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Our Health is Largely in Our Own Hands

We have the opportunity to take action regarding what ails us more effectively than any previous generation

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The political and cultural turmoil fomented by the Left aside, we are fortunate to be on earth at this time: Ours is the first era where people can largely be in charge of their own health, if they so choose.

Thanks to an abundance of information resources, available primarily via the Internet, we have the opportunity to diagnose and to take action regarding what ails us more often and more effectively than any generation before us.

Sites such www.medicalnewstoday.com, www.healthline.com, www.webMd.com, and www.CDC.gov among dozens of others provide a wealth of authoritative information.

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Certainly, doctors play an important role and always will. We never want to substitute legitimate medical observation for what we conclude on our own. However, what we can research and discover as a result of our comprehensive reading, increasingly, represents reasonably sound information.

Natural Cures Abound

Sometimes we can avoid having to pay for expensive visits to doctors, outpatient services, clinics, or labs: Today, for whatever ails you, it’s might be possible to find potential natural remedies and to minimize ingesting pharmaceuticals. And why not?

For tens of thousands of years prior to our recent history, people communed with nature and they gleaned many health-enhancing gifts that nature had to offer.

Thousands of herbal remedies, and plant and flower extracts were discovered through the ages, passed on to offspring, and are available to this today. One can search online and find potential natural cures for this affliction or that. Food is a remedy in many cases.

When else has humankind ever had the capability to learn so much, so easily, that could be of value to one’s health? Rather than endure a surgical procedure, as recently as one score ago often perceived as the only option, alternatives might well abound.

Instead of undergoing surgery for spine-related discomfort, if practiced diligently and correctly, yoga could serve you well. Undertaking the exploration is worth the pursuit. Then, if surgery is the prudent path to take, with the advances in surgical procedures, if you must be operated on, it’s likely to be to your benefit.

Daily Wonders

For many people, daily health and well-being is within one’s grasp much of the time. We can find legitimate information to help lower blood pressure, stave off headaches, or minimize stress.

Meditation is effective as a stress reducer. Don’t knock it, try it! Medical journals today now discuss the multitude of benefits that accrue to regular meditators. MindfulnessMeditationinstitute.org, in particular, provides such information.

The physical manifestation of meditation, the aforementioned yoga, is beneficial to your health. Yoga is proving to be a physical “elixir” of sorts that can help you in ways that normally one wouldn’t presume.

Stretching can work wonders and, the older you are, the more likely you need to be stretching on a regular basis. You can buy books on stretching, such as Stretching to Stay Young, Stretching for Beginners, and Better Stretching: 9 Minutes a Day.

You can read articles on stretching, and view YouTube videos on the topic. You can quickly gather a variety of key illustrations and carve out for yourself a program that could last for months or years. Even doing simple stretches yields amazing results.

Exercise is vital to effective mind-body functioning. Exercise offers you greater mobility, enhanced mental sharpness, better sleep, better digestion and elimination, and much more.

As with meditation, yoga, and stretching, a host of web resources are available to guide you. If you engage in sports, or seek to take up a new sport, the same opportunities abound.

Pharmaceuticals, Cautiously

As you assume greater charge of your health, you’ll encounter information about supplements. They will show up in your reading. Many people are confused between vitamins and food supplements, versus pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs.

Vitamins and supplements essentially are the crushed extracts of a larger volume of food. The best have no additives. They give you the benefits, in part, that the original source would provide.

Many supplements have evidence-based benefits with almost no side effects. A good example is turmeric which is touted at length www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-turmeric.

Resveratrol is another example. Healthline.com reports, “If you’ve heard that red wine can help lower cholesterol, chances are you’ve heard of resveratrol… Beyond being a healthful part of red wine and other foods, resveratrol has health-boosting potential in its own right… and resveratrol supplements have been linked to many exciting health benefits, including protecting brain function and lowering blood pressure.”

Pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs, those from a pharmacy, are chemical compounds manufactured in a laboratory, often made with synthetic materials, designed to create or achieve a specific outcome within your body. Depending on your affliction, pharmaceuticals could be beneficial.

Pharmaceuticals might include a host of additives and preservatives, however, that you don’t need. Pharmaceuticals also can become habit-forming, that is, addictive. They invariably come with direct effects, which colloquially are called “side effects.” The long list of side effects, rapidly cited on TV commercials, could appear.

Working in Tandem

For most of us, gone are the days when we walk into a doctor’s office, announce what’s wrong, and then ask can you fix me? You and the doctor are a team, and the team approach will work better than anything else currently going.

Enlightened doctors today recognize the importance of working with you, as opposed to being the dominant or sole-source of medical and health information.

They realize that you can quickly find authoritative health advice. They know that you’re likely armed with such information when you arrive. For sure, help your doctor to help you.

Discover as much as you can about your situation before your appointment. Then, spill the beans. Let the doctor know what you’ve uncovered, what you suspect, and what you conclude.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Life

Work-life Balance, Integration, and Harmony: Essential for Well-Being

Those who feel like they have work-life balance are better off than those who might actually have it but don’t perceive themselves to have it

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Organizations everywhere proudly proclaim that their people are their most important assets. Human resource departments, populated by human resource specialists, are assembled to ensure that the best people are brought on board, given the training and education that they need to be successful, and have an array of competitive benefits.

Over the years, however, as I speak at conferences and conventions, in person or online, it has become quite clear that while organizations proclaim that the work-life balance of their human resources is important, actually it is given short shrift.

Many times, when I’ve been booked to give a presentation or workshop on attaining work-life balance, integration, and harmony — and delivered more than 1060 of them — my session was scheduled by the host organization merely to placate attendees. These staff people then go back to an oppressive work environment, hoping for some type of respite as the weeks progress.

