Physical and Mental Health


Elements of Empowerment from the 27th Transformational Agenda Magazine: ‘Physical and Mental Health

* note: This is the sixth of nine articles which together make up the “Self-Analysis Tool”. See directions at end of article.

Physical and Mental Health
Our failure to critically examine the tragic diet, lifestyle, and abuse of our enslaved ancestors has unconsciously resulted in horrible health in our community. Once aware, we must love ourselves enough to change our behavior. We have the power to dramatically improve our health by living in ways that promote good health. Our amazingly strong ancestors endured hardship beyond belief, simply so we could know today. Surely they want us to value and care for ourselves.

• What do you feed yourself?

A healthy diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, and grains, while low in calories and fats, is absolutely essential for good health, long life, and advantageous weight. It will result in your feeling vastly better, having greater vitality, and improved mental alertness. It also will help prevent all of the major diseases which are contributing to sickness and premature death in African Americans: hypertension, diabetes, and coronary heart disease.

A “soul food” diet was once all that was available to us, yet now it is wise and beneficial to reconstruct our eating habits and our culture.

Eat a Healthy Diet | Rate Yourself – 1 2 3 4 5 +

• Cardio or no go?

Being physically active for at least 30 minutes three or more times a week will also significantly improve your health, vitality, and mental well being. The medical community is in total agreement that regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Fitting regular exercise into your daily schedule may seem difficult at first, but as little as ten minutes at a time is fine. Even the YouTube and Health Apps can involve exercise, such as aerobic activity or yoga. The key is to find the best exercise for you, which is the activity that you enjoy, fits within your schedule, and matches your abilities.

Exercise Regularly | Rate Yourself – 1 2 3 4 5 +

• Are you toxic to yourself?

Striving for good health requires you stop the behaviors associated with self-hatred, depression and escapism, which are so very destructive to health.

Smoking is a significant and preventable cause of premature death in the U.S. It is a leading cause of lung and throat cancers and has been linked to bladder cancer, high blood pressure, emphysema and heart disease.

Never use illegal drugs, for a healthy body comes from a healthy lifestyle. Addiction for many is instantaneous with the very first use, so you won’t know if it is an instantly addictive drug for you until you try it. Given the horrors of addiction, a brilliant decision is to never try illegal drugs or abuse prescription drugs. Half of the 1,000,000 African Americans currently in prison were convicted of drug charges, and their incarceration negatively impacts all of their relatives and loved ones.

Alcohol use should be minimized as it has many negative effects on our bodies. Heavy and even habitual drinking has links to anemia, increased risk for cancers, cirrhosis of the liver, cardiomyopathy, heart attack, and stroke.

Correctly using condoms is wise for a sexually active person (unless both partners are exclusive to one another and have tested disease free) because they help prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections and diseases such as HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Reliable birth control (ideally by both partners) is essential unless pregnancy is being consciously and actively pursued.

Today there is absolutely no reason for us to make poor lifestyle choices. It is time for our actions to reflect self-love rather than racial self-hatred.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices | Rate Yourself – 1 2 3 4 5 +

• Does your doctor know your name?

Although eating right, exercising, and making healthy lifestyle choices can greatly reduce your risk of developing many chronic illnesses, it may not stop them entirely. When illness does strike, you can ease its effect on your life by catching it early, which is when it is most treatable. The key to success is to see your doctor or health care professional at least once a year for a check-up, or more often if you have a family history of disease or sickness. Federal law now requires every health insurance policy to provide regular check-ups and normal vaccines, without requiring a separate fee or co-pay. There really is no reason today to fear doctors, and with President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, healthcare is now affordable for almost everyone.

Get Regular Check-ups | Rate Yourself – 1 2 3 4 5 +

• Is your mind in shape?

In addition to your physical well-being, you must also take into consideration your mental state. Untreated mental illness can be just as deadly as physical ailments. We cannot allow fear and/or stigma to stop us. The quality of life for far too many is seriously compromised by failure to seek mental health treatment. It was one thing to hold the treatment of mental health in contempt when we could not safely access it, but this is no longer the case. To heal from rape, incest, physical and/or emotional abuse, severe guilt, depression, or racial self-hatred often requires the assistance of a mental health provider.

It is also important, when indicated, that children receive a prompt and full mental health assessment and appropriate treatment. We often fear that our child will be misdiagnosed or that an unnecessary diagnosis is designed to bring financial gain to a public school system. Parents, however, rarely regret having sought competent mental health assessment and treatment for their children; necessary treatment is beneficial and life enhancing. Today, all medical insurance policies must cover the treatment of mental illness, for which you can thank Obamacare.

Mental Illness Requires Treatment, Too | Rate Yourself – 1 2 3 4 5 +

Health is what gives life its zest, its glow, and its energy. We have the power to dramatically improve our lives by making choices that promote good health. Make the most of your “today” and your tomorrow via a commitment to being healthy.

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Read this article for a better understanding before using the ‘Self-Analysis Tool’:
Introduction: Making Your LEAP in Empowerment Easy, Quick & Successful

Print forms from this article on pages 42,43, & 44: Your Beloved New Being – Print PDF ➡

Start with the first article of nine. This is 6 of 9. Read each article and enter your response for it on your form when you finish each one.

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