If you are tired of band aids and lipstick promises when it comes to your health, then you’ll love these fundamentally strong principles that will not only help you get healthy now, but carry that feeling for the rest of your life.
The truth is, most people want answers and want them yesterday, but perhaps you are different. Maybe you realize that true health can’t be obtained through the next diet book, pill, or surgery. Maybe you are catching on that the conventional system is only keeping us at a fraction of our potential. Maybe you are realizing that this whole “natural” thing has some credence since it’s based on connecting with the system that was designed perfectly for us and our well-being – nature.
Regardless of your reasons, adopting and embracing these 20 time tested practices to get healthy will only enhance your life and give you back your greatest gift – radiant health. (Adapted from Ron Teeguarden’s 30 Tips For Getting Healthy Now and For Living A Long, Healthy, Productive, and Happy Life).
Learning to respect yourself is the first order of business if you hope to stick with any healthy lifestyle principles you are adopting. A high degree of self respect ensures you won’t willingly pollute your body and mind with junk food, drugs, smoke, alcohol, and poor relationships.
When you treat your body and mind as a temple, and not a garbage can, you will immediately start to notice the benefits to your well-being.
If you lack will power, especially in the beginning of your journey, you can be assured that a long healthy life will elude you. A lack of self-discipline will inevitably subject your body and mind to unhealthy food and habits, which will only accelerate the deterioration of your health.
If you focus on building your self-discipline, you will find that you can become highly successful in the attainment of abundant health. Focus your attention on what you want and doing the things that will help you get there, and glare past any temptations in your peripheral vision.
When you develop self-discipline, you are giving yourself the greatest opportunity to access your full potential.
Develop your ability to adapt
It’s quite simple – if you don’t adapt, you will suffer and die. Any species that has not made it was simply an inability to adapt to the changes in their external environment.
However, if your body and mind are highly adaptable you will be able to handle a lot more stress before the body and mind goes into stress response mode which accelerates ageing and causes the psyche to become imbalanced.
To increase your adaptability, use adaptogenic herbs like reishi and chaga, take hot and cold showers, and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone from time to time.
Use moderation appropriately
Most people use the term “everything in moderation”, which is typically saved for instances where they feel the need to justify habits that they know are not healthy. This is not what I mean by use moderation appropriately.
Using moderation in this case means to know your limits, so you know when to stop and how much energy you have to spare. If you continuously go beyond your limits, you will become injured or otherwise harmed. If you burn the candle at both ends for too long, you will shorten your life (sleep is for “regeneration” not “acceleration”).
This doesn’t mean your life needs to be boring. You can absolutely live a rich and satisfying life, especially if you learn how to expand your limits through Jing and Qi tonics that can build reserves and increase adaptability respectively. This way you can take on more but still maintain your balance.
Develop your knowledge and intuition
Having a good working knowledge of how the body and mind works will be a critical factor in attaining true health. This means reading books, articles, and taking courses that will expand your knowledge and empower you with the ability to be your primary “doctor”.
It is also helpful to listen to other knowledgeable individuals who apply their principles to their own life and are fine examples of radiant health themselves.
With the obtainment of this kind of knowledge, you will also be able to develop your intuition (also known as your sixth sense). Your intuition is something nature provided you with to help guide you towards a direction that is good for you and away from danger. Everyone has the ability to be intuitive, but they block it or have otherwise disconnected from it largely through chemical constituents and activities that compromise that eternal connection.
To better develop your intuition, stay a little hungry (don’t overeat). Use it in a situation that can test it without harmful consequences (like waking up without an alarm clock). A good intuition can help you avoid food that doesn’t serve you and situations that can cause serious harm and even death.
In a world filled with unnatural foods, it’s easy to see why everyone is relatively ill. Genetically modified, chemically exposed, processed, and synthetically infused foods have been the typical fare, which has dramatically reduced our health potential.
As a general rule, you need to eat foods in a format as close to the original state as produced by nature as possible. Focus your diet mostly on a variety of vegetables and complement with fruits. Fermented versions of both can up the ante on assimilation of nutrients and add in much needed probiotics. Don’t overcook your foods, and eat nice balance of raw and cooked (and keep seasonality in mind).
