I recently called for each of us to take guiltless responsibility for creating our own health, preventing disease and healing ourselves to the best of our knowledge, ability and training. Today, I want to offer practical suggestions on precisely how to learn these skills.
Actions to stop
Stop smoking. If you don’t smoke now, don’t start. The quality of the air we breathe affects every cell in our bodies. When we inhale toxins, every cell, organ and internal system is disrupted from normal function.
Stop using and abusing drugs, alcohol, caffeine, and taking prescribed medications without competent medical supervision. Always ask about any medications: how they work; what side effects they have; how long they are necessary to take; and whether you will get over whatever illness you have without using them. If we chose not to drink alcohol, we could save more than $128 billion a year in decreased productivity and work absences.
Stop overeating. All medical research studies on food consumption clearly show that we eat entirely too much food for our bodies to use. We have to rid our bodies of all that food in some way. If we metabolize it, much of it is reduced to waste. Liver, kidney and digestive problems occur when we overeat. Obesity creates havoc in our cardiovascular system, our digestive system, our musculoskeletal system, and in our psychological self-image.
Stop eating non-nutritious and unhealthy food products. Processed food and junk (fast) food robs our bodies of the ability to use healthy nutrients effectively and efficiently. The high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt content of processed foods alters our biochemistry, leading toward greater risk of illness. Become cautious of any food not grown in natural, biological plants, but manufactured in man-made plants.
Stop risking physical trauma by driving too fast, not focusing your attention on driving and not wearing seat belts. Stop engaging in high-risk sexual activity without protection and disobeying rules designed to enhance your safety. It is not brave or courageous to defy self-safety activity…merely ignorant or stupid.
Activities to start
Start moving your body more. Regular moderate exercise is critical to overall health. Our muscles were made to move. If we hold them still too long, they quickly deteriorate.
Start consuming more soluble dietary fiber…not just laxatives, but combinations of food fibers. Research has indicated that the average healthy diet should consist of 40 to 50 grams of soluble and insoluble fiber per day. The average American gets only 9 to 12 grams daily. Lack of dietary fiber is the basis for many illnesses including cardiovascular disease, breast and colon cancer and Type II diabetes.
Start reducing your intake of fat, sugar and salt. It sounds so simple. It is so simple. But it is not so easy. Dietary habits are among the most difficult activities to modify.
Start engaging in stress-reducing activities. Learn relaxation skills. Practice using imagery, meditation and thought control to relieve bodily stress. Take regular breaks from any repetitive activity. Get sufficient rest and sleep.
Engage in creativity. Whatever activity results in you feeling you have created something, it is beneficial to your physical and psychological health. Make music, art, designs, crafts, beauty, service actions and even good friends.
Develop an attitude that you, your mind, your body, and your health are precious and worthy of your care. Your life is important. The quality and nature of your life is in your hands. Learn to respect and care for yourself. For your optimum health, practice loving you through the use of self-care skills.
Each of us has more power and influence over the quality of our health than we ever imagined. When we take charge of our behavior and develop habits that promote our best health, we create a lifestyle in which we can thrive and enjoy being alive.