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I’m so excited you are here today for Podcast #36 You’re Thinking About Your Health Wrong. OMG, that sound totally mean, but you are totally doing it wrong.
Today we are going to get to explore how to transform your thinking about your health and wellness, shifting from feeling powerless and overwhelmed to calm and in control.
In this episode you will learn:
Listen, I totally get it. You want to do the right thing. You want to do the things that you should the good things for your health, and you don't want to do the wrong things or the bad things. I understand.
We spend so much time being told all this information about the things that we should be doing, not only for our health and wellness, I'm sure you get it about other things, just like I do. But the things that we should be doing the way that we should be thinking the right way to do it the wrong way to do it, the good way, the bad way. And I think when we think about our health and wellness in those terms, it can be really dangerous and detrimental to our health. It can work against us, and it just really annoys me too. If we're being honest, it just kind of pisses me off because I don't think it actually helps people to think about their health and wellness in those reductive terms.
Now, before we get too deep, I do want to say that whatever your doctor is telling you to do is we're all doing that, right? Like, we're not disagreeing that we all probably need to be exercising more and eating healthier. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about people who are telling me that I have to eat a certain way. As opposed to just trying to eat healthier. Or that I have to exercise a certain way as opposed to just trying to move more.
So how are we shifting our mindset? I'd invite you to consider in regards to your health and wellness, what is right and wrong for you. What is good and bad for you? And yes, that is so simple, but it's so powerful.
So let's say for instance that your doctor has said you need to exercise more. And then let's say your doctor says that you should really be running. And you think, Oh, I should be running for exercise. That's the right way to exercise. That's the thing I need to be doing. I should be doing that.
Well, for me, I can't run anymore. I used to run all the time. I loved it, but I hurt my knee. And so running is not the right way for me. There's so many other things that I can do for my own exercise that are the right thing for me, yoga, cycling, swimming, walking, so many other things. For my health and wellness.
For my nutrition. I don't have to just eat kale. There are so many other ways to do it. I don't have to be vegetarian, I don't have to be vegan. There's so many ways to do it. I have to find the way that works for me.
So as you shift your mindset, I'm going to ask you to see if you can find less judgment, to let go of things in your head like I should, and I shouldn't. And to instead, cultivate awareness and ask yourself, how does this make me feel? And yeah, this is a really simple common concept, and I really oversimplified it, but I wanted it to be easy.
So that the next time you're thinking, Oh, I did this the wrong way. Or I'm so bad. I had that chocolate chip cookie. That was wrong. Well, how did it make me feel? Aside from guilt and shame after I Had the cookie? Was it a good cookie? Did I like it? How did exercise make me feel? Do I actually like yoga? Do I like running? How does that make me feel?
Coming to this simple question can be incredibly powerful in shifting how you approach your health and wellness.
I also wanted to dive into a little bit some different ways to define health because I think that health and wellness means different things to everybody. And that's okay. I don't think health and wellness has to be a super skinny and only eating kale situation.
I think that we could think about different ways to define health. And I wanted to start with Ayurveda and Episode 33, I introduce you to Ayurveda if you aren't familiar with it already, but it's a holistic system of health and healing that originated in India 5000 years ago. So if you think of how we have doctors and hospitals in the US, they have the same thing for Ayurveda in India, and have for thousands of years. It's a really awesome way to think about things and it actually literally translates into "the science of life." And I think that's a very interesting way to start thinking about your health and wellness.
Ayurveda definition of health
One who has:
Balanced doshas and agni (digestion),
properly formed dhatus (tissues),
proper elimination of waste (mala),
whose mind (manas), soul (atma) and senses (indriya) are FULL OF BLISS
Is called a healthy person
What an amazing way to define health. I find that that definition encompasses me as a whole person. It doesn't just reduce me to a number on a scale, or a bunch of numbers as a results of some tests. It acknowledges that I am a whole person and that my physical, emotional and mental well being all fit into one beautiful definition of what healthy is to me. And what that means, for me in my body.
Now this is really cool - the WHO, the World Health Organization, in 1946 actually defined health the following way.
WHO in 1946 : Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
And I love that definition as well, because it allows me to think about health as not being just not feeling like crap or not being sick. Like, I am healthy only if I don't feel sick or like crap. And that's such a reductive way to think about health. I feel like so often health can be from a perspective of just no Seeing it when it's not there, when it's absent, when we're feeling off or bad or sick or something's wrong, as opposed to embracing health as something that is a continuum, that we can continue to grow and evolve and be healthier and healthier, and figure out more what that means for us, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
And another interesting thing from Ayurveda and Sanskrit is a word called swastha (also sometimes spelled 'svastha'). Swastha is usually translated to mean health, but also translates to mean "situated in self" and I love, love, love that definition.
How can I be more situated in self? How can I come back to my own version of health and wellness, what I know to be true? How I feel healthy in my own body, in my own mind in my own emotions, we all know what that is. And we all know when it's off. So how can you come back to health? How can you find more? Your mind, soul and senses to be full of bliss? I love that.
Define what health or healthy means to YOU.
How can you start to figure out what your definition of health is? I wanted to give you some action steps to start to define what health means to you. Because I think we all get to define what that is because it's not just fitting into that pair of jeans. It's not just sleeping through the night, it's not just being able to hang out with our kids. It is so much more than that. It is everything. It is coming back to yourself. So your action steps are to define what health means to you. So whether that's talking it out with a friend or a loved one and really talking about what health looks like to you right now, you could even think of it as a visualization exercise. If you were to be as healthy as you could be 10 years from now, what would that look like? And then it's also coming back to this idea of working on shifting your mindset about your health, working on transitioning that mindset, away from the good, the bad, the should the shouldn't, and thinking how does that make me feel? And does this get me closer to what I define healthy as.
And so those are just some ideas to get you started as you begin to explore what health means to you. And how to start to shift your mindset to be more of what you need it to be to help you be healthier. Because when we have a mindset of should and shouldn't, we had a mindset of all these external forces telling us what health is telling us how we need to be. That's not going to get us to our angle, that's not going to support you in trying to be the healthy whole person, man I know you want to become. So I know we got a little more esoteric than normal today, but I hope that you'll still consider some of the questions that I asked and just use have a chance to start to think about how your mindset about your health and wellness really actually impacts your health and wellness. And how you could start using that as more of a tool to be healthier, whatever it is that that means to you.
If you'd like to learn more about using Ayurveda to dive deeper into how you can be healthier, and how to leverage that to build a healthy life... then don't forget to check out the course Thriving with Ayurveda <<HERE>>. Because being healthy doesn't have to be complicated. I've helped hundreds of students and clients use Ayurveda to build a healthy life that works for them.
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