We aim to feel good at all times, this is not possible no matter how nice that would be however, there are things we can do to optimise our lives so that we can more efficiently remain in this good/productive/pleasant/positive state.
Parts of our lives that we have no control over; weather, other people, world affairs, random events, the price of cheese etc.
Parts of our lives that we do have control over; who we chose to spend time with, our diet, what time you go to bed, what job you have, music you listen too, how you generally spend your time, physical activity, medication you may or may not take, you have control over a lot more that you may have first realised.
We can feel; down, tired, anxious, worried, angst, over thinking, stressed, angry, hopeless, impulsive, detached, I could go on here but this list itself is pretty terrifying. Some of us feel certain emotions (sometimes physical symptoms) more than others. We can have any of these emotions and feeling due to a whole host of influencing factors. This can include elements from the controllable and non-controllable events in our lives. So when you feel like shit is it because you haven’t slept well the past few nights? Too much alcohol this month? Not enough rest this year? Who knows, it could be a great big mixture of reasons.
The purpose of this article is to prompt you to try and optimise as much of your life as possible so that when things go wrong you will know right away what has caused it. If your sleep and rest, nutrition, social interaction, drug use, physical activity and all other factors such as getting enough sunlight are all on point and you still feel like shit then it is time to look inwards rather than if all those things were all over the place and you did not feel great then there is no wonder why.
There is no point concerning yourself with the non-controllables as there is quite literally no point. We can’t control them. What we can do though is amend the factors in our life that we can control. If you can change something then don’t worry about it, you can change it and if you can’t change something then there is no point worrying about it.
I see people with symptoms such as sore joints, eczema and lethargy to name a few and they are taking all kinds of medications but to no avail. I ask about their diet and it is full of suspect foods such as wheat. I’m not suggesting that by removing such foods it will fix everything but this food can often have reactions with people with these symptoms. I suggest eliminating this food from their diets even just temporarily just so they can at least strike that off the list of potential causes. Their response is usually “nah I’m ok plus I like bread too much” but then they continue to complain about their symptoms and often the medication too. This goes for all bad habits such as smoking, if you smoke and you are showing a symptom often associated with smoking and you are taking something to reduce that symptom then you are in this boat too.
So in this person’s case, are they having symptoms due to the wheat or something else in their diet, there washing powder perhaps, lack of sunlight, purely genetic and no matter what it will be with them? The only way to know and then to fix it is by eliminating potential causes.
The take home message is to seek optimisation in your life. If you are having issues with something, then find out what is causing it rather than going on a medication or some other kind of quick fix and trying to fix the symptoms of the problem rather than removing what is causing it. If you are already on medication I’m not suggesting, you stop but begin to look for causes and always consult your doctor about it. So if you feel like shit and all you are eating is junkfood (that’s pretty much anything processed) and smoking every day, not getting enough physical activity then that’s probably why you feel that way. Make a change. Optimise your life. You are your greatest investment.
By Sean Cosgrove
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