How to Be the CEO of Your Health
Each of us has the power to stand-up and take action to reclaim our health. The problem is, most of us get stuck, and we have no idea how to move forward.
Losing your health is a scary experience.
For me, losing my health was down right shocking. I went from an extremely vibrant and active girl, training for the Chicago marathon and starting my Ph.D., to house-bound in a manner of one week. And, it has taken me 7-years to battle back to being functional again.
I know what it’s like to wake-up in the middle of night frightened by the thought that I was not going to make it. There was a point when I truly believed that I was never going to be healthy again.
But deep down inside there was a small glimmer of light, fueling my desire to keep fighting the fight. I have such a wonderful life, surrounded by incredible friends, family and my Love. I want to be back to the girl I used to be and to live the life that I deserve. I have so much that I want to share with this world.
There are so many wonderful experiences still to be had. And, I want to live now, not live later.
So, every day, I make a decision to propel myself forward. I make the decision to be the captain of my own ship. Yes, I do rely on sound, expert knowledge and treatment from my Lyme Disease specialist (my recovery would not exist with out her), but at the same time, I know that the onus of my recovery is on me and me only.
The only one that can invite healing into your world is you. You are the catalyst of your recovery.
So, where do you start? How do you become the CEO of your own health?
Well, this is what I’ve learned over the years…
1. You have so much more power than you realize.
When we become sick, we automatically think, ‘oh…I need to go and see my doctor; she will get me better’. This automatic thought is right, doctors are there to help you get better. But they aren’t the only piece to the recovery puzzle. You cannot sit back and remain passive when it comes to reclaiming health.
You need to realize that as an individual you have way more power to provoke healing than you think. It all has to do with the choices that you make on a daily basis, some examples include: what food you put into your body, what chemicals you subject your body to, the thoughts that you think, the people you surround yourself with, and your willingness to take action.
You are the one making all of the decisions. Therefore, you are the one with the power…so use it wisely.
2. Become the captain of your own ship.
Since you are the only person at the helm of your life. You are, essentially, the captain of your own ship. Now, why on earth would you ever want to give someone else the authority to navigate your ship? When you give-up your power, you are relinquishing your ability to stay in control of your life and your health.
Think of all the people that are constantly giving advice and telling you what is right for your life and recovery. Are they right? Do you feel obligated to take and live by their advice?
These questions are only answerable by you.
But let me say this, you are the only one that truly knows what is best for YOU. I say…become the captain of your own ship! Navigate yourself to recovery. Thank the people around you for their advice but don’t feel the need to do or follow any of it. It’s your choice.
3. Become a scientist, willing to do the experiments.
There are so many holistic practices, outside of mainstream medicine, that can help you to build a strong foundation of recovery. But the only way you can discover if they will help is to actually try them.
You need to be willing to become your own scientist. Do short 4 week experiments to discover if something will help you. For example, do you want to try living gluten-free or sugar-free? Do you feel like your body needs a break from those foods? Well…just do the experiment. Stop hemming and hawing over if something will help you or not. Just do the experiment.
Each of us is a glorious individual. What works for one will not work for another. So, get out there; try new things like infra-red sauna to decrease pain, Earthing or Grounding to improve sleep and decrease inflammation, juicing to saturate your body with raw, plant-based nutrients. There are so many wonderful things to try, so make it fun…make it experimental!
4. Live clean and Eat clean.
On a daily basis, in a healthy body, the liver, kidneys, skin and lungs cleanse the system of toxins. The cells of our body constantly make toxic by-products that must leave the body, and the cells of our bodies are constantly dying so that new, healthy cells can be made.
This process of detoxification only increases when we are in a state of illness. The body naturally attempts to rid ourselves of that sickness.
Now…let’s throw in all the chemicals that we consume everyday. The detoxification organs than have to deal with those as well. In my opinion, why not just give the body a break. It’s trying to help you detox the illness that you have contracted, so why stress it even more with constant exposure to chemicals?
When you lose your health, I believe that it is best to stop eating all processed foods. Try to eliminate as much chemical exposure as possible: pesticide ridden food included.
Give your body a clean space to heal.
5. Move your body.
The detoxification system in your body includes the lymphatic system. Fluid within the lymph vessels only moves in response to the pumping action of muscles.
I’m not advocating that people with chronic illness get their butts to gyms. Instead, I like to recommend that people crank 3 of their favorite songs and get their groove on in their own house. Have a living room dance party; get your body moving, and help your body to maintain strength, and your lymph system to purify the body. And, oh…have a little fun while you’re at it.
6. Manage your mind.
It is incredibly easy to slip into depressive thoughts. When you lose your health, your life completely changes. You can no longer live the life that you’re use to.
It is imperative that you surround yourself with friends, family and things that invite happiness into your daily life. I like to read about triumphant people who have beaten all the odds and succeeded. I love to watch Tony Robbins videos on YouTube. I made the decision to connect with others in this world through this blog. And, I speak with supportive friends and family, each day.
Louise Hay says, ‘Every thought we think is creating our future’. And, she’s right. Your thoughts have the power to manifest your life experience. Just be mindful and gentle with yourself: you are worthy, you are loved, you will recover — I believe in you.
7. Detox, detox, detox.
In a healthy body, toxic substances are constantly produced. And, luckily, we have the liver, kidneys, skin and lungs to help us to rid the body of such materials.
Now, in a state of illness, the amount of toxic substances produced increases. So, it’s a great idea to speak with a Naturopathic doctor to learn how you can help your body to detox efficiently. There are really powerful, natural substances that you can take, daily, to help your liver and kidneys get rid of the nasty crap from your body. This process then can make way for healing to take place.
