Wednesday Wellness

"You are what you eat.  You feel what you think.  You do what you want."

Some personal life lessons, I'd like to share:

  • Don't live to eat.  Eat to live.
  • Exercise on a regular basis.
  • Life's journey is a non-smoking flight at all times.  If most smokers knew which ingredients were packed into the very cigarettes which are inhaled into the lungs, they would think twice about smoking poisonous, chemical bombarded nicotine more than we give them credit for.  As I was writing this post, I was informed that one of the ingredients in some cigarettes is Formaldehyde (i.e., the fluid that funeral homes embalm bodies with before showing them to families,)  If that wasn't something to make me think twice, I don't know what would have.  If you are looking to quit, e-mail: squawk@captainaboard.com for support and encouragement.
  • Find out which foods your body is craving.  Sometimes you could have strange cravings for strange food combinations.  You could have a vitamin/mineral deficiency.  Listen and accept what your body is telling you , rather than your mind, and make a habit of adjusting either via healthier food or supplements accordingly to each given situation.
  • Stay away from (white processed) sugar.  Even though every person's body is different, sugar tends to create an emotional roller coaster - no matter who you are.  Yes, the sugar "rush" and the sugar "crash."  Protein shakes and energy drinks are filled with sugar and people become addicted to them for this fact.  To others, sugar intake means that it will send their body into a major fatigue, to which they "crash"  Sugar cravings sometimes mean that the body could have a deficiency of water or healthy food (fruits, i.e., natural sugars, and vegetables.)  Your mind (also known as your deceitful "sweet tooth"), tells you to continue to eat only foods and drink only sodas loaded with white, processed sugar to fulfill those cravings - instead of the healthy foods your body tells you it needs to keep both it and your sugar intake, body, and mind stable.
  • Sleep comes best when your body and mind expect it.  Set a reasonable time and a good sleep rhythm for your body and mind to expect it and make it a habit.  Sleep is the cure for many things such as anxiety, stress, depression, not to mention a whole list of other things. 
  • Practice deep relaxation and meditation.  Even if it is only for five minutes, or even one minute.  Breathing and relaxation help clear the mind, just as much as sleep does.
  • Wash your hands regularly in luke hot water with anti-bacterial hand soap for more than 30 seconds.  Hand sanitizer is only a liaison between germ filled hands and a sink.  Once hand sanitizer is applied, and rubbed into your hands, the alcohol solvent will leave your hands germ-less for enough time until you are able to get to a sink, not to mention dry to the point of skin cracks.
  • Why mention the above?  Clean hands prevent the spreading of germs and COLDS.  How fun is it to be near or above 10,000 feet with a head cold?  Getting sick definitely not only impairs our ability to operate aircraft, (especially ones with pressurized cabins), but also takes the fun out flying.
  • STAY AWAY FROM STRESS!
    • Family, friends, and lovers, that control your life and incite drama.  Get away from them.   Far, Far, Far, away from them. I know it sounds impossible, but it takes time, will be emotionally draining for you, but it is doable.  Your mental and physical health are more important than these people.  Associate yourself with family and friends or "framily" (friends who are like family), those people with positive attitudes and outlooks on life.  People that encourage you to get out on your own, to make your own decisions about your life, and to challenge yourself.  To make something of yourself.
    • WORRYING is mental suicide.  It drains your life away.  One should not worry about troublesome situations - only be concerned realizing that each worry isn't necessarily the end of the world.  Make a list of your worries  (jobs, money, etc.), plan out to take action against your worries.  Also focus, on even the minute, positive aspects of life.  What gives you the most enjoyment in life?  (E.g., A favorite pet, watching the beautiful sunset the night before from the flight deck, the warm breeze in the air after a long and brutal winter, etc..) Take inventory, and increase it little by little and focus on the positive.  You will see that the more things you add will overpower the cons of life.
    • SELF-ESTEEM is very important.  You are worth it.  You were brought into this world for a purpose.  Show everyone your purpose and be proud of it and yourself.  This world was made for you to do exactly, that.  Anyone that devalues your self worth, truly does it only for the simple purpose that their self-esteem is quite low and they need to burn your flame out to make theirs (whatever little self esteem they have) look brighter.
    • Don't ever let people tell you that you will never become, do, fulfill, ___(fill_in_the_blank)___.  Look at how many successful people there are in this world and how many people turned them down or told them that they would basically never amount to anything in life.  One good way of changing thinking habits is to make thoughts concrete by writing them down on paper.  Such as making a list of "I" statements such as:
      • "I am who I want to be."
      • "I am a pilot."
      • "I am attractive."

OVERCOME BAD HABITS:

Easier said that done, right?  I may or may not have succumbed to several of these target habits, but I've had many people in my life that have and they range from: alcohol, drugs, poor eating habits (eating disorders), anger management, or lack thereof, depression, anxiety, or procrastination.  Some of the items on this list compliment or are the cause of one another and it is imperative to nip it in the bud before the list grows.

Here are some steps to which you can start changing habits:
  • Research The Target,  Read up and do research on your target habit: depression, anxiety, eating, etc. and develop strategies to change.
  • Change Directions, DRO (Differential Reinforcement) and finding things to replace the habit.  Find new friends, create new goals, change location (move to a different state, country, etc.)
  • Support. Use positive family and friends and those positive people mentioned above to help encourage you.


Please also read the following books:

"Flight To Success: Be The Captain Of Your Life" by Karlene Petitt, and, the book she gave to me, which has helped wonders on my journey to be smoke free:

"THE POWER OF HABIT" by Charles Duhigg.  

Fellow pilots and non-pilots a like.  This is your pre-flight / pre-pilot checklist.  If any of these things are missing, do as much as you can of this list before heading to the airport to fly the next time.  We often see ourselves blaming the airplane, the instruments, or the weather for our aviation accidents, especially in general aviation.  All we have to blame is ourselves, how we treat our minds, our bodies, and our responses, as a result of these, to such emergencies.  Your flight and the people who join you on your flight depend on it.

Be healthy.  Be well.  Take care of yourself.

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