, at 5 pm our muscle strength increases and between 8 and 9 pm we release melatonin to help us fall asleep. If you have ever experienced jet-lag, it is because you have disrupted your circadian rhythm by travelling to a different time zone.
Seasonal Rhythms.- How seasonal changes (the transition from summer to autumn and so on) impact our bodies, our minds and our emotions. For instance, there is a mood disorder known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), which can trigger mild to strong depression-like symptoms at the end of autumn and throughout winter.
Tidal Rhythms.- The regular ebb and flow of oceans and very large inland bodies of water, typically two high and two low tides occur each day (about 24.8 hours), influence our physiological and psychological rhythms.
Lunar Rhythms.- The correlation of some of our physiological and psychological processes with the lunar cycle which is 29.5 days. Studies have shown that if a woman’s menstrual cycle is aligned with the lunar cycle, then her fertility level will be higher.
Now to the gift : On October 2nd, 2017 three American geneticists and chronobiologists (field of biology that examines cyclic phenomena in living organisms) Dr. Rosbash, Dr. Young and Dr. Hall were awarded the prestigious Nobel prize for elucidating the inner workings of how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronised with the Earth’s revolutions. Finally, science provided me with the evidence that I needed to finally convince people to pay attention to this symbiotic relationship between our body-mind and nature.
The “we are connected with nature” statement that wisdom traditions have been proclaiming is becoming less of a mystical idea and more of a scientific conversation around how we can realign our being to the rhythms of nature to enhance our performance, health and overall quality of life.
These are the 4 things you can do right now to realign with nature:
Get Restful Sleep.- Our circadian body clock is programmed to get you in bed during a specific time window, so make a commitment to yourself to be in bed by 10 pm. Our social life can get in the way of this, so try to minimise late outings as much as possible.
Meditate Every Day.- Practice at least 10 minutes of meditation every day (with the technique of your preference) as soon as you wake up and when the sun sets. This practice is the mother of all practices when it comes to bringing balance and alignment to our physiology and psychology.
Spend Time in Nature.- Our bodily rhythms are strongly modulated by our environment (that is why we eventually recover from jet-lag). Spending time in parks, fields or anywhere out in the open that will put you in direct contact with nature, has a calming and soothing effect and will help with aligning our rhythms to those of nature.
Stay Away from FLUNC foods.- Frozen, Leftover, Unnatural (refined or processed), Nuked (microwaved) and Canned foods will bring your internal rhythms into disarray. Opt for fresh, natural and whole-foods.
Clarity, energy, creativity, joy, health… these are just a few of the benefits that you should expect from heeding this advice to bring you back in alignment with the rhythms of nature.