By Donna Gates, as seen on:
These days, many children’s books are beautifully illustrated and contain sweet, bite-sized truths. Like these:
- I am special and so are you
- All things are connected
- Follow your passion and you’re a hero
- Notice the details
- Courage and imagination will take you far
- All things in balance
- Community matters
- Mistakes can be magical
- Have fun and play
- Perspective changes everything, even your pout-pout
The children’s books that name animals and teach color are still around. But there’s a new breed of children’s books — stories that inspire and uplift even the parents who read them.
I have found that the meaningful messages in children’s books even say something about the health of the human body.
All Things Are Connected: The foot bone isn’t just connected to the leg bone. There are connections spanning the body that may surprise you. For example, the gut and the brain are deeply connected — so much so, that constipation shares a biochemical link to depression. Emotional stress can literally push your intestines into overdrive.
Notice The Details: With every breath you take, your body speaks to you. It tells you that it feels satisfied and safe. Or it tells you that what you ate for lunch did more damage than it was worth. Notice the details, the small aches, the dry patches of skin, the sleepless nights, or the frequent headaches — notice the details and do something about them, and you’ll be healthier for it.
Community Matters: Your body doesn’t just belong to you. It also belongs to the trillions of microbes that live on you and in you — but mostly in your digestive tract. Your body “belongs” to these microbes because research shows that you would not be able to survive without them. So, do what you can to nourish the microbial ecosystem that you rely on: Try eating cultured veggies and drinking coconut water kefir.
Mistakes Can Be Magical: No one has it all figured out. And when it comes to health and the human body, we are all learning as we go along. The mistakes that we make (whether in diet or with our doctor) refine our perspective and inform future choices. This is where the magic is. It’s in the synchronicities, the evolution, and the “ah-ha!” moments.
Have Fun and Play: We all know that having fun and playing feels good. And you probably intuitively know that fun gets rid of mental and emotional stress, while play exercises your creative, problem-solving muscles. But that’s not all. Research shows that laughter, warm touch, and smiling activate messages within the immune system that calm down inflammation.
Thoughts have value. Words generate power. And love will always triumph.
All lessons gleaned from children’s books.
Now go and find a child to read to. Or throw on your favorite sweater and cozy up with a picture book. Looking through the eyes of children may just extend your life and brighten your day.
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