Sweating at the gym, eating whole and natural foods, drinking plenty of liquids, and taking vitamin supplements are all good things that many of us try to put into practice in our daily lives so that we can enjoy good health. We tend to focus on these things because they are so tangible in our physical world. There is outward evidence when we discipline our physical selves to do what is good for us and conversely, when we don't. If diligent in this physical realm, however, then why do so many still not feel well or a have sense of contentment? The answer lies in something deeper than what is physical, to the less tangible areas of ourselves such as our emotional, mental, and spiritual natures; those parts that philosophers and prophets have spoken of throughout the ages. When these areas are excluded or not in harmony, we don't feel our best. Sometimes it can even manifest itself in a physical manner such as sickness. Some might even say that the origin of disease is due to an emotional or mental cause.
So what can we do to truly feel well? It's a new year and surely many have made health goals that include the physical side like eating better, working out, and weight loss. While worthwhile, take some time to examine other areas that are intertwined with the physical. One author in a book called "Heal Your Body" sums up the teachings of how negative mental thought patterns contribute to diseases in our bodies. Some of these are our criticism, anger, resentment, doubt, and guilt that we harbor within ourselves. Physical challenges can be prevented if we work to eliminate these harmful thoughts. With mind over matter, we need to control our minds which in turn control our bodies. Downbeat thoughts can be switched by replacing them with what is right in our lives and what we can control. As mentioned in a prior and recent column, focusing on what is positive generally attracts more of it, just as the opposite is also true. Worry and complaining just brings more of that into our lives.
In practical terms, the author of a book called "Remembering Wholeness" provides some specific actions one can do to boost our mental and emotional health. She suggests we have daily affirmations as simple as saying to ourselves, "I am happy. I am feeling good." She says that our intention to feel good right now will be honored, our lives will start to change, and it will become a reality.
For doubters, perhaps there is paradigm shift to be made. The author asks the reader to think of how a person feels when he or she has chronic negative thoughts. Why is it that this person also has negative emotions about his thoughts? Shouldn't he feel satisfied about his true identity? No. The reason for the negative emotions is because deep down a person cannot believe what he is not; it is uncomfortable to exist in a lie. The author says that these negative emotions are our warning system and if we continue in this manner, we will feel worse and worse, which of course can affect us physically. We need to change the channel from negative to positive. Another book called "Simple Abundance" also has ideas about achieving harmony and finding all the things in our lives for which we can be grateful and cultivate.
In the journey of true wellness, many people would say that mental and emotional health are secular components for our spiritual nature, and knowing how to achieve balance is a journey in following the quiet voice of the Creator or Spirit. This, they would say is the channel or frequency that we need to listen. It's the other worldly voices that get us off track from our whole and healthy self. Some of these negative voices, in an article called "The Voice of the Spirit," can include murmuring voices, whining voices, seductive voices, intellectual, proud, and flattering voices, as well as entertaining and commercial voices. Any of these can lead to feelings of inadequacy, superiority or self-centeredness, selfishness, cynicism, unhealthy enticements, and other vices that eventually lead to loss of hope or dangerous and unhealthy experiences.
As 2012 gets under way, remember a package of complete wellness or health goes beyond the physical realm. From contemporary and time-honored great teachers, we can learn to take care of our mental, emotional, and spiritual makeup as well. Choose to feel good more often and as a favorite quote states, "The most courageous decision we make each day is to be in a good mood."
Make it a good week and thanks for reading, Mary and Rosamond