The construct of a more proactive and prevention-oriented approach to healthcare involves attention to more than the absence of disease. It includes adding things to individuals to make them better than normal and more capable than ever before as opposed to the more traditional approach of trying to identify and subtract diseases or abnormalities to try to get individuals back to “normal” or “baseline”. It involves the recognition that health includes a balance of physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being that allows an individual to live, learn and love, and to express the full range of that individual’s potential.
At the heart of such an approach is the emerging science which surrounds the concepts of resilience, equanimity and coherence. Resilience is the capacity following adverse or stressful events to adapt to (and even thrive in) the resulting challenges and changing circumstances. Such a capacity proactively insulates and protects individuals from a variety of adverse conditions such as anxiety disorders and depression. Similarly, equanimity is the inner strength and stability to experience well-being and confidence in the eye of the storm-- enabling one to maintain a relaxed body and calm, balanced mind regardless of the circumstances. It allows one to remain centered and to see the big picture with perspective and patience. Coherence implies a form of order or focus—coherent thought implies very focused, clear, non-random thought as opposed to disorganized, haphazard, “noisy” thought processes that we are used to in our day-to-day living. Going from random incoherent thought to coherent consciousness can be a powerful tool for increasing one’s effectiveness, understanding, creativity and intuition. By achieving a highly focused level of awareness, individuals are able to tap into normally unconscious or latent abilities.
Photo courtesy of Sarah Lee: www.sarahleephotography.com