Pillar 5 to Optimum Health: Mindfulness (from The Guidebook to Optimum Health)

mindfullnessNice word. What does it mean?

I use the term ‘mindfulness’ which is based on the concept of mindfulness in Buddhist meditation, but take it broader, into how it shows up each and every day. As numerous ‘smart people’ have told us over past millennium, we only have ‘this moment’. The past is gone, and the future is yet to be shaped. So it is the sum of our moments, and how we use them, that ultimately determines what quality of life we have and the level of results we achieve.

The other word that pops up when we talk about mindfulness is ‘consciousness’. Being conscious of the big picture, the small picture, our place in the picture, other peoples place in the picture, the possibilities, the reality of where you are right now, the place you want to arrive at, and your inner dialogue. So for me, mindfulness is a heightened level of consciousness of our thinking, feeling and behaving.
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Pillar 2 for Optimum Health: Nutrition (from The Guidebook to Optimum Health)

nutritionMurky waterIt was that Hippocrates dude that said it right when he made the eternal comment ‘let thy food be thy medicine’. So of course nutrition had to be one of the key pillars to optimum health. The thing is we all know it, but with the proliferation of the diet industry, media, an industry worth well over a trillion dollars (the US industry alone is about 1 trillion dollars), it is pretty hard to work out what the ‘real’ message is. So I am going to share with you some of my basic philosophies and the biggest tips I have taken away from following nutrition and researching it for the last 15 years. My views have definitely changed over the years too. Continue reading

Pillar 1 for Optimum Health: Physical Activity (from The Guidebook to Optimum Health)

activityNo surprises

The first Pillar (or key) to Optimum Health is – no surprises – physical activity. I can just imagine you reading this thinking, yeah, yeah, yeah. Tell me something I don’t know. Did you know that physical activity actually helps with your memory, your cognitive functioning and neurogenesis (development of new neurons)? Physical activity is just as important for the brain as it for the body and internal systems. Sometimes we forget that. You are also likely to score better on tests or be more creative after you exercise. Now have I got your attention? 😉   Tal Ben-Sharar, a leader in the positive psychology field, said ‘Not exercising is like taking a depressant’. Oops. It turns out that exercise is one of the best stress management and stress resilience strategies we have. In many research situations exercise performs just as well as anti-depressants (without the side-effects).      Continue reading

The Greatest Thing Being Sick Teaches Us

sickThere is no such thing as failure (or being ill), only FEEDBACK.

What is the feedback telling you?

The biggest opportunity we are given when we are sick is pretty clear communication from our body. And since our brain is hard-wired into the body, you can assume when the body speaks, it is our subconscious mind communicating with us. Dr Darren Weissman – one of the leaders in mind-body field – tells us, if we did not consciously choose something, then it is coming compliments of the subconscious mind. What might your subconscious mind be telling us when we get sick?

Could it be saying to slow down? Or ease up on the Oreo’s. Or get more sleep? Or let go of the worrying about things you don’t control? Or accept that change is inevitable. It is time to sit up and pay close attention especially before the symptoms get really serious. This is the greatest opportunity we have whenever we are sick. The best thing we can do is to listen to it when it is just a tap on our shoulder, rather than ignoring the tap, and setting ourselves up for something a whole lot worse. Continue reading