The assumption that healthy people are just lucky, have good genes, or practice preventive medicine is no more than a half-truth. The healthiest people in our society – meaning those who avoid catastrophic disease and live to a happy old age without any major debilitating illnesses – fall into a different profile. According to current medical understanding, here are the essential ingredients of mind-body health:
1) Emotional adaptability. This is the single most important factor in staying well and living long. It’s the ability to let go and remain open to change. Everyone suffers losses and setbacks, but some get stuck in their pain, storing emotional toxicity or ama that contributes to imbalance and illness. Fortunately, emotional resilience is a quality that we can develop in ourselves. For those struggling with emotional pain, the Healing the Heart and Emotional Freedom programs offer a powerful process for releasing the past and reclaiming emotional balance and wholeness.
2) Good coping mechanisms. There are two ways to cope with life’s uncertainty: acceptance and resistance. Acceptance is allowing events to unfold around you and reacting to them spontaneously, while resistance is fighting against the natural force of evolution. Nature will ultimately win, and our struggle against the river of life creates a lot of wear and tear on our body and accelerates the aging process. Cultivating acceptance is a powerful coping skill that doesn’t imply being passive or letting go of desire; it is actively practicing the Law of Detachment, which is based on an unwavering belief in the power of your true Self. Learn more about the Seven Spiritual Laws of Success at the Seduction of Spirit retreat.
3) Self-empowerment. Numerous studies show that people who feel victimized or out of control are at higher risk for physical and emotional illness. Those who constantly feel like a victim of life make the mistake of false identification: They see themselves as limited and isolated, not realizing that our essential nature is pure potentiality.
4) Stress reduction. Stress exacts an enormous toll on our mental and physical health, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stomach ulcers, cancer, insomnia, depression, and autoimmune diseases. While many claim to thrive under pressure, no one maintains health and well-being in the face of constant long-term stress.
One of the most effective stress relief tools we have is meditation. When we meditate, our breathing slows, blood pressure decreases, and stress hormone levels fall. Beyond these significant health benefits, the greatest gift of meditation is the sense of calm and inner peace it brings into your daily life.
5) Feeling loved, wanted, and useful. All three are necessary for optimal health, and the healthiest people make choices to maximize their experience of these positive qualities. In fact, emotional deprivation is as unhealthy as a lack of good food, essential vitamins, and adequate sleep.
If someone were to come to me for a physical exam, I'd certainly comply, but before they left I would do everything possible to put them on the right track to optimal health, which has little to do with doctors and everything to do with self-awareness and balance.