As I was writing my book on optimum health, I thought I had it all sorted out with my 5 Pillars: exercise, nutrition, detoxing, rest and how we used our minds. But something was niggling at the back of my mind. Sort of saying, ‘Are you missing something?’
Well it turns out I was. I had the body covered; the mind covered; but I didn’t have the heart taken care of. And the reality is, you cannot separate these three parts. It is like trying to create a complete picture, but only using two-thirds of the jigsaw pieces. There will be gaps and in this case those gaps can be major illness, recurring aches & pains, and even that regular ‘cold’ or ‘flu’.
What is wholeheartedness?
I chose wholeheartedness after listening to Brene Brown where she talks about vulnerability and ‘daring greatly’. It was the word she used to describe people who had high emotional resilience to things like shame. I use it to cover the idea that the heart and emotions have a HUGE part to play in our everyday and ongoing health.
Our emotions can shut us down to, or open us up to, superior health. Because our emotions are a biochemical response in our bodies, which has the potential to effect us at a cellular level. Our emotions affect the internal environment of our bodies, and can undo a lot of great work.
Great nutrition and physical activity is not enough
Many people think that if they eat well (which most people don’t) and exercise, then their health is going to be pretty good. But the evidence suggests that is just not true. If you clean up your diet and start an exercise regime but remain in a toxic and disempowering relationship or job or life situation, you will get sick. And most probably, very sick.
When your heart is suffering, so are you, and your health. Did you know that as far as risk factors for coronary heart disease goes, loneliness is right up there with smoking! Feelings do matter – in a big way – when it comes to health.
The reasons why
The most basic reason that being in a job you hate, being in a relationship that makes you feel worse about yourself, feeling deep loneliness, and doing something that you know is not your heart’s calling, is bad for you is because it repetitively triggers your stress response. You are essentially living in a heightened state of ‘fear’ and disconnection – which leads to fear.
This creates excessive cortisol in your blood stream – which can lead to chronic breakdown of the body – plus stress switches off your immune system and interferes with your digestive system. Two essential systems for repair, rejuvenation and regeneration of the bodies cells.
First of all this is not the easy stuff and it is likely you will need help to move through it. In fact, I strongly encourage people to get help and not try to sort out some of this stuff alone. Because chances are you might not have the resources, knowledge, or energy to improve the situation you find yourself in. Plus you will generally use the same thinking that got you there in the first place. You need a new perspective or way of doing things.
When most people go to the doctors with a ‘ailment’; in most cases the causes of the symptom is stress related. Maybe they are having challenges managing the household and the expectations that go with it; maybe they have a bully for a boss; maybe they went into a career that their parents were thrilled about, but for them sucks; maybe their partner is shutting them out; maybe the long commute to an average job is sucking the life out of them; or any number of similar situations.
Know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that these unhappy life situations are cutting into your health in a major way.
On the other hand if you are in a relationship where you feel fully supported to be yourself; in a career you love and are challenged by; have living a meaningful life; feel connected to something beyond yourself; feel like you are making a difference; and feel you are able to be yourself; then your health is going to go ahead in leaps and bounds. It will even make up for the other bits (and pillars) where you don’t quite give it your best.
Your heart is a HUGE player in optimum health. It can trump the best of everything else.
A lot of why ‘modern medicine’ does not work for preventative and restorative health is because doctors generally don’t have time (or the experience) to find out what is really going on in someone’s life. In a lot of cases, doctors are just as stressed out as their patients.
The best doctor I ever saw, and only one of two in the last decade, was in Athens. I had pneumonia and pleurisy and he chatted with me for about 45-mins about lifestyle. He also told me I could take pain killers for my pleurisy, but since I had already gone a couple of days without them, skip them and the pain would pass after a couple of days of rest.
If you are not happy in your relationships, in your job, in the meaningfulness in your life, in your connection to others, or anything else that matters, then make an effort to do something about it. Invest in getting the right help. It will save you money and your health in the long run. I don’t believe we were meant to figure out everything in life by ourselves – hence why there are about 7 billion of us! 😉
Make sense? Is there an area in your life which could do with a make-over? Don’t wait until you get ‘sick’. Reach out for some help. You know if you ever need a hand or help, just hit the Reply button or get over to my Facebook page to connect up.
Also if you want to work with me personally, I am teaming up with one of Australia’s leading Raw Food Chefs, Cat Cannizzaro in Raw and Radiant Retreat (R&R for your Body, Mind and Soul) in Bali, for an amazing 4-days of gourmet raw food, master cooking classes, personal transformation workshops and even personal coaching.