Don’t worry – we’re not going philosophical on you. Health consciousness: simply, to be conscious of your health and why you’re in the state you’re in.
This is a basic that gets forgotten more than any other. Indeed, most of us aren’t aware it’s a basic at all. Just like we couldn’t give an exact number to how many times we’ve breathed in the current day, as of this very moment, most people can’t account for why they feel like they do at any given time. The following are speculative examples of a lack of health consciousness.
Did that chili-dog you just ate have anything to do with your acid-reflux flaring up? Maybe you feel nauseous because you breathed in dirt and exhaust for half an hour while mowing? You only get 5 hours of sleep a night? Maybe that’s why you have to drink four coffees in the morning. And eat four times a day. And crave sugar and simple carbs constantly. And thusly, why you’re obese.
As seen above, the non-conscious person could eventually be on medication for chronic fatigue syndrome and depression, while constantly battling his craving for fattening foods and attempting to lose weight. In the end, he might develop Type-2 diabetes – maybe serious heart and circulatory diseases. The downward spiral of depression, plus good reasons to be depressed, plus medication after medication, plus negative self-image, plus life-threatening disease could only lead to an unhappy ending. And this sorrowful fate could be avoided by setting his alarm back 3-4 hours, while avoiding the foods that lead us down such a grim path. If he had just taken a moment to realize what his body was telling him.
Health consciousness is one of the most important things you can develop. Nobody wants to feel bad, or have disease. And while the above is a more extreme example, everyday happiness and the capacity to thrive in our society relies on the choices we make. When we’re healthy, we’re smarter, stronger, and happier. Small oversights can eventually take that away.
So, what I’m requesting is simple: consider your health in all of your choices.
For example, “cheat days” are fine. In fact, it’s a healthy practice. But when having a cheat day, do you really need to be visiting the fried chicken place down the street? Wouldn’t it be more fulfilling, in the end, to purchase the ingredients (organic) and make the very same meal at home?
The difference is paramount, though it seems small. By making the meal yourself, you will certainly spend more money, and it will take some time out of your day, but consider what you gain: your life is enriched through cooking for your loved ones, you avoid the nasty additives the fast food place injects into their “chicken,” you avoid GMO and processed oils and hydrogenated (mad-scientist-altered) fats, and though the MSG-buzz might be missing, you may develop a heritage recipe.
When it’s all said and done, you probably won’t want a cheat day too soon after, because it did take more time, money and effort.
But that’s not all there is to health consciousness. When we make our daily health choices, we get results (whether negative or positive). The most crucial aspect of health consciousness is recognizing those results, and remembering the experience for future decisions.And the best doctor, when it comes to preventative health, is yourself. You know exactly how you feel.
So, ask yourself: did that meal leave you feeling more energetic? More lethargic? Maybe it exacerbated a few of your health issues? You can feel the results of your actions, and question the benefit or harm to your health. That your meal might have made you feel worse isn’t the real evil here – the real evil is in not knowing, and not examining, because no experience has been gained.
And so, perhaps you continuously harm your health or happiness in small ways. And maybe, that continues long enough to become a problem.
Just like when someone eats and eats and eats and becomes obese – they feel like they’ve become fat “all of a sudden.” Like it happened to them, rather than because of them.
This type of person lacks awareness, particularly regarding their health.
The health conscious person notices the change – the excessive eating pattern – and the discomfort associated with gaining fat. He simply changes his habits. It becomes so easy to prevent ourselves from ruining our health or fitness when we really take notice of our actions and consequences.
And so, I would state that health consciousness is our #1 source of preventative medicine.
It becomes incredibly difficult for disease to sneak up on you and spring up “out of nowhere” while we are focused on our bodies. Nearly every disease comes with a feeling of illness as it begins and progresses. And it doesn’t take a biochemist to know what that leads to. If we ignore those feelings, that’s when we receive shocking news from lab results or other diagnostic tools.
But, moving on, let’s drop the subject of lifestyle diseases. For those not dealing with serious ailments, you still have much to benefit from increasing your health consciousness. Setting aside the fact that you can avoid many of the lifestyle diseases (i.e. Type-2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease), you can vastly improve your quality of life.
Take note of the things that make you feel genuinely bad, and eliminate them.
For me, an example would be coffee. I loved coffee in the past, but every time I had any my sleep would suffer, and the following day I’d develop a headache. I took notice that the longer I would continue the coffee habit before one day stopping, the longer these unpleasant after-effects would last. Who would want three days where they experienced headaches, however minor? And so, weighing the enjoyment of the beverage against the symptoms I experienced, I eliminated coffee from my shopping list. Had I never noticed the correlation, I’d still be suffering the headaches – probably believing that I’m just “the type who gets headaches,” if such a thing exists. But that’s just a personal example – you can scrutinize and figure out why you experience minor ailments when you do. That’s the easy path to a symptom-free life!
So, I’ll state it again.
Whether you have a serious disease or are relatively healthy – even the epitome of health incarnate – you can benefit from increased health consciousness. Making that your goal, you can improve the quality of your life dramatically.
You are your #1 preventative medicine!
* See Legal Junk for Disclaimers