If you want to fill your bucket list with experiences of appreciation and joy instead of adrenaline, here are four items to move to the top ASAP:
1. Discover the healing power of natural herbs
Nature provides us with the foods we derive our nutrients from, so it makes sense that nature would provide us with plants that heal, too.
Nature packs a bigger punch than pharmaceuticals when it comes to healing the human body. For those who grew up using drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen for pain relief, it’s strange to think plants like Kratom and Arnica Montana can do better.
Kratom – an herb derived from the crushed leaves of the Mitragyna Speciosa tree – is a natural source of pain relief that acts on the opioid receptors in the brain. Despite this, Kratom is not considered an opioid. The alkaloids in Kratom work on the delta and kappa opiate receptors in the brain, not the u-opioid receptors of prescription painkillers. It’s also used to improve mood and increase energy.
Derived from mountain daisies, Arnica Montana provides pain relief for muscle and joint pain, as well as bruising and surgery. Available as a gel, cream, and homeopathic pellets, its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties stimulate circulation to reduce swelling and encourage healing.
Why are plants so powerful?
To understand why plants often work better than pharmaceuticals, it’s important to know most drugs come from plants in the first place. Plants are the original medicine that drugs are synthesized from. For instance, you’re probably aware that opioids are all derived from the poppy flower. The difference is pharmaceuticals are often isolated, incomplete versions of the plants and, therefore, don’t always work as well.
Armed with a degree in botany, Huffington Post author Dr. Andrew Weil clarifies the misconception. “For four decades, I’ve been skeptical of a prevailing belief in Western medicine: when a plant shows bioactivity in humans, we must attribute that effect to a single, predominant compound in the plant. We label that the “active principle,” isolate it, synthesize it, and make a pharmaceutical out of it. Then, typically, we forget about the plant. We don’t study any of the other compounds in it or their complex interactions.”
Weil explains that the healing power provided by nature comes with natural protections when the whole plant is used. When molecules are isolated, all bets are off.
Why is experiencing the healing power of nature worthy of being at the top of your bucket list? It’s proof that something bigger and more powerful is at work in the universe. Regardless of what you believe about how we came into existence, the fact that powerful healing can be found in the natural world speaks volumes about how much there is to learn about this planet we call home.
2. Write a research paper on a viewpoint you disagree with
Politics, religion, social injustice; what’s the viewpoint you disagree with most? Whatever it is, write a research paper supporting that viewpoint. Research the topic from every possible angle and get into the minds of people who hold that particular worldview.
What you’re really putting on your bucket list here is opening your mind to experience the world through someone else’s eyes; perhaps someone brought up in a different culture or with different values. If you surrender to the process, you’ll end up with a higher capacity for understanding and sympathizing with others without the need to make them wrong.
3. Read the book you’ve always judged by its cover
When you were in high school, which novel did you avoid reading at all costs? Which book have you been avoiding because of a cover you can’t stand?
Chances are, those books won’t be as bad as you thought. You may even enjoy reading them, or you could learn something new.
Reading at least one of the books you’ve been avoiding is a good way to prove to yourself that you can’t always trust your first impressions. Afterward, you’ll think twice before rejecting an opportunity based on superficial judgments.
4. Acknowledge someone who has deeply affected your life
You’ll never know how you’ve touched someone’s life until you express it to them. Be that person who takes a moment out of their day to express to others how they’ve affected your life.
Chances are, people in your life have wondered if their contributions have made an impact, and they may believe their support has gone unnoticed. By moving this to the top of your bucket list, you’re making the world a better place by acknowledging their everyday greatness.