Serious health conditions, chronic illnesses, and weight problems can quickly make people feel desperate and hopeless. We are anxious about not having clear-cut solutions to our ailments. The frustration of not getting the results you want after exploring several possible options and spending significant amount of money can leave you feeling unhappy or even angry.
In my medical practice, I meet patients who tell me that they’ve tried being positive and doing all the healthy things they’ve been told to do by health experts and they complain to me how nothing seemed to work. Many of them are on the brink of quitting, going back to their unhealthy habits, and leaving everything to chance.
If you are at a point in your health journey where you feel like you’ve done your best and tried everything, but the pain or the scales won’t budge, remember that you’re not alone and you should never be in your health journey.
Unless a saint or savant with a direct connection to God, we cannot assume that we have exhausted finding the health answers we are looking for.
Become Your Own Health Authority
When it comes to health, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution that would work for everyone. Every situation is different. This is why I believe that you need to discover the answers for yourself, to “become your own authority” as one of my teachers, Gerald Epstein, MD says.
Unfortunately, this concept of becoming your own health authority is often misunderstood. It’s not enough that you take control and do all things on your own. There is a difference between being your own authority for yourself and being on your own in this journey. In my tradition, a quote from a book called Ethics of the Fathers says, “Make yourself a teacher; acquire a friend, and judge every person favorably.”
I will use myself as an example. I am obsessed with health and I never stop learning to improve it. But whenever I meet with my teachers, mentors and family members, they would frequently see things that I am missing in maintaining optimal health and energy on physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of my life. These all affect the four pillars of health—nutrition, environment, mental state, and movement—that we have previously discussed. We are often blind to very large parts of our own situation and we need people in our lives to help us find these blind spots.
How to Become Your Own Health Authority
- Find your teachers and mentors.
Becoming your own authority means we need to make for ourselves a teacher or mentor for our own health. It doesn’t say find a teacher, but make a teach. We need to go out and find someone to act as a resource for information and guidance.
What often happens is people stay with one teacher and sometimes move to another at a different stage of their life. But teachers, like your doctors or fitness trainers, should never make decisions for you. They should instead be a resource for your growth that will help guide you find the answers you’re looking for.
- Surround yourself with true friends.
The next thing you need to do is acquire true friends. A true friend is someone who will support you and report to you what they see honestly in you and your situation.
- Judge everyone favorably.
We all have different mountains to scale and what seems easy for one is hard for another and vice versa. As a result, we need to constantly remind ourselves of this truth and be as understanding and accepting as best as we can.
This active practice of judging people favorably softens our approach to our own situation and leads to a more receptive frame of mind to see the answers that may be right in front of us. People who have the habit of judging people quickly and negatively tend to be negative thinkers who shut out solutions that are right in front of them.
Compassion and open-mindedness help you have a wider perspective, which you need to be able to make better decisions for your health.
3 Questions to Ask Yourself
If you ever feel desperate or frustrated about your health situation, look for resources to enable you to find and make someone your teacher, find true friends that you can trust to give you their support and honest observations, and find less fault in others.
Here are three quick questions to ask yourself:
- Have we or are we actively searching to find and make someone our teacher
- Do we have true friends on our path to better health?
- Are we judging people walking on the same road favorably?
Take a look at those, take action, and get back on the road.