We all have a basic psychological need to look after our minds and bodies. This is one of the prime directives of our unconscious minds and mentioned in the list of basic needs identified by the Human Givens Institute
It stands to reason that we have evolved this as a psychological driver. If we were not intrinsically designed to look after ourselves then surely, as a race, we could not survive. This drive exists across the natural world, every living thing lives with the overall drive to survive physically and mentally (within its capacity to do so).
What is amazing is the extent to which we, as humans, appear to push against this need!
Many people fill themselves with junk food, sit in front of the television all evening, stay up all hours playing games or working into the night, and ignore the vital signs that warn us that we are not looking after our minds and bodies properly.
Why don’t you look after your mind and body?
The reasons we do this to ourselves can seem very mysterious and it can be easy to become self-blaming and self-critical about it. This isn’t helpful and can lead to a vicious circle of self neglect and abuse. Coaching and counselling techniques can be helpful in overcoming these destructive attitudes.
The key is often to find the benefit that behaving in that way is giving you, and then seek to gain that benefit in a different way. For example a common potentially self-destructive behaviour is to binge eat on chocolate, or cake or pizza. The person doing this often knows perfectly well that the behaviour is not serving them, but they are getting the short term reward of feeling comforted. It is natural to have positive feelings when eating – if eating was unpleasant we would all starve to death! In addition, the junk food may have an element of the ‘forbidden’ in it that attracts us.
In terms of feeling better about ourselves is, as I have said in my previous articles, small improvements can have a big impact over time. Make slight changes in your behaviour and habits. Find some new ways of fulfilling the need and build on them.
How do I better improve the care of my mind and body?
Here is a selection of some ways in which we fulfil the need to look after mind and body:
- Getting plenty of sleep
Your body and your mind, both need sleep. Sleep is vital to your well-being mentally as well as physically. If you are suffering from lack of sleep you need to address this as a priority. There are many approaches, hypnosis and self-hypnosis can be helpful. Do give my sleep hypnosis download a try. You can also learn techniques to help you manage thoughts, in order to give yourself a better night’s sleep.
- Resting and relaxing
While sleep itself is vital, you also need to find time to rest and relax. Whether this is from meditation, massage, getting a foot massage or just sitting in the garden. Even 20 minutes a day will help make your life feel better.
Many people find it tough to ‘exercise’ at a gym or a class. It can seem like a huge commitment, but at the same time you can fulfill more than one need from the experience of doing an activity with others. Alternatively a regular brisk walk or a swim will make a big difference.
- Choosing a healthy diet
There is a great deal of information in the public domain about diet and the effect it has on both your mind and your body. It’s not just about losing weight, it’s also about the essential vitamins, minerals and other needs that your body and brain has. We are better informed than ever before – sometimes over-informed! Making healthy decisions can be a small step or a big step. Some, indeed, may go so far to see a nutritionist, particularly if they have specific concerns.
- Getting some fresh air
Why not get out into the countryside for a walk or a run. You could even do an activity outdoors which you would normally do indoors.
- The physical touch of another person
Our bodies and minds crave contact with others. We are social beings. It can be the touch of a loved one, the cuddles of your children. There may be physical sports or activities that are contact led and naturally there are many experienced Masseurs and other therapists who understand the human body and its need for contact.
- Getting adequate healthcare
Are you one of those people who avoid seeing the doctor or other medical professional? When something health related comes up in your life do you worry about wasting the doctors’ time. Maybe you even prefer to put your head in the sand and hope the problem will go away. If this is you, then if nothing else, maybe you just need to get yourself a check-up. Ensuring your long-term well-being is something with which most doctors would be happy to support you. Make that appointment, today. You may also want to consider other forms of healing, such as Reiki, reflexology and acupuncture.