What can we learn from ancient civilizations about happiness? Apparently, a lot. Brant Secunda, co-author of the new book “Fit Soul, Fit Body: 9 Keys to Healthier, Happier You,” spent 12 years living among the happiest people on earth — the Huichol people of Mexico. Here, he shares some of the things he learned and seven tips on how you can be happier now.
Q: Nature plays a huge role in the happiness of the Huichols. How is our disassociation with it affecting our health?
A: It’s ultimately making us feelunhappy, depressed and just out of sync with life. What do we do all day in our modern world? We tap intotechnology (which isn’t necessarily bad) and forget the power of nature that always surrounds us. We spend an unnatural amount of time inside.
Q: Are we doing anything right in terms of making ourselves happier?
A: Our society is becoming more aware of how important it is to have a healthy soulas well as a healthy body, heart and spirit. We’re making a big effort to connect everything and to let go of stress, our busy minds and the things that are holding us back. We’re also working on developing broader communities with social media.
Q: Can you explain a bit about the emerging field of “eco-therapy”?
A: Indigenous cultures have always been “eco-therapists” or “green therapists.” Their approach to life promotes the regenerative power of the environment — it can have instant and profound effects on your mood, transforming negative emotions — such as fear, depression, anger and anxiety — into a peaceful, happy state of mind.
Q: How can people go about boosting their health and happiness?
A: There are several ways. Here are seven.
See the Big Picture. To bring fear or worry into perspective, focus on a positive event in nature that will continue whether you face your fear or not. Recall the colours of the last sunrise you saw or think of the present season and its inevitable progression into the next one. You’ll see that such large events continue — whether you and your fears are there or not.
Embrace the Night. After sunset, find a place in nature where you’re not surrounded by things man-made and the only light is the stars. Get enveloped in the welcome darkness, listen to the sounds of nature and connect to your world.
Get Lit Up. Set your alarm in time to get outside when it’s still dark. As the sun is rising, concentrate on the dawning light. The sun’s rays transform the darkness of night into the brilliance of day. It will brighten your mood.
Get “Soleful” Love. Take a walk outside — someplace where you feel peaceful. Slowly put one foot in front of the other and quiet your internal chatter. With each step, visualize the earth’s love coming into your body through your feet and dissolving any problems you have.
Centre Between Earth and Sky. Sit or lie on the ground outside. Visualize the light of the sun entering the top of your head, filling your heart and body, then going down into the Earth. Feel the Earth beneath you and draw its love into your heart and body then send it up to the sun. Feel your connection to all life.
Invoke the Deer Spirit. The Huichols use the image of the deer to represent innocence, gentleness and clarity. To melt away emotional stress, visualize the image of a deer surrounded by a circle. Ask the deer — out loud or to yourself — to help you find harmony and balance and to help you stand tall like a tree.
Fight Negativity With Fire. Transform negative emotions by focusing on the flame of a candle or fire. Imagine your heart opening like a flower and imagine breathing in the fire’s light. Do this for about five minutes. This technique will give you an immediate release of tension.
Reposted from thatsfit.ca