Today, there is so much focus on what’s wrong with us all the time. I’m guilty of it for sure. What’s wrong with our health? Our food? The environment? And, it goes on and on… I thought to myself, do we even know what healthy looks like anymore? In the age of almost exclusive symptom focus, it’s hard to know what we should actually feel like.
Most clients come to see me emphasizing on their symptoms – what’s wrong. I get it! That’s what’s got their attention right now, because when we don’t feel good nothing else matters. Plus, that’s usually what they’re seeking help with. Sometimes, it’s the exact opposite and clients chalk detrimental symptoms up to, “That’s just me and how my body works”. I had a client who only went #2 once a week and thought she was perfectly healthy, just thought that’s how her body was. Sorry to say, but that’s a major symptom of something not going right in the body.
It can be hard to know what exactly healthy looks and feels like, especially when everyone is on medications or has at least something going wrong with their bodies. I just took my husband to get knee surgery, and the nurses and doctors were consistently in shock that he wasn’t on any daily pharmaceutical medications. They kept questioning him over and over again to make sure that was right. It was an eye-opener for me – that they were so surprised, as he’s only 50! Are drugs so much the norm now?
So, back to what’s healthy… I thought it would be great to lay out what health really looks like, so we could have a picture of what our goals should be. Plus, it’ll give us a barometer to measure what is going on for us and point us in a better direction if we’re not experiencing optimal health. Sadly, who is really?!?
For starters, true health means no symptoms. NO symptoms. That doesn’t mean just a few symptoms (even ones we’re in denial of and chalking up to being “just me”). Seriously, if we’re really in optimal health we aren’t going to be experiencing allergies, digestive issues, rashes, headaches, respiratory issues, etc. Yes, of course, we all get sick once in a while and get acute symptoms from an illness, but chronic symptoms are a strong indicator that something is off, minor or major.
Abundant energy is the norm when we are truly healthy inside. Lots of energy to do whatever we want or need to do. Endless energy… doesn’t that sound great? No reaching for afternoon pick-me-ups like caffeine and sugar (both of which take us farther from our health goals). There is no need, because we have all the energy we need for ourselves and our lives. I’m not talking about a bunch of manic, nervous, stress energy, but calm, deep wells of energy to use however we choose. And, dare I add happiness to the mix? Feeling happy I think is the norm for us humans as well.
Sleep is blissful and uncomplicated. We sleep well when we’re in good health. Going to sleep is easy and we either sleep through the night or go back to sleep easily, if awoken. It’s just not an issue. If sleep eludes us then that is a symptom that something’s not right, most commonly with our nervous systems (stress) or endocrine systems (again stress). There can be other reasons too, but stress is usually the issue with sleep problems. Being stressed out is a lack of health for sure! So, now you can go ahead and stress out that you’re stressed! It’s so harsh isn’t it, this stress piece?
Being able to do what you want to do with your body is a great sign of health. I don’t necessarily mean winning a gold medal in the 2018 Olympics, but if you want to ski you can ski, or if someone sets a goal on running a half-marathon and trains for it he or she can actually run it. For another, they can play and keep up with their kids. Being held back by injury or tiredness is an indication that our health isn’t quite up to par.
Back to stress. Stressing out is a huge indication that we haven’t reached optimal health yet. I’m totally guilty of this one! And, it is also an indication that we are bringing our health down. If we are perfectly healthy, then stress won’t have that hold on us. We’ll stay calm, keep our eyes on the goal, and keep on trucking. I know this is a hard one to wrap our minds around, but I promise it’s true. You may need more help than a green drink to get your stress under wraps, but it is a health indicator none the less. Feeling at peace is our original factory setting!
So, endless energy, great sleep, no symptoms, ability to do whatever we set our minds to, no chronic stress, and feelings of peace and happiness?!? Sounds like a no brainer! Here’s to striving for true health for us all!