To get started, simply use the navigation bar by choosing ‘Health Enhancement’ reading the introduction and choosing one of the 12 themes on offer for your benefit from the ‘Health Enhancement’ tab:
- Releasing Stress
- Effective Physical Exercise
- Cultivating an Easeful Body
- Achieving a Quality Environment
- Developing Food Awareness
- Mind / Body Harmony
- Breathing for Health
- Experiencing a Peaceful Mind
- Creative Expression and Learning
- The Art of Serving
- Group Support and Communication
- Planning Health Enhancement
For example if you want to release stress in your life, choose ‘Releasing Stress’ from the menu and then plunge into the rich array of offerings in that section including:
- Audio Programs of Guided Relaxation Sessions, Stress Release Techniques and more
- Video and Podcasts on all aspects of developing a more stress hardy lifestyle
- Witten information on cultivating a more relaxed approach to life’s challenges
- A reflection section on your stress profile (and feel free to use HELP Journal in the menu bar going to the Releasing Stress Section as well)
- Choose the mode of learning and experience that you resonate with and do not feel like you have to do everything in that section or on the website all at once
- Feel free to explore different themes and varied modalities of accessing the information presented each time you re-visit the website
- You may also have fun finding other powerful web resources on your area of interest under the Links page
The Health Enhancement approach is accessible to all: people who find themselves in a crisis scenario, and those who want to have a healthier and more integrated lifestyle. Health Enhancement is both preventive and an effective means of rehabilitation for those seeking to remedy damage already done. It also assists in decreasing the likelihood of future occurrences of disease by altering the underlying factors that may contribute to health challenges.
The fundamental concept is one of balancing our lives through the integration of a number of easy-to-implement practical steps, which will enable us to avoid the pitfalls of both environmental pressures and genetic weaknesses-pressures that we fall prey to when we lack balance in our lives. While many approaches to health focus on a particular technique of health care, such as aerobic exercise or stress reduction, the approach taken here is integrative and holistic. No one particular component is sufficient to bring balance unless all other factors in our lives are already in harmony. Despite good intentions, just changing what we eat, for example, will not of itself reverse dis-ease unless the other factors that account for the problem are addressed as well.
By adopting Health Enhancement we can still maintain our responsibilities and commitments, but at the same time bring these into balance with our health requirements. While we are often seduced by the simplicity of adding just one new technique to our daily lives and hoping that it will be a panacea for the variety of ills or potential ills facing us, it is unrealistic to think that a single technique will work at a fundamental level. The approach taken here requires us to have an awareness and acceptance of where we find ourselves at this present moment, and then, through an understanding of the diverse underlying factors that account for this present position, to make a commitment to adjust our lives to usher in well-being.
You will find a vast amount of information to assist you in the 12 key areas under the ‘Health Enhancement’ themes so just choose the one where you want to start and dive in!
Remember to follow that theme up with an explore of HELP Journal, this will assist you to reflect on questions regarding your overall wellbeing and establish a plan of action.
If you don’t want to read text or watch video podcasts but want to go straight to the audio classes just go straight to the Listen page and click on the session or subject you prefer and enjoy!
Take your time to just enjoy watching, listening, reflecting, feeling and reading the varied content we have assembled to help yourself to health.
Breath has a significant effect on the mind and body. It may seem difficult to understand at first that such a simple thing as breathing can have a major impact on our health. We are all familiar with how our breath changes according to what we are doing and thinking. If the breath is affected by both body and mind, is it not possible that by changing the patterns of the breathing we can then reverse this process and use breathing as a vehicle to affect both body and mind? This chapter is about your breathing, its importance to health, and techniques to harness the power of the breath. The benefits range from helping to balance your nervous system and enhancing your energy levels, to calming your mind.
Before making a commitment to the HELP, it is essential to understand each of the components fully, to reflect honestly on your current lifestyle approach, and then to develop an action strategy to integrate the program into your daily life. Understanding, reflection, and action are thus the three key mental directives when reading each theme.
