HEALTHY MIND IN A HEALTHY BODY
- Daily Physicality: Exercise for at least 20 minutes most days of the week.
- Intellectual Curiosity: Spend some time in focused thought, exploring new ideas every day.
- Foster Creativity: Challenge your mind to connect unrelated ideas in new and useful ways.
- Human Unity: Create and maintain close-knit human bonds and a social support network.
- Spiritual Connectedness: Identify a Source of inspiration that is bigger than you.
- Energy Balance: Balance Calories in/Calories out, and reduce your carbon footprint.
- Voluntary Simplicity: Embrace the liberty that comes with wanting and needing less.
To find clues for healthy living today, we must look to our past. The history of human evolution shows a definitive link between our physical health and psychological well-being. The Greeks understood the importance of a Sound Mind in a Sound Body. That credo became the foundation of their civilization. For clues on how we can best survive the 21st century we should look to the wisdom held in our ancestry and evolutionary biology.
In this entry I will explore ways in which modern living is causing our bodies and minds to short-circuit. I will recap the major periods of human evolution and offer a simple prescriptive that can insulate you from the ‘future shock’ that rapid advances in technology have created in our bodies, minds, and society. “Future shock” is a term for a certain psychological state of individuals and entire societies, introduced by Alvin Toffler in his book of the same name. Toffler’s most basic definition of future shock is: “ too much change in too short a period of time.” Do you feel future shocked? What ways are you coping with it?
As hunter-gatherers, the human body evolved to run great distances hunting prey and gathering food. The ability to spring through the air using our gluteus maximus muscles is what sets us apart from primate cousins. This pogo-stick ability of each leg allowed us to travel long distances and to hunt and gather a high protein diet, using relatively little fuel. We are very fuel-efficient machines.