Each of us has our own idea of what it means to be “healthy”. Some of us feel healthy when we can comfortably play a round of golf or run a half marathon. Others may say that we are healthy when the body is functioning properly and transparently – “doing it’s thing” without attracting our attention. Although these are different ideas of health, they are both valid and useful. There are also some common, underlying concepts that we might say are basic foundations of health.
The first is related to nutrition and digestion. We should be able to comfortably take in food, extract nutrition, then easily eliminate waste. These are basic functions for survival, and any discomfort or issues should be addressed quickly.
The second relates to processing our emotional energies. Similar to processing food, we should be able to allow emotions to come in, experiencing them appropriately, and then be able to let them go. Many illnesses are caused or exacerbated when we are unable to experience and process emotions with relative ease and grace. We can find ourselves in a literal state of dis-ease – uncomfortable taking in physical or emotional material, processing it to extract helpful elements, and then letting the rest go without residual.
The third basic need is to have periods of activity. Appropriate physical exercise is necessary for a healthy body, just as mental exercise helps to keep our brain healthy. Feeling energized is about flow – you have to use it to get more of it.
The fourth basic need is to have enough quiet downtime. Good quality sleep is critical for our mental and physical health! Research continues to emphasize the importance of sleep in preventing dementia, obesity, and emotional imbalances such as depression. Meditation is also a valuable way to get adequate downtime. Quieting our minds and putting attention into our bodies can connect us with ourselves in new and profound ways, increasing our sense of health and wellbeing.
These four functions consitute a basic foundation for a healthy life. If any of these are compromised, we are going to feel uncomfortable and unhappy. We will also have an increased likelihood of developing serious illnesses and disease, so please seek appropriate medical help as soon as possible!
Are you experiencing digestive or bowel issues? Do you feel emotionally locked, or stuck in cycles of rumination? Are you getting enough good quality sleep and appropriate exericise? If you need some help and support, send me a message or schedule an appointment – I’d love to work with you!