Western thinking tends to separate the mind, body and spirit. However, in Japan, there is a single word that defines this harmonious relationship between mind, body and spirit: kokoro.
Essentially, it is the concept of balance and centredness through the connection of our heart and our mind. Studies show our heart communicates with our brain to send signals to our nervous system, hormonal glands and organs, meaning our energy and emotions can have an impact on the healthy functioning of our body and our wellbeing. Ultimately, having a strong kokoro means being heart-centred, with an emotional state of inner peace and gratitude.
“Originally, kokoro referred to the beat of the heart, which was considered to be the essential organ of life and the source of all activities. By extension, kokoro refers to all human activities affecting the outside world through intention, emotion, and intellect.” — Shohaku Okumura, Zen Buddhist priest.
We could all benefit from living with a strong sense of kokoro. Here are three ways you can harmoniously cultivate your mind, body and spirit.
1. Embrace an eco-conscious lifestyle
Humans have a deep connection to nature and destroying it means destroying ourselves. The world we live in provides us with the natural resources to survive: water, food and the oxygen we breathe. Therefore, it is our responsibility to protect and conserve our natural environment and resources as much as we can.
Living a conscious, intentional lifestyle can be done in your own small way, such as simply reducing your consumption of meat and dairy, saying no to single-use plastics, supporting eco-conscious businesses, and reducing waste where possible. Organic products with natural ingredients are also becoming more accessible than ever. Opt to shop for certified organic products around the house and for personal use, such as natural skincare, shampoo, and household cleaning products that won’t harm you or the environment.
2. Exercise your mind-body connection
Our body’s response to stress—a fight or flight reaction—is often an automatic response to the daily stressors of life, and achieving a relaxed state can only be learned through self-regulation and regular exercises that foster the mind-body connection to nurture our emotional, mental and spiritual health.
Some of the best mind-body activities to practice are yoga, meditation, pilates, and tai chi. These activities fuel your mind and body with positive energy that can help you resist physical and emotional stress in the body. To cultivate a stronger mind-body connection, these activities should be practiced on a regular basis—weekly at the very least.
3. Create a daily matcha ritual for wellness
At My Matcha Fix, we believe in nourishing your mind, body and spirit for wellness. A morning cup of matcha can prepare you for a busy day studying or working—matcha can increase your energy, focus and improve cognitive function for better motivation and productivity. In the evenings, preparing matcha can help you wind down, calm your mind, and resist your body’s fight or flight response to stress—especially when combined with meditation or journalling. It can even help you get a good night’s sleep.
We encourage you to live an intentional, inspired life that nourishes your mind, body and spirit daily. Find out about the benefits of matcha and how it can help you on your way to a strong kokoro.