It appears that, more and more, we are on the quest for a happy and healthy life, and we are constantly looking for that magic pill to hit the store shelves that will grant us just that! Unfortunately, every time we think ‘this is it' we discover, with regrets, that it also comes with many unwanted side effects. Reading the fine print is important! We hear the good ol’ phrase ‘Happiness comes from within!’ and we roll our eyes. We don’t have time for that nonsense…and we go on…chasing our tail. We use our meals as comfort instead of nourishment, we purchase expensive gym memberships that we never use, we relentlessly complain about everything we don’t have, and we take our loved ones (animals included) for granted.
Maybe, just maybe, it is time to look at life from a different angle. We habitually revert to doing and thinking in a way that has proven to not work. Shouldn’t we try maybe the opposite? Throughout my 20 year experience as a wellness advisor, I was able to summarize the four “prescriptions” anyone will ever need in order to achieve a happy, balanced, and disease free life. These prescriptions are available to everyone, without needing to fill them at a pharmacy, and the refills are inexhaustible.
Here they are:
Let’s look at each of them in more detail.
In our chaotic modern lives, food has become instant gratification. Our family meals have become pick-up orders, we eat while driving or on the phone taking care of business, we map out every drive-through that is in our 5 mile radius, and we have turned holidays and celebrations in sugar and fat laden food-coma feasts. We are completely disconnected from where and how our food is grown, or what it does to our body and health once we eat it. We supersize because it’s a good deal, we order “protein style” because its “healthy," or we hunt for the magic “protein bar” but never read the label, because quite frankly it sounds like a chemistry lab experiment.
With every bite we have the choice to feed health or disease. It is time to turn the table on food, or rather on our perception of what food is. It is time to eat so that we never have to go on a diet ever again. It is time to look at food as nourishment for our body and heal our relationship with food. It is time to understand that food is grown not born or made in a factory; food comes with no nutritional facts labels, food is to be enjoyed and savored not gulped down during commute; and not lastly, food comes in a rainbow of colors and flavors, and orchestrating them in a delicious plant-based meal is what gives food its super powers.
When you look at food from this perspective, you’ll never have to compulsively count calories ever again, you don’t have to worry about chasing sugar-free or fat-free, and you won’t be caught up in the confusing world of the supplement industry where every manufacturer has their own brand of “miracle” product.
Quoting Michael Pellan: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants!” and you will enjoy a life filled with abundant health!
Without a shadow of a doubt, exercise is the most important factor in maintaining health, physically and mentally. Numerous studies have shown over and over again, that even a leisure walk 20-30 minutes daily, can dramatically improve one’s health and mood. Risk factors for chronic diseases decrease, blood pressure and blood flow improves, metabolic resistance decreases, overall mood and wellbeing increases, and weight starts to melt. Humans, from the beginning of time, have been adjusted to an active lifestyle, however nowadays we drive, we sit in an office, we sit in front of the TV or computer, and we order our shopping needs online most of the time.
Being physically active doesn’t have to be overly dramatic. You don’t have to train for a triathlon or a marathon, however it should be maintained at least every other day, should be at least 30 minutes, and should be enjoyable. You’ll only need a good pair of sport shoes, comfortable clothing, and you’re on your way. Grab the dog leash and go for a walk or a hike. Don’t have a dog? Head down to your local shelter and rescue one!! It will end up one of those “who rescued who?’ stories! Take the kids/grandkids out to the park. Dust off the bicycle that is sitting in the garage and go for a spin. Join your local swimming club. Sign up for ballroom dancing, yoga, kickboxing, rock climbing, surfing, or whatever sport feels enjoyable to you to break a sweat.
Whether you see your glass half full, or half empty, can make a big difference in regards of your general wellbeing. It has been long proven that people who have a positive outlook on life enjoy better health, bounce back quicker from illness, and even live longer lives. We all have bad days once in a while, however if your mood is constantly, or mainly gloomy, you’ll have to find ways to steer yourself towards a brighter attitude. Meditation plays a key role when it comes to self-awareness. Nowadays we have a plethora of guided meditation apps available for download, CDs, or books, that you can use for immerse yourself into a relaxed and self-loving mindfulness. If you’re not the techie type, you can always use a walk in nature to release tension, stop and smell the roses, and immerse yourself in a blissful state.
Use every occasion you have to emit frequencies of gratefulness and love toward your surroundings and events in your life. Focus on what you have rather on what you don’t, and erase the “I can’t” or “I don’t” statements from your self-talk. Forgive and release negative memories and don’t fret about the future. Live in the moment and appreciate every experience that comes your way.
A multitude of clinical studies have proven that people who live in harmonious and loving relationships are the healthiest and live the longest. This doesn’t only refer to romantic relationships; however our intimate partnerships are the foundation of our entire network. Loving kindness in every aspect of our existence is one of the most important tasks to master in life. Our busy-life fatigue makes us unaware about the needs and feelings of those who are surrounding us and we tend to pay more attention to our smartphones or electronic devices than to the person standing in front of us. Ways of communication have changed. We use texting or emailing as a primary means of communication, and we fail to recognize how impersonal our relationships have become.
Practice gratefulness as a grounding force. Be loving, understanding, and forgiving towards others, and especially towards yourself. Surround yourself with friends and family who share the same values and good vibes. Forgive and release any relationship that no longer serve the purpose of enriching your life. Pay attention to the feelings of those around you, more often than not you’ll learn something new about yourself. More importantly, learn to offer sincere apologies when granted. Appreciate everyone and everything that comes into your life, including the furry companions who give us their all while only expecting little in return. Life lived in a harmonious and loving balance is one of the most fulfilled lives of all.
Use these prescriptions daily. Repeat as needed. They never expire. They don’t have side effects. With little practice, soon your life and your overall wellbeing will shift into a harmonious balance. You’ll feel better, healthier, happier, and ultimately wealthier.