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Healthy living starts with our mindset. The environment in which we work, eat, sleep and relax affect our health. When the work environment is stressful, the body excretes hormones like cortisol and adrenaline in response to being angry, shamed and disrespected. These hormones adversely affect our heart (angina), stomach (ulcers) and nervous system (depression).
To maintain good health, we need to learn how to cope with stressful situations. Biofeedback training and Eastern philosophies teach how to lower blood pressure and heart rate on demand. Their principles rely on body function awareness.
Meditation, exercise, self-rewarding systems, supportive friends and family are the infrastructure for a balanced and healthy life. Meditation is simply quiet time with yourself; in a "hot bath", fishing on a lake , on a Yoga mat in a quiet place, on your knees in prayer or jogging along a quite road. Anytime "worries" are dropped and a feeling of calm is dominant without alcohol, you are in meditation.
Exercise should not require designer clothes, expensive shoes and a gym membership. Exercise can consist of walking through your neighborhood, accompanying children/ grandchildren to the park and pushing a little-one on a swing. It can be tossing a child a ball or frizbee, mowing the grass, and sweeping the sidewalk.
Self-reward systems are important for a balanced lifestyle. This does not mean a hunk of chocolate cake or a cold beer at the end of the day. But, rather a Matinee movie when the hall closet is cleaned or a professional massage when all the sheets in the house are washed and folded. Positive anticipation stimulates endorphins secretion which are feel good hormones that ensure longer life.
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