Welcome to another edition of the Doctor’s Note where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health. Most of my Notes are detailed topics around prevention of disease, but in these next two weeks I’m going to talk broadly about your mindset, behaviors, and attitudes toward health.
Let’s dive into ATTITUDE.
As doctors, we’re really coaches. We should be coaching patients to help them find their own way to healthy living. We’re a team. It’s not “I’m the doctor, you’re the patient, do what I say”. It’s a mutual listening session.
My job is to help guide you to a healthier life, not just write a prescription when you need it, and say “I’ll see you back in a few months”. I want to educate my patients, my family, and my friends on how to stay healthy. That’s why I spend a lot of time researching the latest advances in medicine.
Basic Health Guidelines
Since my expertise is in health, I’m going to give you some guidelines (i.e., things to think about) for this coming year.
- Eat less sugar.
- Move more.
- Sleep better.
- Keep up with your screening tests.
- LISTEN TO MY PODCASTS.
New podcasts/videos go up every week so that your mind can stay focused on keeping healthy. I believe that most doctors over test and over treat. I don’t have any incentive to do that. My goal is to get you off unnecessary medications, not put you on more. Note: Some medications are needed, some are not.
Patients don’t want to be over tested or over treated, but THEY NEED SCREENING. In my opinion, the best overall blood screening test is the Cleveland Heart Panel, which I specifically design. You should get this test done every year. It’s a great starting place.
Outside The Box Health
Here are a few of my “outside the box” tips for staying healthy in 2023. Yes, they’re “outside the box” but man, they’re powerful.
Learn To Laugh.
This year I want to laugh more. I listen to a lot of Jamie Winship podcasts/videos. He’s a good friend of mine that we routinely have on our Outside The Box podcast. I’ve learned from him the importance of laughter. When you make a mistake or fall down, you get back up, laugh about it, learn from it, and move on.
Note: Learn to laugh and you’ll be much happier and much healthier.
Get rid of fear. These last three years have conditioned us to fear. Jamie wrote extensively about fear in his recent book, Living Fearless. We need to quit fearing “life”. You’re not going to be as healthy as you can be, if you’re living in fear. Fear causes anxiety, which causes disease. If you’re watching the media all the time, you would think the world is ending! So, don’t pay that much attention to the media.
Listen to your own body. Trust yourself, your own instincts, and common sense when it comes to your health. You know your body better than any doctor or scientist does. TUNE OUT these advertisements by pharmaceutical companies on television that are replayed all the time!
Note: Remember to trust your own instincts, stop fearing, and enjoy your life.
Routines For Health
Create a routine.
Establish a routine in your life that you enjoy. As humans, we are creatures of habit. Constant disorganization (chaos) is bad for your mental and physical health. It’s important to build good habits. Note: I will dig deeper into this topic next week.
Wake up and be grateful.
This goes a long way in keeping you healthy. Just being grateful for things. Thank God everyday for your life. Have a positive attitude. Being around a lot of negative people isn’t good for you (you may have experienced this in some of your holiday parties). Try and limit the amount of time you’re around negative people. Thank God for different opinions. Don’t let other people’s opinions or negativity affect you. Accept the fact that people have different ideas and different beliefs than you. If it’s bad for you to be around them, then limit the amount of time you spend with them, or simply change the subject.
Limit the amount of time you spend on social media. Focus on the good content on social media, not the content that’s angry and loud. As humans we are social creatures. We need positive relationships and strong community around us. Enjoy each other’s company.
Worry about this, not that.
A lot of times, I’ll see a patient whom I’m convinced that their main health problem is that they worry too much about things they should never be worried about. As doctors, we are there to tell you what you need to worry about and what you don’t need to worry about. It seems half of my job is telling people what not to worry about.
It’s within you to be healthy. I’m a firm believer that it’s not by chance. Your lifestyle and attitude is YOURS. I heard a great question the other day that I’m going to think a lot about this year: What is unusual that you believe now, that in 20 years will be obvious? I’m going to think about this question a lot this year in terms of healthcare.
Think about life as an adventure. Embrace it. Laugh more. Fear less. Trust your instincts. Think about your attitude. People who have a great attitude laugh a lot. Try to surround yourself with these types of people.
I know these are all generalizations, but as you head into 2023 consider implementing some of these ideas. Remember, YOU have the power to take control of your health. Use it.
Happy, healthy, 2023.