If you understand this one principle, you will realize how in control, yet out of control, you really are of your health. Here’s what I mean… We all go about our days, on average, running on autopilot. We do the same things over & over, as well as indulge in the same pleasures & struggles, over & over. This is ultimately what shapes us. Now, with regards to health, I am calling this the “#1 rule” because you are in control of this. But you’re also kind of not. That rule, or question you have to ask yourself rather… is what do you do to make yourself feel good?
Habits. Our habits make us. Everything we do on a daily basis will begin to accumulate & the results will manifest themselves sooner or later, whether they be physical or psychological. So, why do I mention doing things that make us feel good? Well, because of all the activities we habitually do, those which we engage in for pleasure are ultimately our choice. That choice arises from personal habits & preference. Going to work, driving through traffic, paying bills, & so on, are things we do because we have to. They become habits because we do them so much. However, when you come home from a long day of doing things you have to do, what do you choose to partake in to “take the edge off”? Do you roll up a fat blunt? Do you crack open a cold one? Do you run to the freezer & grab some ice cream? Do you order pizza? Do you hangout with friends? Do you do some yoga? Do you meditate? The list goes on.
You see, the pleasurable activities we choose, ultimately become so reinforced in our minds because they make us feel good. As humans, that’s all we really want. All of us. We all strive for comfort & the path of least resistance. So, when your mind associates a certain activity with a high amount of pleasure, your mind will do anything it can to push you in that direction. This is why it’s so important to get a grip on what it is that you do to feel good.
Awareness. It all starts with self-awareness. You must bring awareness to what it is you do. “Geez, every day I come home from work I have a few beers…”. The next step is assessment. Asses whether or not this is harmful for you in the long run. Yes, drinking alcohol every time you get off work will most likely cause you harm in the long run. It’s important to NOT judge yourself during this step. Don’t say, “Wow, I must be such a loser for doing & loving this so much…”, instead say, “Thank God I’m aware of this, now let’s make a change”. Finally, you make the change. Find something healthy that brings you pleasure. Go for a walk, do some yoga, meditate, take a warm bath, go take a martial arts class, do something besides downing calories & alcohol (just an example).
This seems so simple, but it’s so crucial. Most of us have our vice(s), & that’s fine. We all have a guilty pleasure. But bringing awareness to what you do to make you happy will inevitably make you happier & healthier in the long run. You can easily asses whether your guilty pleasure is harmful to your health & whether or not you’re indulging too frequently.
Quick Fix. This all may not seem appealing to most, since we live in such a quick fix society. What the majority of us do, is engage in behaviors that bring us pleasure, unconsciously. Then, when a problem arises, i.e. diabetes, cancer, back pain, whatever, we go to the doctor, get our meds & continue our stupid way of living. This is why the prescription drug industry is a billion dollar industry. Fix your habits to fix your health.