Maybe it has to do how we generally deal with our health problems.
There are three behaviours how we usually deal with health problems. The first two are the most common and most often ones. It’s the third one which has probably the biggest impact on our health, but requires the understanding of all three behaviours and how to apply them to make a real difference in our health. Most people when confronted with health issues rely on one of this 3 behaviours of how to deal with the problem.
A behaviour is the way how a person behaves "reacts" in response to a particular situation or stimulus.
The 3 health behaviour
1. Quick Fix: Change of specific health situation
2. Change: Change of a specific life situation
3. Transformation: Shift in perspective
Within this 3 health behaviours there are several stages which defines where you are in this particular health behaviour.
- Pre contemplation – In this stage you probably won’t take any action towards a change
- Contemplation – Within six month you intend to take action towards life style changes
- Preparation – You’re getting ready to start within the next 30 days
- Action – You made life style changes over the last six month
- Maintenance – You are staying in your transformed state longer than six month
1. Quick Fix – Change of a specific health situation
A quick fix is the fastest way to change a given health situation. By taking medicine or by using therapeutic intervention you try to overcome a current discomfort or pain. If you suffer from headache, most likely you will take a pill for the pain and continue to work as before.
This behaviour is similar like bringing a broken car to the mechanic and after it is fixed we continue driving till it breaks down again. And we repeat the same thing again, but how long will the car this way?
Pain or a discomfort is always a sign that something in our regulatory system is not right. By nature our body always tries to regulate itself into a state of well being.
Sometimes a quick fix can be more appropriate than other approaches which demands more time and a clear mind.
For example: with headache it’s harder to think clearly. Clear the head first and you are more open for different approaches and it is easier to find a solution.
In level one you depend on someone/something to fix the problem. You are most likely in the stage of pre contemplation – you don’t plan or consider further lifestyle changes. You rather outsource the problem than dealing with it.
2. Change of a specific life situation
By changing multiple factors which influences our well being, you start taking responsibility for your health and get more active by gathering informations about your health condition and how to deal with it. You might hire a coach who helps you cope with the health situation or you visit self help classes, join a club or you read self help books.
Within the second behaviour you are aware that you need to be yourself active to change something in your health situation. You are contemplating, preparing and taking action towards lifestyle changes.
Transformation has probably the biggest impact on your health, but it requires a shift in perspective, which means you will have to change your believe system. Creating a new paradigm let’s you see beyond common believes and opens a new world for you.
Every coin has two sides. If we always look just at one side, we will never know what’s on the other side and miss out a lot of different possibilities. The same is true for our life. We are used to think and see our life in a specific way. By using the behaviour from level 1 and 2 we will not change our views and believes. We still believe the same thing and see everything the same way. By changing our perspective we will have to let go of these believes and accept different views to be able to achieve a different level of self awareness.
Interaction of different levels
Transformation is probably the most effective way to change our health situation, but it is not always the first choice or necessary to do. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), excessive emotions are the main cause for a lot of diseases. Emotions and their awareness are related to how we see the world and how we define it. It is the interpretation of informations from our surroundings which leads to the rise of emotions and feelings in us.
For example: We can feel completely well and harmonic, till the moment we see a video or picture of starving and dying children. Suddenly out of nowhere we feel miserable, sad and our well being is gone. This peace of information, which has nothing directly to do with us, generates chemical processes in our body which causes all kinds of emotions and feelings to rise and affecting our well being.
“Do not fear the arising of thoughts; just beware of tardiness in noticing. The arising of thoughts is sickness; not continuing them is medicine.”
(The Discourse on Mind by the Celestial Teacher of Emptiness and Tranquility, Th. Cleary, practical taoism)
All three levels are appropriate methods for our well being. It’s how we choose them, is what makes the difference.
Unfortunately, most people are stuck with one certain behaviour 1 or 2 or both, its rare to see someone applying the third behaviour: transformation to change their health situation. Most people just want to have a quick fix and go on with their life. Not many people want to deal with their inner selfs and reinvent themselves.
But wouldn't it be great to get rid of behaviours and be able to be able to tap into all the possibilities we have, instead of just using one way, you could choose which way is more appropriate for the given situation.
So how do you deal with your health?