Feeling better: A five-point plan
Learning how to liveand live well!with a chronic condition is a lot like putting together a puzzle. You may find one piece that fits easily, and others that dont fit at all.
Sometimes its hard to know where to start. Thats why we want you to have this five-point plan to help guide you on your journey to health and wellness.
- Learn everything you can. Read books and magazines. Search the Internet. Ask experts and healthcare professionals. Keep a journal or take notes. Knowledge is power and the more knowledge you have, the more power you have to change your situation. Learn more with these great books!
Identify -- or rule out -- possible causes. Use assessments and functional testing/tools, recommended by your healthcare professional, to rule possible causes in -- or out. Sometimes a simple blood or urine test can tell you everything you need to know.
Sometimes it takes more than that. You can also find some very sophisticated diagnostic and assessment tools online. Some are free to you, but most charge a fee. Some may also be covered by your health insurance. But you won't know until you check out these powerful and reliable tools.
Find solutions that help you feel better. Feeling better does not involve one philosophy or one treatment or one pill. There is no magic bullet. Finding the right solution usually means trying many different things. You'll soon find it's most often a powerful combination of conventional and alternative therapies that you discover through trial and error that will help you feel better. And starting with the basics is a great first step!
- Nutrition: What you eat -- and absorb into your body -- has a profound impact on how you feel. Our hectic lifestyles often mean overeating, eating on the run (and without purpose), and using processed and refined foods, creating an alarming rise in obesity among Americans, and especially our children. Eating intentionally -- that is, using food and supplements to nourish our bodies with the nutrients we need to feel betterhas to be a priority. Check out these General Dietary Guidelines.
- Exercise: You've heard this one before, right? Now its time to start DOING! Actively working your heart and muscles gives you powerful health benefits without a prescription. From improving respiratory and circulatory systems to increasing metabolism and burning fat to building bone density and muscle mass, exercise really does work wonders.
- Spirituality: But its not just nutrition and exercise that matters. Making time to relax and clear your mind helps you feel better, too. And whether or not you do this on your own or with community presence, using prayer and meditation can positively impact how you feel.
Stick to it, especially when you're stuck. No matter whether you are changing how you eat, adopting a new exercise program, incorporating nutritional supplements and/or medical prescriptions, or practicing spirituality, you need to give it time to work. And you need to work your program when it's hard. Countless attempts at feeling better were aborted far too soon, causing further frustration. Be patient, be persistent, and you'll find your way to feeling better in no time.
Feel better, and enjoy your life. Once you've finally discovered the pieces to your chronic health puzzle, you can relax and give yourself a pat on the back for the long journey you've endured to feel better. But beware the power of a sense of well-being which can lead to complacency and relapse. Even when you feel well, make sure you follow your plan diligently. And stay on the lookout for new and improved information that can help you. Your chronic health puzzle is a circular one, and newer, more powerful remedies may be just around the corner.