Nature Is Our Nature
Dr. Adeboye is a Certified Health and Wellness Coach
What does health mean to me?
When I think of health, I think of vitality, I think of purity, I think of a vibrant soul. I see health as a continuum from extreme sickness or nonexistence all the way to functioning, living, and essentially being your best self. There is health that can be seen from the outside, for example, you might have symptoms of a high temperature, elevated blood sugar, or high blood pressure. These can be measured and you can be deemed unhealthy or sick. But even more important is the way you feel on the inside whether there are symptoms or not. The latter is a function of your holistic wellness and this is what we practice at Befibrillator Wellness.
Why is it important to be healthy?
In the simplest of terms, it is important to be healthy so as to operate at your optimum level. When you are healthy, you are confident because you know you are healthy. Your stress hormonal levels are down, you sleep well, you are radiant, and most importantly, you feel great. When you are healthy, you are like an antioxidant, releasing positive energy into the atmosphere and even sometimes erasing negative energy.
How do we become healthy?
We can become healthy via a number of strategies. We have to think holistically because we have to ensure that we approach our health from all different angles.
One way to become healthy is to exercise more. Exercise has numerous beneficial effects; your blood flows smoothly, and your heart beats faster leading to better endurance. When you exercise, positive chemicals are released in your brain which brightens your mood, lowers your stress levels, and reduces your chances of depression. When you exercise, you develop collateral blood vessels which facilitate more fluid circulation. Collateral blood vessels are new and fresh tiny blood vessels around your organs, this is especially true with the blood vessels of your heart. When you exercise, you also develop more strength as you gain more muscle. What kind of exercises? Well, cardiovascular exercises like jogging, swimming and skipping build up your endurance and fitness, body-building exercises like weight lifting increase your overall strength, and other exercises like yoga and Pilates enhance your flexibility.
Another vital method that so happens to be the easiest and best way to remain healthy is nutrition. Nutrition is all about obtaining the right nutrients and nourishment from the items you insert into your digestive system. Thousands of years ago, our forefathers lived much healthier lives than us and had fewer diseases. The major difference between their lifestyle then and ours now is the diet they followed. Essentially, they ate predominantly plant-based meals. Today, a whole-food, plant-based diet has been proven by science to be the key to optimal health as well as a gateway to reversing several health conditions. There is a practical nutrition phrase by Michael Pollan that should help guide your eating habits. It states ‘Eat food, not too much, mostly plants’. The eat food part means — ‘Eat real food, not processed foods’. Not too much means — practicing everything in moderation. And the mostly plants part is self-explanatory — the majority of your food should be plant-based.
A third component of being healthy is maintaining low-stress levels. There will always be stressors from the environment that we are not in control of. However, how we cope with these stressors is key. Stress puts us in sympathetic mode or a ‘fight and flight’ response, which causes the body to age quickly and get more prone to disease. There is another mode called parasympathetic mode which we want our bodies to be in more frequently. This is a ‘rest and relax’ mode that facilities healing and regeneration of our cells as well as better blood circulation to all organs and systems in our bodies. It is important that you consciously engage in activities that help relax your mind, body, and soul. Such activities include listening to calm music or sounds, bonding with loved ones, and taking more quality naps. Just as important is our restraint when it comes to social vices and unhealthy habits. To be in a good state of health, we need to stay away from alcohol, smoking, hard drugs, and also avoid a sedentary lifestyle.
A final way to remain in the best of health (particularly the mental component) is to have a positive outlook on life. We worry so much about things beyond our control and science has shown that the majority of us have a negativity bias towards daily happenings and events in our lives. This on its own leads to stress and stress, regardless of the source, has negative effects on our body and mind. Practicing gratitude daily is an effective way to counteract this bias as it helps us remain positive and optimistic. Another great way to fuel your positivity barometer is to engage in causes that you are passionate about, especially activities that both embrace your personal values and involve touching other people’s lives for the better. Doing this will also lead you to being more fulfilled.
I have learned that in life, there are three types of happiness. Momentary happiness, Overall happiness, and Deep happiness. The third one is also called Joy, Eudemonia, Simcha, or flow and is a feeling that comes when you are doing what you should be doing; in essence when you are fulfilled. This is what I feel while working at Befibrillator Wellness.