A guest post written by Ingrid Peschke, legislative liaison for Christian Science and spirituality in Massachusetts
Is monitoring your health just a bracelet away? It’s a 2013 trend that’s catching on to people’s wrists across the country. Similar to a trendy watch, these bands–like the Basis–monitor your sleep, heart rate, calories burned, body temperature, etc. With a USB or Bluetooth these gadgets send data right to your computer or smart phone, so you can monitor and track your stats.
A friend of mine got a sleek white one as a Christmas gift and recently showed me how it worked. She was excited to more accurately know how many stairs she’s climbed in a day or how many calories she’s burned.
Other tech devices are catching on, too. And some recognize that simply monitoring body activity isn’t going to cut it. Take, for instance, Huff Post’s recently released “GPS for the Soul” app that monitors stress levels. Huff Post’s founding editor Arianna Huffington says:
“[The app] is helping people recognize the connection between our mind, our body, and our soul. Because if you just take care of your physical health it’s not going to be enough…If you just take care of what you eat and how much exercise you get,” she continued, “and you don’t deal with your anxiety, your depression, your stress, you’re still not really dealing with your whole being, and all these other factors are going to affect your health.”
I agree with Arianna that the “jury is in.” Considering the healthy state of our thoughts is no longer an option but a must in determining a person’s overall health.
John Pavley, CTO at Huff Post, speculates that with enough wearable gadgets and smart appliances in our homes “a new system emerges: A ‘connected healthcare management system’ that could save millions of lives and millions of dollars in medical costs.”
Everyone is trying to come up with a way to rethink our current costly and largely ineffective American healthcare system. A good place to start is this trend of turning away from an “out there” system, with reliance on doctors and machines, to a personalized system where people begin to be more independently accountable for their health.
The good news is this emphasis on cost-savings and positive results finally has more people looking to the one place that may have been largely ignored or left out in the past: the effect of an individual’s thinking. Isn’t that where it all starts? The decisions one makes to be angry or not (i.e. preventing stress); the decisions one makes to overeat or not (i.e. preventing obesity); the decisions one makes to be grateful and happy (i.e. preventing forms of depression).
But how do we go about achieving healthy thoughts? Probably not with another gadget. For many, it’s about finding time to center one’s thoughts through a daily habit of prayer or meditation.
“The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking,” said Albert Einstein
That quote begins a blog sponsored by Boston’s One Medical Group, Start with Stillness: 5 Reasons to Start a Morning Meditation Practice, which is looking at new innovative ways to manage healthcare.
For years I’ve begun my morning with prayer. Different from meditation, it’s more about centering my thoughts on God and recognizing that my thoughts are created and maintained by Spirit, not by a flawed, human brain. The Psalmist said, “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.”
When we “clothe” our thoughts with the inspiration received in prayer and quiet contemplation, we’re monitoring our health in innovative and practical ways. We can approach our day with the grace and peace that defies stress, keeps us balanced, joyous, and fearless. That’s bound to have a positive effect.