The terms "domino effect" or "one thing leads to other" or "cause and effect" are not generally used in relation to one's health in our culture. However, they represent the most powerful concept regarding wellness.
Every decision we make (in one form or other) affects our being, always leading to another decision, and another decision, and so on. The combination of all these daily (and usually mindless) decisions creates our lifestyle and represents who we are. If you wake up early and start your day with a jog, a yoga class, or any form of physical exercise, it will truly set the tone for the rest of your day. Not only do you feel better for at least several hours after that activity, it will also affect the rest of the decisions you make that day. Because you dedicated some resources, making an "investment" of time and effort in your health, you tend to be more serious about protecting your investment by making relevant decisions all day long. You will make healthier choices for breakfast, have an incentive to take a short walk and have a salad for lunch, your body will feel more energetic, thus you might not need the afternoon coffee break, etc...
This is just a small example of how one decision might have a "domino effect" on one day of your life. Now think about living this day over and over, a few times a week, for a month. It will become embedded into your psyche and alter every decision you make, all month long. You might skip the second glass of wine after dinner since you know it will slow you down when you have to get up early the next morning (not even mentioning the extra calories and the effect that alcohol might have on other food-related decisions). You will adjust your portions better since you are vested in your exercise routine and have a natural tendency NOT to jeopardize that. And now imagine living this month over and over for a year. It is at the end of this year that you will feel the true synergistic effects of starting your day with an exercise routine, on your entire well-being. Waking up a few days a week and exercising has become an important part of who you really are, and it defines a big aspect of your "lifestyle".
There is an old saying from India which goes something like this: "If you would like to know why your body is behaving the way it is today, think about how you treated it 10 years ago". We can also apply this simple and powerful pearl of wisdom to our future by saying: "If you would like to have a healthier, slimmer, more energetic body, and a happier life 10 years from now, think about your behavior today". That of course doesn't mean that you have to wait 10 years to harvest the fruit of your hard work, it simply alludes to this "domino effect". You make investments in your health today; you can make draws on them in the future. You would not get lung cancer the year you start smoking; its "synergistic" effects transform your body in time, and will make your lungs more susceptible to cancer. In the same way, every mindful and healthy decision you make will also transform your body towards wellness, in time.
You may read this article and say that I am stating the obvious, and it is only common sense that good decisions will lead to better ones, and that bad decisions usually lead to worse ones. My reply is two-fold: first, the obvious sometimes needs to be repackaged and presented to us from different angles, until we make it in to an actionable change in our daily lives. Second, my main point is to stress this: if you are planning to have a healthy lifestyle, you need to start with tangible, regular, and simple changes in your daily life. This will then have a synergistic effect on the future of your health. Eating one apple today will NOT keep the doctor away, but eating an apple everyday starting now will keep the doctor away in the following year.
Please contact our dedicated team of provider at 2bwell.net if you have any questions or if you are ready to start the transformation to wellness. We have many easy tips to help you set and achieve daily goals that can become the starting point towards your wellness. Remember, best medicine is preventive medicine. Don't wait for a miracle; the change starts with you and it happens with simple choices you are making every day.
Siamak F. Shirazi, LAc, DOM