Our bodies are incredibly resilient. With our modern lifestyle, our bodies are fed food with little nutritional content, are exposed to all sorts of chemical and noise pollution, and often don’t receive enough sleep or exercise. It’s little wonder that people – even young children – are experiencing more and more health and developmental problems. Really, it’s a marvel that we survive as long as we do, but the human body has a remarkable capacity to heal itself, if we let it.
These days taking responsibility for ones own actions is becoming rare. We have a lot of things competing for our time, and our own health is often placed at the bottom of the list. In this time of instant gratification, if we don’t see results quickly, we are quick to abandon a treatment or lifestyle change. We have been conditioned to hand responsibility for our health to a doctor or specialist (as the “expert”) rather than being supported in learning and making the necessary changes for ourselves. When we don’t feel that personal responsibility, it is easy to blame someone else, even if we didn’t give it enough time, or follow their advice. Taking responsibility for our own health – making a true commitment to making any necessary changes in our lifestyle and realising that we alone can truly make it happen – takes courage. Doing it properly takes a lot of thought and planning, so that our attempts won’t fail as surely as a new year’s resolution to “lose weight” or “get healthy” does.
So how do you take responsibility for getting your health back on track?
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Work out a detailed plan of action for how you are going to tackle your health, using the following as a guide.
- Be honest about what the health or developmental issue is that you are facing. What are the consequences if things don’t change?
- For weight loss, remaining overweight can lead to developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, which can in turn lead to an earlier death.
- For an issue such as tinnitus, while the condition won’t directly lead to other problems, it can adversely affect one’s mental health, and in severe cases, lead to thoughts of suicide.
- Research all the possible contributing factors. Are there any other underlying health conditions which compound the problem? Seek medical advice and tests so you can get a clear picture of where things are at. Also research what side effects there are of any medications you may be taking, and how anything you eat, drink, smoke or put on your body might impact the issue.
- For weight – aside from the obvious lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise, there are medical conditions which can impact it to. For women, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a prevalent but under diagnosed condition which has hormonal imbalances and possible insulin resistance which contribute to difficulty maintaining a healthy weight.
- For tinnitus, a wide range of triggers exist – as well as noise damage, a wide range of medications and substances including caffeine and MSG can exacerbate it. Smoking (either tobacco or marijuana) can also contribute, as can simply being tired or stressed! You would also want to rule out any physical issues such as wax blockage in the ear.
- Consider what other factors may place obstacles in your path. Do you have any travel plans which may disrupt planned lifestyle changes? Are you able to get sufficient sleep and time to relax? Are there stressors in your work or family life which can complicate things?
- Seek solutions for overcoming each of the contributing factors and obstacles. What changes can you personally make? What will you need to seek help from a professional for?
- Create a realistic plan for tackling each of the factors. Start with small steps if necessary, and think about how you will get back on track if you experience a setback. Set a series of small goals to help keep you on track. Be specific with your action plan, such as “starting tomorrow, I will walk around Lake Monger for half an hour after work on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday with Belinda” or “starting on Monday, I will listen to Sound Therapy while eating my breakfast and eating my dinner”.
- Identify who will support you along the way. Ensure you have someone you can talk to to provide motivation and encouragement, be it family, friends, health professionals, and people on forums / social network groups / in associations going through the same thing.
- Schedule time for YOU. The best laid plans won’t help if you don’t factor in time to do whatever is needed, be it taking medication, getting exercise, listening to Sound Therapy, or even getting enough sleep!
- Tip: Set daily reminders on your computer calendar system or mobile phone to turn on your Sound Therapy, get up and go for a 15 minutes walk, or stop what you are doing and go to bed.
If you do suffer a set back along the way, it’s ok! Don’t write it off as a failure, but refer to your plan to get back on track as soon as you can. You can do it!