The flood of news about health and fitness these days can be more confusing than helpful. If you’ve been exercising or eating “right” for years but still feel frustrated and unfulfilled, you are not alone.
There are ways to take charge of your health by tapping your inner resources effectively. The changes that we support are simple and are designed to increase self-awareness, since all aspects of life are interdependent.
Example: When you’re worried about something, you’re also likely to have an upset stomach.
What may appear to be individual events are really interconnected aspects of a larger, more complex system.
When you master small changes, you build a fortified base from which to take further steps on your healing journey toward wellness.
Although many people associate wellness only with fitness, nutrition or stress reduction, wellness is really much more. Wellness brings people into a domain of self-responsibility and self-empowerment.
Set goals for wellness
Goals keep you on course. And more than that, goals are like magnets they tend to attract people and resources that help get them accomplished. It’s almost magical how this happens.
Often people set their sights too high and then quit completely when they don’t make the grade. Approach these “impossible” goals by breaking them down into manageable parts.
Breathing reduces stress
Stress is inevitable you need it to warn you about the negative forces of life. But there are many forms of stress that wear you down and cause a variety of health problems.
You may not be conscious of it, however every tense condition or even memories of tense situations causes a change in breathing. The more stressed you feel, the more shallow your breathing becomes. Consciously breathing deeply can relieve tension, quiet fear and relieve pain. So before you reach for aspirin or antacid tablets, do some breathing.
Emotions and health
There is a heavy price to be paid when feelings are denied or repressed. Lethargy, boredom and a lack of enthusiasm toward life may be the consequences. Those who are unaccustomed to dealing with feelings in healthy ways often seek out other means to cover up those feelings or distract themselves, such as alcohol, food, drugs, TV, unhealthy relationships or compulsive work.
Befriend your emotional self. Accept emotions as valuable signals that tell you something is in need of attention. How to acknowledge emotions…
- Write an angry letter and then tear it up.
- Compose a poem about your grief.
- Draw, paint or even dance to express your feelings.
- Exercise vigorously.
- Talk about your feelings.
- Let fear be there.
- Let discouragement be there.
Don’t try to chase these emotions away. Look at them. Express them when it is appropriate to do so. Then move on.
Simplify your life
Becoming well in body, mind and spirit is not nearly as difficult as it may seem. Wellness is not a matter of accumulating something, like more research or experience.
Rather, wellness is realized by unburdening yourself of all those things that prevent the natural state of healthiness from being present. To become well is to appreciate simplicity. Examples…
- One breath is precious, one smile one day of seeing the sun.
- Simplify your life.
- Simplify your diet.
- Take time to rest your mind.
- See your loved ones as brand-new every single day.
Honor your body’s wisdom
Inhabit your body. Learn to start listening to what your body is saying to you and to trust what you hear.
Listening to others instead of yourself or saying yes when you mean no are just two examples of the many ways you shortchange yourself. Wellness is about “coming home” taking up residence inside your own body once again.
Current research in the field of psycho-neuro-immunology verifies what folk healers have known for centuries that thinking and emotions have a direct impact on the strength of the immune system.
The immune system is the first line of protection against illness. Strengthening your immune system deliberately, through the use of imagery or developing self-talk, provides you a much better chance of sustaining whole body health.
Connect to the earth for healing
When was the last time you sat on the ground or touched the earth in some way? This may seem silly, but physical contact with soil, natural waters, sunlight and fresh air is healing.
When stress has built up, a walk around the block is often all that is needed to restore perspective.
Beyond that, you connect with forces stronger than the individual self in nature, and this puts everything in perspective.
A partnership in healing
There will be times in your life when you need the care and attention of a helping professional such as a doctor, psychologist, social worker, etc.
When you’re looking for such professionals, it’s important to find people willing to take the time to answer questions and listen to your concerns. If you find someone who is unwilling to do this, switch to someone who will.
Getting started on these small changes will help you make a difference in your life. We hope that you will experience increased self-awareness and self-appreciation have a sense of greater inner strength and, above all, live a healthier life.