With the worldwide health crisis, anxiety and fear are an issue for many people. In a recent Facebook LIVE talk, Tony Nader, M.D., Ph.D., M.A.R.R., walks us through the simple steps we can take in our daily lives to find balance during times of change and uncertainty.
Dr. Nader is an author, medical doctor, and neuroscientist trained at M.I.T. and Harvard University, as well as a globally recognized scholar in the fields of meditation, yoga, and consciousness. As Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s successor, Dr. Nader is the head of the international Transcendental Meditation organizations, and oversees Consciousness-BasedSM programs in the fields of education, health, business, and other fields in more than 100 countries.
Dr. Nader brings his wisdom and expertise to the question of how to create greater balance and happiness during challenging circumstances.
Dr. Nader walks us through the simple steps we can take in our daily lives to find balance during times of change and uncertainty.
Five Fundamental Areas of Experience
Dr. Nader explains the five fundamental areas of our experience, as recognized both by modern science and the ancient Vedic tradition of India, from which the Transcendental Meditation technique and Yoga come: Body, Energy, Mind, Intellect, and Self.
“Every aspect of these layers needs to be nourished,” he says. “In the same way that our mind and body are interconnected and require that there is balance in how the mind works and how the body works, they both also need to be nourished: The physiology needs nourishment through food. The mind also needs nourishment. The intellect needs nourishment. The Self needs nourishment.”
Nourishing all these areas helps us to maintain balance and strength, Dr. Nader explains, “because these five areas of our reality are deeply interconnected—what happens in the mind influences the body, and what happens in the body influences the mind.”
“In the same way that our mind and body are interconnected and require that there is balance in how the mind works and how the body works, they both also need to be nourished.” —Dr. Tony Nader
Stability and Novelty for Balance and Growth
How do we nourish these areas? “Two things are very fundamental and important in these five aspects,” says Dr. Nader. “One is stability: We need stability, familiarity, and repetition. And the other is novelty: We need to evolve and grow, to be creative. Without both, then we don’t feel like we’re growing and evolving and thriving, and we may feel anxiety or depression or other problems.”
Here are a few of the tips Dr. Nader offers for easily fostering both elements in our lives. To learn all of his suggestions, watch the replay of his talk ►
When nourishing the body with food, for example, it’s important to provide stability by having a routine of eating at regular times every day, and at the same time enjoying novelty by eating a variety of healthy foods that are seasonal for our location.
For the area of energy and activity, he suggests the simple breathing technique of pranayama (prana is the Sanskrit word for breath). Dr. Nader demonstrates how to do this for a few minutes every day for a calming and balancing effect. To learn more about this helpful breathing technique, which may be used on its own or as preparation for TM practice, see Dr. Nader’s complete series on the subject.
For the mind he recommends seeking novelty through beauty: “A simple thing is to try every day to see something beautiful,” he says. “See and hear things that are beautiful and inspiring, things that are life-supporting and uplifting. This may be as simple as a beautiful flower or a sunrise. And take the time to think about and enjoy them.”
For the intellect, Dr. Nader encourages us to learn new things, to be creative, and to go big with our dreams: “Think of your life and what you want to do. Make a decision to be big, as big as possible, and see how you can work it and make it happen.”
For the Self, what is most important is to experience the Self directly. “That is the beauty of the Transcendental Meditation technique,” Dr. Nader says. “Practice this technique very regularly, morning and evening, because it gives that sense of being anchored in the Self, so there is that strength and stability.”
At the same time, our TM practice also “gives that sense of greater awareness, greater novelty, greater discovery of the Self. The Self grows and expands, the stresses are released, and clarity comes,” he says.
In fact, regular TM practice nourishes all areas of life, he adds: “The intellect is clearer, the mind is more creative, the metabolism is strong, and the body is strong.”
“A simple thing is to try every day to see something beautiful. See and hear things that are beautiful and inspiring, things that are life-supporting and uplifting. This may be as simple as a beautiful flower or a sunrise.” —Dr. Tony Nader