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  • Writer's pictureDana Hayes

Heal | Thy | Self

Often we look at healthy as a goal tied to our weight, or how much we workout, or our ability to eat the right foods, and in the process the spirit and mind get overlooked. The discussion on mental health in our community has been a focal point lately, and for good reason. Healthy is not one dimensional and it takes finding a balance in all areas of your life. I know that this is not a new concept, but we all need those simple reminders periodically.  When I was younger, I didn’t recognize what I needed to be a healthy person. It’s hard to admit, and definitely not something I was aware of at the time. I would mimic other seemingly happy people and their habits, but in the end I learned to appear happy and not be happy. Really, I didn’t realize until now how happiness was a learned technique, and how I truly didn’t have habits that fostered happiness until I was in my 30’s. 

When I think about my daughters and the example I am to them, I realize that their daily actions, mood, and reactions are all learned behaviors. Think about your reaction to bad news, or good news. Compare the two, and think about if your reaction to the bad news was an overreaction. On the flip side, is your reaction to good news a matter fact one, or a reaction that displayed gratefulness? As children we learn that presents are symbols of happiness, and no presents are symbols of sadness. Interesting that now as an adult I have to re-teach myself that actually that’s not the case. What makes happiness is not what we have, but what we have. Meaning the fact that we have anything, is a reason to be happy and grateful. Think about the mentality that the perfect body, whatever that is, will bring you a perfect life. Since when? But somehow as we grow older we are made to believe this. I had to learn that happy didn’t mean that my days were without obstacles or trials. Happy didn’t mean being animated all the time. Happy didn’t mean having all the answer, at all the right times. Healthy is not one dimensional and it takes finding a balance in all areas of your life. I often work on creating space in my day where I can be mentally at peace. For me that’s quiet time to myself, prayer, and even exercising. The space you create may be different, but will be perfect for you. Although this is the most wonderful time of the year, it’s easy to get caught up in envy and disappointment causing you to not be healthy mentally and spiritually, which can affect your physical health. Today affirm that you are amazing! Not because of what you have, but because of who you are. 

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