Mind power

Do you have your car serviced regularly? Of course you do. You look after your car inside and out, so that it won't break down and will last as long as possible. Many of us take better care of our cars than we do of ourselves.

We eat junk food, breathe polluted air, do the minimum exercise and we wallow in self-pity and negativity. To make matters worse, we take our health for granted, and react with absolute amazement when our bodies rebel against this sort of treatment and we get ill.

Nothing can guarantee good health, but there are guidelines which can make a big difference. The most important thing is to realise that responsibility for achieving your best possible state of health rests squarely with you. Doctors can attend to injuries, treat symptoms and generally do a good job of keeping you going, but true healing and the restoration of balance to your life can only be done by you.

It's not just a matter of giving up smoking or going on a diet: it's about a commitment to healthy habits in every area of your life, so that you can reach your personal potential, given your unique genetic make-up.

This is essentially what the holistic health movement is about. It recognises that there is little value in popping pills for an ulcer if you do nothing about your frenetic lifestyle, bad nutrition and unresolved emotional issues.

What you eat, drink, breathe, think and do affects your health, as do your choices, your responses and your beliefs. The mind is incredibly powerful. It can create illness (ever heard the expression "sick with worry”?) and it can create wellness by thinking positively.

Everyone experiences stress, but it's not stress that makes us ill – it's the way we react to it.

Research in the field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) reveals how our responses to positive and negative experiences are stored as emotional memories in our cells and profoundly affect our physical wellbeing.

So, try and find ways to stay emotionally healthy and doctor your thoughts, as well as your bodies, and you could create a powerful weapon against disease.

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