Walk barefoot

This connects us to nature and restores our electron reserve, therefore minimising the consequences of exposure to electro-magnetic stress, reducing overall body inflammation and assisting in a reduction of excess cortisol. Spending just 30 minutes a day barefoot has been shown to significantly help you de-stress, regulate emotions and balance the nervous system.  A 2007 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine demonstrated that connecting the human body to the earth during sleep (earthing) normalises the daily cortisol rhythm and improves sleep patterns.

This is due to the effects that stress hormones have on your natural circadian rhythm and your ability to sleep more deeply. Researchers also found that walking barefoot can actually decrease white blood cell count and increase red blood cell count, indicating a positive immune response.  At Ancient + Brave we are in no doubt that our bodies function better when we are in line with the natural rhythms of the earth, including the patterns of light and darkness.

Get right with the light

Exposing ourselves to the natural light cycle — or trying to recreate it is extremely important for a balanced circadian rhythm. Natural sunlight creates repair and regeneration of the mitochondria, optimising healthier circadian rhythms, improving sleep and hormone function. Research shows that exposing ourselves to natural light for just 20 minutes within an hour of waking is key to improving how well we sleep. If you must stay inside for most of the day, sitting next to, or being next to a window will help keep you on a natural cycle. It is especially important to try and get some natural sunlight after you eat lunch, so the serotonin from any carbohydrate you might consume does not covert from serotonin into melatonin and make you sleepy.

Try to dim your lights at least 30 minutes before going to sleep and make your bedroom as technology free as possible. To prevent any suppression of your sleep hormone melatonin, choose low wattage (under 40 watts) red-coloured light bulbs for your bedroom.

From feast-to-famine, to famine-to-feast, your potential realised, the Ancient + Brave way.

Expose yourself to the cold

Our ancestors endured crippling cold without the benefits of modern technology. Current day research reveals that emulating our ancestors’ exposure to periodic bouts of cold can have a positive effect on mood, stress levels and our immune, cardiovascular and lymphatic systems. Conditioning your brain and your body to endure and embrace cold-water immersion may be challenging, but the health benefits are endless. Medical research has shown a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol whilst being immersed in cold water and an increase in our feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin.  Multitudes of top-level athletes in a wide range of sports take ice-baths as a commonplace intervention.

Even if you begin with a quick, cold shower, the results can be dramatic. So consider the benefits when engaging in dips into cold lakes or rivers or your morning/evening bathing routine. For many, this is not an easy thing to do. As a beginners’ tip, take a hot shower, then try gradually decreasing the temperature to cold, little-by-little. In no time at all you’ll find your body adapts and you are at an ice-cold water temperature you’d never have thought yourself able to sustain.

Eat More Wild Foods

Wild food is our link to a deep-seated wisdom and forges our connection with nature. Wild foods such as herbs, roots, bark, mushrooms, berries, seaweed and seeds provided our ancestors with much of their key nourishment. Learning what local edibles are available to you depending on the time of year and where you live is the perfect way to feel better connected with your natural environment. Great wild staples such as dandelion, nettle, cleaver, and clover are easy to identify and grow in abundance. These potent, nutrient dense, free foods can help us to truly thrive in a modern world.

Use them fresh in salads, experiment with adding them to your green smoothies instead of spinach and kale, and for even more medicinal benefits make herbal infusions using dried roots, leaves and berries.

Nature's Answer

In all of these lifestyle strategies it’s important to remember that enhancing your ability to take advantage of living more naturally will ultimately benefit your health. Part of that process is to disengage with the marketing formula to eat at least three large meals per day and snacks between. It’s not just okay to fast, it’s actually highly beneficial to your health, longevity, mental acuity and physical performance.

Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.

Albert Einstein