I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, (oh no! ) and I have officially named 2012 – The Year of Health! (sounds awesome, no?) Obviously a motto or resolution of “getting healthier” is very vague and can be very confusing. So to help makes things easier, I decided to narrow it down to one simple concept – “Rethinking Health.”
Time to rethink what we assume we know about health, and to stretch our brains a little bit. Even if we don’t change a single habit, if we begin to view things a little differently then I’d like to believe we’re on the right path.
So for me, I’ve been doing some “rethinking.”
It’s interesting how over the years my perceptions and understanding of true health has changed quite dramatically. It’s a little extreme to go from eating processed and unhealthy foods to eating sprouts and vegan tofu!!! The journey to true health is a real journey, and while it might sound silly, it really isn’t a journey that should be rushed lest you miss some valuable lessons along the way.
Valuable Lessons? What kind of lessons can you learn from eating carrots?
Well, I’m so very happy you asked. Here are just a few of the things I’ve learned from my “journey” towards a happier and healthy life. (feel free to comment on what YOU have learned from your healthy habits)
1. Nutrition is not something to be taken lightly.
We always joke about how some people can eat so much junk food and never gain a pound. Well, it’s not about weight and it’s not about pounds and we must as a society stop putting so much WEIGHT on how much we WEIGH. When a person is overweight, it’s merely a symptom of something that’s out of balance. (incorrect eating, lifestyle habits, stress, lack of physical exercise etc.)
I never really took nutrition seriously. Ok, so I knew I shouldn’t pig out on Donuts at the Chanukah party because I would feel bloated and gain a pound or two. But I never understood that it goes much more beyond the bloated feeling for a few hours. The way we eat DIRECTLY affects EVERY other aspect of our lives. Our moods, our cognitive skills, our sex lives, our energy levels, our immune system….
In simple terms – our food can make us or break us.
And as I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “we are what we eat.”
2. Health is more than just not being Sick
This is an attitude that I find in alternative health more so than in the conventional health world (for those of you who go to regular MD’s – you’ll have to let me know if they teach this as well.)
The point is that true health is an all- encompassing freedom. Free from physical ills, free from emotional baggage that holds you back, and clear focused sharp mental capacity. (and if you’ve been following my blog, you know I believe Spiritual Health to be equally important – living with a sense of a higher purpose etc)
If a person has to take blood pressure medication every day of their lives – that’s not exactly physical health, is it? It’s called disease management. If I am physically healthy with boundless energy, yet I have a hard time concentrating and focusing in class – that means my mental faculties are imbalanced and no, I’m not fully healthy.
I think this is a hard concept amongst conventional medicines because we are so used to compartmentalizing things. If I’m depressed then I go to a therapist, and if I have a stomachache I go to a general practitioner. But if I’m depressed because I got into a fight with my husband, it’s highly likely that I will have stomach issues! My point is that we are an entire body that consists of mind, body and spirit – - and should be treated as such, not as individual symptoms. (I believe that this is most taught in the school of Homeopathy which truly takes into an account a person’s emotional/mental well being when prescribing a remedy)
3. Our Lifestyle Can Be Just as Poisonous
This is tough one to explain because it means taking a hard honest look at where we work, who we interact with and what items we use on a daily basis. So, I’m sure we’re all familiar with the term “Toxic Relationships” – coined for those friends we looove to hang out with, but for some reason afterwards we feel like crap?
This applies to our work environment also. For example, we knew there was a problem, when every Sunday night my husband would get depressed thinking he would have to go back to work Monday morning, and knowing he would have to deal with certain people.
These people as individuals might be wonderful caring and kindhearted – but to you (or me) they might be TOXIC.
A toxic environment WILL play a huge role in your overall health. Personally, I think this is the hardest one of them all. Eating healthier, taking vitamins, doing Yoga is one thing … but leaving a job, or a city, or a friendship because its not healthy is very difficult to do.
As for ‘items’ that are toxic… overusing computers, cell phones, microwaves, aluminum bake-ware – items we use every day, they directly effect our energetic systems and ultimately our health.
4. True Health & Wellness Helps Us Be Happier
This is a big Statement!
- When life is in balance – our work life – our personal life, there is a sense of peace and tranquility and things are in healthy flow.
- When we are in healthy environments, feeding our bodies the proper nourishment, our emotional responses are appropriate and our mental faculties are sharp.
- When we are aware and mindful of our surroundings – we are able to acknowledge what is good for us and keep the rest out, allowing us to create a happier life.
I have been enjoying this “RE-thinking” thing, and I plan to continue this vein. Over the next few days / weeks I’ll be discussing Rethinking our Physical Health and Emotional Health.
I hope you’ll join in the discussion!