Thursday, October 31, 2013
Stress Health Instead of Letting Health Stress You
Health is everywhere these days. You can't open a newspaper or turn on a television without seeing health in the news. Like it or not, health is all around us. Why is this? Well, for starters, it is important. Most notably, health is a hot topic because we have let it become an area of stress in our lives.Think about the news stories that we see along with health. What else is on the news? There is war, political scandals, crime and crisis. All of these subjects have one thing in common: Stress. When we see these stories they evoke emotion and cause us to feel anxiety.How did health get on this list? Shouldn't we be feeling good about health and healthy living? Well, we should be, but unfortunately that isn't the kind of story we are getting. We are getting the lack of health in most news stories. One can argue that this is simply because that is the state we are in now. Our health has gotten so bad that there is only bad news to report.One can say that. In fact, I've said that we are in a serious situation regarding our health. I see the news, so I know that there are general problems. More importantly, I work with people, so I see that there are personal problems.I see that we all want to be healthy. I also see that it is difficult for the average person to be as healthy as they want to be. I see that the status quo is actually causing more and more problems for us and making it more and more difficult to live healthy or even to avoid declining health in our lives.What can we do? It is important that we emphasize the word DO. If we do nothing, we will continue to go down the path of poor health. By closing our eyes and taking what is given, we will not get where we want to go. By eating what is offered at the cheapest, most convenient foods, we will not get where we want to go. By letting our schedules be made for us and going with the flow, we will not get where we want to go.The only way to take the stress out of health is to switch things around. We have to stress health. By stressing health, we can stop letting health stress us. This is more than just a play on words.Think about it:When we see the stories about health on the news, what are they telling us? They are telling us that the health of the world is in jeopardy and we are all heading the wrong direction. They are telling us that what we are doing is killing ourselves and our kids. They are telling us that we are not doing it right and are suffering the consequences now and in the future.As we continue to hear messages like this, it gets easier to believe them. It gets easier to look at our own routine and say, "Wow, I am unhealthy." While it may be true, it doesn't mean that things have to stay this way.That is the first step in turning things around. We need to understand that health is ongoing and long-term. Health is not a one day or one week topic. The studies and reports that we see are done over many months and even years. That data may point to negative trends, but that doesn't mean we can't change them.That is the next step in turning things around. We have to change. If you are going with the flow and taking only what's given, you are likely part of the trends that we are reading about and seeing on the news. If you are not actively focused on your own health, you are likely stressing about it.By looking long-term at the life you really want, you can start to make changes to make it a reality. By doing nothing, you can only give yourself more issues to stress about. No one wants to be unhealthy. No one wants stressed out. But for some reason that doesn't seem to be enough to motive us to change.Maybe a new way of looking at health will help motivate people. Maybe we just need to change our focus. Letting health issues stress us is only going to lead to more stress. Physical, emotional, financial and all other kinds of stress will be the norm if we are not actively managing our health. All we have to do is reverse that model by stressing health. More importantly, we are stressing healthy habits. When we have health we are able to stress the important aspects of life: feeling good, having energy and enjoying our time. Without them we simply stress over the problems that come with poor habits.It may be a play on words, but stressing health instead of letting it stress you can really be the key to changing the trends. By making health an emphasis at home, work and school, we can take control. That control allows us to stop stressing about the problems of poor health and start reaping the benefits of good health.