Whole Life Magazine

February / March 2019

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/1079232

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14 wholelifetimes.com Our health stories are often reflected in what we say casually to others when speaking about our health. Pessimistic stories about health challenges we're struggling with can lock us out of believing we can experience greater wellness and a sense of well-being despite our difficulties. How often do you tell yourself or others a story such as "I know I'll never lose this weight," or "Everyone in my family was anxious, so there's not much I can do to reduce my anxiety"? You might want to write a health story that offers new possibilities for a better relationship with your body and any conditions you might have. My guess is you have taken actions to improve your health, whether you're aging, trying to recover from an injury, living with a mental health condition, or a combination of things. After working so hard to fix your health, maybe you started taking comfort in the familiar story of "This is how things are and always will be." Does that story work for you — so well that you're sure you want to give up hope for something better? It can be painful to try again to improve your health only to fail. Giving up hope can seem like a sensible choice that will spare you pain. But what if you could tolerate the emotional challenge of disappointment and remain open to new possibilities for improving your health? Then you could write a new, more satisfying health story and perhaps begin bringing it to life. Even when people have received a dire prognosis, managing their stress and setting new priorities can often improve their health. It may be that a new story called "I am living each day as fully as I can, appreciating what is good in my life, and prioritizing what feeds my soul" can actually program your body to fight cancer cells, repair cellular damage, and make you feel vitalized and energized. Is that potential payoff greater than the payoff of doing nothing? Doing nothing might help you avoid the anger, frustration, and sadness that arise when you experience a setback or discover that a new intervention isn't working after all. But is that a better payoff than potentially improving your health? Your new health story doesn't have to be, "I've solved the problem once and for all and never have to think about that health issue again." That story may By Carl Greer, Ph.D., Psy.D. A Health Story That Offers New Possibilities CHANGE YOUR LIFE healthy living "I am living each day as fully as I can, appreciating what is good in my life, and prioritizing what feeds my soul"

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