Finding my joy--photography and gardening.
I was reading an article about five important facets of good health. It really hit home in light of the fact that my mom, dad and mother-in-law have been having health issues. Watching them suffer as they have grown older makes me want to really pay attention to my own health!
Everyone has heard about the importance of eating whole grains, reducing your sugar intake, eating good fats, replacing soda with water and eating more fruits and vegetables. We care about what we put in our cars so shouldn't we care about what we put in our bodies? Hippocrates said that we all have a doctor inside us--our food. Simply, we are what we eat. Eat healthy, be healthy.
Our emotions can play havoc with our health too. Unresolved hurts, betrayals, violence and horrors we have experienced stay in our memories-- often time buried. When we remember these times we are forced to realize that although our heads have dealt with the experience our heart may not have healed. Studies have shown that unresolved trauma can weaken an individual's immune system. Stress can be very detrimental to our health. We need to find a compassionate someone who can listen as we express our pain and suffering.
Studies have shown that people who practice mediation and relaxation techniques have a healthier immune system. We are constantly bombarded by media, our cell phones and computers. We need to calm our hearts and breathing and this will calm our brains. Finding some quiet in our day will go a long way to help how we handle stress and improve our health.
Getting out in the fresh air at a good pace can help not just our body but our heart, our brain and digestive system. When we exercise, if even it's just a walk outside it stimulates our metabolism--our body's chemistry. It can also help connect us to nature. I know from personal experience that once you start to exercise your body will crave it because it makes you feel so good. It can help you destress, maintain a healthy weight and healthy muscles and bones. David Servan-Schreiber says swap Prozac for Adidas!
This is the one I see having a big impact on my parents. As they have gotten older, I don't see them finding the joy in their lives anymore. Laughter and joy are part of the heart's energy. I try to find joy in everyday things like the flowers in my garden or a beautiful morning. My grandkids give me tons of joy! Learning something new (like photography), creating a new dessert or starting a new jigsaw puzzle bring me joy. I think my parents have been focusing on all the negative things in their lives, the things and abilities they are losing. It's like your heart light growing dimmer and dimmer. Everyone needs a receive a smile and give a smile.
There is one more that I am going to add: Touch.
We are tactile creatures. When our bodies tense up and words are hard to find, touch can make a difference. Good health includes using massage, hugs and kisses to stay connected to others. Our social lives need to be healthy too.
So there you have it. Only you can take care of the light and life within you. You don't want to die without having really lived--a healthy life.