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A Useful Life. Two Paths To A Healthy Lifestyle - The Quality Of Life
A Useful Life. Two Paths To A Healthy Lifestyle - The Quality Of Life

Video: A Useful Life. Two Paths To A Healthy Lifestyle - The Quality Of Life

Video: A Useful Life. Two Paths To A Healthy Lifestyle - The Quality Of Life
Video: Healthy Lifestyle 2023, March

I suggest readers to conduct a simple experiment: go to any social network in which you have an account. Flip through the news feed a little. I bet anything that doesn't even take a minute or two before you stumble upon some message on how to take care of your health. For example, how to prepare the right weight loss salads, how to quit smoking, or how to properly pump up your quads

I'm glad to be deceived

Turn on the TV, and there - "Life is great!", "Weighted people", "On the most important thing." Why are there programs - there are entire TV channels dedicated to medicine ("Healthy TV") and the correct way of life ("LIVE!"). A natural question arises: is everyone around so concerned about their health? It is difficult to answer this question.

According to the polls conducted by VTsIOM in May 2017, 78% of Russians assess their state of health as “very good” and “good”. But this figure is clearly overestimated. Doctors say that no more than 30% of the population has “excellent” and “very good” (on a five-point scale) health status. Almost every second person is in an optimistic illusion about the state of his body. And if everything is in order with health, then there is no need to change your lifestyle, many are convinced.

He who is infected with the fear of disease is already infected with the disease of fear

Michelle Montaigne

Lifestyles are our daily habits that either support health or subtly destroy it. Habits are stereotyped behaviors, driven by repeated repetitions to automatism and therefore eluding mind control.

For example, overweight people “nibble” (that is, they eat many times between meals), but completely exclude this fact from their consciousness (“Well, this is so, a trifle, this is not food!”) Or significantly underestimate it (mentally reducing the number and volume of snacks).

Healthy habits

American researchers Belloc and Breslau believe that there are only seven factors in a healthy lifestyle:

  • sleep (seven to eight hours),
  • regular meals,
  • refusal of multiple additional meals (in between four to five meals),
  • weight not exceeding optimal by more than 10% (depending on age),
  • regular exercise,
  • restriction of alcohol,
  • to give up smoking.

If you have all the family's good habits, you can only rejoice with you and wish you a long, active and bright life! But much more interesting is the situation when someone "suddenly" discovers that he has a bad habit. For example, you considered it your legal right to "a couple of cans of beer after a hard day," and suddenly they tell you that it is very harmful. Cognitive dissonance arises: new information categorically does not coincide with stable ideas.

useful life
useful life
There are three ways to get rid of an unpleasant internal mismatch:

1. Accept new information as more correct and change your behavior

2. Ignore new information. Just ignore it or forget it. Better yet, pretend that this does not concern me (“It’s only alcoholics who drink too much, and I’m not like that,” “I don’t smoke, I’m just playing around, if I want, I’ll quit at any time”).

3. Actively defend and justify your old habit, by any means criticizing and discrediting new information (“Beer alcoholism does not exist, these are all fictions!”). As you can see, our psyche works in a rather strange way: it is easier for us to justify our destructive habits than to replace them with good ones. The paradox is that, engaging in such self-justifications, many people simply do not know (or have long forgotten) what it means to be a truly healthy person.

According to WHO, health status depends on:

  • by 10% of the quality of health care services
  • by 20% of heredity
  • by 20% from the influence of the external environment (ecology)
  • 50% of the supported lifestyle

There is a simple method to quickly assess your health. You need to relax, focus on your body and, as it were, “scan” it with your mind's eye from your toes to the crown of your head, noticing any sensations in your body. You can try it, it takes seconds. Did you feel anything? The correct answer is "Nothing." More precisely, it is quite normal with such a "scan" to feel your muscles - how they are tense or, conversely, relaxed.

But there should be no sensations from the internal organs (especially painful). A famous satirist once joked: "If you woke up in the morning and nothing hurts, then you are dead." Unfortunately, many people really consider pain and bodily discomfort to be the norm, simply not understanding what it means to feel healthy.

Test Yourself: 7 Health Criteria

There are two paths to a healthy lifestyle: the first is simpler and faster, but more risky; the second is complex and long, but more reliable.

