This is a prescription you will never get from your doctor.
Too often we follow good advice from our doctors but don’t get the cure we are after. In today’s modern age we have a pill for every ill, but is that they way we should look after ourselves when something goes wrong?
Science knows so much about how our body’s work but there are fundamental things that are missed. If we can attend to these fundamental things we can avoid many of the pitfalls that modern medicine has no prescription for.
The following article is a prescription for a happy and healthy heart, mind and body that you will never get from your doctor. Take time to think about the ideas I put forward in here and see what makes sense or rings true with you. Then act on it as best you can.
Ongoing positive emotional health is the best medicine in the world.
We often think that how we feel emotionally, and the illnesses we get in our bodies are seperate things. This could not be further from the truth.
Science has almost no insight into how emotions creates disease, but it something we all have first hand experience in. Everyone knows what a broken heart feels like, but put you on the best of scientific tests and equipment and it can’t tell you to what extent your heart is broken. Science will tell you your heart is working just fine, nothing broken there at all.
But we know that feeling in our chest and the mess it makes of our minds. Our emotions have a profound impact on the sensations in our bodies, the thoughts in our minds and create imbalances in how our bodies function that can lead to chronic disease.
These are five easy ways to improve your emotional and mental health.
- Connect with people around you and develop these relationships.
- Be active. Find an activity you enjoy and make it a part of your life.
- Keep learning. New skills can give you a sense of achievement and new confidence.
- Give to others. Even a small act of a smile, a thank you or a kind word can make a difference.
- Take notice. Be present in the moment by observing what is happening around you. It can positively change the way you feel and how you take on challenges.
Get outdoors more often.
We have 1 billion people in developed countries who do not get enough sun. Much like plants that require sunlight to grow properly, we too can fail to thrive without it.
In our modern world many people head to work at 8 am and get home after 6 pm, spending the entire day indoors. This results in Vitamin D deficiency and a host of chronic problems that follow a long-term deprivation. If you have pale skin you need 10 minutes in the sun per day between 10 am and 3 pm. If you have more melanin in your skin you need 15 – 30 minutes per day. Easiest way to do this is to sit outside and roll your sleeves up on your lunch break. Make it a habit and you will feel so much better for it.
Walk barefoot in the grass regularly.
Your feet are one of the most nerve rich areas of your body. Biofeedback from your feet is sent through hundreds of thousands of exteroceptors directly to your brain.
The common use of footwear throughout our lives dulls this incredible sense. Imagine if you wore a motorbike helmet on your head eight hours a day. What a wonderful feeling to take it off at the end of that day! It is the same with your feet. Science says it promotes better sleep and can reduce chronic pain amongst others.
Our soles become soft and desensitised after many years of wearing shoes, however it only takes a few days of walking in grass for your feet to wake up again, and start feeling the way they are supposed to. Once they are awake, grass feels just divine on bare feet.
Do things you love doing.
By making time to do the things you love, it will make function so much better when you have to do things you don’t love.
A common reality for many people is going to a job that they don’t really like to afford the things they need a job for. We sacrifice our time and energy for money for 50 years of our lives, with night times to recover in preparation for the next days work and two out of seven days for ourselves. This seems to be the status quo for modern society in developed nations.
Ask yourself, “Do I live to work, or do I work to live?” There is nothing wrong with this reality, it works for so many people around the world.
But this is the thing you need to watch out for. Are you sacrificing the things that make you happy in order to keep up with the things that take you away from it?
Many people wake up after decades of work and life wondering what happened to them. A mid-life crisis it is often called. How to avoid it? Make sure you do the things you love. Don’t make excuses that you don’t have time for the things you love doing.
It is an excellent way to feel good about yourself and your life.
Surround yourself with people who are a positive influence in your life.
“The secret of happiness” is the longest scientific study ever done, starting in 1938 at Harvard University. Its aim? “What makes us happy?” One of the biggest things to come out of it is, “Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.”
Also, “the quality of your relationships in your 50’s will determine how well you age in your 60’s and 70’s.”
If you have toxic relationships damaging you, and counselling and time has not helped improve them, then for your long-term health and happiness, you need to move on.
Stop watching the news. It reduces anxiety, distrust and paranoia.
The news is our daily source of horror, misery and deceit. It brings very little benefit to anyone watching it; rather the influx of negative information desensitises our hearts and emotions.
