Things to Ponder

Taking responsibility for one’s health

Why is it that so many people are happy to outsource their health and wellbeing to others?  I’ll tell you a little story which is perhaps typical of a lot of people.

Debbie and I were on a train travelling from Surrey into London two or three years ago, and sitting opposite us were a young couple in their late teens or early twenties.  They were talking about illnesses and health.  The young lady explained to her boyfriend in no uncertain terms how she always goes to her doctor at the slightest sign of any malady, for example a cough or a sore throat and how she always expects to be prescribed a drug to treat whatever is afflicting her.

This is consistent with stories of people who go to their doctors routinely for any type of ailment and expect to be prescribed a medicine. In fact, some doctors report that they are under so much pressure to see as many patients as possible that the only way to achieve this is to write prescriptions and refer patients to specialists just to move them on, when in fact all they probably need is some advice and guidance which actually takes time which neither the patient or the doctor has!

I have to make it clear that this is in no way intended as a criticism of doctors, hospitals or the medical profession, they do an amazing job and they save lives.

This is intended as an observation of our own behaviours and a timely reminder that each one of us is a self-healing organism. Inside our bodies we have the most advanced hospital and pharmacy working 24/7 regulating our systems, servicing our organs, repairing, healing, replacing, and renewing every single cell in our bodies.

On top of that, our bodies are incredible super-computers which monitor every part of our being, and give us warnings whenever something isn’t right, for example by causing us pain or discomfort.  The thing is that most of us associate these ailments as illnesses and inconvenient symptoms that will go away with drugs and external interventions, like surgery or operations.

I have found in recent years that if I take notice of those warning signs and actively seek to find the reasons for them, often they are related to matters of the mind, for example mental fatigue, stress, and anxiety.  Just by being aware of these causes, and taking steps to remain calm, look for remedies to my worries and anxieties and making sure I eat and drink in balance, the symptoms quickly disappear. Meditation and breathing always work for me and if you want to try it for yourself, here are some tips which anyone can follow:

To meditate is literally to be in the moment, so find a comfortable place, you may lie down or sit down and even stand up.  The key is to focus on your breathing and try and let your thoughts come and go. Don’t worry if you find yourself drifting off into your thoughts, to bring yourself back to the moment just focus on your breathing and don’t fight your thoughts.  You can do this for 10 minutes or so, and if you’re very busy then do it for 5 minutes.  If you do this several times a day, you will soon start seeing the benefits I promise you.

You are what you eat is perhaps one of the most underrated sayings and yet it is probably one of the truest!  Eating a bit of everything and making sure most of it is fresh and preferably pesticide and chemical free and also as natural as possible is a sure way to nourish your system.  Allow yourself to indulge in a moderate amount of your favourite foods and drinks and this is very important, if you really enjoy these, never feel guilty about it, just enjoy!