9 steps to your best health

Taking 9 Key Steps to Your Best Health

9 steps to your best health
Here are 9 steps to get you to your best health

I know you want to feel good. I’ll bet you have a whole list of experiences in your plans for the future. You might be feeling great these days. You might be struggling with some health issues. You might be navigating some transitions in your life or some emotional conflicts.

I want you to be the healthiest version of you, in your best health! As I’ve been thinking about this, I’ve broken a process into steps. I’m hoping by following these steps, your health continues and gets even better.

Steps to your Best Health

  1. Pay attention to your body. Remember when a new symptom starts; what makes it better; what makes it worse; how long it lasts; what you think caused it.
  2. If it is severe, scary, or won’t go away, be sure to tell your doctor.
  3. Before you see your doctor, make a list of the items in #1 so you won’t feel pressured to remember. Write your list and make 2 copies – one for you and one for your doctor.
  4. Take to all healthcare visits a complete list of all medicines and other substances you take, how you take them, and when you take them. This includes your vitamins, supplements, recreational substances, and over-the-counter medications. Include even the ones you only take for a stomachache, allergies, or a headache.
  5. Take notes during your visit. We all know how easy it is to miss something, forget, or get it all confused when trying to remember it all from memory.
  6. Make sure it all makes sense to you and you clearly know what you are to do next before you leave. It is ok to ask to hear it all again until you really understand. Once your doctor explains what is causing your symptoms and recommends a plan, ask when you should feel better.
    1. Too many times I have asked people what their doctor said and heard, ‘I have no idea; I couldn’t understand him/her.’
  7. If you receive a prescription for a new medication, make sure you know the name, what it is for, how to take it, and what you can expect. All medications have the potential for side effects, at least right at first, so know what these might be. Know if you will be taking it for a short time or a long time. Ask your pharmacist to be sure this new medication is not going to interact with your current medications. (Be sure your pharmacist knows everything you take.)
  8. Keep track of your original symptoms and any other changes you notice after you start your new treatment. If you don’t feel better in the timeframe the doctor told you, call and report that. If you feel worse when you start a new medication, let your doctor and pharmacist know. Either of them can help you determine if your new problem is caused by the medication and what you should do (do something to stop the side effects or give you a different medication).
  9. Take care of yourself! Once you are feeling better, make an effort to take even more healthy steps such as healthy eating and regular exercise. I know we hear that all of the time. That is because these are the changes that will truly help you feel your very best.

What is the link between medications and your best health?

You’ll note that some of the steps specifically include medications. Medications can:

  • Cure
  • Control medical problems
  • Make symptoms better
  • Prevent problems
  • Harm

Depending on the medical condition and the medication, any of these four good purposes or the bad effect can occur.

Medications are prescribed for at least one of the positive effects of medications. Your doctor and your pharmacist want the medication to play a direct role in you reaching your best health.

Medications can interact with other medications. The ONLY WAY your doctor or pharmacist can check for this is if they know absolutely EVERY medication you take. Medications can interact with other medications, with food, or with other medical conditions. That is why you want your healthcare team to know everything about your prescription medicines, your over-the-counter medicines, your supplements, you herbal remedies, your vitamins, and any recreational substance use. It is all important!

This is one of the key services we offer you at Meds MASH. If you want someone to very carefully evaluate all of your medications, your symptoms, and things you think might be caused by your medications, we can do that!

To get started, contact us at 410-472-4078 or www.medsmash.com/contact. Let’s talk about how we can help you reach your best health!

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

I am reading a book that led to an interesting insight as I have been thinking about the stepwise approach to best health. The steps outlined above are each important to reaching your best health.

What about your best spiritual health?   After all, true health has physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual components. Nothing outranks your relationship with Christ.

The book I have been reading is related to our brain. A neuroscience physician has studied the brain and its function in the light of both science and the Bible. If you haven’t read, ‘The God-Shaped Brain’ by Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., I highly recommend it.

In a very insufficient summary, our brains are at their peak function when we are in a secure, peaceful, loving environment. The brain is a very adaptable organ. There is one part of the brain that drives our ‘fight or flight’ response. This is what happens when we sense we are in danger. When this part of the brain is functioning, all deep reasoning is blocked. All brain effort is focused on primal survival. It is when we are more relaxed that other parts of our brain creating deep thoughts, logical decision-making, and empathy can function.

I was in high school when Pac-Man was first available. We had to go across the state line to another nearby town to play it in a pizza restaurant. The object is to maneuver Pac-Man through a maze to eat as many ‘points’ as possible. Some of the turns lead to danger for Pac-Man or to dead-ends.

