FAMILY FUSION: Befriending your physical self
Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live – Jim Rohn
THERE IS ONE THING you cannot escape – yourself.
You go to sleep and it is there. You wake in the morning and it is still there. You go to, work, school, the supermarket, the beach, and you just cannot get rid of it.
Sometimes you can stand its presence because it can be very pleasant and other times it seems to be so annoying that you want to just strangle it.
Fighting against it is futile. You cannot dump it, or divorce it. Believe me you have it for life, so you have to learn to live with it and decide to make it your friend or foe, your ally or adversary, your companion or your contender.
Webster’s Dictionary defines self as “the personality or character that makes a person different from other people: the combination of emotions, thoughts, feelings, etc., that make a person different from others”.
It is therefore impossible to be somebody else no matter how hard you may try, so accepting yourself, your constant companion, is the way to go.
In this series I shall be looking at the different components of the self, explore its likes and dislikes, and see how best to be at peace with it. Today, I shall expose the “mind” of the physical self.
The concept of the physical self in psychology refers to the body as “this marvellous container and complex, finely tuned machine with which we interface with our environment and fellow beings. The physical self is the concrete dimension, the tangible aspect of the person that can be directly observed and examined.”
A good doctor friend of mine described the body as a marvellous piece of engineering that has been designed by The Creator. He said that it is so well designed that if it is treated well, most of the sicknesses and diseases that plague so many individuals could be eliminated or greatly reduced.
Making your physical self your friend demands some discipline. Here are some ways of achieving that.
Your physical self can become your friend for life if you feed it regularly with balanced meals. That practice sometimes can be a daily challenge in a fast-paced world where “fast foods” for some is the easy way to go.
Your body protests when foods that are not nutritious are habitually digested. It knows that you are compromising your health, which may have long-term fitness issues.
Sometimes the protest may be felt in your chest, stomach, head or even in your passing of stool, just to name a few annoying after-affects.
On the other hand, great delight is experienced by your physical self when you are consistently digesting the right portions of foods, such as fruit and vegetables, proteins, carbohydrates, unsaturated fats, and some whole grains. There is serious implication for developing health threats such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and headaches.
Your physical self thrives if you offer it adequate, quality sleep. Adequate sleep – usually about seven to eight hours for adults – brings pleasure to your physical pal because that downtime gives it an opportunity to conduct its own internal repairs of damaged muscle tissues and also to give new bursts of physical and mental energy.
There is a sense of deep sadness that comes over your physical self when you do not make it a habit of getting your normal quota of rest. The energy and wellness, rather than the tiredness and sickness which is felt inside and outside of your body, can be magnificent.
Your physical self can also thrive if you make a habit of stimulating its muscles with frequent exercise.
Your body is more than thrilled to feel the positive effect of walking, running, gardening, dancing, swimming, cycling and other regular physical exercises. Such activities chase away killers like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and some cancers.
Stretching your body encourages long healthy living, stronger bones and muscles and also fosters positive moods and sharpens your mind to function much better.
Your physical self should be kept clean. It delights in being treated sanitarily so that it can keep diseases at bay. Practising daily habits of physical cleanliness also makes you look good, smell good and feel good.
Your body is distraught when you expose yourself to risky sexual behaviours such as adultery, fooling around with multiple partners, anal intercourse, bisexual behaviours and the like.
On the other hand, your body is overjoyed when faithfulness to one’s partner is given top priority and the removal of risky sexual activity becomes the order of the day.
Your physical self approves if you respond early to warning signals that may suggest a visit to a medical professional. Years ago my family physician told me that the body is very intelligent and may often send out warnings if everything is not altogether functioning as it should. Take heed of such notices. It could save your life.
All things being equal, each of us has been blessed from birth with a very unique physical self. That is God’s gift to us.
It is our personal responsibility to be its best friend by taking care of it as long as is humanly possible.
• Rev. Haynesley Griffith is a marriage and family life consultant. Email: [email protected]