Way 1. Simple and fast?

The easy way is to get rid of bad habits and replace them with more useful ones. For example, an overweight person is helped first to lose weight, and then to form the correct nutrition system (in order to maintain an optimal weight). It is assumed that psychologically, this replacement (of old eating habits with new ones) is equivalent. Allegedly, a new lean body and a proper nutritional system will have even more motivational appeal than the old habit of eating just about anything and when it happens.

It's easier for us to justify our destructive habits than to replace them with good ones

The problem is that this approach doesn't always work.

The motivation that a person acquires with a new habit may be too weak or inappropriate

For example, in my consulting practice, there was a case when one client lost weight solely for career reasons. She felt that she was not taken seriously by her colleagues because of her excess weight and that she was not getting the long-awaited promotion because of this. While we had thoughtful conversations with her about what qualities she was really valued at at work, she exhausted herself with the most severe diets. Ironically, she got a new position literally the next day after the scales showed that she had lost exactly 25 kilograms. And the woman very quickly and abundantly regained the lost kilograms!

Judge your health by how happy you are in the morning and spring

Henry David Thoreau

Old bad habits do not disappear anywhere, even if we replaced them with new, useful ones. Our brain remembers everything, and any strong reason, bad or even good (as in the example with a new position) is enough for our bad habits to return to us.

In the book “Willpower. How to develop and strengthen "American psychologist Kelly McGonigal gives a shocking example: to any" heart "who has had a heart attack, doctors give strict recommendations on lifestyle changes, non-compliance with which is deadly! But, as studies have found, about 40% of people who have had a heart attack twice do not follow life-saving advice. They still fail to introduce healthy habits into their lives, although the motivation for this is more than serious.

Path 2. Long and difficult

The main idea of this method is not to change yourself in parts (correcting individual habits), but to change entirely. Man is an integral being, a single system in which the psyche and body are linked by numerous mutual influences. The more harmonious these connections are, the better we feel and the stronger our health.

The second approach does not contradict the first, but, as it were, complements and strengthens it. It is clear that the first steps towards harmony of spirit and body begin with small things. For example, getting rid of a "favorite" bad habit. Or with the phased introduction of seven basic healthy lifestyle habits into your life. But this is only the beginning of a comprehensive recovery of yourself and your life.

Body, speech, soul

Today both psychology and medicine are increasingly turning to a holistic (from the Greek holos - "single, holistic") understanding of health. This approach has been around for many centuries. According to this idea, the correct way of life is keeping the body, speech and soul clean. That is, a person is understood as a system consisting of three components: body, relationships with other people (speech) and consciousness (soul).

useful life
useful life

For each of the three components, clear guidelines are given on exactly what not to do. For example, in order for the body to be healthy, one must avoid passivity, idleness, but also exhausting work; you should not starve, but you should not overeat; sleepless nights are harmful, etc.

The main thing is the realization that you are not only your body. That the way of life is not so much of bodily habits as of emotions, beliefs, values and goals, relationships with other people, life meanings, etc.

Maintaining health is not a local task, but a part of lifelong self-improvement. And you can start this path right now

We have so many words for states of mindand so few words for states of the body

Jeanne Moreau

The way of life consists not only of bodily habits, but also of emotions, beliefs, values, goals, relationships, meanings.

Expert opinion

Taking care of yourself

Sergey SYTNIK, MD, PhD, gestalt therapist, leading coach of MGI
Sergey SYTNIK, MD, PhD, gestalt therapist, leading coach of MGI

The article provides a set of lofty definitions and recommendations - simple and straightforward.

Lifestyle should not be reduced to habits, it is robotized. There is no place for the unusual, amazing, amazing, all that makes up a "useless" life. Not before. Busy with everyday, hourly implementation of good habits. Lifetime self-improvement you can start right now. It's sad …

In my opinion, taking care of oneself is an intimate-individual process, with the choice of forms, means and methods of recovery suitable for a particular person, corresponding to the lifestyle of the individual, the condition of the body and worldview characteristics. He is not for everyone and therefore not faceless, but human.

Sergey SYTNIK, MD, PhD,

gestalt therapist, leading coach of MGI

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