"My body is a cage that keeps me from dancing with the one I love, but my mind holds the key...", sings Peter Gabriel.
I was struck by these words when I first heard them. They made me think about the relationship between the body and the mind, between the "physical machine" and the soul, between physicality and spirituality. Is body different from the mind or is it just a 'cage' we are living in? Is it a functioning machine that turns our individuality on or is it a part of the whole more complex mechanism? These are all the questions that have been asked by different generations of philosophers, scientists, and there isn't a single and precise answer to it. But one thing we can be sure of is that "a healthy mind is in a healthy body." Indeed, when our bodies are functioning well, when we do not feel any pain, we can produce something important with our mind; on the contrary, when we are in pain, our bodies are weak, it gets too difficult to pass that pain and concentrate on something else. That's why we should take a good care of our bodies and pay enough attention to it.
Psychologists have proven that by listening to our bodies' needs, we can become more aware of our emotions and desires. By incorporating body psychotherapy methods, one can heal a person's emotional sphere including anxiety and depression, as our bodies can 'talk' to us and give us the hints of what we need. By listening to our bodies and taking a good care of them, we can reach the state of balance and inner harmony.
Here are some of the things we can do to look after our body:
Having a proper work/rest balance. Not enough sleep and rest can cause a lot of stress, and, thus, an inability of our bodies to function well. While work is important, one shouldn't forget about the proper rest, even when we want to accomplish more and, thus, start working more. After some time of such intensive work, our bodies will stop functioning well, and we can even get sick.
Making sure that one drinks enough water every day. On average, the human body consists of 60% of water and billions of our cells should have enough water to live. It's also necessary to make sure that the water one drinks is not contaminated, - not pure water will do more harm than good to our bodies. It might be difficult to get clean water, especially when one lives in a big city. Getting a good whole house water filter might be an option in such a situation, - it's always better to ensure that one gets uncontaminated water.
Having enough time for eating and checking that the body gets all the necessary vitamins. Proper food is fuel to our bodies that help us function well. At times, one, probably, needs to have some additional supplements to ensure that the body receives everything it needs, especially during winter times or when we don't have a chance to eat properly balanced food rich in vitamins. It's also necessary to eat slowly and chew every bit of food. Ideally, eating should bring us pleasure.
Treating our bodies with something both pleasant and useful would be of great benefit as well. Consider going to massage therapist from time to time, running around the lake (or simply walking), going to the sauna or spa salon, - anything that is good for your body will work.
Body and mind are related, and we shouldn't ignore our bodily needs if we want to lead a good and happy life, even when we agree with Peter Gabriel and consider our bodies as "cages."