These days most people seem to have incredibly stressful lifestyles. Stress is not only a proven risk factor for heart attacks, but also cancer, ulcers, allergies, colds, hypertension, and more. In fact, about 70% of our diseases are stress related.
The chronic stress of time pressures, of a poor diet eaten on the run, lack of exercise or holding resentment puts us in a constant state of panic. This causes the release of stress hormones like adrenalin or noradrenalin and cortisol which raises our heart rate, our blood pressure, weakens our immune system, tenses our muscles, raises our cholesterol, raises our blood sugar, weakens our bones and causes inflammation that is a factor causing many more diseases.
The health benefits of adopting a healthy lifestyle are clear. I would like to give you a few tools you can use if you want to make positive changes in your lifestyle. I don’t want you to be health fanatics, and don’t want to lay a guilt trip on people who get sick which isn’t fair.
We all want to make our health a priority, and we change our diet for a little while, and we try working out for awhile, and we feel just a little guilty when we stop. We know obesity is harmful but we don’t have time to diet properly so we go on some fad diet that doesn’t work , and we are willing to give up one or another of life’s good pleasures and take this or that miracle cure at whatever the price.
So how can we successfully make the changes we need? And how do we know what’s the best, most healthy lifestyle? There is so much hype and conflicting information out there about the best food, the best exercise program, the best way to relax. We are bombarded with health information, much of it inaccurate, misleading, preliminary and out of context. We lose a balanced perspective in the maze of all the research findings we hear on the Today show or on Good Morning America.
If I want to relax, the hardest way I know of is to try to do it when somebody tells me not to be uptight. If you tell me I shouldn’t have donuts, I crave them. How can anything that tastes so good be bad for me? Well I am not going to tell you to relax or not to eat steak or ice cream or to lose weight or quit smoking. I’m going to tell you to listen to your body and find the joy in life.
In order to listen to your body you have to slow down long enough to pay attention, and if you do I guarantee you will find the joy. Because joy is in the simple things -a smile, the taste of food, the beauty of nature that you will become more aware of when you are in touch with your body. Your inner voice, whatever you choose to call it – that if left to flower tells us what we need – what is best for us and what direction we to go it. Our amazing body mind knows what food we need, what emotional nourishment we need, when and how much exercise we need, and it knows when we are giving it something harmful. But its outcry cannot be recognized unless we listen. Listening to our body is the most important lifestyle measure we can make.
Animals can recognize when and what kind of food they need. Scientists make rats deficient in zinc and rats will choose food that has zinc in it – even when you put it in vinegar that has zinc in it they will choose it over tasty rat chow that is deficient in zinc. I can give many more examples. We too can sense what we need if we will but listen.
But stress is masking the true need and we end up getting what stress needs. The result is sickness and pain. It may sound crazy, but sickness is the healthy response of our body. It is trying to tell us something. Sickness is our body screaming to us that it has had enough neglect, enough poison, and that there has to be a change soon or it will surely get worse and it may kill us. But we can’t hear our body’s cry because the drugs and poisons speak more loudly. Once we stop putting in the poisons we can hear our body tell us what it needs. If we listen to it and give it what it needs true healing is possible.
continued on the next blog.
Information shared here is not intended as medical advice, and cannot substitute for professional medical advice and information. Information provided is general in nature and may be helpful to some people but not others, depending on their personal medical needs. Always consult with your personal physician before changing or undertaking a new exercise program or following advice designed for general audiences only. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay getting care because of something you have read here.