We’ve all heard the mantra: drink 6-8 glasses of water a day for optimum health and beauty. We take our water with us to work, carry bottles of it in the car and constantly refill our glasses throughout the day. Is it all necessary though? You bet! While the marketplace is continually filling up with special vitamin and protein-enhanced waters, the truth is a glass of plain and simple tap water can cure illness and prevent minor health annoyances.

As adults, our bodies range from 50% to 65% water, and an astounding 85% of our brains are water. It’s no wonder proper hydration is crucial to good health. Adequate water intake is necessary for all the cells in your body to function – your blood, muscles, and even electrical nervous system need water. It flushes the toxins from our kidneys and helps stave off hunger. Dehydration can lead to depression, headaches, impaired motor control, chronic pain and even death. While one can go weeks without food, the human body can only go 3 days without water. Second to oxygen, water is one of life’s most crucial ingredients.

Despite how inconvenient carrying water with you everywhere may seem, it’s not that difficult to keep yourself properly hydrated. First things first. Staying hydrated does NOT mean drinking your three cups of coffee, bottle of iced tea and 64-oz. soda. As our bodies are made of water, it is those molecules in the water that need to be replenished each day. Caffeinated and alcoholic drinks will only further dehydrate you. Personally, I aim to drink one glass of water every hour, on the hour, which will add up to about a gallon over the course of the day. Try it for a week. I bet you’ll notice clearer skin, more energy, improved memory, and you may even drop a few pounds.

In addition, water can powerfully enhance your spirituality too! Water has long been considered an important element in many spiritual and religious traditions. Consider, for example, purification through baptism rites and salt water rinses, or healing traditions that employ the use of herbal infusions.

More often than not, water is revered not for what it contributes to our spirituality, but rather for what it clears away that may be interfering with our spiritual wellness.

Keeping our spiritual channels clear is as simple as flushing impurities from our bodies and clearing mental and emotional disharmony from our minds and hearts. Adequate hydration will help with the first part, and here is a simple exercise that can help with the second part:

Each morning as you shower or bathe, imagine that the water is dissolving all pain, illness, emotional distress and past trauma you may still be carrying. Flush water over the center of your forehead and affirm, “I clear away all thoughts that do not serve my higher good. I open my mind to healing thoughts of love and wellness.” Flush water over the center of your chest and affirm, “I release all stored pain and trauma from my past. I forgive those who have hurt me, and I forgive and love myself back to wholeness.” Let the water cascade down your body and imagine that it is flushing away anything that may prevent you from living a joyful and spiritually fulfilling life.

You can even take this exercise a step further by infusing your drinking water with similar affirmations before ingesting it. Simply hold the bottle or glass of water between your hands and focus on positive thoughts like, “I am happy and healthy. I love my life. I am surrounded by abundance and joy. I am strong and centered.” Then simply “drink in” all those great thoughts!

Water Affirmation:

I wash away all impurities, negative thoughts and emotional stagnation.

My mind, body and spirit are clear, clean and free.

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