You may have heard me talk about this for so many times, but I just can help but to stress that one important thing one can do to have a fulfilling life is to take responsibility for one’s own health. It is you, not me the doctor, who has the ultimate responsibility and the opportunity to do many things to enhance one’s well-being. Self-responsibility means making the choice to step in a constructive direction towards health. It is the opposite of a passive victim response, such as:
— passivity in relating to one’s doctors, over-dependency on medications,
— reliance for medical treatment as a cure for self-neglect,
— a tendency to ignore the responsibility to develop a healthful life-style.
Many of the life-style decisions that influence one’s health are within one’s control. You can
— devise ways to raise one’s general wellness level;
— increase one’s knowledge through reading and seminar workshops;
— use health professionals as resource persons and enablers.
Only you can walk the road of his or her journey to wellness. Nevertheless, having the expertise of health professionals as wise guides at critical points can be important, even lifesaving.
In this series let me share to you a quick guide where one can jump into wellness - body, mind, and spirit. Not the very expensive spa treatments and many other "wellness" marketing routes to consumerism. Just the simple, and practical to the best version of yourself.
Today we start with the body.
The Body-Mind-Spirit Connection – THE BODY
What the patient can do for self-healing is to care for one’s own body more lovingly; befriending it and respecting it with all its strengths and weaknesses. The neglect of bodily self-care not only has a negative impact on one’s physical wholeness but on one’s mental and spiritual wholeness as well. For example when I eat junk food or do not exercise for some days, my mind slows down and my spirit feels heavy.
How then can I love my body? By listening to it and understanding it better and learning how to give it the vital care it needs to stay whole. The full enjoyment of our mind and the blossoming of our spirituality requires that we keep our body as fit as possible. This means 5 things: fitness EXERCISE, healthy NUTRITION, cleansing revitalizing WATER, renewing REST and sensual SATISFACTION facilitating Stress Management.
EXERCISE for fitness
Vigorous exercise must be a regular part of our lifestyle. We benefit much by being just a bit more active, e.g. walking briskly for a half hour 4x a week.
Here are some down-to-earth things we can do to enable our eating and drinking to maximize wellness and boost our energy level:
1. Eat a balanced and varied diet including proper amounts of the 6 nutrients needed for our body’s health: proteins, carbohydrates, fats, water, vitamins and minerals, with emphasison unrefined complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables.
2. Reduce our intake of all kinds of fat, especially those from animal sources. Exception is easy-to-digest oil, as found in avocado, coconut, and cold-pressed vegetable oils. Such oil, however, becomes difficult-to-digest if it is cooked.
3. Improve the quality of the protein we eat by eating more vegetable proteins as found in whole grains, legumes and many vegetables. Fish and white chicken meat is not as good as vegetables protein, but is better than red meat.
4. Eat fresh, organically grown fruit and uncooked vegetables each day.
5. Increase the fiber in our diet by eating more whole grains, cereals, beans and raw fruits and vegetables, to facilitate elimination and reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
6. Pay attention to the times when we use food to temporarily deaden emotional pain, loneliness and spiritual emptiness. Stop using food and alcohol for non-food needs.
7. Reduce or eliminate toxins, such as nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, “recreational drugs”, pesticide residues, and potentially toxic food additives. Stop smoking, and if living with someone who smokes, let’s take a firm stand and insist that they do it outside.
8: Cleansing revitalizing WATER:
a) Drink between 2-3 liters of water every day, preferably between meals rather than with or near our meal-times.
b) Drink as much as comfortably possible in the early morning.
c) Avoid having many drinks with added sugar or milk, because it’s no longer cleansing.
d) If one needs sweetener, prefer honey, stevia or diluted 100% fruit juice.
e) If overweight or having heart trouble, avoid drinking more than half-cup at a time – but rather drink very often.
Learn more about the Plant Based Diet with our monthly workshop and food demo.
Renewing REST and RELAXATION
The gift of SLEEP is to renew both body and mind by restoring what was depleted during waking hours. How much sleep do we need to stay healthy? This varies from person to person and at different ages for the same person. The average is about 7 ½ hours a day. Many people are sleep deprived without being aware of it. How do we know whether or not we’re getting enough sleep? A sleep researcher gives this guideline: If you wake up spontaneously, feeling well rested, and if you don’t struggle through periods of intense sleepiness during the day, then you’re getting enough sleep.
Deep RELAXATION is needed by people who live stressful lives causing a lot of physical, emotional, psychosomatic and inter-personal problems. Practicing a method of deep relaxation several times a day can raise our wellness level and prevent illness. One enjoyable way to do
this is to give oneself the gift of one or two or more mini-vacations each day. These are breaks taking at least 5 to 10 minute when one does something that’s a renewing change of pace.
The next part we move on to the Mind part of our practical guide to wellness.
See you on the next post!