Advice on Being Healthy By Transformational Life Coach Dr. Andra Brosh
There is no shortage of advice on being better or healthy, feeling better, and doing better within ourselves and our lives. Some advice is valuable and some are good in theory but may not apply to everyday life. A lot of advice is rote. Doctors love to tell their patients to eat a healthier diet, exercise, and take vitamins for being healthy. This kind of advice is similar to hearing we need to floss more by the dental hygenist.
So, why do we keep getting the same advice only to ignore, resist, or go into a panic over it?
It’s all in the presentation.
Two people could give you the same advice, but you’ll have a completely different response.
The decision to take advice or toss it has everything to do with trust. When we trust someone, we heed the advice. When we don’t feel the faith, we refuse to accept it and move on to the next.
Hence, the second opinion.
In this blog, I’m going to offer you advice. Some you’ve heard before, and some might be new to you. You can trust, use, discard, or share it. I encourage you to be discerning, curious, and skeptical because you’re the master of your mind and body.
My intention in offering this advice is to spread what I call the “wellness gospel.” I hope to be a reliable and trustworthy resource for those seeking wisdom and truth that supersedes the trendy and fashionable. The latter does very little to promote real change and optimal health, but it’s everywhere.
Here are my 10 pieces of advice:
1. Eat Better Foods
Your medical doctor will give you this advice, but probably not your therapist. This disconnect is an example of how far we are from holistic health because the relationship between diet and mood is undeniable.
It’s pretty easy to clean up your eating habits once you decide to do it, especially since there are more good foods to eat than bad ones to eliminate. Eating better gives you more energy, helps you lose weight, reduces depression and anxiety, as well as prevents disease in the brain and body. There is absolutely no legitimate reason not to eat healthy foods and to eliminate unhealthy foods.
In the end, cutting out the junk (i.e., fast food, sugar cereal, candy, soda, pastries) is step one. Adding in the clean, colorful foods, and green from the earth is step two.
2. Eat More Often
Advice about what to add to your diet and what to eliminate is valuable. But it’s also essential to think about when you eat. Skipping meals and not eating enough can impact your mental and physical health as much as overeating. Blood sugar balance is dependent on a steady intake of nutrients. When you don’t eat enough food, your body and brain go hungry. A hungry brain combined with a hungry body leads to a “hangry” attitude.
Drops and spikes in blood sugar create stress, and stress creates inflammation. If there is one physical health issue you want to avoid, it’s inflammation. Every person’s eating schedule is dependent on their body’s unique needs. To decide what works best for you, see how long you can go between meals before crashing. Then, ask yourself if you prefer to eat two bigger meals or several small ones in a day to keep yourself healthy.
Health providers have been recommending exercise for decades, but we still don’t get enough of it. The body’s response to movement connects to mental health for a variety of reasons. The understandable is the rush of endorphins and the release of tension. The less understandable is how good we feel about following through on the commitment to doing it.
The stress and anxiety that comes with upsetting about exercising and the self-disgust we feel when we blow it off are not healthy for our mental or physical health. Consider your relationship to exercising. If the stress around whether you should or shouldn’t move your body has become the central focus, pivot toward the final result and bypass the torturous ambivalence.
4. Take Some Supplements
Supplements are just as they sound. They are nutrients proposed to fill in the gaps where things are lacking.
Vitamins are common for bone health, heart health, and low Vitamin D. But supplements can offer much more to the brain and body. You can supplement your neurochemicals to improve mental health and some supplements help buffer stress.
Supplements aren’t always just vitamins and minerals. They often contain herbs, adaptogenic mushrooms, and microbes for gut health. Whether you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, fatigue, or sleep, supplements can offer you a natural remedy for being healthy.
5. Daily Affirmations
Perhaps you think affirmations are a new age bygone, but they do work wonders. Who doesn’t like to get a reminder of how great they are?
Affirmations are a healthy form of brainwashing. They work like hypnosis – getting into the subconscious mind where the stubborn negative self-talk lives. Affirmations posted around you may seem silly, but they quickly turn into a little dose of positivity that you will become addicted to (in a good way).
If you practice your affirmations often and long enough, you begin to finally believe the truth instead of the negative beliefs and self-perceptions you unknowingly inherited.
6. Study Buddhism
There is no additional philosophical perspective that is more healing than Buddhism. It’s a forgiving worldview that pivots you from the ego-driven creature you are toward the zen master you aspire to be.
There are two fundamental principles worth highlighting. First, Buddhism distinguishes between pain and suffering, with the latter being optional. Pain is inevitable, but suffering is self-inflicted. The second highlight is that we must embrace the uncertainty of life and stop trying to control outcomes–It’s all an illusion, and we need to let go.
Buddhism feels like a curative balm, especially when the world feels shady. Its loving, unifying, compassionate, and tender teachings will bring light to your darkness and calm to your restless mind.
7. Fix Your Gut
The gut-brain association is one of the most hidden root causes of what ails us. The gut plays a critical role in our mental health, and we know this is because there’s more serotonin (your good mood brain chemical) in your gut than anywhere else in your body. In the world of the microbiome, the gut is the second brain.
The gut and brain connect through the nervous system, impacting your mood; if your gut isn’t happy, you are not happy. Gastrointestinal conditions like poor digestion, acid reflux, or bloat are indicators of ill health. They can also be a symptom of anxiety or depression.
8. Learn to Adapt
To adjust means receptiveness to life’s challenges instead of resisting them. The extra we can absorb the shock of life, the easier we flow through life. Life is inevitably going to bring intense weather, so if you can learn to bend and not break, you’re mastering the skill of resilience.
Much of our anxiety comes from fighting the realities we face and trying to control outcomes. Don’t feel like you have to be happy with everything that happens. Try embracing the belief that no matter how things turn out, it will be okay. Becoming comfortable with outcomes regardless of the consequence is the definition of peace of mind.
9. Forgive and Forget
Many people feel they can never excuse, let alone forget a transgression. Forgiveness is challenging, but it’s an essential part of wellbeing.
When we hold grudges and feel bitter, we are harming ourselves, not the other person. Healing and learning to release the pain are relieving and offer a great sense of freedom. Many of us don’t even realize how many negative thoughts and feelings we harbor. So, ask yourself if there is anywhere in your life you need to let go of the pain you’ve been storing.
10. Be Yourself
There is nothing more painful to the psyche and body than not feeling like you can be yourself. Sometimes, it just doesn’t feel safe or you may not like yourself. Self-acceptance is a remedy for poor mental health, and living in alignment with your true nature is an essential ingredient for happiness.
Becoming comfortable with who you are may require some psychotherapy or personal self-reflection. But the closer you become to your authenticity and the more you learn to love yourself, the better you’ll feel inside and out.