Spend any time on the internet, especially if you're working to build a business like I am, and you'll come across the phrase of the day: “up level.” I haven’t paid much attention to it, thinking it was just some new marketing lingo. But a newsletter from Christine Kane, of Uplevel Your Life, landed in my inbox the other day and it got me thinking about how we all can up level our health.
A few Google searches revealed that "up level" is a phrase referring to increasing one's stature in life or performance at a particular task. Hmmm. Maybe I need to take a closer look at this up-leveling, because that sounds a lot like the work I did to overcome multiple sclerosis and the work I help my clients to do with their illness or high stress life.
The article that Christine sent me was about “How to Get Discovered and be a Big Star.” She is super insightful. But what struck me is that the points she made about being discovered apply equally well for those hoping to thrive with chronic illness and chronic stress. Inspired by Christine's article, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on how up-leveling your health might just be the key to overcoming illness and stress.
The problem isn’t that we are stuck in our 60+ hour a week job or we have been diagnosed with an incurable disease. The problem is we are waiting around to win the lottery so we can quit that job, or waiting for a cure or a better drug.
The good news, as I have said before, is it doesn’t have to be this way.
Having more energy, more vibrancy, more joy, and more health is within the realm of possibility But how?
The first step, as Christine explains, is to be yourself. If that one stumps you, look back to who you were when you were a kid. What were your dreams then? That person still exists. You just have to remove the layers of society and training that have accumulated over the years. Find your authentic self and let her (or him) shine.
Next, and I love this one, guard your thoughts. Our thoughts instantaneously affect our cells and everything in them from our mitochondria to our DNA. Thinking positive supports cellular function, while negative thoughts and stress disrupt our body’s function. Just think about how you feel after eating a quick lunch as you rush to your next meeting. That tummy ache is your thoughts in action.
Remember “energy flows where attention goes.” So set your intention about how you want to feel. Set it every day. Set it before every meeting or medical appointment and watch how differently life and your health flow.
While your thoughts are critical to your health, all the positive thoughts in the world will fail if you sit on the couch eating donuts. You have to work on your health. Change your diet. Move your body. Remember, this is the only body you get. Treat it with respect and it will return the favor.
Things won’t get better if you don’t take action. You’re not going to find a less stressful job if you keep waiting for the “right” time to job hunt. You certainly won’t lose the weight that will reduce your knee pain if you keep waiting until next Monday to start eating better. Yes, the problem will still be there tomorrow, but is that what you really want? Don’t you want the problem to go away today? If so, you must act today.
Talk to any successful person (however you want to define that) and you will learn that somewhere along the journey they took a risk. Actually they probably took many of them. I took a risk in quitting my job to pursue my passion of helping others. But I love my life. I risked criticism and fewer dinner invitations by changing my diet. But I feel better than I have since my 20s. Progress - large or small - doesn’t occur without risks.
If what you have been doing hasn’t been working – you haven’t lost weight, gotten off the meds, or gained more energy - then start taking yourself seriously. Hire a coach or two (I’ve had 4 in the last 2 years). Assemble a team to provide you the support, accountability and expertise you need.
Change can be overwhelming at times. But the payoff is almost always worth it. So adjust. Get used to the overwhelm of change. Remember, the overwhelm of change is preferred by the nervous system and psyche over the stress you’ve been living with.
Not everyone is going to agree with your transformation. They are wedded to who you are right now. But you’re not. So who wins out? The one who is most important of course. And that is you, my dear. (Just in case you weren’t sure).
So, are you ready to up level your health? What's your plan to do so? Share your thoughts and plans in the comments below.
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