Listening To Your Body Cues
Caring for others is great. Caring for others, especially those that once cared for us, is our duty as a good family member, and as a good person. But sometimes, directing all of your care and attention in the direction of others can be a bad thing, because it can mean you’re letting your own needs slip.
Now, this doesn’t mean that caring for others is a bad thing because it means you have to miss your favorite shows on TV occasionally: this means that you can forget to listen to your body cues and look after your own health issues when caring for the health of others so much. No matter what you do in life, you have to consider your own health as one of your top priorities — if not the top priority.
Firstly, you should make sure your senses — your sight and your hearing especially —are protected, safeguarded and tended to regularly. Hearing loss is a common problem that often develops gradually with age. The general signs of hearing loss include: having difficulty in hearing other people clearly and misunderstanding what they say, asking people to repeat themselves and listening to music or watching television with the volume turned up that higher than others around require.
Sound familiar? If you’re regularly suffering from one, if not all, of these problems, but you have so far just swept them under the carpet and put them down to the fact that you are ‘getting old’, then you need to take action. There are ways to protect your hearing from disappearing, including a ‘noise diet’, that includes using earplugs, turning down the music, wearing headphones and living by the 60:60 rule (enjoying your music at 60% of the maximum volume the device you’re using offers for no more than 60 minutes of the day).
There is, however, no better way of protecting your hearing that having it checked by a professional hearing care provider. You could even pop down to your local opticians, as they now offer hearing tests; and, whilst you’re there, you can have an eye test too.
Testing your eyes professionally is never a bad idea, even if you haven’t ever experienced any problems with them. Because your eyes don’t usually hurt when something is wrong with them, and your eyesight doesn’t necessarily have to be bad for there to be something wrong with them so these body cues can be more difficult to read, it is recommended to have regular eye check-ups.
Aside from showing you if you need glasses, eye check ups and tests can pick up even the earliest signs of serious eye diseases, even before there have been any symptoms. Some health conditions that can affect the eyes include diabetes, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. But if it is your eyesight that has you worried, there are ways to protect yourself from the loss of it, both now and later in life.
There is, of course, the obvious one: wear sunglasses in the sun, and never look at it directly. But for those of you who aren’t blessed with a sunny climate every day, but do find yourself sitting in front of a computer/tablet/laptop screen for the majority of your day, there are some vital techniques to practice in order to retain your sight as best you can.
This includes sitting as far away from the screen as possible (usually at least arm’s length) — a good test to test if you are too close is the high-five test: if you can properly high-five our screen with a full arm extension then you’re sitting far too close.
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Warning Signs Of Disease
However, of course, remaining on top of your health doesn’t just mean keeping your eyes and ears as healthy as possible — it also means looking out for the warning signs that your body gives you. For example, when you have the dreaded and deadly disease that is cancer, you should look out for the earliest signs, as early as possible. To remember the seven early warning signs of cancer, think of the word CAUTION.
Change in bowel or bladder habits.
A sore that does not heal.
Unusual bleeding or discharge.
Thickening or lump in the breast, testicles, or elsewhere.
Indigestion or difficulty swallowing.
Obvious change in the size, color, shape, or thickness of a wart, mole, or mouth sore.
Cough or hoarseness.
Unfortunately, even finding these signs early does not guarantee safety from the killer that is cancer, but finding the symptoms early, and more importantly fighting them early, offers the best chance of survival.
What is fortunate, however, is that when our bodies are failing or struggling in certain areas, body cues will generally tell us. It’s up to you to listen to your own body in order to give it the best chance of being as healthy as possible.