A few good questions -
to help raise your awareness!
The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they'll ease
Your will they'll mend
And charge you not a shilling.
Author: ~Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields, What the River Knows,
What is your definition of health?
What does being healthy really mean to you?
Is it something you take for granted and never think about – until something goes wrong?
Or are you consciously aware of your health and always working toward creating optimal health?
Is being healthy just about exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet?
In an increasingly sedentary world, how much exercise / movement do you actually get?
And what do we mean any more by “balanced diet?” How healthily do you actually eat?
Are you genuinely willing to make the changes necessary to create excellent health and well-being?
Whoah! Are you just rattling through these questions or are you taking time to answer them, honestly? Honestly?
Have a look at the following model where moving to the left is living with symptoms, disease, and having them treated, perhaps on-going for life until life ends. Or moving to the right where you are proactive in being aware of your current state of health, in all its aspects, and consciously take steps each day to create the best state of heath possible?
Above, to the left you are REACTING to life and its symptoms. To the right and you are CREATING a truly healthy life.
– same letters in both words, but very different intentions and results.
We are not suggesting that life is about either or – it is more a question of where you put most of your attention.
If you are currently living with symptoms and dis-ease then you can choose whether for ever and a day you simply manage those, never addressing the cause of them. This is the NHS approach to diabetes, osteoarthritis, and many other conditions. Conventional medicine mostly operates to the left of the continuum.
Or do you decide to tackle the cause of your symptoms, whilst at the same time, ie BOTH / AND you put your focus on making life about the creating of optimal health. EG you may have diabetes, and in the present medical model, are simply managing the symptoms. You cannot create good health if you cling on to that way of living life. And that is what the present NHS medical paradigm would have you do?But how about if you were to decide to reverse your diabetes, so it is no longer about treating symptoms but about addressing the cause of diabetes, giving up on sugar, carbohydrates, starch, pastries, grains etc and over a few months releasing the symptoms of diabetes as you treat their cause. AND in that period you also work toward being aware that better health is possible, doing your homework as to what that means to you and how to achieve it, and, even as the diabetes reverses, you also work toward creating optimal health? Which will mean a shift in attitude, a change in lifestyle, in eating, paying attention to any negative beliefs you hold that are holding you back, releasing not just diabetes but all the mental emotional issues that weigh you down AND remember you are also a being with soul and that attending to spiritual and soul health should also be brought on to your agenda, if it isn’t already there. This means attending to your inner world, your connection with a source that is greater than you but which infills and enfolds you. (It is not about religion necessarily though for some people it can be.)
To make a switch to better health, you first need a BOTH / AND approach. You need to react and respond to any symptoms, illness, disease, what the world brings to your doorstep AND you can take responsibility for creating a different world. (And if we all did that, imagine the different world we might have?) Taking conscious charge of your life and your health means taking calculated risks. It means recognising you have choices, and being willing to live with the consequences of your choices. You can do nothing, and nothing much will change except any did-ease will simply worsen. Or you can choose to inform yourself, be more aware, and, if necessary, take bold steps in the direction and creation of better health.
Being completely healthy is attending to your physical, mental, emotional, social, financial, spiritual well-being. If one segment is malfunctioning, it will negatively impact the others. For example, if you keep making bad choice that negatively impact your health then until you change your mental thinking and allow that to affect your choices and actions, then not much is going to change.
The way we live our lives – our behaviour, our thoughts, our attitudes, our personal habits – all have a profound effect not just on our physical health, but on our mental, emotional and spiritual health and well-being.
Key at the outset is to examine our quality of thinking and how we think, for everything begins with a thought. If your thought is that “Nothing good ever happens to me” or “There’s nothing I can do about this!” then those thoughts will determine how you behave in the world. If you think there is nothing you can do, then nothing you WILL do. If you always do as you've always one, you'll always get what you've always had.
Our minds are constantly working frantically, thousands of thoughts per minute, exhausting and depleting its power, making it hard to focus and make the right choices in life. and as much of our thinking can lead to stress-filled thoughts, they in turn increase our levels of cortisol. Cortisol is an important hormone in the body, secreted by the adrenal glands and involved in the following functions and more:
Proper glucose metabolism
Regulation of blood pressure
Insulin release for blood sugar maintenance
Higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream (such as those associated with chronic stress) have been shown to have negative effects, such as:
Impaired cognitive performance
Suppressed thyroid function
Blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia
Decreased bone density
Decrease in muscle tissue
Higher blood pressure
Lowered immunity and inflammatory responses in the body, slowed wound healing, and other health consequences
Increased abdominal fat
We need to learn to relax, de-stress, slow down (which we can do with e.g. meditation, leisurely walks in nature, painting, listening to gentle music etc) and notice the thoughts we think that create the life we have and if that life is not as we would wish it, then we need to at least give ourselves the choice to change our thinking.
To make up for what our bodies lack, our food is fortified with vitamins and minerals which feed and energise our physical body and our brain.
In a similar way, to make up for what our minds lack, e.g. peace, space, calmness of thought, we need to enrich it with nutrients to nourish and strengthen it. You could fortify your mind with the vital nutrients of silence, Begin by taking one minute breaks throughout the day – just sit in inner silence. Whatever is happening around you, simply take your attention inward to your breathing to feel calm and in control.
Give your mind the goodness it needs to function well for you.
Begin to notice where you most need to make changes in your world.
Write down – help the mind, make it easier for it – write down all the different thinking you need to create those changes. Most people could have a long list. So you will need to prioritise. Some may need the support of a coach, therapist, doctor etc
Perhaps to make it easier, take each key area in life which has an impact on your well-being and for each write down up to three changes you need to make.
These are listed alphabetically
Breathing - how good is your breathing and do you need to learn to breathe better?
Communicating - how do you rate yourself as a communicator?
Eating - how wisely do you eat? What is your definition of wise?
Feeling - how aware are you of your emotions? How skilled are you in managing them? Do you tend to repress them?
Financing - what is your attitude to money? Is it a healthy one?
Health and wellness - how would you rate this area on a scale, say, out of 10 where 10 is optimal health?
Love - how willing are you to accept that you may need to love yourself more and better?
Meaning - what meaning do you give to you life and the world around you? Do you differentiate between meaning and purpose?
Moving - how active is your lifestyle? How often do you walk for more than ten minutes at a time? How much exercise? / movement?
Playing and fun - how much play, fun do YOU get just for YOU in a day / week? Playing with others which is for them does not count.
Purpose - what is your life purpose? Do you know? Are you working to take action to fulfill it?
Relating - how is your relationship with yourself, with others? Are you an introvert, extrovert?
Religion - does any religion play a part in your life. Are you an adherent or do you draw inspiration from across the religions?
Self-responsibility - how willing are you to take charge of your life instead of, perhaps, passing responsibility to a professional?
Sensing - how aware are you and in touch of your senses, your physical feelings - sight, sound, touch, taste, smell - and your psychic senses?
Sexuality - how comfortable are you with your sexuality, with discussing sex, with your sexual relationships, with sex?
Spirituality - what does the word mean to you? How do you react to it? do you have moments that transcend your physical existence?
Thinking - how prepared are you to examine your thoughts and beliefs that create your health outcomes? And change if necessary?
Willingness - how willing are you to make the changes and put in the necessary effort?
Working - how aware are you of the importance of your thinking? Are you a positive / negative thinker?
It is hoped this website will help you be in charge of your health.
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Regina RYAN and John W. TRAVIS