Ten Surefire Tips to Attain and Maintain Personal Health and Wellness
It is always a bit risky to oversimplify complicated things. Human health and wellness are not always or even often clear and straightforward. Nonetheless, I have found the following ten suggestions to be of the most help to the most people both in my personal life as well as in now nearly 40 years of professional clinical practice. Suggestions, even the best of them, are always a lot easier to give than they are to enact. In this instance, each one will prove to be worth the effort.
1. Don’t fall for the images promoting what is ‘˜good looking’ in media ads, on television or in the movies. The male attractions tend to be overdeveloped and many of the females featured are unhealthily, underweight and quite possibly actually suffering from an active eating disorder. Being a Size #1 is neither a good nor a healthy thing for most people. (Deliberate starvation or over-exercise to achieve an idealized image is, more commonly than not, a road to physical self-abuse and ultimate self-destruction.)
2. Abstain from smoking anything at all! Tobacco, marijuana, Bidis (clove cigarettes), pipes, cigars — . There is simply no such thing as non-toxic smoke.
There is also no such thing as a tobacco product that is not, at its chemical core, highly toxic and d carcinogenic. Smoke it, suck on it, chew it, stick it between your gums and cheek to get the juice out of it or snort it up your nose; The poison will get you one way or the other. (Cancer doesn’t care much which form of tobacco helps it develop in your body. There is simply no such thing as safe tobacco use.)
3. If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation. Moderation means no more than one or two ounces of alcohol a day. (One or two small shots of hard liquor, two 12 ounce beers or two six ounce glasses of wine.) If you drink more than this regularly, it may not be a problem that interferes with your life yet ‘” But, it most certainly will be.
For some people, especially those with a genetic vulnerability toward addictions, it is entirely possible that NO amount of alcohol consumption is actually safe as a genetic addiction trigger can be set off by even small amounts. Check your family history for clues. (There is no one set pattern or amount of consumption that puts a person into the unhealthy realm of alcoholism.)
4. Drink water. Without specifying any specific number of glasses per day, choose water more often as a beverage and if you currently don’t drink any, start out finding the opportunity to drink a couple of glasses a day. This is only about 25% of what is usually recommended, but everyone needs to start somewhere. Our bodies are largely water and we use a great deal of it every day we live. It must be replenished.
Clear, unflavored water, flushes and cleanses your system of many of the small amounts of toxins that we take into our bodies every day of our lives in a way that nothing else really does quite as naturally or effectively. (Water, water everywhere. Water actually helps us think.)
5. Create and commit yourself to pursuing at least one (attainable, realistic) new goal for yourself. Although we sometimes refer to inactivity as being somehow vegetative, even vegetation grows. When we stop growing, an important aspect of our beings literally withers on the vine. It matters less what it is that that it be something you would really like to change or achieve. (Perfect stagnation in life is death. To know is to grow.)
6. If you feel as though there might be something wrong with you and it has not gone away by itself in a week or two, there may be something really wrong. Going to the Doctor is not the favorite activity of most people, but to avoid it when something may be threatening your well being (either physically or psychologically) is a terrible mistake. If you suspect that you may need
some help, it is quite possible that you do. (No one knows as well as you do whether or not you are really well.)
7. Try to be clear and honest with yourself about your own values and retain them, even if they differ from those around you. Real friends will be those who respect things about you that are different from them. People you regard as friends who seem highly motivated to pressure you into seeing or doing things their way may not really be the friends you thought they were and hoped they would be at all. (“To thine own self, be true.”)
8. What people put into their bodies really DOES matter. Good nutrition is a requisite for good health. Try reading the labels on packaged foods and ask yourself if this is something you really want to put in your body. Do a little research about the things the human body needs to sustain itself and don’t be afraid to look into the things you may currently be consuming (and like!) that
you suspect might not be in your being’s best interests. (When your inner voice challenges your own actions, be sure to listen to it.)
9. Avoid relationships that disrespect, misuse or hurt you. The reasons for tolerating such relationships are always complicated but inevitably need to be dealt with and either changed or escaped if wellness is to be experienced.(Enough said about that one here.)
10. Resist the societal ubiquitous temptation to hold ‘˜bad’ feelings in. In most cultures, people seem to learn that certain uncomfortable feelings are not appropriate to express outwardly. In our own culture, the best examples are probably the learned inhibition for men to express sadness or for women to show anger. Holding in these feelings is a little like swallowing small pieces of broken
glass. A small amount may not hurt us, but swallowing a lot of it, over time, will begin to have a shredding effect on one’s insides.
Find a way that is OK and does not hurt anyone else, and then try letting the feelings out; Even old ones. The release and relief that comes from this activity is difficult to describe and is somewhat different for each person, but is often a truly positive transformative experience for most people. (When in doubt, find a safe way to let it out.)
Be thoughtful, be deliberate and be well.