There are some other things that I have found to help improve your health. Some of these ideas may seem like common sense to you, some of them you may not have thought of. I throw them out to you now, as ideas you can use and work on, to help you in your pursuit of physical health.
The first one is to avoid drugs and alcohol. At their worst they cause broken families, broken lives and much pain. At their best they cause drowsiness and lack of ambition. “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things. You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging. ‘They hit me,’ you will say, ‘but I’m not hurt! They beat me, but I don’t feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?'”xcii
My experience and work with other people has shown that you can insert any type of alcohol or drug in the above statement and you will end up with the same result. Also, don’t be fooled by the so-called “legal” drugs (prescription and non-prescription). My best advice to you is this: avoid drugs and alcohol like the plague! They will kill your success and your dreams, or at the very least, they will make it much harder to be successful.
The next suggestion I have is to make sure you laugh hard and laugh often. Laugh with your family. Laugh with your friends. Laugh with co-workers. Laugh with enemies…yes, enemies, if you can. When I learn to laugh at my faults and mistakes, it makes it much easier to work through them. Laughing will improve your personality and your overall outlook on life. So, go out and rent a funny movie or buy a joke book; just start laughing. Remember that it is okay to laugh at yourself. When other people are involved, make sure you aren’t laughing at them, but with them. Laughter is contagious, if you begin laughing, you just might get other people laughing with you and by doing this, you just might make, not only your life, but also the lives of everyone around you a little bit better.
The next suggestion I have is to fast on a regular basis. It’s okay; you can make it for a short period of time without food. Start small and gradually increase the amount of time. Fasting cleans the built-up toxins out of your body and allows your body to repair itself. The simple explanation for this is that if you deprive your body of food for a short time, it will begin looking for other sources of energy. Rather than attacking healthy tissue and cells in your systems, it will go after the “bad” stuff first. This includes unhealthy cells and bodily tissue, thereby eliminating this harmful stuff. Fasting for too long will cause your body to begin going after the healthy cells and bodily tissue. I generally try to fast for twenty-four to forty-eight hours once every two weeks. Sometimes however, I may fast for more than forty-eight hours every thirty days or so. If you are new to fasting, I suggest you try a twenty-four hour fast to begin with. As with everything else in this principle, listen to your body. It is an amazing creation and it knows exactly what it needs.
On top of the physical benefits of fasting, you have the added benefit of experiencing a great deal of spiritual and mental growth. You will clear your mind and feel “cleaner” in your spirit. You might have a problem that you have been working on before fasting and suddenly, during the fast; you are supplied with the answer. If the fast is combined with a definite amount of prayer, which I cover in another principle, you will feel an unexplainable and incredible closeness with God. I receive enormous benefits from combining the two, fasting and prayer. If you give it a try, you will see why this combination is much more effective and beneficial when the period of prayer takes place at the end of the fasting period. Experiment with this and see what works best for you. Keep a journal of how you feel physically, mentally and spiritually – before, during and after your fasts.
Breathing is another important factor that you shouldn’t overlook. It sounds simple enough; you breathe all the time, right? However, effective breathing is so important and most don’t utilize it to its full potential. When done properly, breathing gives you energy and cleanses your body, thereby improving your health. Whenever you consciously remember, take long, slow, deep breaths. Over time, you will train your body to breathe like that naturally. It is also important to follow a simple plan of breathing exercises. This will help to move the stored toxins through and out of your body. You will also get the added benefits of stress reduction and relaxation. The best and most effective exercises consist of breathing in the following pattern:xciii
- Inhale for 1 count
- Hold for 4 counts
- Exhale for 2 counts
In other words, if you take a deep breath for 5 seconds, hold it for 20 seconds and exhale for 10 seconds, you are doing these exercises correctly. If the time is too long, or if you feel lightheaded, dizzy or sick when doing these exercises cut down on the length of time and do a shorter cycle. Remember to keep the same ratio though. You can try taking a deep breath for 2 seconds, holding it for 8 seconds and exhaling for 4 seconds. You can work up to the longer cycle as you get healthier. For optimum benefit, you should do 10 of these cycles at least 3 times a day.
Michael at R2W
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