If you have one of those anti-bacterial hand gels in your possession, think again.
Jason and I have been out and about enjoying spring. The grass is quite green in Madison, which tells you it’s been raining a fair share.
Spring brings puddles.
Puddles bring fun.
And wet shoes and socks, which is why at some point in our lives we start walking around them instead of jumping directly into them.
What if I told you that getting messy and dirty is actually good for your mental and physical health?
Last month an article came out entitled, Kids exposed to dirt at lesser diabetes risk. It has to do with the problems of our hyper-clean culture. The study reveals that our cleaner environmental living conditions and improved hygiene actually adds to the risk of type 1 diabetes in children. We have put ourselves in safe clean bubbles without trusting our complex and magnificent immune system to do its job.
The immune system also works to fight off depression with the many chemicals in the body. In the article, Depressed? Go Play in the Dirt, it shared how there are certain types of bacteria in soil that cause the immune cells to release chemicals called cytokines, which help to activate nerves that relay signals from the body to the brain.
“The stimulated nerves cause certain neurons in the brain to release a chemical called serotonin into the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain known to be involved in mood regulation, among other things. Only a very small number of neurons in the brain make serotonin, but they have massive branching projections to every part of the brain. Scientists think the lack of serotonin in the brain is thought to cause depression in people.”
In other words, in order to stay healthy we should be playing in the dirt. We need exposure to bacteria. This is not the natural tendency for us grown-ups, especially with the convenient hand gels that we can keep on hand.
The best possible strategy is to learn (or relearn) how to do this from the sherpas themselves, the kids. They seem to be having no problem getting dirty and messy. It’s just what happens to them when they are living their lives.
Are we truly living or are we just trying not to get our shoes wet?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3bnmU-OE80
[tags]spring, puddles, juvenile diabetes, type 1 diabetes, depression, anti-bacterial, sherpas, serotonin, Ker Than[/tags]