If you want to be healthy and happy instead of pained and sick, you have to readjust your attitude toward health. Healthy people are happy people. And shifting your attitude from “nothing helps” to “I can make better choices” is often the key step that offers optimal wellness and emotional fulfillment.

Health and happiness represent a frame of mind that influences our choices. In turn, making better lifestyle choices leads to wellness instead of chronic ill health.

Healthy Thought Processes

I know what you’re thinking, “I don’t choose to be unhealthy. It’s not my choice to be in pain. I see specialists and practitioners to help my condition.” I hear you. You are making your way as best you know how.

I would like to tell you, though, that there are characteristics that healthy people seem to share. In fact, these characteristics are so prevalent among the healthy that those who share them could be considered a demographic. We are all familiar with demographics constructed around ethnicity, age, gender and income. But did you know there is a demographic of the population that is concerned with a healthy lifestyle and green technology?

There is, and it’s called LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability). Here is how the website LOHAS.com defines the group: “A market segment focused on health and fitness, the environment, personal development, sustainable living, and social justice.”

Not everyone who qualifies as part of the LOHAS demographic gained entrance by virtue of being healthy, pain-free and happy. However, it does seem that once people embrace this lifestyle, they become healthier and happier. Why? Because they have shifted their mind-set, their perspective, from one of “nothing helps” and “I have to live with my illness” to “there are choices I can make to better myself.”

Do you need to embrace LOHAS to be healthy and happy? No. Maybe worrying about green technology, carbon footprints, renewable resources and social justice is not your thing. But being healthy, pain-free, free of chronic illness and into wellness is something everybody wants.

I would like to share with you the characteristics (thoughts, actions and behaviors) most prevalent among those who are healthy. If you can begin embracing these, even one by one, you should see improvement in your health and significant betterment of your quality of life.

Believe You Can Improve Your Wellness

While you may never be cured of your poor health conditions, you can benefit from significant improvement. In fact, what most people don’t realize is that vast progress can be made in a short amount of time by taking a better mind-set and making better choices. A belief that your condition can improve is the motivational force necessary to feel better.

Own Your Present State Of Health

Whether you see a medical specialist or alternative health practitioner, leaving your health in their hands does not significantly improve your condition. Owning your condition, taking responsibility for it and doing what you need to do to improve yourself are characteristics of healthy people. When you’re mildly sick, do what you need to get well and not let yourself become seriously ill. Your health is yours, and no one cares as much as you do about improving it. Healthy people know this and take steps to promote wellness, not hinder it.

Know You Can Do It Yourself, With A Little Help

Roughly 80% of all conditions of pain, illness and disease are self-induced. That is to say, they are caused by the person suffering them. The problem is twofold: people don’t know their conditions are self-induced and they don’t know what they are doing to cause it. Consequently, they don’t know what to do to change it. Healthy people know they cause their illness by their choices and behaviors and, therefore, can choose better and prevent them. A quick example: Migraines are in large part caused by diet, stress and poor sleep. Knowing this, most migraine sufferers need merely to change their diet, reduce their stress and get sound sleep. They can do this on their own. And with a little help from articles on the subject or practitioners, they can learn exactly which foods to avoid, techniques for reducing the effects of stress and ways to secure more deep sleep. This type of knowledge is power when it comes to your health.

Make Choices And Stick To Them

One of the most difficult things people grapple with is sticking with a program for change. We choose to join the gym, but don’t go. We make a series of appointments with the acupuncturist, but attend only three of 10. Making strong wellness choices puts you on the path to wellness. Sticking to them and seeing them through keeps you on the path. Healthy people make healthy choices and stick with those choices, even when they are tired, under the weather or busy. And this characteristic is intertwined with the other three: belief, ownership and knowledge.

Keep An Open Mind

Health and wellness solutions come in all shapes and sizes. A few decades ago, chiropractic was seen as quackery, but is a mainstream therapy today. Ten years ago, acupuncture was still foreign to most Americans. While energy healing, meditation, polarity therapy, Reiki, herbal therapy and chelation therapy may seem strange or part of the fringe, healthy people keep an open mind about what can help their wellness. They may not understand something, but their exploratory nature and drive for a wellness lifestyle allow them to look into it, ask questions, do an information interview with a practitioner and/or experience an introductory session or class. Just because you are unfamiliar with a healing concept does not mean a solution is quackery. (Though, of course, it might be.) Keeping an open mind to new ideas and solutions can lead you to an improved state of wellness.

Make Wellness Part Of Your Lifestyle

The most important aspect of wellness is the fact that healthy people on the whole tend to make wellness a focal point of their lifestyle. If you carry a perspective of wellness with you when grocery shopping, you choose ingredients and foods that promote wellness, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. When thinking of an afternoon activity during lunch break, the wellness-minded may choose a walk or quiet time rather than kvetching in the break room about co-workers that bother them. Rather than watching TV for two hours per night, the wellness lifestyle may find you doing yoga or Pilates or meditating or having a massage instead.

If your goal is to stop suffering by improving your overall conditions, then living a wellness lifestyle is a means to this end. There is an entire demographic of healthy and happy people doing it. You can do it, too. Do you need to fully embrace the LOHAS lifestyle and join the demographic to become well? No. But I’ll bet that over time your wellness choices will impact your well-being and you will want to.

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