Our health is our most significant wealth. Yet, many people feel they need great financial wealth to be healthy. While it may be nice to have the financial abundance to buy whatever healthy food or supplement you want, it isn't necessary. You can still be healthy and thrive on a budget. In this article, we'll share 7 of the most potent free remedies you can use daily to improve your health and wellness.
When it comes to health, nothing is more important than your lifestyle. How you live your life—meaning your daily habits and actions—plays the most prominent role in your health or disease.
Most people have developed "bad habits" over the years that create ill health in the body time. Perhaps it's smoking, drinking too frequently, consuming too much caffeine, overeating junk food, not exercising enough, staying up too late, or any other things.
Suppose we have negative habits, especially around consuming things that have a toxic effect on our health. In that case, these will eat away at our health little by little until they eventually give rise to a more serious health condition. It is easy to overlook bad habits when they aren't causing us any immediate pain. However, when years of bad habits lead to disease, we understand the value of our health and the importance of habits.
This is not to make you afraid or feel guilty about your habits but to bring this fundamental matter to your attention.
Nearly everyone has habits that they struggle with. The nature of a habit is that it is habitual, so it can be challenging to break a pattern that has formed over many years. Habits become second nature to us. They are comfortable, so breaking a habit and changing our behavior can be uncomfortable for a time until we adjust to new habits and a new way of being.
Judging ourselves every time we act out a bad habit and feeling shame and guilt afterward is not the way to change our habits. Many psychologists understand that this only makes us less likely to change.
The trick is not to judge yourself or your habits but to become more aware of them. Most habits are unconscious behaviors that have formed over time. By paying more attention to our habits objectively and without judgment, we begin to understand why we developed these habits, what roles they were serving, and how they impact our health.
To change deeply rooted habits, it is also essential that we accept ourselves. Unfortunately, this is a difficult thing for many people to do. Most people have some ideal of perfection, of how they think they should be, and when they don't live up to that expectation, it makes them feel unworthy. That unworthiness can be a significant burden, and people often turn to various escapes to escape those uncomfortable feelings. But unfortunately, this only perpetuates negative habits instead of getting to their root.
When we practice self-acceptance—and learn to love ourselves along with all our flaws, imperfections, and habits—we release that heavy burden of self-judgment that was causing us so much pain. We realize we are enough just as we are. We see that life can be challenging and that we find ways to cope with life's challenges the best we can.
It takes a great deal of maturity to look at ourselves deeply like this, to forgive ourselves and the circumstances we've experienced, and to accept and love ourselves for who we are. But, it is necessary to develop this maturity to heal ourselves of the psychological wounds that lay at the root of our negative habits.
Because in all honesty, you can eat the healthiest diet in the world or exercise every day, but if you don't heal the suffering inside your heart and mind, you can still get sick. Stress in the mind causes stress on the body, and a constantly stressed nervous system cannot produce thriving health.
So, the healing of our habits goes deep to the core of our psychology and is something that takes time. However, the sooner we act on healing these habits, the more we increase our health and longevity. Practicing self-love is one of the best ways to do this.
When you love something, you care for it and want it to be well. The more we learn to love and accept ourselves, the more we will genuinely desire to care for ourselves too, and the easier it will be for us to let go of habits that harm our health.
One of the best things we can do is to focus on creating new habits. Even if we struggle with certain stubborn habits, we can still focus on adopting new habits that build our health.
Ayurveda, India's traditional healthcare system, promotes having a daily routine that helps you live in a healthy rhythm. The essential elements of this routine are around eating and sleep routines, such as:
- Going to sleep and waking up at the exact times each day
- Getting enough sleep each night
- Eating at regular meal times
- Having healthy habits around eating (good quality food, chewing food well, not overeating, etc.)
They also give great importance to the morning hours and encourage people to adopt healthy morning routines, which helps you set a positive mood for the whole day.
A healthy routine creates specific stability in your life that is extremely relaxing to your nervous system. It also programs your body to know when to expect food when to sleep, when to wake up, etc., which can positively impact your digestive, hormonal, and organ health overall.
Just as we can develop harmful habits that become second nature, we can focus on building good habits that become second nature. But, unfortunately, one will eventually lead to disease, while the other to long-term health.
Taking control of your life and consciously creating healthy habits and a healthy lifestyle is one of the most extraordinary things you can ever do for your health.
Water is essential for life. Most people understand this fact, but few people truly appreciate it. Your body is roughly 70% water, and every one of your organs and cells depends on water to function correctly. Therefore, the quality and quantity of water you consume can significantly affect your health.
