Health is more than the absence of disease. It is a holistic well-being on every level, including physical, emotional and spiritual, and peace and balance with the world around you.*
This doesn’t mean that bad things do not happen in your life, but that you have resilience. You feel emotions but do not become stuck in them; you get acutely unwell but recover and get back to health; you have things happen that knock your self belief and your connection to the world, but you take stock, learn, grow and move forward.
Modern living does not help – we lead lives that are busy, juggling many things, with a type of long term stress the human body is not designed for. We eat food that does not nourish our bodies, and in some cases is not just lacking nutrition but is actively toxic. We are exposed to a plethora of advertising and social media that makes us question who we are, are we good enough, and instils an insidious inadequacy that needs more of everything to fill that hole.
Short of removing yourself from modern life and living in the bush, which would present its own problems, there are things you can do to mitigate these modern stressors (what we call “obstacles to cure” in homeopathy).
Work on your mind-body connection- this means being present in the moment, being aware of what is happening in your body and in the environment you are in. Mindfulness is one term for this, and is the complete opposite of the busy-person ideal of multi tasking.
If you cannot be mindful and present in all your daily activities, taking moments to stop, notice, and breathe is helpful.
Conscious practices like meditation or yoga also allow you to bring this quieting and calming practice to your life.
This may be challenging, and it is ok to slip, and stop, and find yourself juggling more and more balls. When you can, pause and breathe, even if it is only 3 deep, slow breaths in and out through your nose. Your nervous system will appreciate it.
Choose whole foods, those that are as nature provides – when you are stressed the refined carbohydrates and sugars are a quick and easy boost – but the blood sugar spike soon falls, leaving you feeling worse than before.
Eat protein – this is essential for so many processes in the body, muscle building and the formation of our neurotransmitters that make us feel happy.
Carbohydrates are easy to over eat, particularly refined, processed carbs, and too much sugar. Treat refined carbs and sugar like any other addictive substance, and work on reducing how much of them you are eating.
Equally, the third macronutrient fat can be over-consumed in processed or unhealthy options, but in some cases can also be lacking from the diet when it is needed for brain health, joints and more. Choose good fats like avocado, coconut, and olive oil, and as much as you can avoid refined oils and seed oils which are highly processed and cause inflammation in the body.
Drink water, aiming for 2L of fluid a day.
Be aware of your use of screens and consumption of social media. It’s hard to stay away from (and I appreciate all of you reading my post here on Facebook 😉) but the random scrolling to fill in time is not great. It’s also easy to see a snapshot of others’ lives and compare what looks great with your own.
Manage your expectations in life – to quote a Sheryl Crow song, “It’s not having what you want, It’s wanting what you’ve got”. There will always be something newer, brighter and better, but stuff doesn’t make you happy. Find the joy in the small things. When bad things happen and the negative emotions come, feel them deeply and let it lessen with time.
If there are any aspects that you are struggling with, stress, lifestyle or emotions you get stuck in, then homeopathy can help. Choose to work on yourself, and make your well being a priority.
*Note: “Health is more than absence of disease” has been attributed to a number of people, including, but not limited to Joycelyn Elders, Dr Frank Lipman, Dr Mark Hyman and the World Health Organisation (in 1948). It is also a common concept in complementary health modalities, as we look at wider aspects of well being.