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Olwen Anderson's Blog

What went wrong? Your health in the rear vision mirror

Saturday, February 03, 2018
If you haven’t been feeling fabulous for a while now, here’s a useful question to ask yourself: “When did you last feel really well?” Peering into the rear vision mirror of your life way back to when you last felt good could help you locate the solution. Because sometimes what you used to do, and don’t any more could be the clue to regaining your wellbeing. Or maybe you began doing something new that has gradually had a detrimental effect, draining your health.

For example, maybe you’re feeling more stressed lately, or don’t sleep well, and can’t work out why. But then you recall playing team sports on the weekend before you stopped, for some reason. Perhaps you moved to a new community, or began working longer hours, and somehow never got back to spending your Saturday afternoons running around with your team mates. 

That shouldn’t make so much difference, surely? But reams of studies have been written emphasising the vital role exercise has in boosting health. We’re designed to move, and movement actually burns off the stress hormone cortisol. So those Saturday afternoon sports were actually releasing built up stress, which helped you sleep. But over weeks and months without the outlet of exercise your stress began to build up, and now you’re really feeling it.

On the other hand, it could be something new you’re doing that’s eroded your health. Like maybe your trousers are gradually shrinking. But lately you’ve been calling in to the café on your way to work for a super-sized milky coffee - plus syrup flavour - and the effects of that extra sugar are adding up.  A 400ml milky coffee contains about three teaspoons of natural milk sugar. Add a shot of syrup flavour and you’ve just doubled the sugar content. Imagine what an extra six teaspoons of sugar every day will do to your mood and waistline. This is how a small addition to your diet can have an insidious effect over the long term. But it might be some time before you catch on to the cause.

Locating what it was that made the difference takes some time; particularly as our lives are quite complex. And it isn’t just usually one factor that’s caused the negative impact. But reviewing what your life was like when you were feeling great could provide some valuable insight on where to focus your recovery efforts.

If you enjoyed this article you might also enjoy 'One Hundred Flavours of Fatigue'

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