FPS Family Health Education: Second Edition
For Pete’s Sake welcomes guest writers in the various areas of health related to our 7 Family Health Pillars.
This nutritional education series, written by Judith Elvira Tobal Betesh, BCHNN, IHHC, FNTP, relates to the Physical Health Pillar. Judith, who battled lymphoma, is an FPS Respite Recipient and traveled to Woodloch Resort with her husband.
“Let your food be your medicine and let your medicine be your food” -Hippocrates
As mentioned in the previous article, we will be covering the four cornerstones that are essential to incorporate into your life for ideal health once a month.
To review, the four are:
- A positive mental attitude
- A healthful lifestyle: exercise, sleep, and health habits
- A health promoting bio individualized diet.
- Supplementary measures for nutrient deficiencies
Let’s talk a little about a Positive Mental Attitude.
There is a growing body of evidence that thoughts and emotions you experience on a regular basis determine to a very large extent the level of health you experience as well as the quality of your life.
Life is full of events that are beyond our control, but we do have control over our response to these events. Our attitude goes a long way in determining how we view and respond to all of the challenges of life. You will be much happier, much healthier, and more successful if you can adopt a positive mental attitude rather than a pessimistic view.
Studies have shown that individuals with a pessimistic attitude have poorer health, are prone to depression, are more frequent users of medical and mental health care, exhibit more decline in memory and brain function with aging and a have a lower survival compared with optimists.
The importance of attitude to human health has been demonstrated in the links between the brain, emotions, and the immune system. What scientists are discovering is that every THOUGHT, EMOTION and EXPERIENCE sends a message to the immune system that either enhances or impairs its ability to function. A simplistic view is that positive emotions, such as joy , happiness and optimism, tend to boost immune system function , whereas negative emotions, such as depression, sadness and pessimism tend to suppress it.
A positive mental attitude is absolutely essential for us to really live life to its fullest. It also helps propel us to be the best that we can be.
Abraham Maslow, the founding father of humanistic psychology was the first psychologist to study healthy people and he strongly believed that healthy individuals are motivated toward “self-actualization “ a process in which healthy people strive and are actually driven to be all that the can be.
Maslow developed a 5-step pyramid of human needs in which personality development progresses from one step to the next. The needs at the lower levels must be satisfied before the next level can be achieved. When the needs are met, the individual moves toward well- being.
The figure below displays Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Self-Actualization doesn’t happen all at once. It happens by degrees, subtle changes accumulating one by one. Self-actualization begins when you take personal responsibility for your OWN positive mental state, your life, your current situation, and your health. Once you take on this responsibility, it is up to you to direct your life. You must commit yourself to being the best you can be at whatever you do in life.
To help you develop a positive mental attitude as well as attain self-actualization, I want to offer the following 7 key steps:
Step 1: Become An Optimist: We by nature are Optimists. Optimism is a vital component of good health and an ally in the healing process. Focus on the positives even in challenging situations.
Step 2: Become Aware of Self Talk: We all talk to ourselves. There is a constant dialogue taking place in our head. Our self-talk makes an impression on our subconscious mind. To develop or maintain a positive mental attitude you must guard against negative self-talk.
Step 3: Ask Better Questions: According to Tony Robins: the quality of your life is equal to the quality of the questions you habitually ask yourself. Tony’s belief is based on the idea that you will get an answer to whatever question you ask your brain. For Example: an individual is met with a particular challenge or problem. He can ask a few questions when in this situation. Like: “Why does this always happen to me?” or “Why am I always so stupid?”
How about asking a higher quality question like “This is a very interesting situation- what do I need to do to learn from this situation, so that it never happens again?” Regardless of the situation, asking better questions is bound to improve your attitude. If you want to have a better life, simply ask better questions.
Step 4: Employ Positive Affirmations: An affirmation is a statement with some emotional intensity behind it. Positive affirmations can make imprints on the subconscious mind to create a healthy, positive self-image. In addition, affirmations can fuel the changes you desire. I love the following affirmations:
I am blessed with an abundance of energy!!
Love, joy and happiness flow through me with every heartbeat.
I am thankful to GOD for all my good fortune!
YES, I CAN!!
Positive affirmations can make you feel good if you follow these guidelines:
- Always phrase an affirmation in the present tense. Imagine that it has already come to pass.
- Always phrase the affirmation as a positive statement. Do not use the words not and never.
- Do your best to totally associate with the positive feelings that are generated by the affirmation.
- Keep the affirmation short and simple but full of feeling. Be creative.
- Imagine yourself really experiencing what you are affirming.
- Make the affirmation personal to yours and full of meaning.
Using the above guidelines and examples, write down five affirmations that apply to you. State this affirmation aloud while you are taking your shower, driving and praying.
Step 5: Set Positive Goals: Learning to set goals in a way that results in a positive experience is another powerful method for building a positive attitude and raising self-esteem. Goals can be used to create a “success cycle. Achieving goals helps you feel better about yourself and the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to achieve your goals. Remember to set short-term goals that can be used to help you achieve your long-term goals. Get into the habit of asking yourself the following question each morning and evening. “What must I do today to achieve my long-term goal?”
Step 6: Practice Positive Visualization: Positive Visualization or imagery is another powerful tool in creating health, happiness and success. We must be able to see our life the way we want it to be before this can happen. In terms of ideal health, you absolutely must picture yourself in ideal health if you truly want to experience this state. You can use visualization in all areas of your life, but especially when it comes to your health; in fact, some of the most promising research on the power of visualization involves enhancing the immune system in the treatment of CANCER. Be creative and have fun with positive visualizations and you will soon find yourself living your dreams.
Step 7: Laugh Long and Often: When you laugh frequently and take a lighter view of life, your will find that life is much more enjoyable. Researchers are discovering that laughter enhances the immune system and promotes improved psychology. Recent medical research has also confirmed that laughter:
- Enhances the blood flow to the body’s extremities and improves cardiovascular function.
- Plays an active part in the body’s release of endorphins and other natural mood elevating and painkilling chemicals.
- Improves the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to the internal organs.
Our attitude is just like our physical body in that it requires constant conditioning to stay fit. Just as you do not find yourself in excellent physical condition after one exercise session, you may not find yourself with a positive mental attitude after reading this article. I want to encourage you to really work at staying positive and optimistic through life. We all have our fair share of challenges, and many of them feel unfair and undeserved- bad things do happen to good people. However, what really determines our life’s direction is not what happens in our lives but how we respond to the challenges, hardships, heartbreak, disappointments, and failures.
By conditioning your attitude to be positive, you will experience a higher level of health and happiness in your life.
I know this was A LOT of information – I want you to read piece by piece or all at once and then go back to the parts that spoke to you most. Remember change doesn’t need to be all at once and overnight. The slow and steady turtle won the race in the end.
If you have any comments or questions, you can email me at Elvirasallnatural@gmail.com
Stay tuned for next month’s continuation of the four cornerstones for optimal health.
Judith Elvira Tobal is a Board-certified Holistic Health and Functional Nutrition Practitioner. Her mission is to empower each client to take control of their health and improve their well-being by making sustainable changes appropriate for their own individual lifestyle and needs. Personalized tailored options for nutritional counseling including but not limited to: weight-loss consultation, mindful eating counseling, anti-inflammatory diet recommendations, heart-healthy diet guidelines, navigating food allergies, women’s health, blood sugar regulation, nutrition for disease prevention, cleansing and elimination diet, healthy skin from the inside out, as well as healthy aging through nutritional protocols.
You can reach her at Elvirasallnatural@gmail.com or visit https://www.elvirasallnatural.com/
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