The holiday season as well as any season can be a time when setbacks come in droves and continue to chop away at our health and wellbeing. The information in this article provide tools and tips that we can use at any stage of the game to get ourselves back on track and subject ourselves to health and wellness instead of chronic sickness and disease.
Being disciplined in all areas (physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual) continue to provide a good foundation for our human temples (Yes – your body is the temple in which you are privileged to live) to withstand the ongoing stresses of life. We as adults are in need of boundaries just like our children. Setting good healthy boundaries in all areas of our lives lead to a greater sense of happiness and long term health and success. Without healthy boundaries, we are left to our own devices, which often times are not good for us and wreak havoc in our lives, causing unnecessary destruction.
You all know what I am talking about. No matter who you are, the strong holds of human nature get ahold of us and create a mess of our health, relationships, finances and all of the things we hold precious and dear (if we don’t keep a check on them at all times). Following are a few guidelines to help you evaluate areas that may need work, and a few tools to get you right back on track. The more tools we have and the more we put them into action, the less time we spend off the tracks in a state of self-destruction.
Develop a solid plan that involves your entire self.
- Mental – Engage in something that pushes your mind to learn, whether you read a book a month or enroll in a class of some type. Challenge your brain to learn.
- Physical – Physical fitness is what keeps the human temple strong, healthy and able to get around. Find the type of activity that is right for you, even if that means hiring a personal trainer, going through physical therapy or enrolling in a gentle or power yoga class. Be mindful of your personal physical capacity in order not to get injured and set yourself back.
- Emotional – Emotional wellbeing is important to full-body health. Eliminating things that bring on negative emotions, such as toxic relationships, may be a foundational turning point in getting on track.
- Spiritual – Spiritual health is vital. Who is it that helps you grow spiritually? Set aside time every day to devote to developing your spiritual being.
Obtain an accountability partner.
This may be your spouse, best friend, physician, naturopath, chiropractor etc. Choose someone who is an eagle! Someone you look up to and respect and that you know will hold you accountable without brow beating you. Ask them to help keep you on the train and check in with them at regular intervals. It is a very powerful experience when someone lovingly points out to you that you are doing self-abuse by overeating, not resting, not exercising and not doing the things that you promised you would do to take care of yourself.
Take the I Have Value Pledge.
Place this in a place where it if fully visible and you can see it and read it daily to remind you of your commitment and value.
Start and end the day the right way.
Start the day in prayer of thanksgiving and end the day in prayer of thanksgiving. We have to remember to give the Lord thanks for he is good. If prayer is not your mode of giving thanks, perhaps start and end the day in silence and allow your brain to come to rest. It is always imperative to go to sleep without excessive baggage and negative emotions on your head. To give thanks in all things renders us humble to the next unfolding blessing.
Abstain from negative self-talk.
Replace the voices in your head with a prayer verse such as “The Lord is my Shepard”, revisit the “I Have Value Pledge”. Negative self-thoughts are like having ants in your brain (Automatic Negative Thoughts). These ants have no place and no good use in your mind. Develop a phrase that you can say ten times once you recognize you have been obsessing about something that has no useful place in your life. Let’s Kill the ANT’s for they should be dead in your head. Once you start replacing the negative thoughts with positive x 10 you will be amazed how you start to view your life and your days differently. It may not be easy at first. This is a very powerful discipline that helps us put our mind on straight.
Always be reading a book of positivity.
A few examples: A better way to think By H. Norman Wright, EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsay, If You Wear Out Your Body, Where Will You Live? Schwarz or maybe even a 365 day devotional. If you put the good stuff in constantly, there is less room for the voice of the enemy to leach in on your mind. What we think we become. Every opportunity we have to learn deepens our well of education. Education is something that no one can ever take away from you. You own it. Once you learn something it does give you more responsibility though. You have to put what you know to be true and right into action.
Keep stress under control.
Hyper vigilance is a sure way to fail and get set back. The ill effects of stress cannot be denied. Strongholds (food, alcohol, drug, tobacco, gambling, laziness etc.) rear their heads during times of stress as we have a tendency to resort back to old habit patterns of comfort. Set up a time to get a massage, take a walk in nature, have coffee with a good friend or just slow down and take some deep breaths.
Commit to the process for LIFE!
Good discipline = long term health. Change the concept forever from “Living to Eat” to “Eating to Live”! Good health is dependent on good gasoline, just like the engine of a car. You would not put sugar in the gas tank of your car, would you? You would not get very far. The engine would lock up and you would have to walk to work. This may be a good strategy to put obesity to rest. If we all had to walk to work, what would our health be like?
Identify your triggers.
Lack of sleep, arguing, emotional pain, fear of failure, etc. Identification can help you set up tools. When you learn your triggers and develop tools to handle them, you are less likely to get set back.
Refrain from saying I “can’t” do this.
These words go straight out your mouth, to your ears and then to your brain where they stick. Instead develop words of affirmation. Even if you catch yourself saying the negative phrase, immediately stop and change your language. Repeat the I “can” phrase 10 times allowing it to be the power of positivity that you get to stick. To live a life without impossibility we have to get rid of the words I can’t and I will try.
Set small goals within your large goals.
Example: If you want to lose 100 pounds, set that goal at a year with a 5-10 pound monthly goal. Set something that you know without a shadow of a doubt you can achieve. Then set one that will give you a challenge and is larger yet set it with the knowingness that you “CAN” do it.
If you get off the train, abstain from self-punishment and negative self-talk.
Simply get back on the train! The quicker you recognize you are off the train, the quicker you can get back on it. Fast action back on will waste less of your vital life force in the ditch you don’t want to be in.
Avoid always being a “Yes” person.
If you say yes to everything, the plate may get to full. An over full plate spills over at the edges, causing stress and hypervigilance which lead to strong holds and set-backs. It is OKAY to set healthy boundaries and limits on your time.
Take a minute to just breathe.
Try this experiment for one week. Take one minute a day to just sit in silence and breathe. Take big deep cleansing breaths. You will notice that after just one minute you feel like a different person. After all, you can only live mere minutes without oxygen. Let’s improve its place in our lives. Take a big healthy cleansing breath in and on your exhale let go of stress and tension and let your inner body have a break. Once you have done it for one week, you will likely want to keep up this good healthy habit every day.
This is just a sample of a few important things to do to avoid setbacks. Let’s keep living the wellness life together, encouraging one another and spreading the word on how to live the healthy life we were designed to live!