Humans contain a similar balance of things. However, rather than just light and dark, humans have three levels that must be in balance: body, mind, and soul. These, unlike the opposite nature of yin and yang, work more as a venn diagram, with uniqueness to each area, but overlap nonetheless.
In order to have these balanced, they must be approached and treated in their respective ways. The body must be sustained, the mind but be sharp, and the soul must be full and courageous.
Nourishment for the body is the most basic essential in achieving balance. Without that, a mind will deteriorate and almost surely one will lose their spirit. When nourishing the body, special focus must be paid to balancing the food groups and getting proper nutrition. Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts and other sources of protein serve as the foundation to a healthy diet.
Likewise, one must understand that proper hydration is a key tenet of nourishment. With the bulk of our bodies being water, we must be vigilant in keeping it sustained and hydrated. Proper nourishment betters both the body and mind, and in extent, better the soul through individual growth and health. Although eating and drinking enough are important, there are things we must avoid in nourishment.
The plague of nourishment is gluttony, and it is something one must work at avoiding at all costs. Not only does this lead to a body that is crippled by food, but it lends itself to the development of poor habits. Over-indulgence, be it with food or materialism, leads to an unhealthy and excessive lifestyle. That being so, eat only what you need, but in a way that cherishes and celebrates the food. Not only is this more filling for the stomach, but it is more filling for the mind and soul.
Physical Stress, Mental Balance
The body must also be consistently stressed in order to grow. Though it seems counter intuitive to break down the very thing we seek to build up, one must understand that the old axiom “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is actually quite correct. Stress the body – force it to adapt, grow, and become stronger and better able to protect the mind and soul.
The body must always be active in some form every day; otherwise, you fall prey to sloth, a vice just as deadly as gluttony. Inactivity leads to poor health and is a sign of lazy and/or overwhelmed situations. If you’re finding trouble fitting in activity, reassess your schedule with the priority of health at the top!
Challenging yourself and forcing motivation in turn leads to mental balance. You begin to think more clearly, identifying the steps you need to take to reach your goal. Improved circulation from exercise will actually make one more lucid and engaged in the situation.
Whether it be religious faith, a faith in science, or a faith in one’s own belief, every person must be spirited and trust in something beyond the self. Having courage and faith in one’s self, their family, or their pathway in life lends itself to great mental health. This can also lead, then, to better physical health, with increased motivation, inspiration, and charge to go forward.
However, as nourishment must avoid gluttony and physical stress avoid sloth, faith must avoid pride. Taking joy in your beliefs and celebrating them is no excuse for close-mindedness. One must realize there is no “one” truth – nothing that can claim all inclusive wisdom. I cannot argue that any man could reach total understanding, through science or religion, and therefore, one must always be willing to hear a new story, a new explanation, and a new idea.
With nourishment, stress and balance, and faith, one is able to develop themselves into a fully functioning person. Surely, each person will take different shape with different attitudes and directions, but with a healthy body, mind, and soul, there is no stopping the individual.