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Space in Healthy Lifestyle

Chiu-Nan Lai, Ph.D.

Space is just as important for a healthy lifestyle as sunshine, fresh air, clean water and food. There are many kinds of space, but the major types include outer space and inner space; the two are inseparable.

When we live in congested city with busy traffic, fast-paced pedestrians, and the ever-changing television, we will be filled with anxiety and worry. In contrast, when we face the vast limitless ocean, view the horizon atop a mountain, or lift our heads to water the star-filled sky, our mind will naturally be open and quiet down.

Animals living in highly congested habitats will develop anxiety and even kill each other. Rats and chickens exhibit such behaviour, and cows require sedatives. Hence, humans who live in highly congested cities should create some space for themselves in terms of sight, hearing, taste, and mind. Space can be created by taking some time every day to walk in the park, and to enjoy the greenery, sunrise and sunset. Spend two weeks every year to be near nature – climb the mountains to be immersed in the forest, or to be close to the sea. Spend some time every day to cultivate our practice or observe our breath and mind. In particular, those who are ill should give themselves space, both internally and externally.