How to embrace freedom of choice for your wellbeing
One definition of health is ‘freedom from disease’: a state where neither physical nor mental suffering puts a restriction on our behaviour. That sense of freedom and ability to make decisions about our destiny is vital to our health. I want to show you how important freedom of choice is for your sense of wellbeing, and how a change of mindset can impact how and what we choose, and consequently how we feel.
Change your mindset
I recently attended a webinar by nutritionist and health coach Buffy Rowe (buffyrowe.com). She discussed a great way to change our mindset about healthy eating from one of denial and having to cut out foods, to one of choice, of choosing to eat healthy foods so that we can feel better. If we think about this idea whenever we are faced with a food dilemma, it soon becomes a habit, and allows us to feel happy about our decisions. It got me thinking that perhaps this idea could be extended to the rest of life…
Actually, it’s an idea that’s been in the back of my mind for some time, and I touch on it in my blog The Busyness of Success which I wrote back in 2015. In it I urge people to slow down, re-connect with their true selves and make choices that are true to themselves.
Often when people come to me they have already made at least one healthy choice in their lives: by coming to a homeopath they have chosen homeopathy for their health and have chosen to make their health a priority. For some that’s as far as they can go at the beginning, others are more than ready to go further with healthy choices in other aspects of their lives, such as nutrition and exercise.
So what holds us back from prioritising ourselves and our health? There are lots of possible reasons: it may be that small voice in our heads telling us we’re not good enough or not worth it; we may be stuck in years of bad habits; we may feel limited by our families or our upbringing. Some are stuck with physical or emotional symptoms that they cannot get past in order to move on; others feel the pressure to be constantly productive and have neglected themselves, their health and their wishes.
These areas of stuckness are where homeopathy can really help. It is often said that homeopathy can bring someone back to the position of choice: it can clear the path, remove obstacles and bring someone to a point where they are once again able to make healthy decisions. Sometimes getting to the point of freedom to choose can take a lot of strength. Homeopathy can give you the help you need, both through remedies and also by the consultation process in which you have the chance to explore and make connections within your life in a supportive atmosphere.
Connect with your choice
It’s important to have practical ways of achieving the freedom of choice and re-setting your mind, and the best way, as with many things, is to start small and build up.
Start with a Day of Choice: pick one day (maybe at the weekend) and make it a day where you choose to do exactly what you want. It might mean you do nothing, or you do your favourite thing, you might plan a day out or you might choose to drink coffee and read a book. See how it makes you feel. Does it make you feel excited? Can you let go of some tension? Does it make you feel uncomfortable or guilty that you’re not doing things you feel you ought to? It’s really great to notice these things: what is holding you back in your decisions? Which of your decisions are actually habits that no longer serve you and that you could feel free to let go?
Next, start to look at your everyday life and choices. Think about all the decisions you make every day, large and small, and notice them afresh. Consciously choose what you eat for breakfast, whether you walk to work/school or take the car. If you want to have dinner at lunchtime and a sandwich at dinner time, do it! Do you want to watch TV in the evening or would you rather read a book or take a walk? And choose your bedtime, not because that’s the time you normally go to bed, but because it feels right for you. You don’t have to do the same things you did yesterday and the day before. If you want to make a change there is no reason not to.
Not every choice will be a self-indulgent one, what is important is the change of mindset. Some days we will choose to go to work because it gives us a sense of satisfaction and earns us money; we may choose to do the cleaning because we enjoy having a clean house; we may choose to do some hard exercise because we know we feel great at the end. There will often be things we don’t particularly enjoy doing but we choose to do them because the end goal is better than not doing them.
If you would like to find a way to feel free even when doing the activities we normally regard as chores or burdens, take a look at this beautiful blog from Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, Find Freedom of the Mountain in Everything You Do. But, however you look at things, don’t let convention or habit hold you back. Many barriers to choice are only in our minds, so find your freedom!
And don’t let it go with one day, or two. It takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit, so keep going! In that time you will have really begun to make some changes to your routine and your choices. And if you follow your heart, I am sure they will be healthier and happier ones.
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Wishing you all safe and well.