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The Top Reasons You Are Not Healthy

The Top Reasons You Are Not Healthy

1. You are stressed out.

Stress has been called the “silent killer.” That said, it screams at you every day. Unless you tame and eliminate stress, it will permeate your mind, body, and soul. In turn, this will manifest disease by altering your epigenome and triggering predispositions that may have otherwise stayed dormant.

One of the greatest ways to start to combat stress is to quiet the mind. This is no easy feat, but like all things with practice comes habit. You must tap into your conscious self and recognize the stress triggers. They can be as small as a noise, or as big as your job or spouse.

Take stock at the end of each day of things that are stressing you. Release the little ones that you do not control. Do not waste energy there. Take the other areas, and manage them by taking small steps to lower their impact on your life bit by bit. Perhaps, you need to address someone that you continually put off. It is time to take action. Perhaps, your job is unhealthy. Take steps to either fix or change it. A little action forward has a domino effect.

The guru of quieting the mind is Deepak Chopra. Here is a good article to the principles behind it.

2. Your diet does not nourish you.

Next to stress, this is one of the most impactful areas that can resurrect your health – and quickly. Even more interesting is the fact that if you feed and nourish your body, you will have overall lower stress and be able to handle things a lot better. It is truly a win/win.

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What can you do without thinking too much about your day-to-day nutrition? Easy! Follow these little rules as a first step:

  1. Does the product have DNA? If so, you can eat it.
  2. Does the item rot within days or hours of buying? If so, you can eat it.
  3. Can you pronounce the name of the food and/or what the food is made from? If so, you can eat it?
  4. Is it a plant, vegetable, or fruit? Great, double up on those.
  5. Does it live, breathe, and communicate? Limit or omit these options all together.

A first step to a better diet is simply doubling the amount of vegetables you eat, and take that amount away from all the white and meat things you usually eat. This simple advice can add years to your life and life to your years.

Here is a true life story to inspire diet change, although it does not have to be this dramatic to make an impact.

3. You sleep poorly.

I have only ever had 2 patients who slept well. Both were athletes. Both were children. Sleep is the gateway to well-being. However, to get to the gateway, you need nutrition and a balanced lifestyle that does not have a whooping dose of daily stress.

What can one do to get a better night’s sleep today? Easy.

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  1. Stop eating before 8:00pm.
  2. Do not have alcohol. No, not even one glass. You probably have 2 anyways, and if you have not taken a break in some time, let’s start now.
  3. Turn off your devices. Set a wake-up alarm on your phone. Great. Now, turn up the volume and put it in the hallway.
  4. Have a warm bath as your last activity.
  5. Don’t watch TV for at least 60 minutes before retiring for the night.
  6. Oh – and get the TV out of your bedroom.

I promise, if you do these simple little steps you will be well on your way to improved sleep quality.

Need more convincing? Check out this research article.

4. Your environment is toxic.

When was the last time you gave thought to your home – your inner sanctum?

Here are some great things to do to “detox” the environment:

  1. Clean your furnace filter and/or replace it.
  2. Clean your ducts shortly after replacing the filter.
  3. Clean your curtains and blinds.
  4. Clean all the vents on the floor and overhead.
  5. Throw out and buy new pillows.
  6. Get all your carpets and furniture professionally cleaned.
  7. If you have a pet, get the fur groomed once a month to cut down on your efforts to keep the house clean, as well as for your pet’s benefit.
  8. Change your bedding every week.
  9. Do not keep a TV on at all times.
  10. Shut your computers and phones off for periods of time.

By doing the above steps to your home you will dramatically lower the allergan levels in your home. In turn, this lowers your body’s histamine levels – which will keep you stronger and healthier.

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Notice how many of these items also affect sleep.

5. You fix your problems with pills (medication and supplements).

In our “fix it now” society we treat both traditional and alternative medicine the same way. Pop a pill. Get an injection. Drink something.

Here is something to consider: It took you a long time to get to the point of requiring a pill, supplement, or magic potion, should it not take some time to fix it?

Make a list of everything you take. Get a physical and go over these lists with your doctor. Are they all necessary? If you doctor or alternative practitioner is not open to this discussion – fire them and get new ones.

Start shifting your mindset to eating and nourishing your body. Make a plan to prioritize the items in this article and then (god-willing) you can eliminate some (if not all) of your prescriptions. You can also eat your vitamins and minerals the way Mother Nature intended.

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Millions of people take cholesterol lowering medication. Read this article to learn more about how nutrition can help change that.

6. You Smoke.

Quit.  It is not only killing you, but those around you.

7. You drink alcohol too much.

Let’s go back to drinking on special occasions and on the weekend. We all know we overdo it. There are over 3.3 million deaths from alcohol annually in the world. It is related to over 200 diseases and injury conditions including many cancers. In persons 24-39, it accounts for 1/4 of all deaths. Millions and millions of people cope with the affects of alcoholism daily.

Conclusion

There is no need to go on. We all know these things, but choose to make short-term decisions. Let’s be smarter this year. Save that hard-earned money for a trip instead!

Let’s get moving on making 2016 the year of positive and healthy change!

More by this author

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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