How to Maintain Good Health

How can you maintain good health (mental, emotional and physical)? There are many paths you can follow but only one thing is required to make a substantial impact to improve or keep your health on the good side.

Simply put, wellness is a matter of changing how we think before making any actual biological or environmental change.

Speaking of which, many things have changed within the last 30 years… but only to resemble what was once considered the norm. As an example, here’s how I use to deal with small health problems for years.

Glorious processed food days…

When I was a kid, back in the early 1980s, eating sugary cereals and powdered chocolate with sugar in a glass of ultra-pasteurized milk was a healthy way to start the day.

A lot of people still eat that way nowadays and there is no reason for them to change their habits since they just have no health issues that they can possibly relate to their industrialized food consumption.

We get a sudden skin rash that lasts for a few days. Nothing alarming but uncomfortable enough to seek for a solution. A quick one. So, we go to the drugstore and ask the pharmacist for a cream to help relieve the symptoms.

We get a sore throat, we go back to the drugstore where we purchase some throat pastilles.

The corner pharmacy is my second grocery store!

More often then not, the sore throat turns out to be a small virus. We go through the bathroom closet and find 2 or 3 boxes of medicines almost full but all of them have passed the expiry date by 2 to 3 months.

We finally end up returning to the drugstore for a decongestant, cough syrup, and Tylenol or Advil to help us sleep through the night and hopefully get better sooner. Missing a workday or 2 is not even an option, we all agree to that. We grab a paper tissue 6 pack box and head back home.

Occasionally, fever steps in forcing us to stay in bed. Meetings, phone calls, customer’s requests, and operational tasks will have to wait. But only an hour or 2. Just the required time for the Advil to lower the fever. The infection symptoms now are hidden, no reason to stay home while work keeps on piling up.

Finally, we head to the doctor’s office to get an antibiotic prescription when the coughing, chest or ear pain doesn’t go away. The doctor will fix everything if none of the other options we tried worked.

Where do we go next? That’s right, back to the drugstore where we expect the pharmacist to recognize us by now. Surprisingly he doesn’t. Don’t worry, it’s not that he doesn’t care. It’s just that a lot of people with similar symptoms, medicine needs, and prescriptions come and go every day. It’s flu season after all.

How to maintain good health through flu season

For many years, I’ve been doing what I just described. I wasn’t really seeing anything wrong with this. I knew I tend to have more colds and infections than some of my relatives who simply had a better physical constitution than me.

It was bothering me a bit but, hey, what can one do against poor genetics? I used to say that my immune system was too welcoming and a bit naive when it came to recognizing the enemy.

All was perfectly fine until I became a stay-at-home Mom

I didn’t have a social life or back up to provide me with some time for myself.

I realized that my workday was now on a 20 hours schedule or more. Short nights and not a minute for myself. The constant needs of my single child made me realize that the daily activities that we take for granted were almost impossible to accomplish in a peaceful or timely manner.

Taking a shower, washing dishes, preparing meals, relaxing sipping a cup of tea, reading a book before bed was no longer on the agenda. I started experiencing digestive issues due to the poor quality of food I was chowing down as fast as possible to attend my crying babies needs.

Despite the fact that I had no real contact we the exterior world and viruses I would get sick with flu-like symptoms that would last for a month and a half and these would never really go away. Every time I thought I finally got over that nose congestion or night dry cough I would fall sick again.

I was so discouraged, tired, washing my hands obsessively hoping that my baby wouldn’t get sick as well. This would mean even fewer sleep hours. I was a wreck!

Things got considerably better when my daughter started going part-time to a daycare. Sure, she brought home some bug and of course, I would catch it. However, once she got better and was able to return to the daycare I would use the alone time to sleep and eventually get better myself.

I never felt so alone than I did during that period. Abandoned by the people I thought would have been compassionate enough to offer to babysit so I could rest. I was running a business from home as well but I quickly realized that I would never be able to honor any engagement due to the lack of back up and my poor physical state.

In hindsight, I know it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I had no other choice but to seek for a solid and permanent solution to my health issues. Something you can’t find at the drugstore.

So what is it that makes us more prone to fall sick?

It’s a combination of factors.

And they are all related to a bad mindset.

Sabotaging your life in 3 simple steps

(here’s the wrong way of thinking)

______1. What we eat (and how)

I used to think that eating was a waste of time. Cooking something decent takes an hour per meal if you take into account all steps (not so but that’s how I saw it). That’s at least 3 hours daily or more if you use a lot of plates, pans, and utensils that need to be vigorously scrub by hand.

To avoid all that, you turn to the prepared meals in plastic or cardboard packaging. I use to think that whatever was sold on the supermarket shelves was good to eat.

If it wasn’t, the store manager, or the government, or someone with good values from the food industry would raise a flag to prevent those foods from being sold to us… right?

_______2. How we rest

Average adult sleep needs are of 7 or 8 hours… that’s 1/3 of the day!

Another huge waste of time… Especially when you compare and compete with coworkers or fellow students that brag about their 3 to 4 hours sleep needs.

Of course, they don’t talk much about their not so enviable crazy coffee consumption or addiction to energy drinks or how they self medicate with wake up pills.

_______3. How we feel

Deadlines, endless hours commuting between work, school, and home, bills to pay, short and long term objectives like buying a house or a car, a better smartphone. Putting the kids in the best schools so they can live “a better life” doing exactly what we are doing: running after time.