The news is the greatest source of anxiety in the world.
Stop watching the news entirely and try to focus on what happens in just your world, because this is in fact your reality, not the virtual or reported reality. What you will see is people getting along with each other, strangers helping each other out and many people just trying to do their best. This is the real side of people and the world we live in, not the collective madness the news would get us to believe. Turn off the news and relieve yourself of the induced anxiety, distrust and paranoia it creates.
Stop eating crap!
We have never had more food available and been less nourished in history. It is suggested that obesity is only second to smoking as a preventable cause of death. Food related chronic diseases are completely avoidable and this is the easiest way to do it. Take the 100 day challenge!
For 100 days only eat: fresh meat, fruits, vegetables, salads, nuts and some cheese. Do not eat grains, anything with flour in it or starchy food like potatoes, rice, pasta and all of their derivatives. Do not eat anything with processed sugar in it, like lollies, sweets and all those yummy things that we think we like but are actually no good for us. Do not eat any processed food at all whatsoever. Eat as many fresh things as possible. Some coffee and tea are fine as long as you are not dependant on them to function. Some alcohol is fine, just don’t overdo it.
Do this for 100 days and weight will fall off you and your vitality will return. Over that time your stomach will tell you what it really likes and what you thought it likes: pay attention! Your cravings will go away and instead you will thrive on the nourishment of good food.
No more will the temptation of eating bad food bother you, because you will know how bad it makes you feel. Upon completing the 100 day challenge your body will be asking you to continue with this healthy, sensible and easily achievable way of life.
Make sure your bedroom is tidy and uncluttered.
“Cleanliness is next to Godliness” To be honest I have no idea what that means except it sounds good. What I do know is that your house is a representation of your mind. Your bedroom is the inner sanctum of your mind, the place where you go to sleep and feel safe, the place where your peace of mind and deepest thoughts lay. If your bedroom is a mess then so is your inner mind.
Definitely do not store any kind of junk under your bed. If you must store anything under your bed make sure you use it regularly and it is very tidy. For best results don’t put anything under your bed. My Dad suggests making your bed every day is an excellent idea (but it is something I’m not so good at, so I’ll leave that one up to you).
Your kitchen represents your creative capacity and your ability to turn ideas into reality. Your lounge room represents your social life. Your bathroom is a reflection of your hygiene. The junk you store in areas around the house represents unfinished or old ideas, and unresolved issues. These areas should be refreshed every two years.
In Marie Kondo’s ‘Tidying Up’ show, she talks about how to deal with what to throw out and what to keep. “If it brings you happiness when you hold it, keep it, if it does not, let it go.”
Feed the Good Wolf!
This is my mantra for disarming negative thought patterns.
If you haven’t heard it, the story goes;
“An Indian chief was talking to his grandson. In every person lives two wolves. One wolf is the Good Wolf. It is love, laughter and happiness, it is everything that is good and right with the world and wants to make your life a better place to be in. The other is the Bad Wolf. It is anger, misery, jealousy and hate. It is everything that is negative and wrong with the world, and wants to make your life a harder place to live in. These two wolves live in each and every person, and they are constantly at war.”
His Grandson asks after some time in thought, “If these two wolves are constantly at war, which one wins?”
“The one you feed,” his grandfather sagely replied with a smile.
We all know that good and bad lives in this world, and that good and bad lives within us, exemplified by the story just told. What we focus on in our thoughts creates the reality through which we perceive the world around us. If we are thinking negative things, the way we act and speak in the world around us reflects that negativity. The same goes for positive thinking. Which would you prefer?
We all face challenges in life, and no-one is immune from the forces and experiences that visit us through this life. If you find that negativity is dominating your thoughts, just say to yourself, “Feed the Good Wolf.” Every time a negative thought enters your head that you don’t want, “Feed the Good Wolf.” You may have to say it 100 times an hour to begin with. But after a time you only have to say it every now and then.
I find that when my mind has been chewing on some negative gristle for a while and it is affecting me, I ask myself, “Scott, are you feeding the Good Wolf?” and I smile, say my mantra, and the negative thought goes away to fight another day.
If you find that negativity is dominating your heart and mind, use Prescription 9 and Prescription 1 together. Practice these every day until it becomes habit. It will transform your heart, mind and life for the better.
This prescription should help you have a happier and healthier heart, mind and body.Sincerely, Dr. Scott Martin