There are a few disciplines that speak about the attainment of health through a holistic approach–a plan of action and thought that includes focusing on the mind, body and spirit. The premise is that one needs to strive for improvement in all three parts in order to achieve balance.
Positive thinking. It’s recognized that humans tend to dwell on what’s gone wrong instead of seeking the good. How does one get out of that downward negative spiral, without turning into a superficial Pollyanna Glad Girl? I’d suggest being constantly aware of treating others, and yourself, with compassion. Acquire a positive attitude by tackling negative thoughts before they bog down the mental state. Almost the same as battling hardening of the arteries–soften up that hard heart. Sounds a trite simplistic, doesn’t it? How about another cliché–it’s baby steps, taken one at a time.
Live for the day. I was on an elliptical one day, looking around at people who were at least a decade older than me– slogging away, going through their exercise routines, and I thought, ‘Oh man, you mean I have to keep at this for the next 20 years?’ My point is–Live in the NOW. I need to be continually aware of the present, because that will yield the feeling of peace with myself. Right–time for a BRISK walk this very minute.
Enough with the road rage. While driving to work this morning and looking at the vehicles surrounding me, I had to consciously let loose of the idea that the cars, SUVs and trucks were the ‘enemy’ to avoid or pass-before they cut me off–and try to imagine those vehicles’ drivers: people who had the same agenda as me–getting somewhere on time. We’re all in this rat race together, so release that white-knuckle grip, release that tension and start to breathe.
Gaining good habits; ditching bad ones. To acquire a habit, one needs to keep at it daily for at least two weeks. So, two weeks from now I could be moving more, feeling stronger, thinking positively about myself and my community. Conversely, does it take two weeks to rid self of bad habits? Or are they always going to be there, nipping at my heels? Eeeyouch, it certainly feels like it. I don’t want to be a blob of jello–pressed by forces into a prescribed mold. Nor do I want my intentions to be only as strong as a cobweb–easily undone, swept away and forgotten.
Open up my eyes. As I’ve recently moved to a new town, I’m rewarded with daily chances to see new vistas, notice unusual scenery, become aware and inspired by the sights, sounds and smells all around, and I need to stay aware, to remember to take photographs and then start painting.
One comes across many platitudes and trite phrases; we’re told to ‘think outside the box’ and to ‘get out of your comfort zone’. Well, whatever phrase works! I realize that I need to restructure my life to meet my goals. And that’s only going to be accomplished by stretching the muscles of my mind and body. The daily keeping of the end goal in sight will result in a positive attitude, confidence, peace and strength.