HEALTHY ATTITUDES – Caroline Ademiluyi

In the previous articles, we’ve discussed extensively the necessity of activities like Aerobic, Anaerobic and Breathing exercises; Brain exercises, Cognitive health among others.We’ve also discussed the importance of a balanced diet and the need to be sufficiently hydrated.
Despite the tremendous benefits that can be achieved from partaking in physical and mental exercises, many people fail to make judicious use of them to keep fit or shed excessive weight. Despite being told about the importance of staying well hydrated, eating lots of fruits and vegetables and nutritious food, many people don’t comply.
We need to look at this challenge from a holistic point of view. Attitude is an individual’s predisposed state of mind regarding a value or values, beliefs and perceptions.
There is a popular saying –” when there is a will, there is a way”. A question we are going to ask is ” what is responsible for one’ s unwillingness to engage in these health- promoting exercises?” Can it be due to wrong attitudes towards them.? It is always good to go the root cause of the problem so as to work towards eliminating it.
It’s important to be aware of who we are and the responsibility we have towards ourselves, our families, work place and the society in general. There is need to acquire healthy attitudes in all aspects of life.
Attitude is your outlook on life and is reflected through your every look,through body language etc. a healthy attitude is basically a positive approach towards life. It is oriented towards finding the best solutions to any problem and optimising your abilities, instead of doing the opposite.It also takes into account, the well being of others. A healthy attitude is the exact opposite of unhelpful,unproductive thoughts, habits and behaviours. Definitely, there could be challenging times but you are convinced that you will successfully get over it.
It is very important not to hold on to toxic emotions of blame or victimisation; cultivate a productive mindset and forgive any wrong promptly. A healthy attitude focuses on what is within your power and whether it is ultimately good for you and others. You approach everything with this mindset and you gradually out crowd unhelpful or lazy thoughts.
Good health requires maintaining a constant positive attitude; it is a decision or a choice. Having a Good – Health mind set doesn’t just happen-It takes work, effort every day.
According to John Milton, in ‘Paradise Lost’, ” The mind is it’s own place and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, or Hell of Heaven”.
According to The Buddha, as written by Thich Nhat Hanh, ” Almost all painful feelings have their source in the incorrect way of looking at reality. When you uproot erroneous views, suffering ceases.”
The following tips will help you enjoy a ‘Good -health attitude’:
*Focus on your abilities instead of your disabilities
*Focus on your strengths instead of your weaknesses.
*Breakdown activities into small tasks that you can manage.
*Incorporate fitness and good nutrition into your daily routines.
*Develop methods to minimise and manage stress.
*Balance rest with activity
*Develop a support system of family, friends, health professionals, Church members etc.
*Exercise empathy towards people
*Never talk behind someone’s back
*Don’t judge or criticise people; you never know what they are going through in their life.
*Always be an optimist.
*Believe in yourself,even when no one does.
*Hold your values, ethics in high regard.
*Help someone who is in need.
*Always be there for the people who care about you or look up to you.
*Don’t work for applause; work for a cause.
*Do the right thing, even when no one is looking; it is called INTEGRITY.
*Forgive people promptly.
*Practising Meditation is an excellent way of cultivating a healthy attitude.
*Each time you feel irritated or depressed, lost or confused, remind yourself that there is always a better, productive way to handle things and then go all out and find it.
*Dire need to separate emotions while working on something e.g. Sticking to a physical fitness plan.
The points enumerated above pertaining to Good Health Attitudes may not be easy to acquire; actually it is easier said than done. The Good News is that it is possible to learn to acquire Good Health Attitudes and improve on them constantly. To attain this goal, it will be worthwhile to discuss core facts about human nature and ways to manage it towards acquiring good health attitudes.
*The Human Person
The human person has a physical body and a spiritual soul. The physical parts of the body are very complex- Medical Doctors and Anatomists can testify to this. Even more complex is the non- physical or unseen or spiritual part of the human person; Behavioural Scientists, Psychologists and Psychoanalysts can testify to this.
Healthy attitudes derive from the spiritual aspect of the human person and knowledge of self will go a long way to helping in growing in heathy attitudes.
The Powers of the the human persons consists of the powers of the physical body, the Senses, Emotions or Passions/Feelings, the Intellect the Will, the Imagination and the Memory; this is a very Generalised point of view.
Except for exceptionally gifted persons, education of the powers is needed for development and cultivation of the needed attributes. The Principal function of the Intellect and Will are Thinking and Willing respectively.
*Developing a Positive Attitude
-Acquire the capacity to know yourself; your strengths and weaknesses and be fully convinced fully that you have every right to be on this Planet Earth ;that you are unique and wonderfully created, to be happy and to help others in life to be happy. This attitude will help you to have a high level of security and confidence, so that your weaknesses and failures will spur you to greater endeavours, rather than causing you to be dismayed and getting to taking up negative attitudes. Be fully responsible for your thoughts, words and actions.
-It’s important to note that our imagination, feelings/passions, memory can play cruel tricks on us at times e.g. entering into an internal monologue when things don’t go as planned and entertaining wishful thinking such as “If only I had taken up this or that profession, if only I had taken this or that step etc”. Apart from being a sheer waste of time, it hinders developing Positive Attitudes. The Intellect and Will are the Principal Powers of the human person for thinking and willing, so these faculties should be used effectively, by thinking and willing positively.
⁃ Build up a humble attitude; a popular adage says “he that is down needs fear no fall”. Humility is a very healthy attitude to acquire. Humility is TRUTH-truth about oneself and about others. This fundamental virtue helps one’s self- acceptance and overall positive outlook. Humility encourages one to seek help appropriately, particularly in the area of mentorship. The more we realise that we need the help of others, the more secure and positive we become. It will also spur us to take the best care of our health in order be in a position to serve better.
⁃ Be courageous!– be determined to live positively at every moment and work towards it. Begin again at every moment and pay attention to doing the little things.
⁃ Fight EGOISM-the principal weakness of human nature ; it is the excessive concern for oneself and having self -interest as the motive of all conscious actions. Egoism has to be crushed by being focused on being at the service of others.
It is imperative that we constantly make conscious effort to exercise positive attitudes -healthy attitudes, no matter the challenges we may be going through.There is need for objectivity and it is only when we are focused positively that we see clearly the probable solutions to those challenges. We need to constantly train ourselves to grow in the virtues and to control our emotions. We need to explore the many options open to us including Meditation, mentorship and others. There is need to set goals and raise the bar higher every day so that we grow constantly in exercising healthy positive attitudes, no matter the dominant temperament that we may have. That way, we contribute to our health and that of others.

Caroline Ademiluyi is a Lagos based Pharmacist.

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