Given the entrenched nature of our current lifestyle patterns, it is vital to fully understand each component of the program before making any changes. It must make sense to you in relation to your present life. You should feel confident in explaining each component to other people who might challenge, question, or be interested in finding out more regarding the changes you are making in your life. HELP is an action-oriented program. While there is not a great emphasis on the theory behind each component, there is a tremendous amount of research that has been done on each aspect of the program. If you would like to pursue this information further, please make use of the Further Reading section at the end of each theme.
This is not a program to be taken on faith, and that is why understanding HELP is so important. Only through being aware of the validity of each component, and seeing how the components complement one another, will it be possible to make a commitment to the program and derive full benefit from it. This is a dynamic and interactive program, which will bring greater benefits to you as your understanding of and commitment to each element of the deepen.
Once you fully understand the particular component described in each chapter, take time to reflect on your current daily lifestyle and the degree to which this aspect of the program is a vital part of your life.
This is a very important stage, as it is an indicator of your starting point for the program and of where change needs to take place. Some of you may already be incorporating some elements of the program in your daily life to varying degrees, and may need to make fewer changes than others. A period of honest reflection will enable you to evaluate the specific changes that can be made to derive full benefit from that component.
A Health Journal
When going through the reflection section of each theme, you will find it useful to establish a HELP journal in which you can write down your reflections. The journal will be a record to allow you to monitor your progress, record your current state of health, allow you to express feelings that arise, and uplift your spirits. Either use the “HELP Journal” section included here or perhaps create your own journal with your understanding notes, reflections and actions steps. Organize your journal according to the appropriate components of HELP:
When recording your reflections, begin each entry with the date, time of day, your location, and any specific thoughts regarding your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being on that day. You will find this information helpful when examining your journal over a period of time. Feel free to be creative and incorporate drawings, memories, objects from nature, or anything else that comes to mind. A personal HELP journal is a catalyst for the creative process and it can take many forms. Let your imagination run free. Use the journal to keep track of your personal health goals, and refine and evaluate them over time.
Once you have been involved in the program for some time, it is often easy to lose track of the dramatic changes that have taken place as you fine-tune your lifestyle; the changes become more subtle. When glancing back through your journal after some time you will be reminded of your base point, and it will be a motivating tool to keep you on track. Do not underestimate the importance of reflection and recording your insights in the journal – it is an essential part of your progress and an investment in the future.
There is no quicker way to lose momentum than to set up a rigorous program that requires a complete upheaval in your daily schedule and is too ambitious to achieve in your current circumstances. This will leave you with a sense of disappointment and failure. Remember, it is better to achieve 75 percent of your potential regularly than 100 percent inconsistently. In addition to the suggestions at the conclusion of each chapter, the planning section at the end of the book will assist you in developing a schedule that works for you.
In each section of your journal, set up an achievable daily “to do” list that includes a practical step from each chapter (e.g. “I will do 25 minutes of walking daily”). If for some reason you do not have the opportunity to implement all of the items on the list, do not chastise yourself incessantly. Rather, see to it that this commitment is carried forward to the following day to gain both the benefit as well as a sense of completion. It may take some time before you can incorporate all components in your life. Achieving small quality steps is the key to a successful long-term program.
As available time and your ability allow the “to do” list to grow, occasionally expand your goals. Remember to be realistic, writing down any changes required for these new goals. This approach will ensure steady progress with a cumulative impact on your overall quality of life that will be lasting in its transformational effects. To maintain motivation and share the benefits you may wish to set goals with family members and friends, or join a local group.
The degree to which you apply these principles of understanding, reflection, and action will determine your success in developing a health-enhancing lifestyle. This is not a competition, and your action strategy should not leave you feeling as if you are in an endurance test. Even if the changes are small and slow to begin with, remember that they are headed in a positive direction. Enjoy the journey. Challenge yourself, but do not strain or put yourself under such pressure that the program loses its sense of fun and adventure.