As Good as It Gets

This is the season of celebration. So let us pause a moment to reflect on all we have to be happy about, and to appreciate all the wonderful gifts the past year has delivered.

I am always especially grateful for the blessing of good health, and for the many rich endowments it brings.

A couple of weeks ago, with that in mind, I started jotting down a list of all the benefits that come from taking excellent care of oneself. Here’s what I wrote: Being healthy and fit . . .

  • Balances your emotions and lowers your stress
  • Eases depression and anxiety
  • Relieves you of chronic aches and pains
  • Prevents hereditary, disease-causing genes from “switching on” in your body
  • Reduces inflammation; reverses many inflammatory conditions
  • Improves your immunity and decreases your vulnerability to contagious diseases
  • Extends your longevity
  • Reduces the likelihood of your being hospitalized or put on prescription drugs
  • Makes you smell better and eliminates offensive body odors
  • Heightens your senses and increases your pleasure in being alive
  • Increases confidence and self-esteem
  • Makes you more fun to be around
  • Enhances your chances of career success and improves your earning power
  • Makes you more present and less reactive in your relationships
  • Makes you a better partner, parent and friend
  • Emboldens you to try things you might previously have believed beyond your reach
  • Gives you strength to fall back on in times of trouble, and helps you bounce back faster
  • Helps protect you against addictive and disordered tendencies
  • Allows you to exchange the role of low-vitality victim for the role of high-vitality catalyst
  • Gives you an opportunity to experience your life in a proactive, intentional way
  • Makes you a role model and an inspiring force for positive change
  • Demonstrates your integrity, your willingness to pursue your priorities, and your ability to follow through on your commitments
  • Reduces your likelihood of becoming a burden on those you love
  • Increases your chances of making a meaningful contribution to the world around you
  • Connects you with other strong, exceptional, health-motivated people who share your healthy values and interests

And, day by day, my list continues to grow. Every time I look it, I feel a rush of excitement and motivation. There’s so much good stuff here! And it all comes from some really simple acts of self-care — the kind we write about and encourage you to embrace in every issue of Experience Life.

So often, we put our attention on what’s wrong. We nitpick the parts of our bodies we wish were different; we long for things we don’t have. Every once in a while, it’s nice to explore what’s right. And that’s what this issue is all about: celebrating what’s really good, and then helping it grow.

Got some being-healthy benefits of your own you want to share? Send ’em our way and we’ll add them to our growing list. Meanwhile, here’s to a errific holiday season full of unanticipated joys!

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Pilar Gerasimo is editor in chief for Experience Life.

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