Self-Awareness & Health

By LeAnna J. Carey | Oct 31, 2011

Self-Awareness & Health

Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom... The power to choose, to respond, to change,  Stephen Covey

Do your day-to-day decisions match what you want for your life?  To achieve your best personal health, begin by exploring what blind spots you may have about lifestyle habits that don’t enrich to your health, and ask yourself “what can I do differently?”   

 Most of us have friends or family where we are accountable for our actions, and lifestyle decisions can be included in those discussions, as well.  I began to think about Charles Handy's concept of the Johari window in relationship to self-care health and lifestyle decisions.  His four room concept is about self-awareness.  Room 1 is the part of ourselves that we see and others see. Room 3 contains the aspects that others see but we are not aware of. Room 4 is the most mysterious room in that the unconscious or subconscious part of us is seen by neither ourselves nor others. Room 2 is our private space, which we know but keep from others.  In other words, are you open to looking at yourself from a different perspective?  This foundational action is key to embracing the lifestyle habits that benefit your health and that match the life you want to create.  Opening up oneself and acknowledging that we are our own unique gatekeeper when it comes to our lifestyle choices is empowering. 

The next step toward being self aware and empowered is understanding  the basics of managing your energy.  The three pillars of what keeps our body rhythms in sync and optimizes our energy are: 

  1. Sleep
  2. Timing
  3. Light

What ties everything together is making the right decisions about how we get our day-to-day lifestyle habits in sync with our need for energy and rest.  For instance, make a conscious decision to turn off the electronics (light) a couple of hours before bedtime (timing); you'll enhance optimal renewal (sleep) → you are more likely to consume the right amount of calories → more likely to have energy → more likely to have a productive work day and home life → more likely to be empowered and self-aware.  Getting our body rhythms in sync increases our self-awareness and opens up creative potential in our lives.  What is most important is embracing positive moment-to-moment decisions that enrich your health and your life.  As Steven Covey has described, we have the power to choose, respond and change.  





Are You Satisfied?

By LeAnna J. Carey | Oct 12, 2011

Are You Satisfied?

"While all aspects of our life are important, without a balance, you become addicted and like all addictions you lose." Catherine Pulsifer, from Balance of Life

Are you addicted to checking off everything on your to-do list?  If so, I'd guess that you have been competing against yourself to accomplish more, stay ahead of your schedule, or looking for ways to squeeze more into your schedule.  The very thing that seems to keep your day moving is keeping you from having more fulfilling less time-pressured days, right?  Competing against time can be a tough game to win, however creating balance empowers you to rise above in the "too busy doing what" dance. 

When you run out of either time or energy you are not in sync and being out of balance can have a domino effect on your quality of life and many of us would agree that one of the basic human needs that is harmed by being out of balance is our quality of  sleep.  When your sleep schedule is not in sync with your need for energy, everything else can spiral down, making it impossible to thrive at work or at home.  Consider this - just as you achieve that feeling of accomplishment by checking off your 'to do' list, it is also possible to achieve 'feelings of efficacy and enjoyment, while minimizing stress and frustration'  by becoming more sensitive to our internal rhythms,* in other words, creating balance.

While the need for sleep has been studied extensively, and whether you agree with Maslow's hierarchy of needs or not, consider that Aristotle was one of the first philosophers to study sleep and it's relevance to thinking and creativity.  Today, the difference is that our society moves at a much faster pace, and research studies are linking certain disease conditions to sleep deprivation.  Creating balance and flow takes a focused, daily effort.  Days, weeks, months can slip by quickly - but, are you satisfied with what you are accomplishing or addicted to checking off the list?

Resource: Handbook of Positive Psychology. Chapter 8. Positive Affectivity



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