Growing up, we had a garden with fresh veggies and, my personal favorite, rhubarb. Whenever I think back to those times, I can almost smell the fresh cut grass and feel it under my feet as we stayed out past dark playing games like kick-the-can and hide-and-seek.
Looking back, however, I also think, “Where did we go wrong?” We’ve become a fast-paced, cell-phone-in-hand generation. And if we ever lose Internet, we wouldn’t even know what to do. We are task-driven with a perfectionism chaser. And we wonder why our teens have issues.
Anxiety, depression, addiction and even juvenile diabetes—how do we heal the years of stress we’ve put on our bodies? The answer is food—healthy, back-to-basics food. Sit, eat slowly, and even relax after a meal. Our brains need that parasympathetic timeout, time to rest and digest. And it’s up to us to model this behavior for our kids.
Have you noticed a change in your handwriting in the past five years? Did you know that blood sugar disorders can inhibit blood flow to the brain? The goal is to promote healthy activities and lifestyle because nothing is more damaging to the brain than stress. Here are a few tips on promoting rest and digestion in today’s society:
These simple tips will retrain the brain to rest and digest—and, in return, you’ll produce healthy neurotransmitters made by amino acids. To reduce sickness, mental disorders and long-term diseases, we need to send healthy signals to our brain. If we’re constantly on the move and always in “fight or flight” mode, our bodies will only produce so many healthy neurotransmitters before we shut down.
Think of it this way: You drive your car miles and miles and eventually, it needs gas. What do we do when we get gas? We take our foot off the gas, press the brake, put it in park and actually turn the car off. We take our time to pay, pump the gas, and even wash the windows if we’re feeling zealous.
Let’s turn back the hands of time and play kick-the-can after dark. Let’s sit at the dinner table and talk about our dreams. Let’s rest, digest and give our body the break it needs.
By // Vanessa Kohnen