If you choose to eat meat, choose organic and pasture fed a much as possible and avoid excessive consumption (one small portion a day is enough for moderately active people). Avoid animal products produced in a artificial and stressful environment, and realize that their food and treatment is ultimately what you get to ingest into your physiology.
Chew well, and eat less
To help assimilate foods properly, we need to give our digestive system as much help as possible. This starts with eating in a good state of mind and chewing your food very thoroughly (it should almost be liquid by the time you swallow). When you do this you will eat less and extract more nutrients from your food which will make a substantial difference to your health (provided you are eating the types of foods above).
Make it a practice to leave the table feeling just a little bit empty. This will improve digestion, provide more energy, and protect your weight.
Do breathing exercises
We often take breathing for granted since it is automated so well. However, most of us have forgotten how to breathe properly, taking short and shallow breaths that rob our bodies of much needed oxygen.
Deep, slow breathing can substantially improve the condition of almost every function of the body and mind. It helps to rid the body of waste, improves cardiovascular function, sharpens the mind, helps overcome stress, and can improve your sex life.
Stress has caused our breathing to become tight and shallow, which ultimately leads to disease and premature ageing. Learn how to breathe properly and deeply, by engaging in exercises that focus on it, such as yoga.
Daily movement is required for good health. To strengthen and clean you muscles, joints, and organs you need to develop a program that works out every muscle group that takes you breathe deeply, sweat, and pump your heart.
However, it is also important to avoid exhaustion from exercising. Exhaustion will cause the body to break down, resulting in injury or other damage to the body. The purpose of exercise is to promote good health, not hurt it, so intuition and common sense is required.
If you do choose to over do it, make sure you support your adrenals through adaptogenic herbs and be sure to properly mineralize your body through nutrient dense foods that feed your stressed muscles, joints, and organs.
For the best bang for your buck, try rebounding for 10-15 minutes a day for a full body workout.
Cherish your sleep
Sleep is one of the most critical functions for our body, which is why we need to spend about a third of our day doing it to maintain proper health. During sleep our body rejuvenates and our mind is renewed, and the amount of time is not as important as the quality. It is important to learn how to sleep deeply.
To do this, truly relax before bed and cut out all electronic devices during this time. Meditate or visualize on something beautiful before sleep. Take a warm relaxing bath with magnesium flakes and calming essential oils such as lavender. Read a light and uplifting book, and consider calming herbs like passionflower and reishi.
Most important of all, make bed time a ritual and abide by the body’s natural circadian rhythm in order to take advantage of natural processes that govern a restful sleep.
Develop a routine
Your body and mind will operate more efficiently when your multitude of biorhythms are synchronized. You will be much healthier if you perform the majority of your core functions at the same time every day, most of the time. This means going to bed and waking up, eating your meals, and exercising around the same times.
One caveat to this principle is that is fine to break this routine from time to time to maintain your adaptability. If you lose flexibility, you could get into serious trouble, such as when you travel or another unexpected life change occurs. So mix it up from time to time.
Avoid toxins and pathogenic microbes
The body can handle a certain amount of pollution and in some cases it may make your body stronger, but in general toxins are enemies of health. Avoid drinking and eating beverages and foods that contain chemicals or are otherwise hard on the detoxification system. A backed up liver, for example, will not be able to handle any toxin exposure and will generate symptoms with the slightest introduction.
Also, avoid places during cold and flu season that are abundant with germs. This doesn’t mean you should live in a cave, but avoid things that are obviously dangerous. It’s important to not go overboard, as the introduction of sterilizing solutions have also caused as many or more issues than microbes themselves.
Keep in mind that environmental chemicals are cumulative, and the inability to remove them effectively is a major cause for the digestive disorders, autoimmune conditions, thyroid problems, and the cancer diagnoses that are running rampant today.
Drink pure, well filtered or spring water, eat organic, use natural body care products, and avoid unnecessary environmental and electromagnetic pollution.
Although a little bit of dirt and germs is fine, we need to ensure we keep our body clean of most germs, worms, fungi, viruses, and chemicals. This means cleansing the digestive tract, toning the liver and kidneys, stimulating the lymph glands, avoiding absorption of chemicals on the skin, and keeping our mouth clean of any chemicals (like mercury) or infections (some which can be caused by root canals).
