The name Mahatma Gandhi needs no introduction. He is counted as one of the most influential people in the history of the world. Mahatma Gandhi’s is associated with the non-cooperation movement against the Britishers. He led country-wide mass movements, survived severe fasts, went to jail, protested and he rarely showed signs of fatigue. His contribution is very well known by everyone in India’s fight for freedom. But did you know that he also held authority on matters concerned with health and wellness? Apart from being an idealist, he held great concern for keeping human health in check. And that is what we are going to have a closer look at in this article today.
Lessons of Health and Wellness We Can Learn from Mahatma Gandhi1. Sound Mind Equals Sound Body
He believed that even if a man eats proper food, moves around easily, and is healthy on the outside doesn’t mean that he has good health. He said that we should not live in the delusion that anyone who looks healthy is a perfectly healthy human. According to him, a sound body was as important as a sound mind when it came to health.
He was of the notion that the mind and the body are in sync with each other. Even if one of them gets out of order the whole system gets disrupted. One should focus on being a person with a noble mind and healthy body in preference to being a physically strong person. A body with a diseased mind can never be completely healthy.2. Keep your Calm
He always said that “Nobody can hurt me without my permission.” No one outside can control how you feel. It depends on your mind to be composed and controlled. If more people start thinking like this, their life will be more pleasurable and easier. We should not attach our peace and calm to materialistic things or people. Our happiness lies within, and this is the golden rule that Mahatma Gandhi lived by.3. Forgive and Let Go
He said that keeping grudges inside us will only harm our peace of mind. Staying angry or offended for too long will not only harm your appearance but also bother you mentally. It will disable you from taking decisions in your life and will always be a hurdle to a happy life.
Forgiveness is the way to salvation and the ultimate peace of mind. By forgiving others you will do good for your body and mind. By forgiving you release yourself from unrequited bonds and are able to move forward in life.4. Importance of Clean Water, Air and Food
Mahatma Gandhi said that the three things that are indispensable to mankind are air, water, and food. He believed air to be the most crucial to human life. He said that God created it in countless amounts so that every man can have access to it for free. Even though we need oxygen to breathe in, mankind has deliberately made air expensive. He found it unnatural that people needed to escape to hilly areas to get fresh air and pollute the air that they breathe.
Water being so indispensable humans hardly take care of it. We should boil the water and drink it. We should not contaminate the rivers which bring us drinking water. Water required for cleaning purposes should be used from separate sources. He always made sure to boil the water, cool it down, and then filter it into another vessel. He encouraged people to do the same.5. Stay Away from Refined or Processed Food
Mahatma Gandhi never consumed refined sugar. He rather preferred sweet fruits over eating anything with added sugars. He also consumed very little amount of salt. He said that our bodies receive an adequate amount of salt from the vegetables we eat.
He did not consume processed food. He ate raw foods, dry fruits whenever he wanted a snack. He said that our digestive system needs rest and we should not overload it with unhealthy snacking.6. How and When We Should Eat?
There is great debate amongst doctors and specialists as to the quantity of food that we should take. Some think that the consumption of food must be based on physical work, while others use mental work as the basis. Mahatma Gandhi believed that the consumption of food should depend on physiological hunger. He also said that it’s important to chew the food thoroughly to extract maximum quantities of nutrients and he also didn’t like any distractions while eating.7. Walking is the Most Versatile form of Exercise
Mahatma Gandhi considered walking as the best exercise for the human body. Did you know that he walked 18 kilometres every day for 40 years? This was during his campaigns from 1914 to 1948. He never relied on transport and relied on walking no matter where he had to go. WHO also considers that walking up to 10,000 steps a day is best for the human body. Walking has multiple health benefits. It reduces sugar cravings, promotes weight loss, and boosts the immune system.8. Simple Dressing
He taught that dress is also a matter of health to a certain extent. He said that with time, the main function of attires has been forgotten. He felt sad that a person’s outfit was used to indicate his religious practices, financial strength, race, etc.
He said that along with the nose, the various pores in our body also inhale oxygen. By dressing up in complicated clothing we are hindering the pores from breathing. He believed that dressing up weakens one's body. Our body is naturally designed to be resistant to climate and environmental changes. Availability of seasoned clothes has disabled a man to withstand hot or cold and as a result, people get sick easily.
After reading these lessons, I am sure you will notice that Mahatma Gandhi valued simplicity in life. He believed that modernization not only disrupts the mind but it also weakens the body. He valued being close to mother nature the way we all are supposed to be. It is his strong principles that he did not give up on the British Civilization. It is also his great mental and physical health that not only helped him to gain India’s independence but also live a simple, healthy and happy life.