Posts Tagged With: depression

10 Tips for Optimal Health


“How can such simple things make such a drastic change in my body?”

It was a logical question and one that deserved an answer. Twenty three year old Elaine is one sharp cookie, and I could tell right off when meeting her that she was going places in life. We had begun discussing a few health difficulties which had cropped up for her, like depression, low energy and unexpected weight gain. Her mental acuity had also slowed down.

After covering some basic health essentials we discovered she was not receiving enough of a few necessary things for optimal health. Just one week after going over the basics with her, Elaine was stunned at the positive results of practicing these 10 easy tips.

  1. Stay hydrated

The body is made up mostly of water. Every system and organ in the human body is dependent upon water for optimal health. (Do not count coffee, tea or soda as water intake.) There are many factors internal and external which determine how much water your individual body needs each day. When you expend energy in the heat you need much more than when lounging in the A/C. But as a general rule at least a ½ gallon per 24 hour period.

  1. Breathe Deeply

There are many methods of deep breathing, which not only provides oxygen rich blood to every organ, but also reduces stress, relaxes your body and helps to expel harmful toxins. See below for the method I was taught in my Martial Art.

  1. Balanced Nutrition

The USDA is not always right on amounts of each nutrient needed. And you’ve heard enough contradictory opinions on certain foods to avoid, and which are good or bad for you. I reduce it to a simple equation. Eat lots of different things that are naturally occurring. And eat each of them in moderation. No man-made chemicals,preservatives, coloring or additives. The closer a food is to the way God created it the healthier it will be for your body. (least amount of processing/no additives.)

  1. Get Good Cyclic Sleep

Your body keeps an internal clock. Going to bed at the same time every night and getting a peaceful 7 to 8 hours sleep is optimal. (Read up on circadian rhythms on the internet.)

  1. Remain Active

We all know that our bodies need exercise and there are two main categories of exercise: aerobic (rapid body movement) and anaerobic (builds dense muscle tissue). For weight loss get the same amount of both. For circulatory and respiratory difficulties get more aerobic. Use whatever activity you enjoy for exercise. I like riding my bicycle and lifting weights and calisthenics (floor exercises). This covers both areas. And yes, I’ve been slacking off lately and paying the price.

  1. Love is Mandatory

Giving love and receiving love is an emotional or mental need. Without love we will really throw a wrench into our physical and mental health. The best way to receive love is to give it, and that’s on us.

  1. Forgive Others

No, this is not some Christian trick, it’s real. Even secular psychologists agree. Harboring and nurturing negative emotions throws everything in our lives out of whack. Forgive your offenders and move on. Bitterness is toxic for humans.

  1. Remain Thankful

Yes, the good ol attitude of gratitude is a health boon. You will be much happier when you dwell upon all the blessings and good things in your life and be thankful for them. Happiness and joy signals your body’s physical and psychological systems to work at their prime capabilities.

  1. Practice Serenity

Memorize the serenity prayer and then practice those principles you are asking God to help you with. “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Don’t leave it up to God to do your part for you. Practice doing these and the Lord will enable you to do them. It’s that simple.

  1. Maintain a Relationship With God

Okay, this should have been number one, because God gives us the wisdom to do the other nine. So I was a little bit sneaky in putting it last. We were created to have fellowship with God. Many people live their entire lives without ever finding what it is they are missing. Only God can fill that empty space inside. We will find that a relationship with Him comes only through a relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. Talk to Him about it today!


Deep Breathing Exercise

 Sit in a straight backed chair with your feet flat on the floor. Sit up straight with your back against the back rest. Allow your arms to dangle loosely at your sides. Through your nose you are going to begin inhaling slowly. ( Some methods suggest closing off one nostril with a finger, but I don’t use that) Fill the upper half of your body with air beginning with the lowest part of your abdomen. Imagine filling it up from bottom to top as you inhale. This will automatically engage your abdominal muscles in the breathing process. Slowly inhale through your nostrils until you are filled all the way up to the top of your chest. Wait a few seconds and then begin slowly exhaling through your mouth. As you do, purse your lips. Exhale between your lips. There should be air pressure against your cheeks and lips. Your cheeks should billow with the action. Now, not TOO much pressure. This too should be relaxing. Empty your lungs slowly from the top down. Ten inhales and exhales is perfect.

  • In doing this breathing exercise you will be storing up extra oxygen for when your body needs it most. In Ju-Jitsu we learned to do this in preparation for times when we might unexpectedly have to defend ourselves, and this helps us to outlast our attacker. But it is very good for stress relief and to enhance every other physical activity. The exhalation helps rid our bodies of harmful toxins.








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Value of Life

A close friend smiled peacefully as he went bravely to his death. In contrast, I’ve also been witness to the trembling fright and paling faces of people who knew their expiration date was swiftly approaching. There is nothing like visiting the threshold of death to cause a person to assess the value of life, especially when it’s their own.

Perhaps the mysterious unknown of death is the most frightening aspect. That’s what set the apprehensive ones apart from my dear friend who is now departed. He was fully convinced that behind the door of death lie true life in the spiritual realm.

What is it that gives human life such a high value? Aristotle said, “The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.” I would agree with the ‘awareness’ aspect of such a statement, if it were in reference to knowledge of the truth.

Even Darwin knew how precious life is in relation to its duration. “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”

Professor Kalu Kalu says, “The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.”

Living our lives in service to others is indeed a healthy means of maintaining a good mid-level self-esteem and warding off depression. The sum of our character and what we do with our lives, however, is not what is needed to gauge its worth.  By themselves good deeds can produce an undesired affect. But once we come to know God, and have placed our faith in Christ Jesus, the Spirit teaches us humility. The humility we are taught in God’s word and through the Spirit combined with God’s valuation of you make for the perfect balance of self-worth.

“Low self-esteem has been shown to be correlated with a number of negative outcomes, such as depression.” (Silverstone & Salsali 2003). On the opposite side of the coin research shows that too high of a self-esteem also creates negative outcomes. The perfect balance, however is found in a right relationship with God. Learning God’s valuation of you combined with the humility the Spirit teaches Christians creates an ideal balance.

No one person can know how life is valued, because human life is not given its worth by self-valuation. Who can rightly determine the worth of any life, be it their own or another’s? The sanctity of people’s lives has been priced by the one who created life in the first place. In our Creator’s eyes every soul on earth who has ever lived was valuable enough to send His own Son to die in their stead.

When I visited a few auto manufacturers in Detroit I was educated on how the price of a car was determined. The company who makes the automobile is the only one who truly knows what each automobile is worth. They know the time, effort and costs that went into its production, and there’s other considerations also in determining its value, and its price-tag. When someone purchases one of those shiny new automobiles they are required by law to have it insured before driving it on the roadways. There’s the possibility of accidents which may result in the loss of human life. Not that money could ever compensate for such a loss.

God is the Creator of life and the owner of all that He has made. All life belongs to Him, therefore He is the one who valuates what you and I are worth. I’m amazed that He would think so highly of me as to go to such extensive lengths to insure me against the loss of eternal life. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And God’s Son reiterated that fact. “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”

While everyone may have their own opinion on any other particular person’s worth, ultimately that opinion is of no consequence. Your own opinion of your worth is of no consequence as well. To God every soul is highly valuable, and being that He is the owner and appraiser of all life, His is the only valuation that counts. In God’s eyes you and I are worth more than we could ever imagine, no matter what we’ve done with our lives. God loves you, big time!



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