An Ounce of Prevention and a Dash of Guided Imagery. . .

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Given the escalating price of a pound of cure these days, the adage, is tough to refute, particularly when you think in terms of smoke alarms and seat belts. When our grandparents said it, the phrase was usually prefaced or followed by sage advice, like, washing your hands often, brushing your teeth twice a day and eating your vegetables.

Today, it’s difficult to pick up a magazine or look at any news on TV or online without seeing this advice. We are told not only to brush twice daily, but also to floss. Numerous studies have shown that the best way to prevent flu, colds and food-borne illnesses from spreading is frequent hand-washing, and the jury has been in on the vegetable eating for some time. The recommendation to eat three servings of fruits or vegetables per day has gone up considerably, and most sources say we need at least seven servings daily.

Call it common sense, intuition or keen observation, but our parents and grandparents didn’t need the results of scientific studies to know that some things were good for us and others were not.  Of course, that didn’t mean we would always heed their advice.

Similarly, we know there are certain changes we need to make, in order to get well or stay well, but it’s not always easy to make them. For example, smoking, excessive drinking, poor nutrition, inactivity, insufficient sleep, high blood pressure and even the way we deal with stress are examples of health risk factors that are considered to be under our control. (Risk factors that are not within our control include age, gender and genetic predisposition to certain conditions.)

One thing we have noticed here at Health Journeys, is the number of people who say they want to make changes, but they haven’t been able to start or stick with anything. Most of them cite their kids, their jobs, job searches, long commutes, hectic schedules, and various other reasons for not taking better care of themselves. Despite all the support that is available to help them make the necessary changes, they just can’t seem to do it.

For those who just can’t seem to get started, or keep going with their chosen lifestyle changes, it often helps to start with a little guided imagery to bolster self-worth. We suggest titles like Self-confidence & Peak Performance or Dr. Traci Stein’s Healthy Self-Esteem. Sometimes, the trick to jump-starting positive changes is to stop procrastinating, and we have just the ticket for that. It’s called Guided Self-hypnosis to Help Free yourself from Procrastination, also by Traci Stein.

Many people have had success with lifestyle changes when they start by addressing the stress in their lives (which is often the main source of bad habits). You might begin by trying our Relieve Stress audio program.

We also find that addressing sleep problems is often a good place to start. A simple change, like blocking all light from your bedroom, can do wonders to improve the quality of your sleep. This can be accomplished by eliminating sources of light, such as luminous dials on clocks and radios and closing curtains to keep out street lights. If necessary, invest in a comfortable sleep mask.

Once you turn the corner and begin making changes, consult our brand new 2014 Catalog for some excellent recommendations for help with everything from quitting bad habits to beginning positive ones.

What sage advice did you hear as a child? As always, we love hearing from you and we welcome your comments.