Focus is the ability to give all our attention and energy to a specific task for a sustained period of time. Deepak Chopra, a spiritualist, once said intention (goal) transforms while attention (focus) creates. Having a strong mental focus can enhance our ability to deal with the world which in turn will enable us to be more effective in all our endeavours. It is necessary to develop a strong mental focus inside so as not to become caught up by what is outside. A big part of developing our mental focus is giving more attention to the positive, empowering side of life. Striving to keep both the inside and outside world in balance can be accomplished by first concentrating on developing our inside focus. In so doing, a strong mental focus can create a healthy environment to surround us. Some have referred to this acute mental focus as that of being in the “Zone”. That is becoming one with the moment a period where time vanishes and we are able to forget all that surrounds us. We have to remember that short term goals are easier to focus on since the results are seen quickly but long term goals need a much stronger mental focus since results may take months even years to accomplish. We have to strive to prevent ourselves from getting distracted by shorter term priorities which may seem more exciting. Success comes from staying focused. First determine the goal you wish to focus on and then decide if it is something that you are truly passionate about. Do you have the time? It may take years to come to fruition. Look for that which energizes you. Secondly, write it down. Revisiting it on paper often will help you envision and keep your goal alive. Thirdly work on self-discipline, keep your mind focused on your goal even at those moments when you are not in the mood. Working on self confidence will come into play here. Mental focus is a challenge so recognize and pat yourself on the back even for those short moments you are able to achieve it. If we look at the martial arts, it is a fact that many participants do not continue because of the lack of physical skill but for lack of mental focus. Try to prevent yourself from jumping from one task to another to develop your focus muscle. Strong mental focus is a combination of intensity on a task, spending a set time on that task and avoiding distractions. Develop your own pattern to develop this muscle so as to center yourself. It can be music, complete quiet, exercise, the art of cooking or simply breathing. Train yourself and later no matter how great the distraction you will be able to focus. Every now and then check in with yourself. Is your motivation clear? Is your environment too distracting? Is it important or satisfying enough to be a long term goal? Practicing and developing a strong mental focus will take time but eventually it will be available to you automatically.
Try to keep a large, glass, clear bowl filled with apples, pears, navel oranges, bananas and a few non-perishable vegetables (avocados, carrots) in unobstructed view somewhere in your home. Preferably in an area you frequent. This is a suttle way of reminding oneself of the more healthy options available when you are looking for something to snack on.
Insulin is the hormone that acts as a shuttle in moving glucose (blood sugar) from the bloodstream into the cells where it can be used for energy. When there is an overload of glucose the beta cells in the pancreas, responsible for the production of insulin, have to produce more and more. They then have to work harder and harder to compensate. Eventually it is too much for them and they “poop out”. It was formally believed that they simply die but now in studies with mice they are finding that they in fact do not die but rather return to a dormant state. It seems that these cells lose a certain protein called Foxol which inhibits them from producing insulin. Some major causes for the loss of this protein may be the stress brought on by pregnancy, obesity and aging. Researches are now working on the possibility of reversing this regression and as a result stimulating these beta cells to once again perform their task of producing insulin.
We may at times take for granted how complicated our body’s ability is in fighting infection. We may also take for granted the army of cells that are providing us with immunity. At first sign of any foreign invader our bodies are brought to attention by way of our B-cells. B-cells identify and disable harmful microbes. They are produced by the millions daily and are constantly on patrol circulating in our blood and lymphatic system on immune surveillance. However they will not produce an antibody until they are completely activated. Invasion by microbes produces activation. This enables them to release a protein to form antibodies and ambush the invader. In response to this, the immune system sends out toxic substances each with a specific goal of dealing with a specific antigen (invading microbe). The second troop sent in is composed of the T-cells. Their job is to follow through and destroy the invading microbes which have been disabled by the B-cells. However, not all T-cells have the same task. Once an invader is recognized, a signal is sent by these T-cells to the immune system enabling it to produce the specific weapon it needs to fight a particular virus, bacteria or parasite. When the T-cells have completed their maneuver it is time for the Phagocytes to move in. These can be referred to as the clean up crew. They engulf and rid the body of antibody covered intruders. When all this has been accomplished there are a group of B-cells left behind that become known as memory cells. Their purpose is to remain in the body and recognize if we are once again being attacked by a familiar microbe. Memory cells can live for a long time and respond quickly to a second exposure. If so our immune system is ready for action much quicker then previously when it had encountered the enemy microbe for the first time. Of course this is a simplified version of what goes on with our immune system but even this abridged version can give some idea of how complicated our immune system is and how hard it is working to keep us healthy. So how do we keep our immune system healthy? Since the composition of a cell is at least 70% water, hydration is essential for cell health. Secondly good healthy fats are important in our diet. Our cellular membrane is composed of fat which enables it to have shape and stability. Overloading the body with unhealthy fats can cause the cell membrane to become brittle and disrupt communication between the cells. Lastly there is the need for a regular exercise routine to open our lungs and provide an excellent oxygen supply to the body. Oxygen is absolutely essential for cell health to remove toxins from the body and to aid in making proper use of glucose for energy. All of the above in combination with fruit and green leafy vegetables, for blood purification, can provide a healthy environment for our army of defense cells to thrive on.