Cornerstones of Health and Wellbeing. Throwing lack and deprivation to the curb.

Our overall experience of health and wellbeing is dependent on certain lifestyle cornerstones. Cornerstones that create a cumulative net effect over time when we caretake them.

The goal is not perfection. Neither does it mean we never will experience setbacks, or illness. The goal is to invest enough positives in order to make ourselves stronger, and more resilient. If illness should then present itself, our bodies will have more of a surplus to deal with it than if we had not invested. Our happiness and wellbeing rely on feeling good.

Usually when people talk about which health goals they're working on, they begin to speak (with a grieving sigh) of all the enjoyed things they're cutting out of their lives, and all the pain endured during workouts. They name everything on the list; sugar, alcohol, carbs, fat. Lordy, the chocolate has got to go! 

Suffering *must* be involved if we're ever to reach the nirvanic state of good health, and strength. We fall right into the deep pit of lack and deprivation. It is a mindset that does not serve one's highest good.

Nope. Never bought into it, and never will. 

That's not always the best starting point. 

Folks, that's not how we roll as humans. Our brains seek pleasure. We're suckers for feel-good hormones. Does that mean that our growth and development are not based on challenge and problem-solving, afterall? Oh, that's still true. However, we are not meant to remain in that continuous state of challenge. We can handle it for a certain amount of time; but if we exceed our limit, we switch to a negative stress mode.

That's about the time we reach for the chocolate (or, whatever), because it artificially lulls us into a little temporary pleasure. The result? We sabotage our longterm goal, because it never stops with just one guilty pleasure. We stop in our tracks of progress. The feelings of struggle, lack and deprivation, bring people down. 

Unfortunately, many of the top killers are lifestyle illnesses that could have been prevented. People don't arrive at that point in a day, week, or month. It accumulates over time. It also takes time to get back on track. This is why lifestyle changes need to be implemented from a mindset of positives.

What do I mean by that? 

Firstly, let me list the cornerstones that we health educators refer to when we talk about the subject:
  • Nutrition
  • Sleep
  • Exercise
  • Stress management
  • Mental wellbeing
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Happiness (as a state of something 'more' than mental/emotional equilibrium, although some might define equilibrium as happiness for themselves)
  • Lifestyle (includes other behaviors that may put us at risk, or add to our wellbeing )  
The positive approach means to add beneficial things to our lives. We give to ourselves. There is a slight difference in approaches, and it lies in the mind. Sometimes it only takes a minor inch-shift in mentality to create a new outcome.

They can be any number of small or large steps that caretake the above cornerstones. It is a great starting point, and the emotional wellbeing created from them will gain momentum, and create a snowball effect. 

I can think of a hundred or more small things that can be implemented that would strengthen those cornerstones. All we have to do is get the ball rolling.  Try choosing things that are the opposite of what you should limit, but don't cut out the negative items right away. Phase them out as their pull/magnetism decreases.

Examples? They are sensible things that many might list. Think about where you are right now, and how much you feel you can successfully implement. 

Let's mention a few ideas for those just starting out:

For example, add a 15-20 minute walk outdoors after work to get some fresh air, move, and clear the mind. Perhaps you'd like to add an Omega-3 supplement and you decide to take it at bedtime, because it gives you more bang for the buck while you sleep. How about getting to bed half an hour earlier? 15 minutes earlier? Trying something new, like a new hobby. Add an extra veggie on the dinner plate. Do lunch salads a couple times a week. Implement a probiotic. Make sure you have something in your stomach before you leave in the morning, even if it's only a smoothie. Use a relaxation app. Learn to meditate. Focus on breathing habits.

Whatever small things you would like to try as an individual, add them a little at a time to your daily routine. Start out small, and create pleasure around them. Play with it. Have patience.

What you say to yourself during these activities creates the pleasure in the new experience. Yes, it's the self-talk concept again. It ties feelings of wellness to whatever you are implementing, and when your brain connects them, it will want more. So, tell yourself that you are adding something that strengthens you, gives you energy, makes you happy, and is beneficial. Use all of your senses in the experience. As you feel better, it becomes easier to slowly pull away from the previous habit that you wanted to kick. Inform yourself of that very intention. Talk to yourself!

I'll throw out a personal example. When I began meditating years ago, it was out of pure curiosity. I wanted to explore what it was. I wasn't consistent, nor could I sit for very long. Per the norm, thoughts still raced in the beginning. Emptying the mind seemed impossible, but I kept at it. Eventually, my practice evolved. 

As I began to have an incredible amount of positive experiences, not limited to stress management, something else began to happen. Suddenly I began to move away from situations that I knew created negative stress in me. Anything that clouded my meditation practice, took backseat. I gained a new balance in life. The feeling of wellness and clarity made it easier to kick other things I initally wanted to limit. Life happens, and there have been periods where meditation has been on the backburner. Yet, I can still delve right into all that good stuff as soon as I pick it up. Being able to empty the mind of busy thought for an hour or more is an amazing experience. My life was benefitted by adding a positive.

Each thing that strengthens you will lend vitality to try more, bigger, and better things. Just like in exercise/workouts; the stronger you are, the more you can do. 

The cumulative effect becomes a new lifestyle. 

We're all on a lifetime journey of learning. 
There is no goal of perfection. All we have to do is get the ball rolling.   

“Do the little things. In the future when you look back, they'd have made the greatest change.”
~Nike Thaddeus~

Stay safe and warm wishes,
Tamera Daun


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