Did you know that improving your health is a choice? It’s true. We make the choice many time a day to move toward better health or to move away. The more conscious we are about the power we have to live a healthy life, the more ability we have to make the right decisions. When we don’t understand how each action is a direct impact on well-being, then we are more likely to head toward actions that don’t serve us.
Here is a list of behaviors that people might take in any given day. Do your best to rate these as either beneficial to health or detrimental. Then note if you do any of these actions, or similar ones, and note if your actions are a positive or negative influence on your well-being.
- Skipping meals
- Morning meditation
- Daily exercise
- Planning the activities for the day
- Eating prepackaged, low nutrient foods
- Rushing to meetings, work and activities every day
- Feeling frustrated in traffic
- Belittling yourself quietly or in front of others
- Gossiping about someone
- Sitting all day with no exercise
- Feeling sorry for yourself
- Disliking your appearance
- Rewarding yourself with your favorite activity
- Visiting with friends
- Appreciating your natural skills
- Planning your meals for nutrition
- Telling someone how much you appreciate them
Most of us can see that some of these activities are good for us and others are not. More importantly, all of them are a choice; a decision we make that we have control over. It may appear that food and exercise are the two important winners when it comes to overall health. But in fact, every action we take, each day, impacts our wellbeing. If we think one bad thought about our body, mind or abilities, this has a negative impact on our own welfare and directly impacts how our body processes the water we drink, the food we ingest and the hormones that are flowing freely through our systems. Positive thinking is not just a phrase to help us feel happiness, it is a law for creating the best health possible.
Criticism of yourself or others, including gossip, feeds emotions such as fear and worry, blame and powerlessness, self-doubt and victimhood which all steal away energy that could be used to build new cells, cleanse the body, empower and energize the body to help us move more, have strength to plan meals and cook good food or visit loved one that feed our need for love and appreciation. Negative emotions can make us crave bad food, drop our mood and keep us doing bad habits.
Here are a few ways to sail in a good direction, even when wind and waves come at us:
- If a person is bothering you, feel compassion for that person and what they might be going through. Remember a time when you may have annoyed other people. Realize that we all make mistakes and can’t please everyone all the time.
- If traffic is causing you to move slower than you expected, feel gratitude for the roads, your vehicle and the people around you sitting in their cars who will deliver your mail today, make you a cup of coffee, make Google Maps work, repair the powerlines and grow your food.
- If your body doesn’t look exactly the way your desire, feel appreciation for your systems that are working, whether that is your legs that take you to where you want to go, your eyes that help you see, your fingers that work fine detail, your mind that helps you accomplish so much and your mouth and stomach that allow you to ingest nutrients. Then note that not everyone enjoys these great benefits.
We can easily focus on what we lack, or what we have. We can appreciate what our body can do, or belittle what we judge as inadequate. We can grab a bag of chips and a coke, or we can grab and apple and some pineapple juice. The power is completely within ourselves.
What I have noticed as I’ve made the transition myself, and coach a hundred others along this path, is that, like a boat moving on the ocean, we don’t usually jump from one island to the next. We sail from one place to another, occasionally returning to a familiar port (meaning bad habit). The important thing is to have the correct heading, sailing towards the place you want to be. If you know your goal, and chart your path, then daily you improve your choices, and that is making headways on the rough waters of life.
Every choice has an impact! You are either heading toward your desired destination or your heading is off toward another. Check your course direction often to stay on the path toward paradise island where great health abounds.