10. Being Mindful of Our Health
In the past, most of us have not had a good understanding about health and nutrition. This is something we learned a little about in the course of our education. We may have been required to take a health class at some time or another. And that’s been about the extent of it.
Today, with the growth of the Internet, there is a wealth of information available to us on health and nutrition. If we have an ailment, we can often find articles about it, and become more informed, so we can have a more intelligent discussion with our healthcare professionals. This is beneficial to both us and them: we get better care, and their jobs become easier.
While there is much information about health and nutrition available to us, not everyone makes good use of it. Some of us still place too much faith in doctors. Keep in mind that medicine is not always an exact science. Doctors don’t know everything. They can only make judgments based on the information we give them. And we don’t always give them all the relevant information. That’s because we don’t always know what is relevant. This is where mindfulness practice can help.
You can live a longer and healthier life if you are more mindful of your health. In order to do this, you need to first focus your attention on your health. It certainly helps if you learn some of the basics of health and nutrition. Then pay close attention to what is happening in your body, and try to determine how your nutrition and activities are causing specific ailments.
Remember that mindfulness practice is about paying attention to what is happening in the present moment. If you direct your attention to your body, you will gain a better understanding of how to preserve your good health. This is something you will appreciate more as you get older.
11. How to Remain Peaceful During Difficult Times
It’s real easy to stay calm when things are going well, but it can be a big challenge when there is a crisis, especially if our health, or that of a loved one, is threatened. What makes it so difficult to stay calm during a health crisis is that our life is threatened, and we may feel powerless to do anything about it. I approach the problem from three different angles:
Protect my health as best as possible. I’ve been pretty health conscious most of my life, but not to any extreme. I’ve learned to eat healthy, while at the same time enjoying my food. Since I stay physically active, I can eat just about anything I want—in moderation. I also don’t abuse my body with foods, substances, or activities that are harmful. I intend to prolong my life and good health as much as possible. Remember, we have a great deal of control over our health.
I deal with my mortality ahead of time. I always try to remember that everything is impermanent. While I can prolong my good health for a long time, eventually I will get sick and die. That is inevitable, and the sooner I accept that, the easier it will be when the time comes. Actually, knowing that I will eventually die helps me appreciate every day that I am alive and healthy.
“If you only walk on sunny days, you’ll never reach your destination.” ~ Paulo Coelho
I meditate regularly. Mindfulness practice and meditation helps me keep things in proper perspective. It helps me stay mindful of my health, and to stay mindful of my own impermanence. Meditating regularly also helps keep my emotions calm. That is, it keeps me from worrying so much. The key here is to meditate regularly. It’s much harder to start meditating when you’re in the middle of a crisis.