I've been asked this question a few times before and think it's time I break this down since there is so much out there on living a natural lifestyle.
So what does it really mean to live naturally? You may be familiar with the term holistic or naturopathic medicine which can be considered similar to when a person chooses to live naturally. Holistic/Naturopathic medicine is a treatment methodology that treats both the mind and body. There is also a focus on using natural remedies to align and heal the body so that it can work optimally and continue existing in a disease-free state. The common theme between this health approach and natural living is intentionality.
Natural living is a choice, it is about considering your whole world and how it affects your mental, physical and emotional life. This is why natural living and wholelistic living are talked about synonymously. Living naturally is about trusting your body to tell you what it needs and subsequently listening to what those needs are. For example, physical pain may sometimes be caused and/or sustained because of emotional pain that hasn't left the body. When you choose to live naturally, you choose to listen to your intuitive senses and make decisions that are focused on root causes rather than just treating symptoms.
When you apply this to your outer world, choosing foods and products that are natural and/or safer, is simply about listening to your senses to keep your body healthy and pure to achieve optimal health. You don't need science to know your body feels better when you eat unprocessed foods, exercise more, and regularly participate in positive mental health activities such as talk therapy, meditation, getting outside, connection with others, etc.
Prioritizing the environment is also a big part of living naturally. Making actionable changes to protect mother earth such as choosing circular fashion or reducing your use of single use plastics, are ways to live wholistically.
Practicing mindfulness is also an intentional way to live naturally. The monkey mind is a real thing, and it can cause unnecessary stress affecting both the mind and body. Participating in activities that help reduce scattered thinking and bring you back to one thought (mindfulness), is a way to naturally bring back mental and physical alignment. During meditation, the breath becomes the main focus, which allows you to come back to your body from the noisiness of thought. Experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day!
Intentionally choosing to quiet the mind, focus on the present, and choose joy in every moment are all major components of living naturally. In a nutshell, it is the simplification of things you bring into your mind, body and home.
Now more than ever, science continues to confirm that chemicals in our products are causing illness and disease. Simplifying your beauty and cleaning routine by using safer products, can ease your mind and reduce your bodies toxic load. I mean, do you really need your shampoo to have a bazillion ingredients?
Trust your intuition, you can't go wrong. Choosing to live more naturally is all about feeling better which comes down to choosing better, including; better thoughts and activities that help clear the mind, healthier nutrition and physical activity, and using safer products for home and body.
SLN's Take Home Message
To live naturally is all about intentionally committing to the health of your whole self and the earth. It is contingent upon the daily choices you make. I mean, we only have one body and one planet.
However, you can't go wrong. Start with one thing you would like to do to live more naturally. This could be starting a yoga/meditation routine to help increase mindfulness, walking more in nature, changing out your PVC shower curtain to non-toxic & PVC-free alternatives, or committing to using a reusable water bottle over plastic, single use bottles. Small changes matter, and I believe the only sustainable approach to living naturally is choosing better than yesterday. You seriously can't get it wrong.