These are all contributing to a stressful life.
But everybody is living this way, right? If they can handle it so can I.

Getting 2 jobs to meet ends, attending evening classes and paying other people to take care of our kids while we do all of that is just common sense. When we finally have a moment for ourselves we literally crave that bottle of wine to numb our heads and avoid earing that annoying little voice that asks “why? WTF is going on?

“How on earth is this supposed to be the life I want?”

By the time I got 34, I was not able to quiet the voice of my conscience. No matter how much wine I would drink.

“Reconnecting with myself”… what the heck does that mean?

Occasionally when I was not too tired or depressed about my work week, my boyfriend and I would go on a bike ride along the river or a walk in the closeby wood or mountain hike. For a brief moment, I was able to appreciate whatever was out there that made me feel lighter.

Outdoor time is good for your health

Unfortunately, most of its soothing spirit completely eluded me. I didn’t notice the refreshing shadow of trees, the caressing warm breeze, the energizing smell of pine trees, the cheerful choir of birds, the playful sound of the crunch of leaves from small animals running close to the trail. All of this happening at once so that my mind could finally rest and put aside another sad and strenuous week.

You see, I was speaking loudly and not paying attention to anything else but my non-stop babbling. That’s right, even when there was no reason to do so I would bring up a frustrating situation I had during the week. Everything to avoid silence which would inevitably lead to paying more attention to my peaceful surroundings. But, how in the world could this ordinary stuff be of any interest…

To reconnect with yourself implies that you know your true self. The problem is that I was identifying myself with my daily activities. Unfortunately, everything I did was not fulfilling.

My life was made of traffic jams and stressful work. I would end every day attending a school class or teamwork meeting or a study session when I was clearly not able to concentrate anymore.

Squeezing the juice day after day to be productive as we are taught from our youngest age. Until your health is ruined but that part is passed over in silence.

How to maintain good health

The temptation to try anything that’s out there in order to be healthy is strong. Again we are being influenced by others.

We follow instructions from influencers through social media, newspapers, Tv shows that target an audience interested in wellbeing and health. They all say pretty much the same thing: cut back on carbs, exercise, avoid process foods.

But what are we trying to fix anyway?

Detox from one size fits all thinking

What are you after exactly? Is it losing weight, or having more energy to succeed in all the projects you have?

Are you having health issues that are preventing you from enjoying your daily tasks and hobbies?

Are you struggling with mental and emotional health problems like mood swings, anxiety or depression?

Before you try the latest juicing cure, a miracle fast or signup for a hot yoga class stop and think of what maintaining a healthy body and mind is about. How to maintain good health from your own perspective.

Got your answer in mind now? Great! Now think of where this idea of a healthier life comes from.

Is it a book you read, or a conversation you had with a friend or something you’ve been hearing about for a long time that caught your attention?

In many cases that’s how we finally decide to make a change. We are conditioned to follow a leader and this leader tells us that this diet is good for everyone because it’s scientifically proved.

Well, I’ve been trying many things and I can tell you that this is far from the truth.

Everyone will react differently to a specific regime. Some people will feel invigorated doing an exercise or eating certain types of foods while others will get sick (literally!) out of it.

Everyone is different because we are all in different physical and mental states. We think that age and gender are important factors but all of the following have potentially an even greater influence:

—— Medication,

—— Past surgeries and removal of organs,

—— Present nutrients level in your body,

—— Chronic disease controlled with medication or not,

—— Food interaction,

… and a myriad of occasional or not so occasional symptoms that we are experiencing that we just simply live with (food sensitivities, allergy symptoms, bloating, runny nose, muscle pain, bad breath, PMS, snoring, fatigue, eczema, joint pain, excessive sweating… and the list goes on.)

All of these are signs there to tell us that something is out of balance.

So before you invest in an expensive juicing machine or subscribe to an Iron Man boot camp training make sure you assess what you really want to accomplish.

Simple actions that are suited for your situation are more likely to improve your overall health.
Just like reading different books especially with opposite views will help you better understand the inherent topic you wish to understand

The key elements of wellness

The following topics include the basic steps you can start researching and implement at a low cost.

As you can imagine, some or more relevant than others depending on each person’s needs or present states.

You can read more about each of them here:

  • Rest
  • Socialization
  • Nutrition
  • Physical activity
  • Meditation
Healthy habits for a better and longer life

In Conclusion

Keep in mind that we all come in different shapes, sizes, and states.

Moreover, these elements are constantly changing throughout our lives affected by our choices.

I came to realize that our worst mistake is to accept to be categorized because it makes us think we understand who we are but it’s profoundly inaccurate.

Often these tags are based on a perception that has been forced into our head since we were kids.

You know, insidious statements like: “Oh, you’ve always loved sugary foods.” Then you live your life thinking “I have a sweet tooth” and living by that.

Or “You’re a book person not a sporty type of guy or girl”.
These apparently inoffensive statements forged our personality into an inflexible mindset. It really makes it difficult to change bad habits like a sedentary lifestyle.

Also, be patient as it will take time to figure out what works and what doesn’t for you. Most importantly, you will need to become aware of that state at this very moment and open your mind to different ways of seeing a problem and find the appropriate solution.

As I mentioned earlier our mindset is often the root of the problem. Although once you acknowledge and change it for open-minded thinking it will nourish that flame of willingness that makes all transformation possible.

Everything we need to assess how to maintain good health and have a long happy life is within us.

Also Read

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