Last night when walking home from the T I passsed Walgreens thinking I’m not exactly sure YOU are the corner of Happy and Healthy but it’s an ingenus marketing campaign. I mean, who wouldn’t want to live at that corner, right? Eternal bliss of health and wellness…sign me up! I expecially liked the poster when I saw it as it points out that happiness is connected intimately with your health. Now a lot of folks would say that those that have their health are the lucky ones and it’s the rest of us that are screwed because we have this and that ailment or disease. I would say that’s hogwash. See the thing that we are not often taught by general practioners of medicine is that the state of your health is actually mostly in your hands. We have been taught that our genetic makeup is representative for most of the disease we have potential to contract. In my nutrition program (which was taught my licensed professionals who work have worked or do work in the healthcare industry BTW) is that genetics play a much smaller part of whether we are likely to have a problem with certain illnesses. The much larger part of the responsibility comes from your diet and lifestyle. During the coaching conference that I recently attended it was mentioned that research has shown that by making changes to your diet and lifestyle you can actually change the makeup of your genetic composition. This would mean that should your family have a lot of heart disease or cancer, the steps you take to take care of yourself now will have an impact on that genetic pool. It also means that should you shift the diet and lifestyle of your family, your children will be less likely to suffer from those diseases. Wow, right? Research has shown that families who have a large number of people who have had difficulty with certain diseases, have also had similar diet and lifestyles. I find this FASCINATING because it means you are empowered to take control over the state of your present and future health! So if this is true, why is is that we are constantly asked about our genetic history and given the worriesome look and downturned eyes when we report that certain family members have XY illness? Well for one, our healthcare system is set up to treat disease. Healthcare is not in the business of prevention of disease, just treating the disease as it occurs. This is not a judgment, it’s just the way the system is set up. Doctors and nurses often talk about some areas of wellness with their patients but the reality is their training is about treating diease not wellness. The same goes for social workers. I had no information about wellness or the integrative health care model until I started taking yoga trainings and my nutrition training. After the completion of my nutrition training I was embarrassed that I had been practicing all that time without that information. You have to be sick and have a diagnosis to even use your insurance to see a therapist. How crazy is that? So if the corner of happy and healthy isn’t at Walgreens or your doctor’s office…where the heck is it and do they have any local property available?
I like to think that the corner of happy and healthy is actually available in each moment of the day we just don’t often see it. It’s in that moment when you would like to give someone “a piece of your mind” but instead you take a deep breath. I explain this to my clients as the difference between the bubble over my head and what comes out of my mouth! Ha in moments when I am on the corner of said streets the two differ. If I got lost along my jaunt well that looks and sounds a whole lot different and I don’t feel so happy afterwards. You’ve reached the corner of happy and healthy when you eat a healthy meal, give a hug to a loved one, play with your pet (or if you are me it is when you pet each dog that passes by you because at the moment you don’t have your own:) It also occurs when you sit on your couch after spring or fall cleaning with that ahhhhh feeing, or when you take a hot shower on a cold day or a warm epsom salt bath after a day that felt stressful. All these options for finding happy and healthy are of your own doing, your own choosing and don’t include any pharamacies (well maybe for epsom salt) or paid professionals. See the secret that is often kept from us is that we have the capability to work towards preventing disease from ever happening. Food is medicine. Love is medicine. Rest is medicine. Self care is medicine. The possibility for wellness and happiness occurs in each moment. We just have to be awareness enough to see the possibility and then choose to take it. Now this may seem quite trite but I must say to those cynics out there this is very true. There is research that a hug activates the para sympathetic relaxation response and also bosters immunity. It reverses the affect that the stress response has on the body. You can feel that right? Ever have a stressful day and just feel like if you could get a a hug from someone that you love everything would be ok? And if you are able to have that happen, all the stressors seem to melt into the background. Love, both self love and love from others is an incredible healer. You don’t need insurance for you. All you need is the willingness and ability to open up to giving yourself some lovin.
So where did you find the corner of happy and healthy today? For me it was in completing the text for my website and sending it off to the developer. There were moments that didn’t feel so happy but nothing felt quite like sending that email off:) Hope today was a happy and healthy one!