Many of us have fallen prey to bad habits that harm our bodies and our minds—these behaviors get deeply ingrained and it can feel next to impossible to change. Because our bodies can take quite the beating before our bad habits catch up with us, that sense of urgency is just not there, and we just do not feel enough motivation to actually change.
Unfortunately, it is usually not until a health problem manifests or we experience a scary emergency that we wake up. But, it does not have to be like that. You do not need to wait to change until you have to.I used to be an unhealthy person, and I have done a complete 180, and I would like to share some insights on how I accomplished this goal, in hopes that you will realize you can do the same.
While I am reluctant to say that there is one best way to improve your mental and physical well-being, I really have to say that meditation is probably it. All our problems start in the mind, and meditation helps repair our dysfunctional ways of thinking and being that lead us to make poor health choices. It helps us reduce stress; it helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings, which allows us to respond rather than react and identify triggers for our unhealthy habits. You change your perspective and you feel compelled to make decisions that will contribute to your health rather than detract from it.
When you first start meditating, you may find it extremely difficult. It will seem like your thoughts are running a million miles a minute. You will soon realize that it is not because you are meditating. This is how fast your mind is always racing, but you are typically moving just as quickly on the outside so you do not notice it. Start off with smaller increments and work your way up.
As little as 15 minutes a day has been found to improve mental well-being. There is no one best time, but in my personal experience, right in the morning is best. It is a good way to start the day and helps get your mind in a good place before tackling all that awaits you.
Think About Your ‘Why’
If you feel the tug to live better, there is a reason behind it. Maybe you want to set a better example for your children, or simply ensure that you will be around to see them grow up and reach all the major life milestones. Maybe you are sick of taking a pharmacy’s worth of pills each and every day. Maybe you are ready to go out onto the dating scene after a divorce, and you would like to improve your appearance and increase your confidence. To achieve any goal, especially health goals that involve drastic lifestyle changes and overcoming so many bad habits and limiting beliefs, it is crucial to define your ?’why’’ down to the deepest, core level of your desire. Ask why you want to be healthy, and then ask yourself why you want those things and why you want those things, and so on, until you get to the root.
Experiment With Natural Supplements
Herbs and other natural substances have been used to treat a variety of illnesses for thousands of years, so there is definitely something to this approach. Like standard medications, not every treatment may work for every person, and you must exercise caution; but, it certainly cannot hurt to look into natural therapies to turn your health woes around. It may allow you to avoid going on medications, stop them altogether or at the very least, reduce your dosage.
If you are feeling stress and anxiety, for example, there are a host of supplements that may help such as passionflower, valerian, Rhodiola, kratom Thai and kava to name a few. Olive leaf extract was shown to work better than a commonly prescribed blood pressure medication in one study; red yeast rice naturally contains the statins that makeup one of the most popular treatments for high cholesterol, but with a much greater safety profile. Educate yourself about natural treatments and experiment.
When taking natural supplements, it is important to be patient and diligent. Unlike many types of pharmaceutical drugs, they do not work as quickly in the body. It may take several weeks, even up to a couple of months before you feel the full effects, so if you give up before this point, you may never know if a supplement would have worked well for you. Also, natural does not always translate to safe, so research whether certain herbs are inappropriate if you take certain medications or have specific health conditions.