Strangely enough, living in love, peace, and harmony made me think of our life like Pac-Man. Picture, if you will, a large canvas with a circuitous, clear path that has no obstacles that you can see when you look down on the entire canvas. This path is full of points, many points. Surrounding this path, at every turn, there are obstacles. Many of these obstacles are distractions. They are things that feel good, things that look good, or things that feel necessary. From within the maze, you can’t see the clear path. You can only see what is right around you. Those distractions look so good! They often seem to be on the easiest route. They promise you lots of points. So, you easily get off track with the distractions.

Our brain, our life, and our health are at their best when we are on the clear path. And yet there is not one human on the planet who has not left the path and made mistakes. Not ONE! Only Jesus was ever able to do that.

We can each be so much more at peace and living in love when we stay on the path. There is only one tour guide. Jesus can and will tell you step by step which way to turn. He will tell you which items are distractions and which are on his planned path for you. Your brain will be functioning at higher levels as you live in peace and love.

1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

God knew from the beginning, as soon as Adam and Eve ate the fruit, that we would be on this path with many distractions. Eden, before that fruit eating, was the only place where people ever lived in perfect harmony, peace, and love. As soon as those first people used their own will to go outside God’s command, everything changed.

To allow your brain to operate in its most effective way, and to live in love and peace, let Jesus be your tour guide.

Psalm 119:15 ESV

I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.

Philippians 4:8 ESV

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

1 Corinthians 7:35 ESV

I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

Here’s to being in your best health – physical, mental, emotional, AND spiritual!

Blessings,

Michelle

Quality of Life – your attitude and health

Slide1
Your quality of life is shaped by your attitude, and that also impact your health.

Your quality of life is different than just living. If you are breathing and your heart is beating, then you are alive. Within that life there can be a HUGE range in your quality of life. Quality of life is your overall well-being or satisfaction. How is yours?

Being satisfied with your life encompasses many different factors. There is no one ‘right recipe’ for gloriously high quality of life. Your quality of life will likely change throughout your life with your changing circumstances. But, some people maintain a relatively good quality of life in spite of their circumstances. It is interesting that the factors some people would rate as important don’t actually lead to high quality of life scores.

  • For instance, many people would propose more money would increase their quality of life. Yet there are many miserable people who have a lot of money.
  • Many people would propose that better health is the key to quality of life. Yet there are sick/disabled/injured people with a wonderful quality of life and super healthy people who are miserable.
  • Some would list having many friends around as the key to quality of life. But there are some people who are at parties all of the time surrounded by friends who are miserable. There are others who lead very quiet lives with few friends who are very happy and content.

So what is the key to a magnificent quality of life? 

Your attitude

I have been very interested in the large range of responses people give when asked about their life satisfaction. I am not the only one interested in this. I have read many articles from all sorts of authors on the subject of health and attitude. If you are interested, to get started, just search for the terms ‘attitude and health’. I think you will be surprised by all that you find.

Will there be dark days when things are not going right? Will you lose loved ones? Can your life slip out of your control on more than one occasion? YES!

You then make a choice as to how you respond.   Your attitude matters.

Great example

Your physical health, mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health are all wrapped up in how you live your life. There will be many things that happen ‘to you’. But you alone decide how you respond. Here is a story I’ve read in many places that captures this truth:

A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.

After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. “I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room …. just wait.”

“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in my life.”

She went on to explain, “Old age is like a bank account, you withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories. Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.”

And with a smile, she said: “Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

  1. Free your heart from hatred.
  2. Free your mind from worries.
  3. Live simply.
  4. Give more.
  5. Expect less.

(Copied from this source.)

If you would like to know more about how your attitude impacts your quality of life and your health, please contact us at www.medsmash.com/contact.

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

How is your attitude? How easily do you become bitter, frustrated, angry, and discontented? Wow, doesn’t that happen so easily!!!!

The devotions that come to my e-mail every day from Pastor Rick Warren have been focused on envy for several days. What a nasty, cruel, pervasive worm is ENVY.

Doesn’t that negatively impact your day?

Paul outlines to Timothy many facets of living a God-centered life. And he repeatedly makes reference to the fulfillment, joy, and quality of life that comes with that kind of living.

1 Timothy 6:6-7 ESV

But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.

Paul tells Timothy about all of the pitfalls in this world. He even talks about how things will get worse the closer we get to the coming of Christ. So, finding contentment in the midst of so much negativity is not easy. It is a choice and an active pursuit. A pursuit that is well worth the effort.

1 Timothy 6:11-12 MSG

But you, Timothy, man of God: Run for your life from all this. Pursue a righteous life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses.

