“Environment is the totality of what surrounds you, so for an optimum healthy lifestyle, only surround yourself with things that are good, happy, and productive.”
- The Uphill Skater -
Yes, I am actually the Uphill Skater, and yes, I often quote myself. So, what? As an advocate for living a healthy lifestyle, I would be a pretty poor example if I did not believe what I tell you. I also admit to subscribing to many, some say too many, magazines. I try to keep up with food trends, health updates and new surveys. Some would find this quite a chore, but actually I love it. It gives me great pleasure to share what I learn.
In this month’s Skating Uphill I would like to share some new findings that are really old. I know, this happens often doesn’t it? Something is passed off as brand new when you “already knew that.” It is like the “new” findings about eggs—we already knew eggs were good, versatile and healthy. How many times do we actually need to be told that same fact?
Nevertheless, here is some of the “new” thinking about how we spend our lives: You are a part of a big totality of all the things in your environment! How about them apples? Did you already know that? Well. I thought I did too, but let me just put a few things together for you. It does indeed paint a bit of a different picture.
Your “total environment” is all of the things that surround you physically, emotionally and mentally. Starting with the term emotionally, have you ever heard the expression toxic friends? It is not just an idle term. The word toxic is used for a very good reason, as it turns out. Bad people in your environment can actually affect your health. Being constantly angry, afraid, tense, uneasy or in avoidance mode can take a measurable toll on your blood pressure, nervous tension, and even eating habits. That works two ways as well; both over eaters and under eaters can have causes that are traced to toxic relationships. Look at those with whom you surround yourself. Do you enjoy their company? Are they a positive influence on your life? Very simply, do they make you happy? It is pretty easy to handle this type of thing if it is an acquaintance or non-relative, but in the workplace or at family gatherings it is not so easy. Sometimes you just have to sit by Aunt Mary who tells you how fat you have gotten, or you must work with Bob, who tries to take credit for your work, but at least you are aware of these pitfalls and can try to avoid or make the best of them. Beware though of things like loving that bad boy or staying in a relationship you know may become abusive. Think about a way to change roommates! After you read this, just take a few deep breaths and a couple of minutes to evaluate what I have said.
Your emotional and your mental environments are obviously closely related. Mental health in my mind, though, has a couple of different components and is tied as closely to emotional health, as it is to physical health. Mental health is not just about feeling happy. Mental health is not mood or sense of humor. Mental health can be a life breaker. Conditions like OCD, or mild depression, or anxiety attacks must be taken very seriously. More serious mental issues can be obvious, but even in some of those cases signs and symptoms are overlooked, or misunderstood. Did you know that over 70 percent of young people in juvenile detention have treatable learning disabilities? Statistics like this seem shocking, but so often bad behavior is a symptom of real issues. I do not intend for you to be going around checking out other people for mental health issues; what I do mean is for you to look at YOU, and perhaps gauge and evaluate whether or not you are where you would like to be.
I have asked you to do several difficult yet important things, but here is an easy one for a change. No, it is not to eat healthy food, although that is never a bad idea. Surround yourself with things you like. Change the color of a room. This is not hard or expensive in these days of one-coat paint and those little edger things. Buy a new blouse in a pretty color. Buy some plants or flowers. If you cannot afford this, cut some branches and put them in a vase. If you watch HGTV (I am a devoted Joanna Gains fan!), you will see they pick anything and put it in a clear glass pot or Mason jar and it looks great. Plants also give off oxygen, so they are good for you, as well as being restful and attractive.
I will stop preaching now. I only close by asking you one more time to close your eyes, take a deep breath and mentally list four things you really love in your life. Then list four things you don’t like. What you do with them is now up to you.
Check out the Skatinguphill.com blog and see you next month-Love, Judith