HEALTH-CONFIDENCE: The Secret, Psychological Component to Physical Wellbeing That NOBODY Seems to Talk About
DISCLAIMER: What you’re about to read is my simple, Hempstead, New York-bumpkin *opinion*. I AM NOT a professional health professional (don’t let the glasses or decent vocabulary fool you), so what follows is IN NO WAY meant to replace ANYTHING you’d get from your good ol’ family doctor, therapist (or “shrink” if you’re really nuts), nutritional consultant or any other licensed practitioner. Nothing in this blogpost (or anything my crazy behind says on this blog in general) constitutes medical advice.
Now I know that YOU personally don’t need to be told that, but remember: we’re on the internet (and remember those two girls who tried sue McDonald’s for obesity, too). Giving information like this without a disclaimer can be like having sex without a condom…or worse. So for the record – if it applies – I ain’t got jack-diddly to get sued for in the first place, so do us both a favor and don’t even try it. Onward…
WE ALL KNOW how important confidence is…ask a woman what attracts her to a man, a sales-rep what closes the deal or any life-coach (whatever the heck that is) what he teaches people to be, and your research’ll bring you to the common theme of CONFIDENCE. Confidence, confidence confidence confidence…
But for some odd reason, most of us fail to draw this same parallel when it comes to our own physical wellbeing. Simply put, it’s obvious that just like we need SELF-confidence in order to succeed professionally or socially, we also need what I call “HEALTH-confidence” in order to sustain long-term physical shape and constitution, but
You literally need a certain type of faith in your body’s natural inclination towards healing: a certain overall positive mental attitude ABOUT health that most people are lacking these days (both young and old, mind you).
Unfortunately, if you examine how most people think and talk about health, *they’re doing the exact opposite.* So let’s get into specifics and see what WE can do to protect ourselves:
Health-Confidence vs. Health-Anxiety
First off, the opposite of health-confidence is something I refer to as “health anxiety”: a fearful apprehension towards (or general feeling of helplessness about) one’s overall wellbeing.
A major way this manifests itself is by avoidance, like a few weeks ago when a friend said to me, “Yeah B, I have this pain in my side, but I’m scared to go check it out…what if the doctor tells me it’s something serious and I have to get all these weird operations and take tons of drugs????” (I’m not lying…that quote’s basically verbatim)
But another way this manifests itself by amplification, like when I told someone I work with that I was tired, and he said, “Oh yeah? Well y’know, you might be anemic because of low this-that-and-the-third. If I was you I’d go to a doctor and check that out…”
People with health-anxiety tend to blow minor aches and pains out of proportion and see every little tick as an opportunity to focus on the disaster of terminal illness. On the other hand, people with health-confidence know that the human body is not invincible, so even when small issues come up, they stay calm and maintain a sense of serenity about their situation.
(The idea here is to catch yourself whenever you’re worrying about something minor incessantly and STOP.)
Health-Optimism vs. Health-Pessimism
In addition to this, some people are generally optimistic about *the idea* of being healthy (they’re positive and interested whenever the subject comes up) whereas some people feel like it’s a drag…like it’s “too complex” or too much of a negative bore to even bother with in the first place (the “eat your vegetables” syndrome, but the grown-up version).
For instance, my previous employer was near 70 and “still kicking” as they say. He would work just as hard (if not harder) then the rest of us, and was outspoken about the power and benefits of a healthy lifestyle: “I knew that if I just took care of my body, ate somewhat decently and got my exercise, I’d be more than okay….I’d be fine.” and he now had the Cenegenics body (the energy, not the muscles) to prove it.
“Health-optimistic” people are genuinely interested in being a healthy person and it shows. They actively seek out the information that’ll them help you be strongest they can be, and apply it with a positive mood, so you should to: be lighthearted and cheerful about your entire approach, and you’ll be more than okay…you’ll be fine.
The Danger of Disease-Prone Thinking
And lastly, some people have what I call “disease-prone thinking,” where they THINK of health simply as the absence of disease (rather than the expression of life). Since their entire “health knowledge-base” is essentially a language of illness, they approach the whole thing from a deficit.
Think about how medicine is marketed (watch some commercials), how health-food is explained (“this fruit has ‘cancer-fighting’ properties”) and the type of sex-education we get in schools (don’t get me started), it’s no wonder so many people are such defeatist about it. We’re literally conditioned to think about “nasty, deadly diseases” anytime anything health-related comes up.
For instance, a lot of people associate sex with dirtiness, pregnancy, STD’s and religious trangressions, but NOT a lot of people know that it releases endorphins (the body’s natural pain killers), boosts creativity and that regular orgasms lead to increased self-esteem.
Not a lot of people know that regular exercise BOOSTS sexual self-esteem
Not a lot of people know that apples have protein in them (read the book Fruits & Farinacea for more.)
Not a lot of people know that massage before an athletic event enhances speed and power and makes the athlete more flexible and less prone to injury…
GET WHERE I’M GOING HERE??? Our society gives us a syntax about health that’s disease-oriented, so we have to condition ourselves to think more abundantly towards the whole thing.
One way you can do this is by learning things that are uplifting in nature…by sticking to knowledge that’s positive and success-oriented (not scary and failure-oriented). It’s called “towards-motivation.”
Qualifications and Conclusion
Qualification #1: I am NOT saying that you should “just be confident and positive” and do absolutely nothing. Educate yourself, seek counsel from health professionals you trust and follow up on high-quality advice.
Qualification #2: I am NOT saying that you should be indifferent towards people who *are* actually sick (just because they may have less positive attitude). If you know someone who’s terminally ill or going through something, being there for emotional support can make a big difference, and
Qualification #3: I am NOT saying that you should be dismissive towards someone’s genuine concerns or lack of knowledge. If someone’s uneducated but open-minded to a different point of view, take it as an opportunity to enlighten them in a compassionate way.
However, what I *AM* saying is that health is subtle MINDSET first and that, in our culture, we literally have a “disease-oriented society” you need to disassociate yourself from. (Think movies like Contagion…the billboard for it reads: “Don’t talk to anyone, don’t touch anyone.”)
Like always, your mindset determines your approach: if you don’t have the psychological component in place, you’re not going to do the right things and you’re not even going to be motivated to find out what the right things are in the first place. Without health-confidence, you’ll be “locked-down”… you’ll trapped and addicted to your own self-destructive behaviors, and won’t even know why.
Have faith in your ability to stay healthy and strong over the long-term. Know that if you simply do the right things and follow sound advice, you’ll be alright, and don’t assume (or feel destined) that something terrible is going happen just because that’s been the fate of people around you…
Again, have faith in your body’s natural inclination towards health, and have faith in your own knowledge-base and the resources you have available to you to help.