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spike bullet September 2015 ~ The Pillars of Good Health

1. Proper Diet
2. Proper Rest
3. Exercise
4. Manage Stress
Resources (links, books, articles, the lighter side)  
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color bulletSeptember 2015 ~ The Pillars of Good Health

The most important ways to stay healthy:

  1. Proper Diet
  2. Proper Rest
  3. Exercise
  4. Manage Stress.

My family doctor says there is another one: good luck, which includes having good genes.  My family doctor recently recommended that I share my secrets of good health, since Iím one of his healthiest patients.  I didnít learn how to take care of my body overnight and went through a lot before I found what works well for me.  No matter how old or young you are, today is the first day of the rest of your life.  What you do today determines your future.  

Most of us want to live a long and satisfying life.  In order to do that, we must remember to take care of the physical body that we are given.  Even starting to take care of our body later in life can make a big difference in our longevity and quality of life.

The tips in this article are based on what works for me.  If they seem familiar, it is because I have learned from many others and adapted their tips to what works for me.  

Proper Diet

Each person is unique so each personís diet must consider their own individual needs.

Proper diet means learning what is right for your own body, which may not be what your best friendís needs are.  Some people are allergic to certain foods or just donít like them, yet others can eat them with no problems.  Some people prefer some foods over others.  Learn to trust your body to let you know what it likes and doesnít like.

While a balanced diet gives most of what our body needs, many people take vitamins or other supplements to add what isnít taken in through food.

Most experts agree that the average person does not eat enough vegetables.  Your mother was right: "Vegetables are good for you!"  Which vegetables are best for you depends on your own individual needs and tastes so read what the "experts" say and work out your own dietary program.

Most experts agree that certain foods and substances are not good for any of us: excessive alcoholic beverages, narcotics, cigarettes, caffeine, over use of sugar and soft drinks, high salt items, etc.

Proper Rest

Proper rest means sleeping enough hours so that your body and mind are  rested.  This is very hard for many people and even if they are in bed, their mind may be active with worries or the problems at their work or personal life.

Learning to manage stress goes a long way toward helping us sleep better.  If you are not getting enough rest, find ways to rearrange your schedule so that you can get the rest your body needs.

Tired people are more prone to accidents and are less able to handle the day-to-day stresses that modern life provides.  The mind doesn't function as well without proper rest, so your wits are not as sharp, leading to a vicious cycle that is hard to break. 


Regular exercise is vital for a healthy body.  An average walk of 30 minutes 4 times a week is what is usually recommended.  The equivalent can be done at a gym or in other ways.  Exercise brings more air into your lungs, which is also needed to keep the brain healthy.  Exercise stimulates your heart and keeps it healthy. 

Computers can place a great deal of stress on the body if we sit in an office all day.  A computer mouse alone can create great stress on the hands, elbows, back and shoulders.  If you do a lot of computer work, consider alternatives such as a track ball or touch pad that reduces stress on the body.  I was amazed at how much better my body felt by making that simple change a couple years ago.

Getting up and moving regularly is also important for anyone who regularly uses a computer in their work or play.  There are plenty of resources available to learn about good computer ergonomics.

Managing weight is also important since the more weight our body has to carry, the more stress is placed on the heart, lungs and legs.

Managing Stress

While some stress comes as part of our busy society, a great deal of stress is self-generated by worrying about things unnecessarily and worrying about things that we have no control over.  Anger and frustration take a huge toll on the body by producing acids that are not healthy, effectively turning the body on itself in harmful ways.

A few things can be done to manage stress:

  • Turn off the television and get some exercise instead.
  • Donít watch the news on television.  The visual and emotional "punch" of television is designed to get us hooked into the story and can lead to sleeplessness if we worry about what we are being told.  Most news is bad news and can be ignored. If the world is coming to an end, someone will tell you or you will figure it out.  Most other television news doesnít help you live a better life Ė it simply overloads your mind with data that is not necessary for your own good health.  If you are a television addict, try cutting back on it for a month and see what happens.
  • Spend time talking with family or friends instead of watching what strangers are doing.  Play with your children and help them get unplugged from electronics.  Take kids to a local park and let them watch nature instead of playing video games, or let them play outside with friends and get good exercise.
  • Learn good stress management techniques.  We have several good newsletter articles on this topic.  Find what techniques work best for you.
  • Maintaining a good social network helps with stress so that you have someone to talk to when needed.  Sometimes, just another perspective can help us see things differently and relieve the stress of our over active imagination.
  • Surround yourself with positive people and let those who are negative go on their own way.
  • Spiritual practices such as meditation and visualization provide great stress relief for many people.
  • "Stop and smell the roses" and appreciate the beauty all around us every single day.  Breathe in the fresh air, be grateful for the sunshine, listen to the birds, notice the trees and flowers.  
  • Be grateful for all the blessings in your life every day.  Make a practice of doing that constantly.  For some people, focusing on gratitude before going to bed can help relax the body.  If something is worrying you at night, imagine a filing cabinet and put your worries in there for the night instead of obsessing about them all night.
  • Open your heart to others.  Do volunteer work.  Donate to a charity.  Do something nice for someone.  Say hello to a stranger.  Open a door for someone.  Let someone else go in front of you in line.
  • Slow down when driving.  Beating the car next to you is not really necessary for your good health.  Take a scenic route to work or when running errands.  Turn off the radio and listen to soothing music instead.  
  • Allow others to help you when you need help.  Giving is great, however, to have balance, there must also be someone who can receive whatever is given.
  • Instead of getting frustrated with what someone else does, try to see their perspective or assume they are doing the best they can at the moment.  That alone helps relieve a lot of anger and frustration that many people use as a negative habit.
  • Focus on the positive things in your life and not the negative things.  Follow my mother's advice:  "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all"  There is way too much negativity in the world today.  Don't add any more to it. 
  • What we focus on is what we become.  Earl Nightingale explains this in this recording "The Strangest Secret" 

