In today’s world, trying to be healthy can seem super complicated. We’re often told to make big changes to how we sleep or exercise, but sometimes these changes can actually make us feel worse. Plus, when it comes to food, there are so many warnings and labels to consider that choosing something simple to eat can feel like a huge task.

But when you think about being healthy as a mix of being physically, mentally, and emotionally well, sometimes the best advice comes from the old days.

There’s a cool story about a Zen master who lived on a mountain. A young person climbed all the way up to ask him, “What’s the secret to being enlightened?” The master’s answer was super simple: “When you’re hungry, eat. When you’re tired, sleep.”

Sometimes, depending on who’s telling the story, there’s another piece of advice added: “when you’re feeling restless, go for a walk.” No matter how you hear the story, the message is pretty clear:

Listen to your body: This means we need to slow down sometimes, take a deep breath, and really pay attention to what our body is trying to tell us.

Give your mind a break: Our brains aren’t made to be running all day and night. We need to let our minds rest just like our bodies, otherwise, we’ll just end up feeling worn out.

Let your spirit be free: We’re more than just our physical bodies. That’s why doing things like yoga, which is part of spiritual traditions, or thinking about the connection between our body and spirit, is important. Sure, running on a treadmill is great for your health, but following your heart and discovering new things can be just as valuable.

Being healthy isn’t just about simple tips; it’s about really thinking and doing things that make us feel good in our bodies and minds. And even though we might try to find shortcuts or quick solutions, these often end up making us feel stressed or even harm our health in the long run.

So, if you ever feel overwhelmed with all the health advice out there, maybe try the Zen way and stick to the basics.