The secret of a long, healthy life

By Dr. Werawuth Ekkamolkul, MD

Dr. Ekkamolkul is one of the medical doctors at S Medical Spa in Bangkok. He practises self-awareness and believes strongly in the middle way to help us deal with whatever life throws at us.

Living in the world today seems to be always thinking, leaving you feeling tired, stressed and confused. What can we do to ease our daily life in such a busy world?

Self-awareness training can help you calm your mind. Instead of being preoccupied with problems and having your mind constantly racing, teach your mind to be calm and peaceful. This way you will feel happier and better able to cope with all that life throws at you.

First, close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Start with deep and slow breathing. This is a way to meditate and it will help stop the thinking process and bring you to the world of self-awareness.

Always try to turn the negative into positive and bring extremes back to the middle, or optimum, way.

The middle way is the true path to not only a healthy mind and body but also for society and the environment. Balance of all things will maintain good health. Imbalance will cause sickness. The middle way should be striven for – to return to general good health.

Here are a few problems associated with the extreme ways of living:

Noi doesn’t do any exercise and works too much. She always has colds and the flu. She would feel better if she exercised a little and cut back on her work load.

Vit is old but he chooses to exercise by running fast. This is too much for Vit and he gets knee pain. It won’t go away until he changes his exercise regimen but he chooses not to do so.

Det likes to eat, especially sweet and fatty foods. He becomes obese through over-eating, leading to high blood pressure, knee pain, joint pain, high cholesterol and increases chances of having a heart attack and paralysis.

Sitt is a workaholic, always intense and nervous. He never eats regularly and develops gastric disease.

Sak is an habitual who even drives when drunk. One day he has an accident in his car and suffers brain damage.

Noi, Vit, Sitt and Sak have extreme life styles – too much or two little – which have caused sickness and suffering.

Some problems related to behavourial extremes:

Naree is a nervous lady who has extreme mood swings until she has cerebral haemorrhage and become paralyzed.

Sri worries about what other people are thinking and whether she is bothering them. She becomes tense, suffers from insomnia and is always tired.

Nud is a perfectionist and is always demanding too much from her family, friends and colleagues. Being competitive, she is always disappointed when they fail to live up to her expectations and high standards. Constant disappointment and anger can cause heart disease.

Extreme out-of-range habits should be adjusted to the middle way. Life should not be too demanding or stressful, too aggressive or passive, too much or too little socializing.

People with too many problems to solve will succumb to sickness. A case in point:

Samon is a mother who stopped work when her first child was born. The child is always sick and has trouble eating and sleeping. Samon gets very little sleep – so she is tired and sick, too. She needs help with looking after the baby but her husband has to work overtime to make up for the loss of her salary. Eventually, she finds someone to help look after her child and the sickness is cured. Balance is restored to her life.

Family problems can be worsened by lack of communication, understanding and love. Aggressiveness and making others take the blame for our own actions cause guilt and anguish to our loved ones, friends and colleagues, which, in turn, makes us isolated and unhappy.

Society as a whole has many problems – low morality, injustice, divisions between people who have and people who don’t have a decent lifestyle, housing and work.

Unfortunately, the very thing that makes us forge forward is also the source of our problems and not all of us can actively live the middle way completely – but we should at least attempt it when we become sick to give our bodies a chance to heal. If we can actively live the middle way, we can prevent sickness.

Prevention is always better than cure.

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