The worst types of water that you can drink are tap water and plastic bottled water. This is because tap water is treated with harsh chemicals and is often contaminated with heavy metal particles. Bottled water also contains many chemicals that leak into it from the plastic. Neither are ideal sources of drinking water. Yet, these are what the majority of people drink. Even filtered tap water can be harmful if the filter does not correctly remove chlorine, chloramines, fluoride, or other toxic chemicals or metals.
The best types of water you can drink are:
• purified drinking water from a high-quality filter
• spring water from a natural underground spring
• distilled water made from a quality distiller
While the quality of water is crucial, quantity is overall most important. The right amount of water for each person can vary based on their body size, activity level, climate, etc. However, the National Academy of Medicine suggests an adequate intake of daily fluids is about 13 cups for men and 9 cups for women.
Staying adequately hydrated is essential for health and is often overlooked by many.
We all know exercise is good for us, but why is it good for us? Well, research shows that being physically active can improve your brain and circulatory and heart health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities.
Essentially, exercise helps our body function better, while a lack of exercise impedes proper body function. It can even lead to heart disease—the number one cause of death worldwide. Lack of exercise may also increase the likelihood of developing other heart disease risk factors, such as obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends that people get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.
4. Walking Barefoot on Natural Soil
This may surprise some, but walking barefoot on natural soil has numerous health benefits. The Earth is abundant with free electrons, giving it a natural negative electric charge. This affects our bioelectric system and can help to reduce stress, improve mood, regulate sleep, and reduce inflammation.
Regular contact with the Earth's natural negative electric charge can have many health benefits. Intentionally connecting with this electric charge through standing or walking barefoot on the Earth is often referred to as "Earthing" or "grounding."
Humans, along with all other animals, have always had a natural connection to the Earth and received the healing benefits of this natural electric charge. Unfortunately, in the last few centuries, we have disconnected ourselves from the Earth with our modern infrastructure. Unfortunately, this has also separated us from one of our most potent natural medicines.
According to one review, "Some 20 studies have reported intriguing evidence of vast and significant physiological improvements when the body is grounded vs. non-grounded. The research and numerous anecdotal reports demonstrate that Earthing deserves inclusion in the clinical practice of preventive, alternative, and lifestyle medicine."
It is recommended to the ground for at least 30-40 minutes daily for optimal health benefits.
The sun is another natural healing force that most people do not take advantage of. Sun exposure is our body's primary source of vitamin D, an essential nutrient that plays a role in bone health, immune health, and hormonal health. Sunlight also significantly influences our mood, and a lack of it can lead to seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
To maintain healthy blood levels of vitamin D, aim to get 10–30 minutes of midday sunlight, several times per week. People that have darker skin may need a little more than this. For those with sensitive skin or people living in hot climates, it may be better to get sun exposure from the morning or evening sun, as the sun's rays are less intense.
6. Cold Exposure
Cold exposure is an ancient healing practice, but one that is becoming mainstream again as people rediscover the many benefits that this free and straightforward practice has. Cold exposure exposes your body to cold temperatures, typically below 55 degrees Fahrenheit—though some people expose themselves to much colder temperatures.
Intense forms of cold exposure, like submerging yourself in near-freezing water, can be dangerous, especially if you are untrained, stay in for too long, or expose yourself to a deep body of water without supervision.
However, less intense forms of cold exposure, like a cold shower or ice bath, can have tremendous benefits for both physical and mental health.
Cold exposure can help reduce inflammation in the body, muscle pain and soreness, and blood circulation. According to one study, "cold exposure can increase energy expenditure and whole-body glucose and fatty acid utilization. In addition, repeated exposures can lower fasting glucose and insulin levels and improve dietary fatty acid handling, even in healthy individuals."
Cold exposure also strengthens your nervous system and can improve mental health and well-being. Getting into cold water requires inner strength, and overcoming the mental barrier to doing it can help boost confidence. It is also a refreshing experience that makes your body feel alive and can be very energizing.
There is no need to expose yourself to cold water for long periods. Doing so may even be harmful. But short-term exposure, such as 1-3 minutes, can be very beneficial. The easiest way to do this is simply by taking a cold shower each day. You can even do this at the end of your warm shower as a daily routine for boosting your health.