Bottom Line: Accept responsibility for your own life and your own health.  No one else can live your life for you and no one else is responsible for your life.  Only you can make your life what you want it to be.  Make a promise to yourself today to start taking better care of yourself.  If you do, some day you can be the healthiest patient your doctor has.   

  Internet Resources

book graphic  Books   -  Disclosure: We get a small commission for purchases made via links to Amazon.

  • You'll See It When You Believe It!, Wayne Dyer.  Quill; (September 2001) ISBN: 0060937335  Rest in Peace, Wayne.  Your inspiring words have changed the lives of millions of people around the world. 
  • Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor's Guide to Good Health.  D. C. Jarvis.  Holt, Rhinehart and Winston, 1958.  ISBN: 978-0030274107
  • Oh, The Things You Can Do That Are Good for You: All About Staying Healthy (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library) (for kindergarten age children).  Tish Rabe.  Random House, 2001.  ISBN: 978-0375810985
  • Good Health, Good Life: 12 Keys to Enjoying Physical and Spiritual Wellness.  Joyce Meyer.  FaithWords, 2014.  ISBN: 978-1455547142 
  • The Inside Tract: Your Good Gut Guide to Great Digestive Health.  Gerard Mullin.  Rodale Books, 2011.  ISBN: 978-1605292649.  
  • Awaken the Inner Shaman: A Guide to the Power Path of the Heart.  Josť Stevens, Ph.D.  Sounds True, 2014.  ISBN 978-1622030934
  • The Power Path: The Shaman's Way to Success in Business and Life.  Jose Stevens.  New World Library, 2002.  ISBN: 1577312171
  • Transforming Your Dragons: Turning Personality Fear Patterns into Personal Power. Jose Stevens. Bear & Co; (July 1994) ISBN: 1879181177
  • Income Without a Job: Living Well Without a Paycheck.  Michael Jay Anthony, Barbara J. Taylor., 2008  ISBN-13: 978-0-557-00377-8.  Website:  Tap into your own creativity and use  your full potential.  Learn how to see opportunities that others miss.   

world wide web - articles  Articles

Related newsletter articles:
    October 2002 - Reducing Stress in the Workplace
    September 2004 - Stress Busters: Managing Stress in the Workplace
    November 2009 - Healthy and Safe Workplaces
    July 2001 - Balancing Life and Work
    May 1997 - Coping with Change
    March 2014 - Finding Balance in an Unbalanced World
    February 2009 - Staying Inspired
    September 2008 - The Joy of Work
    December 2007 - Management Styles (Just for Fun)
    October 2000 - Moving Beyond the Obstacles
    August 1996 - Managing Change
    May 2002 - Stress: How It Affects the Roles We Play
    September 1997 - Balancing Life and Work
    August 2009 - Finding Support During Challenging Times

smiley graphic  The Lighter Side  

Cheerfulness is the best promoter of health and is as friendly to the mind as to the body.  - Joseph Addison

There's a need for accepting responsibility - for a person's life and making choices that are not just ones for immediate short-term comfort.  You need to make an investment, and the investment is in health and education. - Buzz Aldrin

O sweet September, thy first breezes bring the dry leaf's rustle and the squirrel's laughter, the cool fresh air whence health and vigor spring and promise of exceeding joy hereafter.  - George Arnold

For he who has health has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.  - Owen Arthur

Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.  - Buddha

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly. - Buddha

Good humor is the health of the soul, sadness is its poison. - Lord Chesterfield


About our resource links:  We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs in these links.   We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.

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Page updated: October 16, 2023      

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