Wellbeing and balance

Do you consider yourself to be healthy? Do you take your daily vitamin supplements, exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables?

So many of us are ticking the boxes on that list of “things to make you healthy” – but we’re still not ticking the big one at the bottom, the one labelled “100% healthy and happy.”

Why is that? If we’re doing all the things the doctors and government tell us we should be doing in order to be healthy, why are so many of us tired, anxious, depressed, suffering with random aches and pains, stomach complaints, skin rashes?

Our bodies are a mirror of our lives as a whole. When we’re in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing, that reflects in random ailments we can’t quite put our fingers on. If you’re in a job you hate, a relationship that leaves you unfulfilled, living somewhere that makes you miserable, you will never be 100%. Your body starts off by whispering to you: “something’s not right here.” If you ignore it, it starts to shout. That niggling pain in your knee becomes so painful it’s hard to walk. That slight sore throat becomes a lost voice.

You may well go to your doctor with your body’s whispers; a hip that hurts when you move in a certain way, a headache every Tuesday morning, a pain in your shoulder. The doctor can run medical tests, take blood tests, send you for physio – but more often than not, with these little niggles the doctor can’t give you a diagnosis or a prescription. They can’t say to you “ah yes, you have this specific illness, and this specific pill will fix it for you.” The problem with modern medicine is that it looks for an absence of disease, rather than the presence of wellness. If you don’t have a diagnosis, something that shows up on an x-ray or a blood test, your doctor will sign you off as healthy.

The problem is not with our bodies; it is just reflected there. The solution is not outside of us; it is inside. We need to reconnect with ourselves and find out what it is we truly want. How many of us work for years at a job we hate, saving for retirement so that we can be happy at some indeterminate point in the future? We stick it out in a relationship that makes us miserable for the sake of the children or because we don’t want to admit defeat – and then wonder why we can’t sleep at night.

It is so easy to get caught up in the consumerism of modern life, having the latest gadgets and accessories, designer labels and beautifully coiffured hair. We can have membership to the exclusive health club and take expensive supplements, we can buy organic vegetables and eat mung beans and chick peas… but if we’re not happy inside of ourselves, none of this will make a bit of difference. Being truly well is an holistic process, one that is affected by every aspect of our lives. If we are not in balance, we cannot be truly happy. It’s important to return to your essence. You can do this by slowing down and using tools like the breath or meditation to help calm the mind.

We need to have a spiritual connection, and be true to ourselves, in order to be happy. Better than any medicine or doctor on the planet, is that little voice in the back of your head. You know the one; it usually arrives at about 3am and tells you to just quit your job. It worries about whether you need to make that call first thing in the morning; it remembers everything you forgot to do before you went to bed. It torments you with all the things that are not quite right in your life.

Try this: switch everything off, and sit quietly for a few minutes. Think about what you would like to be doing, where you would like to be. Are you happy with your life? What would you like to change? What can you improve? Start listening to your body’s whispers, before it starts to shout!

It really is worth it.