The incidence of diabetes, hypertension and related cardiovascular diseases is increasing world over.
Developing countries have their burden of infectious diseases. Now they have to face the additional burden of cardiovascular diseases. Emphasis is being put on prevention of these diseases by all concerned, but the most elementary step for prevention of any sickness and remaining healthy is self discipline and healthy living.
Self discipline, that is discipline exercised over one’s harmful desires and instincts, will definitely lead one to a totally healthy life.
The exercise of self discipline has to begin from the, “tongue.” Eating whenever and whatever one craves for is not a good practice. It causes gastritis, constipation and other functional intestinal disorders.
One suffering from gastritis knows very well how troublesome this seemingly simple problem becomes. It is not only the discomfort of abdominal pain but also of associated nausea, pyrosis, eructation, hiccough, e.t.c. problems.
Obesity is also the result of eating indiscriminately. Obesity in turn leads to hypertension and uncontrolled diabetes.
Eating food for merely satiating the taste deprives body of essential nutrients which are important for healthy functioning of body. It is wise to take food which is healthy and nutritious irrespective of its taste. One should eat at fixed time intervals depending on one’s life style in a quantity just sufficient to satisfy. Munching something every time is not good.
Smoking, alcoholism and other addictions are also manifestations of lack of self discipline of a man or woman and give rise to many types of health problems. Avoiding these substances or giving them up if one is addicted may be difficult. But if one can achieve that then it is preventive against many diseases like cirrhosis, bronchitis, lung cancer, e.t.c.
Another part of the body demanding self discipline is the sex organs. Unwanted pregnancies, deaths and sickness due to abortions, sexually transmitted diseases, all are the result of sex without discipline. Whole world is trying to curb the deadly disease AIDS which is the direct manifestation of free sex.
Sex is a strong natural instinct provided by nature for purpose of procreation to all living beings.
Before giving in to this impulse at any time desired one should see whether it is acceptable socially, whether it is safe and what will be the likely consequences.
Sanctions were put on free sex in many societies of the world to prevent not only the sexually transmitted diseases but many social problems as well such as illegal babies, marital conflicts, etc.
These problems emerge from sex without discipline. Therefore to achieve a good health it is necessary to be restrained and disciplined in sexual relationships.
But much more than all these, it is the mind of a person which demands maximum discipline.
The mind is the chief executive officer of the body. It is an uncontrolled mind which makes one fall prey to the greed of the tongue or other addictions or bad habits. Therefore it is of prime importance to control the mind. This keeps one away from unhealthy habits and greatly improves and maintains good health both physical and mental.
Moreover, physical health is closely linked to mental health and the two cannot be separated. A mind that is well controlled and disciplined remains relaxed even in face of difficult problems.
Thus it helps one person to think calmly, clearly and take correct decisions, whatever the circumstances.
This greatly helps one to rise and prosper in the world. It is aptly said that one who has conquered the mind has conquered the world.
Positive thinking, keeping away degrading negative thoughts like jealousy, greed, dishonesty and anger give way to better control over mind.
Sitting quietly for few minutes daily or doing meditation is useful for disciplining the mind.
Try exercising control over your mind and other desires. The result will manifest soon in the form of excellent physical and mental health. Good health greatly enhances the pleasure of living and makes life worth living.
Dr Rachna Pande is the head of Internal Medicine at Ruhengeri Hospital.