8. Befriend your gut.
Did you know that your gut plays a major role in your immune system? And, did you know that your gut is a major location for the production of serotonin (our happiness hormone)?
More often than not, along with chronic illness comes chronic gut problems: pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, blah, blah, blah. For me, I lived with constant, day after day, gut pain — that kept me up at night. It took years before I realized that I had the power to do something about it.
I completely changed my diet, incorporated heaps of probiotics, and began to heal my gut. Now, I live without any pain, which is down right amazing.
It’s important to befriend your gut because it is the only place in your body that will absorb nutrients from the food that you eat. Your body needs as many pure, healthy nutrients as possible in order to heal. So, pay attention to your gut, ok.
9. Just laugh a little.
Dealing with a chronic illness is taxing, stressful, and not very fun. But injecting your day with a little laughter, even fake laughter, can help your body to release endorphins. Endorphins can trigger the sensation of exhilaration, and they can also decrease pain and stress.
I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m on the hunt for a Laughter Yoga group in the city. But for the time being, I like to watch funny and cute YouTube clips to get my giggles on.
10. Read your labels.
I can’t stress this enough: it is so important to read your labels! If you are attempting to reduce your chemical exposure through food, beauty and household products, you need to read your labels. Even if you are transitioning into a gluten-free or sugar-free diet, you need to know what you are putting into your body.
You’ll be surprised what’s in the food you eat!
11. Connect from within.
I think the best way to stay connected with yourself is through meditation. If you haven’t tried meditation before, don’t be intimidated by it. You are not trying to shut your brain off. You are just allowing yourself to release the thoughts that you thinking. It’s a time to just concentrate on your breathing and to be with yourself.
Studies show that meditation can change your brain activity from a negative state to a more positive state.
When I started to learn how to meditate, I loved listening to Jon Kabat Zinn’s Body Scan mediation. I still use it. You can easily purchase this meditation on iTunes or Amazon.
12. Just ask.
Before becoming ill, I prided myself on being extremely independent. I didn’t need anyone’s help. And, I don’t think that was particularly a good thing because I didn’t allow anyone to show loving-kindness to me.
People are willing to help you. I’ve learned this fact time and time again over the last 7-years. People want to help you, so just ask! When you are sick, you need access to good food, loving people, laughter, nature and a clean environment. Ask your loving friends and family to help you create a space for healing. It will feel weird at first, but it has the power to bring you closer to your loved ones and closer to a state of recovery.
13. Don’t apologize or compromise.
There are things that you will have to do in order to heal. For example, you will have to change the way that you eat, the amount of sleep that you get, the people that you surround yourself with, and how much energy you expend.
There will be some people in your life that will NOT understand or even sympathize with what you are going through. You may find yourself in a position where you are criticized for your diet modifications or new lifestyle choices.
Stay strong. Stay compassionate. Not everyone has experienced chronic illness, and they do not understand what you are facing. And, that is ok. Because you have the right to modify your life in any way that you see fit. You are the captain of your own ship! Do not apologize or get angry with the people who are unsupportive. They do not matter on this journey to recovery. The only people that matter are you and the loving and supportive people that you surround yourself with.
14. Be gentle with yourself and others.
Healing takes time — years in fact. The process is an exercise in fierce patience. There is no doubt about it: you will become frustrated with the tedious journey of healing. And, along the path, you will encounter people that will be baffled about why you are sick and why you are taking so long to heal.
Remember to be gentle with yourself and with others. You will heal: it just takes time. You will experience criticism from others: they don’t know what they’re saying and they don’t know what you are experiencing. Be gentle. Be gentle. Be gentle.
15. Don’t listen to fear.
I’ve been ripped from my sleep in total fear so many times. I’ve experienced so much fear that I will never heal and that I will never be able to live the life that I want. But each day, I’m given evidence that I am healing. I am so much more strong and alive than I was even last year.
I know that I am healing. I don’t need fear to spew its lies to me.
Things I like to do to combat fear include: keeping track of how I feel on a daily basis, so that I can keep track of my progress; connect with a supportive friend or family member and say out loud that I’m scared. Saying it out loud usually nips fear in the bud; watch a Tony Robbin’s video on YouTube; remind myself that FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real.
16. Get into the state of certainty and take action.
To get into a state of certainty that I will heal, I first change the position of my body. I stand-up, raise my chin, pull my shoulders back. I put myself into a position of power. Then I say, ‘I’m in control. I will achieve recovery because I have already come so far’. I then write down a few goals, and re-affirm my commitment to my recovery. (These are tips that I learned from my man, Tony Robbins).
Bonus: Live now, not later.
This is an incredibly important principal to live by. When you are sick, you generally want to just stay home and to hibernate. But if an illness goes on for years, you end up missing out on so much life. And, I don’t want you to experience that any longer.
I want to urge you to get out and to live, anyway. Do what you are capable of doing. Ask friends and family to come and pick you up. Go to a park, and sit on a bench with a friend. Go to visit a friend for an hour. Just get out of your house!
Be honest with your friends and family. Tell them what your challenges are, and let them help you. I lost the ability to drive (for the time being), so now I ask for help. My friends and family are loving enough to come and get me, and they help me to get out of my house.
Four years ago, at the height of my illness, I rested for weeks in order to take the plunge to learn how to ski. I did it anyway. I was not very strong and I couldn’t ski for very long…but I did it anyway! And, I’m grateful that I did.
Even if you are sick…Live now, not later!
Do you have anything else to add? Leave a comment below.