Last but not least, meditation is another great health practice that is free and available to you no matter where you are. There are many different types of meditation. Perhaps the universal type of meditation practice is mindfulness meditation, which involves focusing your attention on your breathing. To practice is simple:
- Pick a time limit between 5-30 minutes. If you are a beginner, it may be best to start with 5 minutes and gradually increase the time. You can set the alarm on your phone to time yourself.
- Find a place where you can sit undisturbed, on the ground, on a cushion, or in a chair.
- Sit with your spine upright but relaxed. This posture helps improve your alertness.
- Start by closing your eyes and observing your breath coming in and out. You can watch the breath as it enters and exits your nostrils or rises and falls in your belly or chest.
- Observe the breath just as it is, not trying to change or control the breath in any way. Watch as it comes in and goes out.
- When you get distracted by thoughts or by something in your surroundings (which will inevitably happen), notice it as soon as you can, and kindly, without judgment, bring your attention back to the breath.
- Every time your mind wanders, notice it as soon as possible and return your attention to simply concentrating on the breath in a simple and relaxed way.
That's it! You sit, observe the breath, get distracted, and bring your attention back to the breath whenever it wanders. While this may seem like a simple practice, it has profound benefits.
Each time you bring your attention back to your breath, you strengthen the habit of attention. The more you stay with your breath, the greater your focus and concentration in daily life. Perhaps most important, meditation trains us to stay present at the moment rather than being distracted by our thoughts. This can provide freedom from one's thoughts—which for many people are their most significant source of unhappiness—and help us find more peace, joy, and relaxation in the present moment.
Meditation has a range of mental health benefits, such as:
- Increased relaxation
- Less stress
- Improved focus and concentration
- Greater mental clarity
- Greater impulse control
- More inner peace and happiness
- Reduced anxiety and depression
- Greater self-understanding
It also has a range of physical benefits, such as:
- Improved nervous system health
- Reduced muscular tension
- Reduced blood pressure
- Better sleep
- Improved digestion
Not bad for sitting down and breathing for a few minutes each day!
Health doesn't have to be expensive. More than anything, it comes from an awareness of what is beneficial to our health and what is harmful and the willingness to avoid things that harm our health while choosing to do things that support it.
While many complexities and details can be explored regarding what determines health, it doesn't need to be approached this way; keep it natural.
For example, it is common sense that eating whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and free-ranged meats is better for you than eating processed foods, fried foods, foods treated with chemicals, or foods grown with pesticides. In the same way, it is common sense that getting enough sleep is better for us than being sleep deprived, that staying hydrated is better than not drinking enough fluids; or that eating just enough is better than overeating.
Most of the critical factors that determine health are things we already know innately. It is just a matter of listening to our body's wisdom and applying it in our lives. You know intuitively whether something you eat is healthy or whether your lifestyle and habits are healthy.
Do your best to act in a way that supports your health and builds healthy daily habits. Ultimately, the difference between health and disease comes down to the choices we make each day.
Hopefully, the free natural remedies mentioned in this article can support your health journey. To sum it all up:
- Focus on building healthy daily habits and a healthy lifestyle.
- Drink plenty of water daily and the best quality water you can get.
- Move your body and exercise often; stay physically active.
- Go outside, get fresh air, walk barefoot on the Earth, and expose your body to the sun. Nature is healing to us because we are products of the natural world. Even though we live in human-created buildings and cities, we are still a part of nature, and maintaining a connection to the natural world supports our health.
- Explore the practice of cold exposure and its many physical and psychological benefits.
- Find ways to keep your stress levels low. Take time to sit still each day and breathe.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to fall in love with your health. Rather than seeing health as a burden, as something that limits you from having fun, or as some chore you need to do—like so many people tend to view health—see it as the determining factor in your quality of life. Fall in love with giving your body natural foods and real nutrition. Enjoy the blessing of pure drinking water, fresh air, and sunlight. Approaching health this way makes it fun, exciting, and truly nourishing.
So many people stress out about their health, which ironically is unhealthy. Don't let your health cause you stress! Instead, make it an adventure to learn how to take the best care of your body so it can take the best care of you.
While it is always good to invest in your health, remember that it doesn't have to be expensive. Most of all, it is essential to have a solid foundation in basic health principles, like diet, exercise, sleep, lifestyle, habits, stress levels, etc.
The best medicines in the world are of little value if these other important aspects of your health are out of balance. Health is your most incredible wealth, and you don't need to be financially abundant to be healthy! Instead, you need to make healthy choices each day and prioritize taking proper care of yourself.