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Misery Leaves Clue

What are some of the hallmarks of a workforce not in balance?  For one, credit card debt per capita remains high, meaning that people are spending more than they’re earning. If they had sufficient funds to pay off their credit cards, and avoid the exorbitant interest, most surely would.

Our workforce is gaining weight, which one might imply means that they have no time to exercise. Most people do have time to exercise but they choose not to, instead indulging in activities that require only armchair-related movement.

Perhaps worst of all, the reliance on chemicals – in liquid or pill form – is at alarming levels. Generally speaking, individuals who achieve a sense of work-life balance don’t need to pop pills for this and that.

Carve Out Space and Time

If your organization values work-life balance, you are fortunate. Whether or not that is the case, here are a few strategies, out of dozens, from my book Breathing Space. These strategies will help you to carve out a little space and time for yourself, if not every day, then at least several times per week:

1) Arrive at your workplace early. Don’t leave home at the last minute required to arrive on time. Depart 10 or 15 minutes earlier, even if not necessary. Why? When you arrive earlier than usual, you have a chance to center yourself, reflect on the day ahead, and make small changes to your immediate environment.

All things being equal, the employee who arrives even five minutes early has a better chance of starting the day more focused than the employee who arrives with only a minute to spare.

2) Is it tough for you to eat breakfast at seven and last ‘til lunch at 12, with nothing in between? If so, bring healthy snacks so that you can take that break as needed and maintain your blood sugar level. Otherwise, you might have a craving for the kinds of foods that you don’t need: highly sugared, salted, or fat-laden snacks.

Yes it takes a little time in the morning to cut carrots or put peanut butter on whole wheat crackers, but the payoff comes over and over again as you feel more productive and energetic at work and your performance reflects that.

3) Linger occasionally, 30 to 60 seconds, before going to the restroom, before and after meetings, before and after lunch, and so on. Those extra seconds can make a huge difference in your mental health for that day, and cumulatively, for the days and weeks that follow.

4) When you’re at lunch, be at lunch. Don’t bring work with you, and don’t fret about what you have to do when you return to work. Consume a good, nutritious lunch.

Actually taste the food, and chew it thoroughly. In short, do everything your mother told you to do several decades ago. It makes a difference.

Perception Matters

The personal quest for work-life balance is based more on perception than anything else. Those who periodically feel like they have work-life balance are better off than those who might actually have a balance between their work and personal life but don’t perceive themselves to have it!

So, acknowledge the good things going on in your career, at home, and everywhere in between. Your recurring positive thoughts lead to even greater positivity.

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Life

For Equal Treatment, Behavior Overrides Skin Color

Those who say they’ve faced discrimination because of skin color often take little responsibility for their behavior

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Amidst all of the Biden Administration’s debacles, in a mere eight months, let us not forget that it wasted no time in seeking to undermine and dismantle the “1776 Project,” which was designed to offer a balanced perspective on American history. Meanwhile the Administration supports the misdirected “1619 Project,” which is false history and fans the flames of racial dissonance.

Straight from the New York Times: “The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”

Human Nature?

In the midst of this wrangling, one aspect of interracial understanding and relations has long been  overlooked… I was watching television, years back, in a Washington, D.C. hotel room, the night before I was scheduled to give a speech.

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A news feature on a local animal shelter revealed the preferences among dog adopters. Light-colored and multi-colored dogs are popular. The darker the dog, the longer it stays in the shelter. Black dogs are the least popular and have the hardest time attracting an owner.

When selecting a pet, if black fur is the least desirable, is there an implication for a dark-skinned person in this world? Are they born to a life of inherent bias, even when others firmly seek to avoid being prejudiced? All of the anthropological and human behavior books and articles I had ever read leapt forward in my memory.

Blinded by the Night

Is it hardwired for human nature to be attracted to light and be repelled by dark? Light, white, and mild colors are traditionally equated with positive attributes, while dark often is not. Such pairings are primarily subconscious, likely persisting in the human psyche for thousands of years.

Diversity is the fate of species everywhere, not simply on earth. If life is ever discovered on distant planets, the variation in human appearances will more than likely be mirrored by wide variation in whatever species populate those celestial bodies. It’s our ongoing challenge to rise above physiological differences and even the resulting psycho-physiological variations in human behavior, outlook, and disposition. Individually and collectively, we have the ability. It is within our grasp.

Behavior Matters

As we acknowledge our ancient, inherent bias away from dark, and toward light, we must recognize that discrimination should not be attributed to skin color. What is at issue, and is seldom discussed in the mainstream media, is the effect of a person’s behavior on another person. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Author Shelby Steele has written such insightful books as White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era; The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race In America; and A Dream Deferred: The Second Betrayal of Black Freedom in America. He eloquently argues that often, those who claim that they’re being discriminated against because of skin color, claim little or no responsibility for their behavior.

Black or white or anything else, if you attend public schools for grades 1 to 12 and learn precious little, largely because you didn’t pay attention in class, thought it was cool to goof off, didn’t see the value in conjugating a verb, felt that science was boring, or disdained learning in general, why blame others?

If you seem unable to enter the economic mainstream and land the kind of job and salary you want, who is to blame? A vanishing throng of ‘discriminatory’ employers who don’t hire you because of skin color? Or, discerning employers who don’t hire you due to your academic underachievement, which renders you as under-qualified?

Humans Discriminate Based on Behavior

Discrimination based on skin color is morally corrupt. Discrimination based on behavior is something that all human beings have done since the beginning of time and to this day, and will continue 1000+ years into the future.

It behooves each of us, daily, to do our best, to relegate skin color as non-issue, while recognizing that behavior, along with aptitude, performance, and on-the-job results are the measures most vital to employers.

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