The following kind of advice from Paul makes me feel more at ease. I like the visual I get and the response from other people when this is put into action.

Ephesians 4:31-32 MSG

Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.

Now that you are on your road to a fabulous quality of life and true contentment no matter what is going on around you, here is some encouragement from Paul.

Ephesians 4:1-3 MSG

In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.

Blessings,

Michelle

 

 

 

Spiritual health

Four Components of True Health – Spiritual Health

Spiritual health
Spirituality is a key component of total health

Spiritual health is the third of the four components of health. True health requires health in all four components. Over the last two weeks we covered physical and mental health. Next week we will cover the fourth component.

This blog is being released on the most important holiday of the Christian religion. It seems timely to talk about spirituality and why and how it is linked with your health.

Researchers have studied what are the differences between the most healthy and the least health people in our world. Certainly some of the factors are:

  • our genes
  • our environment
  • our accessibility to healthcare
  • our social system

These are more tangible, or objective, types of factors. We can define and measure them. But, these measures alone can’t explain all of the differences in our health.

A component that many researches have included is the concept of religion. Most studies I have found don’t differentiate which religion. They just look at whether the person identifies with a religion. Studies have found that identifying with religion is associated with better health.

Why would spiritual health and religion be associated with better health?

One potential reason religion could enhance your health could be belief in a higher power. There is assurance and hope in having someone/something overseeing your life. In some religions there is a direct relationship with the higher power. In others, a common belief system provides a group to whom you can belong and share those beliefs.

Religion has also been credited with providing a way of coping with life events. In some religions, God can be asked for help. Some studies have demonstrated a positive benefit of prayer on health. In others, the care of one another by people within a religious group benefits health outcomes.

The sense of belonging, the social opportunities, and the structure of religion appear to add to enhanced health. In addition, religion provides additional opportunities for volunteering. Those who volunteer have been found to be healthier. Of course, there are non-religious ways to volunteer. But, some of the studies found those with a religious affiliation to be more likely to volunteer.

Altruism is one of the attributes associated with improved health. Altruism is defined as, “feelings and behaviors that show a desire to help other people and a lack of selfishness” (Merriam-Webster definition). Some of the major religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – encourage helping others. Then, God will reward such actions. Either way, people who think about and do positive things for other people are healthier.

There is growing interest in studying this. There is now evidence to support the crucial role of spirituality in overall health. Stay tuned to see how this information will be incorporated in to our healthcare system.

There are no medications for spirituality. So, you might wonder why Meds MASH would be posting about this topic. But, it is a core part of overall health. So in the interest of completeness, spirituality is an important topic.

For a list of references used in the writing of this blog, please contact us at www.medsmash.com.

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

Happy holiest of days! Our Savior lives!

The sun has been shining, the days are warming, my favorite color of spring green is starting to turn up everywhere, flowers are blooming! This season makes me so happy!

Have you noticed how circumstances can really improve your mood and make you happy?

I’ve injured my leg (again) and will likely need surgery. Insurance has made the treatment process incredibly long. How frustrating. Have you noticed how circumstances can dampen your mood?

How much is your life tossed up and down by circumstances? The roller coaster ride of the ups and down can be exhausting!

You can’t keep life circumstances from happening. Good things and bad things happen to everyone. There is no avoiding it. But, you have the ultimate hedge of protection around you like a solid house that protects you in a hurricane. No matter what happens in your life, because of what happened Holy Week, you have a source of hope and peace.

Jesus was betrayed by one of his closest friends. Many people worked together behind his back to find a way to destroy him. He was slandered. He experienced the ultimate defamation of his character. He was accused of crimes he never committed. He was humiliated. He was physically abused beyond recognition. He was tortured. Many who had supported him either abandoned him or turned against him. The official who could have protected him did not. He was murdered in public with additional humiliations in the worst, most painful way known to people at that time.

He was completely without sin. He did nothing wrong. He is the only person to ever walk the earth who could claim that.

So, why did he willingly go to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday knowing full well this was what would happen by the end of the week?

Romans 14:9 ESV

For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

Isaiah 53:5 ESV

But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.

John 3:16 ESV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

YOU are the reason Jesus endured all of this. His love for YOU. Your sins. All that separated you from God due your weaknesses is now gone. Because Jesus died for YOU, you have the promise of eternal life! There is no better gift anyone could ever give you.

Jesus did not remain in the grave. After three days He came back to life! Again, all for YOU!

John 11:25 ESV

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,

John 6:40 ESV

For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

1 Corinthians 6:14 ESV

And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.

May you be richly blessed as you ponder this love that can protect you from any storm.

Michelle

Image source: colinsclipart.com