Also be sure to wash every part of your body daily, to remove harmful pollutants and open up the pores of your skin for more efficient detoxification.
Pay close attention to your body
Self-awareness is something that is extremely lacking in today’s world, but it is paramount in maintaining good health.
Take note of how you feel on consistent basis, and pay attention to any consistent aberrations that may be creating symptoms that are warning signs of internal damage. If you have increased your knowledge and intuition, you will recognize when anything is “off” so you can take quick and appropriate action. Letting things go too long can create pure torture, and eventually can be lethal. Make sure to be proactive and nip things in the bud when they pop up.
If you truly want to become healthy, you need to be patient. This can be difficult in a world propagated with instant gratification such as drugs and the internet. However, realizing that patience is imperative when wanting to create deep and lasting health, will serve you well.
When changing your diet or lifestyle these changes may not come right away, but be patient, as when you are doing the right things true health will come, and will stick around for much longer.
Learn to meditate
Meditation helps you let go of stress and vitalizes your energy centres. It connects you to the purest source of energy known, and as a result, can help regenerate every cell in your body. If you can learn to meditate deeply for even 5 minutes, it can feel like you just had a full nights rest.
Find a teacher and technique that suits you well, and stick with it. Use adaptogenic herbs to enhance your meditation, such as reishi.
Focus on positive (but don’t ignore the negative)
Focusing on the positive will contribute significantly to your health, and you will live longer because of it. Focus on making your life better, the lives of other people better, and the lives of the animals, plants, and earth better.
This does not mean you don’t take note of the negative in the world, but it is important that you do not dwell on it. Negative people are usually ill all the time, in pain, and miserable, so choose your thoughts appropriately.
In simple terms, you want to “assist the positive and eliminate the noxious”.
Life on this planet is a blessing. Be grateful for all you experiences, “good” and “bad”, as they provide lessons so you can grow and make more of yourself in this world. An attitude of gratitude is only going to bring about more abundance to your life, using the powerful Law of Attraction (like attracts like).
Be sure to express humility and take the time to express a thought or two of gratitude each day. This brings us closer to our true nature, which can only create more health and happiness.
So appreciate your family, your work, your peers, and your life and this will contribute to your health in ways you never imagined.
Learn to let go
A fast way to become ill is to hold on to everything negative that has happened in your life. Focusing on unsavoury events of the past will only ruin your health today and well into the future, and even the rest of your life.
This is why you need to learn to let go. Deep breathing and meditation, as well as tonic herbs like reishi can assist in this process. Extract the wisdom, truth, and insight from everything that has happened in your life and let those events themselves go. Choosing to hold on to them only increases stagnancy and blockages, which disrupts your natural flow.
Letting go makes you more resistant to disease, and facilities enlightenment – the ultimate measure of health and happiness.
It may seem difficult to realize at times, but life on this plant has stunning beauty. Sure, it comes with negativity and hardships, but those lessons only magnify the true beauty of those other things that surround you. Don’t sweat the small stuff (that we often make into “big stuff”), and hang around people and things that you really like or love.
More importantly, develop a passion in life that makes it worth living everyday. If you dread going into work everyday or it is making you feel down having to go in, maybe it is time for a career chance. You’re not living your best life. Sounds like you? Be sure to see here some new career paths that may interest you. Realize that there will be bumps in the road, but that is what makes life interesting (almost all good stories involve hardship, which was difficult at the time, but often brings a smile to our face later when we overcome it due to our passion). A life of no challenges would become incredibly boring, and would take the “sport” out of it. You are going to encounter them no matter what you do, so learn how to embrace them and magnify the great experiences to offset them.
Getting truly healthy will never be a band aid job. It requires work and discipline, but the compensation is equal to those efforts when a willing and able teacher shows you the “way”. Once you obtain true health and live the lifestyle that accentuates it, you will truly realize you were living in the shadow of your true potential.
Let’s face it, THRIVING is much more fun than surviving. You too can follow in the footsteps of the healthiest humans on the planet by following these principles, and learning how to incorporate the specific details into your daily life. The Thrivers Lifestyle makes it incredibly easy to understand, and you can get that blueprint for a healthier life, here.
Sources for this article include:
30 Tips For Getting Healthy Now and For Living A Long, Healthy, Productive, and Happy Life. Ron Teeguarden. 2004.