As a doctor I see patients of many different backgrounds and circumstances. However, despite the differences among individuals, one overwhelming theme I frequently see is how people limit themselves. Many people expect a doctor and a pill to cure them of their ailments, ailments that are often preventable and aren’t always effectively treated with a pill. I have also met many incredibly healthy people who take responsibility for their life and health. Most healthy people I know are happy, and the ones that are not as healthy, usually have a relatively better quality of life when they have a positive attitude.
The human body is capable of amazing things. It contains an inherent healing potential that keeps us in balance and living everyday. The key to being healthy is to work with this innate wisdom. Most health issues are caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, whether it is not eating the right foods, getting enough sleep or exercise, tobacco use or inadequately managing stress and emotions. More often than not, people are unaware of how they contribute to their own distress.
Practicing mindfulness helps us recognize our self-imposed obstacles that interfere with health and healing. Mindfulness is all about being present. Instead of going through the motions of life, we can become more aware of our thoughts and behaviors. Do you consciously think about how much water, quality calories and sleep you are getting daily? Do you take time for yourself to unwind from the day’s stressors? Do you focus on what you can be grateful for in your life? Being healthy requires self-empowerment and self-appreciation, so is there any way in which you don’t prioritize yourself?
Many of us have long-standing ways of doing things, and the good news is that we can always change habits. I encourage my patients to take time daily to reflect upon the ways in which they can prioritize themselves and practice a healthy lifestyle. Being healthy is simple, and all it takes are the positive choices that you make at every moment.
Aunna Pourang, MD is a board certified family physician who practices integrative medicine in Santa Monica, CA. She incorporates her knowledge of yoga, meditation, Ayurveda and nutrition with conventional Western medicine to address the root causes of symptoms and to help heal the mind, body and spirit. Dr. Pourang is also the author of “Meditate don’t Medicate: A 14 Day Journey of Letting Go and Finding Yourself,” and blogs about health and happiness on her website www.draunna.com.
Lotus East-West Medical Center
2222 Santa Monica Blvd, Ste 105
Santa Monica, CA 90404
T: (310) 828-8258