Posts for tag: Awareness
Last week we discussed the importance of taking your health in your own hands. We shared simple ways in which you can start being proactive about your health and wellbeing, like being adamant about annual and biannual check-ups, knowing your family medical history, listening to your body, and living an active lifestyle. To wrap up this first month of 2018, we thought it was important to talk a bit more about proactive and preventative personal healthcare.
The United States Congress designated January of every year as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Each month of the year is designated to one or more health and wellness issues or concerns. This idea is simply to spread awareness about the disease and issues that are affecting us, whether directly, indirectly, now, or in the future. Each year, around 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer. The number of devastating diagnoses of cervical cancer can be greatly reduced though. Annual screenings and follow-up care can significantly reduce your chances, as a women, of a potentially life-altering prognosis. This is a perfect example of being proactive and preventative about your personal health.
The sooner the better when it comes to your health! If there is something going on in your body, idol time is often the greatest destroyer. A simple screening at your gynecologist, a quick check-up with your general physician, or a short visit to the dentist can make all the difference because it is far easier to prevent a major health episode than it is to fix one. That’s not to say that everything is preventable, but earlier care and treatment is always better than waiting for the worst.
The new year is young though and there is no better time to take the reins and steer this year in the direction of a healthy one. Schedule your appointments, come visit us, and make this year your best and healthiest year yet.
Way #14: Observe your unpleasant feelings with nonjudgmental awareness.
“It is not worth our while to let our imperfections disturb us always.” Henry David Thoreau
We tend to be our own worst enemies. The way we physically and mentally view ourselves is often very different than how the rest of the world perceives us. We oftentimes will pass judgment or harsh criticism on our failures, shortcomings, or coping abilities when life gets tough. Most of us even have something disagreeable to feel about our physical appearance and body type. Why do we so often put ourselves down? What if we learned how to let these negative thoughts and feelings flow through us as part of us, but not as the concrete definition of us?
Life is not linear. We are not simple beings. Think of your journey as a colorful and intricate spiral graph. During the span of your life, you will nearly experience every single definable emotion. Your experience will be completely unique and relatively unpredictable. This is a good thing; otherwise imagine how boring your existence would be. The difference though between embracing the ride and constantly wanting to get off of it, is how you treat yourself. What type of relationship are you in with yourself?
Harvard professor Ben Shahar states that, “especially in the United States, there is almost a cultural admonition to be cheerful, to put on a happy face, and to look happy all of the time. The problem is, a diet of cheerfulness-for-every-meal leaves individuals ill equipped to deal with life’s unavoidable dark side-grief, anger, envy, sadness, and fear. The paradox is that when we allow these emotions in, when we don’t suppress them or fight them and instead are mindful of them as they are occurring, that is when they release their hold on us [eventually]. When you really pay attention to them and observe your unpleasant feelings with non-judgmental awareness, then the emotional pain, just like an itch, will go from dull to acute to cresting, and then fade away. To wait out an itch is to accept that nothing, not even the pleasant feelings will stay the same forever.”
The practice of mindfulness is the practice of acceptance. It is accepting how you feel physically and emotionally in the present moment, and rather than passing judgment on yourself you instead treat yourself with admission and respect. Cultivating mindfulness involves learning to be self-aware. By simply listening to your breathing, by acknowledging the way the wind feels on your skin, or just recognizing that your emotions come and go and do not dominate you, is practicing mindfulness.
When we make the conscious decision to practice being mindful, we are setting ourselves up to one day be able to subconsciously let the unpleasant feelings and events in our lives to pass through us with no attachment or residual negative after effect. It is learning to just ‘let it be.’ It is when we let go that we are able to learn and grow from our experiences rather than become defined by them. Feel what you need to feel when you need to feel it, and then move on. There is enough judgment being passed around us and onto us; it is time to stop participating.
Be kind to yourself at all times. A lightness, peace, and freedom will come from this decision. Joy is sure to follow.
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” E.E. Cummings
Thank you for sharing a smile with us this week!