It very easy today to drift further and further from from our inner-selves. There are so many distractions in our everyday life that entice us to take life passively and mold an attitude of dis-concern or dis-interest with our body and mind. I am not writing today to discus religion, politics, or science. I am only going to concentrate on the human potential that is within each and every one of us. Whether you believe in a higher creator, in evolution, an alien master race, or the Matrix, it doesn’t change the fact that you are here now with a human body; a human body that is perfectly engineered and adapted to the Earth and the environments in which we live.
In each and every human body lives the ability and potential for healing, and a warning system to help trigger this healing process. The only problem with this system is that we all have the ability to shut ourselves off and ignore the signals if we so choose. Why would anyone do this you ask? It’s not always an abrupt and conscious decision we make, but rather one that creeps in sometimes masked behind a veil of positive reinforcement. Imagine your well being was personified as a large bucket of water. Now every bad or negative influence in your life comes as one solitary drop of black ink added to your bucket. The ink is allowed to trickle in over the course of time. A few drops of ink in a large bucket… who can even tell? Many times we don’t notice a change until the water has already gone full black.
The choices we make (or drops of ink!) in our lives, how we think, use our bodies, eat, sleep, exercise, and set priorities, affect our health and wellness. Having the ability to listen to your body and help prevent illness is just as important as the healing process itself. Many people won’t become concerned with their health until they get sick. Our healthcare model in the United States tends to reflect this attitude towards health. We get sick, then seek the remedy. Our society is pressuring us into letting too many drops of ink in our buckets before we take action. The secret to health, wellness, and happiness is in consciously making the effort to be proactive about them. The more conscious we are of giving our bodies what they require, the more we take responsibility for our own well-being.
I’m not going to sugar-coat it for you! It may actually be hard to hear, and even harder to fully understand, but over-all health cannot be achieved with a passive approach to healthcare. Don’t take these words as a blanket statement against our healthcare in the United States. Medical doctors, surgical procedures, and medications all have their place in the healing process. The problem is becoming a passive patient who relies solely on these things to make them healthy again not realizing that they are only fixing one aspect of a problem while other concerns also need to be addressed. For example, you can’t just take a diet pill everyday and expect to lose weight in a healthy manner. The pill may help you lose weight, but you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think you also need to eat healthier and exercise everyday. The pill alone represents one aspect in the healing process. Diet and exercise will complete the process.
In closing, I would like to leave you with often overlooked, simple ways to improve your health each and every day: meditation, breathing, exercising, and eating healthy foods.
- Concentrating on positive thoughts throughout your day is the first way to make a noticeable change in your life. Life brings you unhappiness sometimes, but dwelling on it sets you adrift further and further from wellness. Taking five minutes to refocus after a stressful situation and release your negativity can do wonders for your mind and clarity. Along with this goes deep breathing.
- Deep breathing exercises are the most gentle and effective methods known for purifying and revitalizing the body. If your breathing is shallow, your body’s vital systems are not functioning at their optimal levels. When you breath deeply the respiratory system can fully oxygenate and rejuvenate your body.
- Stretching and aerobic exercise are the two most important types of exercise to practice daily for health maintenance. Gentle stretching for five minutes two times per day keeps your muscles and joints loose. Twenty to thirty minutes a day should be spent on more aerobic exercise like swimming, bicycling, running, or brisk walking. These exercises will develop muscle tone, stimulate deep breathing and sweating, and increase blood circulation. Exercise naturally regulates a balance in your body’s systems. When you do not exercise your metabolism can become sluggish which can lead to depression and over-eating. When you exercise regularly you tend to develop a healthy appetite, a frame of mind, and an overall increase in vitality.
- Your diet plays a crucial role in health maintenance and prevention of disease. When we eat processed, preserved, or devitalized foods, we weaken our system. Try picking foods that strengthen your body and build resistance to disease. This is helping your body to reinforce it’s innate ability to heal itself. Eating health doesn’t mean eating bland. It just means you need practice moderation and be more aware of your food choices throughout the day. Vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruits, and fish are good examples or healthy foods. Foods with processed sugar, white flour, too much salt, foods that are fried in grease, dairy products, and chemical additives are things that should be mostly avoided or moderated.