I hear all the time about supplements, foods or lifestyle changes that will make people live longer. I’ve given out so much of these life-extending and health-promoting tips but majority of the time the information goes unused and forgotten. Why is it we have all this information that will make us healthy but we just can’t make ourselves use it?
I see my neighbor sitting outside her doorway smoking every couple of hours and then retreating back into her dark house, day in and day out. Why would she want to quit smoking I wonder? She looks like she hasn’t experienced any type of fear, excitement or joy in a long time. It’s so sad. What does she have to look forward to? Why would ten extra years of life matter to her?
There are many people who can’t care about their health because they aren’t excited about living. They are stuck in a rut, doing the same routine, experiencing the same non-emotions. I’ve caught myself in these ruts many times and I manage to fall back into them often. We all do. But life is meant to be a rich and joyful experience the majority of the time. Joy and happiness can even be thought of as a compass for living. If I’m feeling rich emotions on a regular basis I’m heading in the right direction and doing the right things. If I’m stuck in a non-emotional rut it’s time for a change in course.
Aside from joy we need to experience fear or excitement from time to time as well. How many times a year do you get butterflies in the pit of your stomach because you have pushed your limits and overstepped your boundaries? I used to hate that feeling, but now I get happy when I feel it because it means I chose to expand past that comfort level and the old routine is changing.
If you aren’t experiencing these rich emotions very often, something needs to shift. One great example I see where this happens is with the non-athlete marathon runner. Marathons have become huge, especially with middle-age working mothers. Marathon training is a big undertaking and can be quite stressful. Why would an already stressed-out and overworked person take on more? I believe it’s because it provides us with these emotions that we're looking for. Be it the fear of setting an impossible goal, the butterflies and worries before the start, and the excitement and accomplishment after the finish. These are the emotions we were built to experience on a regular basis. I’ve never wanted to run a marathon while watching a race. A marathon runner at the tail end of a grueling run isn’t a very appealing sight. I have many times however, seen the joy on a finisher’s face and have been envious of what they were feeling. If someone is feeling that, why wouldn’t they want to do everything they can to live a longer and experience more of these great feelings?
In chiropractic, we adjust the spine to optimize the communication of the mind’s innate healing intelligence to the body. Aspects of our life that interfere with this intelligent force can be physical, mental or nutritional. When this force is working at its full potential you are able to feel and appreciate life on a deeper level. It’s life in high def instead of black and white. Chiropractic provides the physical adjustments to our nervous system and these rich emotions provide the mental adjustments. When we get adjusted we remind our nervous system that life is meant to feel good. When we feel good, and see life as good, health becomes a priority.
I believe this is where health begins. If you are having difficulty motivating yourself to improve your health, it’s time to check your emotional compass. Life is supposed to be fun and exciting. Seek out those experiences and emotions and you’ll find what motivates you to live longer and healthier.