No claw-footed tub in the woods here. No Calgon fantasies for the frazzled mind or romantic shower under a waterfall. (Sorry to disappoint.) Think more science, less whimsy, but definite Primal roots. Forest bathing, as it has been dubbed, is actually a studied medical practice. In Japan, the research is spawning a whole new dimension of patient treatment called “forest therapy.”
Forests, like other wild settings, engage our senses in more subtle but evolutionarily familiar ways than our typical modern environments. Sounds in nature are quieter but more subtly layered. Our sight is more expansive. Our sense of touch, finer. Our smell, more acute. Surrounded by nature, our perception reorients to its default setting. As we’ve highlighted in the past, an increasing amount of research shows just how “natural” time in nature is for our physiological and psychological well-being. Exposure to green space offers protective factors against depression and anxiety and can help alleviate the symptoms of ADD. Instinctively, we know this and have likely experienced it. When we step outside our commotion-filled, asphalt-coated environments and truly inhabit a wild space, we’re more relaxed, more at peace. The mind finds quiet and the soul, release.
This inspiring Primal Blueprint Fitness Video was sent in by reader Tom Greenwald. Let Tom know what you think in the comment board.
The Fitness Video contest has ended, but there are still ways to win prizes and be part of the Primal community here at Mark’s Daily Apple. Enter your best recipes (current theme: Primal Snacks) to be included in the Primal Blueprint Reader-Created Cookbook Contest, and submit your New Year’s Resolutions video by Jan. 15. In both cases you have a chance to win hundreds of dollars in Primal gear and be featured on MDA. Grok on!
Technically this post is the 4th part of our PB Pronto series, and we’re rounding out the picture for Primal fans everywhere. We’ve covered food, fitness, stress and sleep. But no Primal man or woman is an island. Our happiness – and health – also depend of course on how we relate to the world around us. As our other PB Pronto posts have suggested, we know it can be a real challenge to cover all your bases when you juggling a packed schedule full of work, family and personal obligations. Here, as promised, are tips and commentary for boosting both your social and “naturalistic” wellness – most in 15 minutes or less.
It’s been several decades since Bobby McFerrin (Yes, Bobby McFerrin, not Bob Marley) wrote the hit song “Don’t Worry be Happy” and yet we still can’t, well, quit worrying and get happy.
Whether it’s the kids, work, or a to-do list that simply won’t quit, the reality is there are hundreds of sources of stress in our lives and very few real ways (short of hiring a personal assistant, and even that’s no guarantee!) to deal with them…or are there?
The following are a list of our favorite de-stressing tips – so kick back, relax and feel the stress melt away.
Build the Healthiest Possible Body with the Primal Blueprint
I get emails every day from people who are changing their lives for the better by following the guidelines I outline on this site. But many are looking for more of what the Primal Blueprint has to offer. That is to say, they want a comprehensive break down of the elements that make up the Blueprint; a Primal primer if you will. In coming weeks I will be going into detail – anthropological evidence, modern research, etc. – regarding this health philosophy, but I first want to offer up this summary of the Blueprint. I think it is a good starting point for what is to come.
In this extended article you will find the basic building blocks needed to discover the Primal side of your life. What does this mean? It means learning and understanding what it means to be human. It means using this knowledge to help you make important lifestyle choices. It means modeling your life after your ancestors in order to promote optimal health and wellness. And, most importantly, it means taking control of your body and mind.
If this article intrigues you be on the look out for a much more thorough explanation of how we can learn from our past to shape and mold our future.
My basic premise is this: The Primal Blueprint is a set of simple instructions (the blueprint) that allows you to control how your genes express themselves in order to build the strongest, leanest, healthiest body possible, taking clues from evolutionary biology (that’s the primal part).
Now and then we stumble upon research and ideas that, while they’re not at the heart of MDA focus, nonetheless grab our attention and get us thinking. (Variety is the spice of life, no?) We talk a lot about the carryover between our paleo ancestors and contemporary selves: the physiological patterns relevant to nutrition, fasting, exercise, stress response, etc.
So, what about other vestiges from Grok’s heyday? Some of us were familiar with the scientist, E.O. Wilson and his theory of biophilia, the concept that humans have an innate, biologically determined need for nature. Wilson’s theory has been around for years, but the concept is getting renewed attention lately. Turns out, as we round the corner to April next week, we have the opportunity to observe not just the first full month of spring (group sigh of relief) but “Children and Nature Awareness Month,” as declared by the national organization Children and Nature Network. The organization was founded by Richard Louv, noted journalist and author of a book called Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, a book we were inspired to pick up. Sine then, it’s been intriguing fodder for water cooler talk.