I have been led to believe that if we lead a life that is disciplined, we will not get breast cancer. It’s like following the rules and regulations for anything else. Therefore, if you do as you are told by the doctors and all of the medical experts and eat the recommended foods, exercise on a regular basis, avoid stress and get enough sleep, you will be healthy and live a very long life that is free from disease and you will die of natural causes in your sleep. (Pause!) Okay, I am back! I was laughing so hard that I had to step away for a bit until I could refocus on what I was writing. Now it is time to get real.
Life is too short not to treat yourself with kindness, respect and love every day. That is the only discipline that will help us all to lead a much happier life and learn how to deal with whatever comes our way – including cancer.Barbara Jacoby
I know people who have lived a very structured life and I don’t know a single one of them who is happy that way. They are always focused on meeting and exceeding each of the expectations that has been outlined for them and don’t have time to do anything else. They never seem to deviate from what has been laid out as acceptable for fear that the results will be devastating to them. But, then what happens is the discipline imposed causes so much stress that they feel miserable and start trying to figure out what they are doing wrong. Now that is certainly no way to live if you ask me.
As far as food is concerned, I don’t think that we can eat whatever we want in unlimited quantities. However, I do believe that variety is the spice of life in everything that we do. With that in mind, I do think that we can enjoy all of the different foods that appeal to us in moderation and with a true feeling of satisfaction. After all, you may love pastrami and you should feel free to have a nice pastrami sandwich and enjoy it with the understanding that you don’t have to have one every day and there is plenty pastrami available to enjoy again in the future.
When it comes to exercise, you don’t have to ride a stationary bike for an hour each day in order to get enough of a cardio workout. You can enjoy a nice hike with a friend or dance to your favorite music instead. You can go to the park and run around with your dog or kick a soccer ball around with the children.You can hit the tennis courts or the basketball or volleyball courts and play to your heart’s content. There are just so many things that you can do when you choose to get up and move and you will definitely feel so glad that you did as long as you do whatever you choose in moderation.
As for the sleep, that is my favorite. It is one of my favorite things to do. Since I have the freedom to do what I want whenever I want, I can go to bed and get up whenever I wish. Sometimes that makes me feel like I am wasting time as I could be doing something constructive if I limited my sleep time to what others believe is enough but then I come to my senses. Such an idea is promoted by those who can’t sleep as long as they want so they try to make me feel guilty that I can. Of course, that only lasts until I stop to think about it and am grateful that I am well rested. But, regardless of the situation, I have always made my sleep a priority and the more that I learn about how important sleep is in so many ways, the better I feel about devoting the time that is needed to meet my personal minimum.
So, back to my original question – does discipline make a difference? You bet it does. But, the important thing is how you impose discipline upon yourself. If you do it in a way that promotes your best health, care and interest, then you will create a wonderful and happy life for yourself. But, no matter how “perfectly” you try to live, there are no guarantees that you will not get cancer. To think otherwise, you are doing yourself a major disservice. And heaven forbid if you are trying to meet the expectations that others impose upon you! Life is too short not to treat yourself with kindness, respect and love every day. That is the only discipline that will help us all to lead a much happier life and learn how to deal with whatever comes our way – including cancer.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.