Why Do We Ignore Health Signals?
No slight sore throat, headache, tingling in the chest, twitching of the eye (right or left), itching in the heel, finger numbness, pimple, etc. happen. Every change in the body has a reason. It becomes more relevant if it comes to illness, acute or chronic pain.
Our body always reflects our inner state of health, attitude. It communicates with us: it shines with health and vigor if we are in harmony with ourselves, trying to reach our minds if we do something wrong, both concerning the body itself and in actions related to others, to the world generally. But how often do we listen to it when it says: “I want to sleep,” “I want to eat,” “I want to warm up”? Fulfillment of requests and understanding of the body signals is the aerobatics of mindfulness, but everyone can come to this, and it is worth starting at least from observing them.
The body is a mirror reflecting our thinking, world view, life position, and attitude to what is happening. It is a very sophisticated and incredibly intelligent system. Any signal from it needs attention. If we do not respond to his messages, it starts begging and, finally, persistently demanding something to change (at first a slight pain appears, then the disease develops). The mechanism is simple: if there is no reaction to light signals, they get stronger and more intelligible.
When a child wants something, he/she screams. The body “screams” when we ignore it because when it already hurts, it is impossible not to pay attention.
Adequate assessment of health is surprisingly rare. Most people greatly overestimate their state of health and do nothing, and a minority underestimates their health and does what they don’t need to do. An absolute opposition correctly assesses their health and takes the right actions.
Proper Assessment of Health
Adequate assessment of health is critical. Without knowing where to aim, we will never hit the target. It makes sense to distinguish such short-term and long-term aspects of health: quality of life (happiness, satisfaction, freedom, etc.), current resources (your abilities and capabilities), and the absence of diseases at present. We do not realize (until we measure) that our current activity is not optimal and we are under-utilizing our capabilities. Overall, the illusion of health leads to a decrease in personal development.
Long-term aspects are quality of life after 50 years, resources in old age, and the absence of age-related diseases. Longevity is also remarkable, but without its satisfactory quality, it will be more torture than reward. Long-term aspects often escape attention, but most age-related diseases have a long latent period of development. Besides, low health will not allow you to enjoy retirement. Who will need your money and your achievements? The illusion of health leads to the fact that the apparent effect of aging is ignored and the necessary actions to preserve health are not taken.
What are the Main Causes of Illusions of Health?
- We do not understand what can happen to us. Many people die from preventable diseases. Unfortunately, our natural biological feature of forecasting and the influence on us of various factors is imperfect. There are the following points:
- we cannot adequately assess the risks and consequences of our actions;
- We often ignore essential things, and our world is much more complicated than we imagine it to be. However, we convince ourselves that we can understand it and ignore what we consider to be irrelevant;
- we are prone to retrospective distortion and perceive events after the fact and through the prism of our prejudices, filtering important information;
- We have a natural propensity to search for connections and explanations, and we continuously make attempts to build a theory where only a random thing takes place. It gives us a false sense of security and makes us more vulnerable;
- the perception error diminishes the dangers experienced in the past in our perception, especially if we were lucky to get out of a risky situation before safely.
- We believe doctors, charlatans, newspapers, promises, etc. too much. We are engaged in this nonsense, which prevents us from seeing the important.
- What we do not do for our health is more important than what we do. We focus unnecessarily on what we do for health, and this prevents us from thinking widely. Moreover, it does not allow us to benefit from negative experiences. Why didn’t it work?
- We overestimate our health. Perhaps you did not get sick by accident or accidentally recovered. If it seems to you that some factor does not affect you, then look back. If you look carefully, you will see that this same fact killed many people — for example, alcohol. When you are relatively healthy, it seems as if there is no effect of it on your health. However, many people have died because of becoming alcoholics. The most important aspect of the hidden evidence problem is the illusion of stability.
- The more prominent the threat is, the less noticeable it is. Errors have a destructive feature: the larger they are, the higher their masking effect is.
- We subconsciously copy bad habits and lifestyle.
- We often make mistakes, including the ones regarding our health. Therefore, people need to be continuously prepared for the fact that they are wrong.
- We incredibly often confuse “after” and “as a result of.” Most non-fatal chronic diseases have a recurring wave-like nature of the course. Exacerbation is followed by relief, and so on. Often absolutely absurd treatment coincides with remission and a person is convinced of its effectiveness. Moreover, many diseases (flu, pneumonia, osteochondrosis, etc.) can go away on their own.