A Lesson You Can Take From Me…
Recently, someone mentioned that they do not really see the relevance of looking at a wellness blog and how it connects to their life. I used to feel the same way. While I believed it was important to stay active to be physically fit and avoid gaining weight, I often neglected that to pursue coursework and even music practice.
Two years ago, I decided to put off exercising to the summer….except my body couldn’t wait. I had my first major upper body pain episode the weekend before finals…which included papers, playing two different instruments, and putting together Powerpoints.
Looking back, these were some of the signs that I should have focused on my health more during the busy school year instead of waiting for the summer.
Make sure these are not signs that are propping up in your life…
1. I was sitting a lot. I quit a fairly active job in order to focus more on practicing music. I also stopped running regularly to focus more on school. Basically, I used my arms and hands a lot and not much of anything else.
2. My passion for doing the things I did was dropping. I was mainly trying to get through things. In Alexander Technique, this is called end-gaining, where you have your eyes so focused on the goal that you neglect the process that is needed to achieve the goal. I had already started to feel some slight pain that I thought was typical soreness, but I ignored it in the pursuit of what I believed to be productivity and progress. I was mainly interested in getting things done. According to Alexander Technique, unhealthy thoughts in the mind often produce physical tension, particularly in the neck. This often happens when we feel obligated to do things we don’t want to do.
3. I was doing a lot of stress eating. I have never been a huge sweets person, but I was being tempted by a lot of sugar that I had avoided in the past.
4. I was spending less time with people who spiritually empower me. This could be a huge problem if you are an extrovert, and you struggle with people-pleasing. I was spending a lot of time “being helpful” to people, but not as much time with people who offered me unconditional love.
5. I was having less personal conversations with God. This was also related to the fact that I stopped running since that is when I talk to God.
Writing this now makes me realize that if one outlet for talking to God is not working, I need to use another outlet. When I stop talking with God, I struggle a lot more with what people think of me.
6. I was drinking way too much coffee. Two espressos a day wasn’t working for me. Coffee calcifies your skeletal structures and really weakens your adrenal glands, and when your adrenal glands feel like they need more nutrients, they take them from your tendons and ligaments…which doesn’t help if you are a pianist.
God Cares About Not Only Your Spiritual Life…
Even if you are not experiencing these signs and feel that there is no need to focus on wellness, the truth is that God cares a lot about your whole well-being, including your physical well-being. This is seen in the following passage:
“Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
If you want to learn more about integrating your mind, body, and spirit, please visit the Faith and Health Connection Ministry website. Don’t wait until problems start developing.
Some Things You Can Do to Boost Your Wellness Right Now…
This is especially for people who sit at the computer for hours…
1. Walk around and take frequent water breaks!
2. Stretch out your pectoral muscles, as seen to the right. Your pectoral muscles get tight from being haunched over a computer for hours. Here is another video on trapezius muscle strengthening to have good posture and avoid shoulder problems.
3. Dilute your coffee with water.
4. Do constructive rest everyday to re-align your spine. Even if you can’t do it for 15 minutes, which is ideal, at least do it for 5 minutes.
5. Do something because you want to do it. If you find yourself feeling obligated to do something, stop and come back to do it later when you want to.
6. A good rule of thumb to figure out what kinds of exercises/stretches to incorporate into your daily life has to do with what range of motion you are lacking and doing that. For example, computer users tend to lean forward and down with their torso, so practice doing stretches and that move your body backward and up. The official term is flexion.
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