Body & Mind
Body & Mind – a Holistic Approach
It has been said that we spend the first 30 years of our lives destroying our bodies, physically and mentally and then the next 30 years regretting it and trying to claw our way back to good health and well-being. So often, we take mobility, agility and fitness for granted, only to regret it when we suddenly lose it!
When clients come to see me for therapy, no matter what their issues are, I prefer to adopt a holistic approach ie let’s find out what the cause of the issues are and then make the necessary life style changes to resolve the issues, repair any damage and get their life back on track as quickly as possible!
These are just a few of the topics I discuss initially with a new client:
It is during our sleep that our body repairs and regenerates, produces hormones and clears the toxins out of our brain. We have between 40,000 and 60,000 thoughts every single day. These thoughts need to be analysed and filed in the massive data bank that we call ‘the subconscious’. If we are not getting sufficient good quality sleep, ie not chemically induced, then these processes cannot take place and we wake up feeling more tired that when we went to sleep! Power naps are a great way of supplementing sleep but you cannot beat a good night’s sleep! It is not necessary to have 7 hours of solid sleep, provided you have a cumulative number of hours that works for you and enables you to wake up feeling refreshed and ready for another day! If you have interrupted sleep, don’t worry about it, just do whatever is necessary to get back to sleep eg read a book or listen to relaxing music.
Our body needs water. Every cell and fibre in our body needs water. Water increases our metabolism and flushes out toxins. When we are dehydrated, our brain hurts, our kidneys struggle to do their job, we feel tired mentally and physically. Our body should be approximately 50% water. If it is not, we are not drinking enough for optimum health.
Would you pull into the petrol station and ask for the cheap, inferior petrol? Of course not! But that is what we do to our body every time we eat inferior food ie junk food, fast food, manufactured food that is full of preservatives and other harmful chemicals and additives. The reality is that we can replace our car when we have wrecked it but cannot replace our body! Aim for good quality, nutritious, clean, one ingredient food. Choose food that was grown ‘on’ a plant and not ‘in’ a plant. Choose food made by nature and not by man!
It is not just about what we eat but how and why. Eating slowly and mindfully allows our digestive process to get the goodness out of the food and use it appropriately. We have teeth for a reason – to break down our food. We have saliva and gastric juices for a reason – to break down our food. Breaking down our food prepares it for the intestine, where the final part of the digestive process takes place. We should only eat because we are hungry and not for any other reason. We should only partially fill our stomach rather that over stretching it. At the end of every meal you should feel as if you could have eaten a little more and that you can now go for a lovely, brisk walk rather than collapsing on the nearest sofa! If you haven’t time to eat consciously and mindfully, don’t eat as you will not benefit from food that is eaten ‘on the run’.
If you feel like a hamster running round and round on a wheel, then it is time to get off. We need time to relax, mentally and physically. Turn off your phone, take time out and do whatever it takes to relax whether it is walking, reading, gardening, doing a puzzle or crossword, painting a picture, colouring, knitting, scrapbooking, playing the piano or a guitar, meditating, yoga, cooking, writing a journal, skyping a friend, collecting stamps, rebuilding an engine, playing with a pet. Remember the things you enjoyed doing as a child and rekindle that hobby or pastime. Get your work/life balance back on a healthy track before it is too late!
Don’t take mobility for granted. You will miss it when it is gone! Our bodies need to be exercised. Muscles need to be stretched and toned. If you are out of shape and need to get back on track, take each day at a time. Set yourself realistic goals and start off slowly, increasing your level of intensity as your fitness level increases. The most difficult step is the first one! The rest are easy.
Sugar is now being reclassified as a recreational drug. It is addictive and destructive. In USA, on average, people are consuming 23 spoons of sugar, hidden in the food they eat. No wonder there is such a problem in the world with obesity and diabetes. Unfortunately, we are programmed to enjoy sugar from birth. As babies, every time we were crying because we were tired, hungry, cold, wet etc, someone would pick us up, cuddle us and feed us lovely sweet milk, whether from a bottle or breast. We very quickly learnt to associate sweetness with being nurtured and comforted. Genetically, we are primed to enjoy sweet food as that is how our predecessors differentiated between a root or berry that was safe to eat or poisonous. We were programmed. If you have an addiction to sugar or ‘sweet tooth’, take control, seek help, kick the habit before diabetes comes knocking on your door!
And don’t even get me started on sugar substitutes, wheat, dairy and caffeine! That is for another blog!
So, these are just a few of the topics I discuss with my clients. Obviously, life style issues such as smoking, alcohol, drugs, whether legal or illegal, need to be addressed. I also like to delve into other contributory factors such as where and how a person was brought up, family circumstances, relationships, education, career, goals, hopes and dreams. Anything which can have an impact on a person’s health and well-being needs to be considered, discussed and addressed where necessary.
At the end of the day, if you treat your body with the love and respect it deserves, it will repay you over and over!
About the Author
Anna Yates is a fully qualified experienced Life Coach; Psychotherapist & Hypnotherapist; Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming; Virtual Gastric Band Therapist. Anna is based in the UAE.