All too often I hear, “If it’s not broken, why fix it?” When you’re referring to an old refrigerator or an outdated computer, avoiding investing more time and repair than the item is worth can be valid. Maybe you’ll be able to squeak by until it breaks down. Then, at that time, you can throw it out and replace it with a newer model.
But when it comes to your body, “If it’s not broken…” thinking can certainly backfire. Sometimes, such an attitude is downright dangerous. Why? Because, just as with that old refrigerator, if you ignore warning signs, sooner or later the problems you’re closing your eyes to will catch up.
Waiting until your body is truly “broken” might seem to be sensible, especially at this time of year when so many other things demand our attention. But in the end, waiting is simply counterproductive. If you address minor troubles early on, while they’re still manageable, your body will respond to lifestyle adjustments and medical and holistic treatment more quickly and with positive results.
On the other hand, if you find reasons to wait—perhaps thinking that you don’t have the time to set aside for appointments right now, or putting off worrying about yourself until that “other” problem at work is behind you—there’s a good chance you’ll actually be making the situation worse.
Delaying treatment until you’re so exhausted or in so much pain that you can hardly function makes even a simple problem harder to fix. Why? Reasons include compensation injury; poor reaction to or resistance to over-the-counter pain relievers; and the physical, emotional, and mental stress of long-term pain.
Be honest. Are you denying yourself qualified help and support in one or more areas of your health? If so, act now. You’re more likely to get your vital former good health back–and quickly, too–if you meet these problems head-on, while they are more easily correctable.
My advice: Begin by paying attention to any health deficits you have, then work slowly and surely on at least one simple, healthful change in nutrition, lifestyle, or mindset that will help fix the problem. Here are a few small ideas to get you started:
- Try a new “good for you” food.
- Drink more water.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Cut down on caffeine.
- Go to bed thirty minutes earlier.
- Eliminate vending machine food and bring delicious, nutritious snacks instead.
- Buy new sneakers.
Not one of these is a major change, yet the results can be life changing. What other small steps can you add to this list?
You don’t deserve to suffer. If you’ve avoided seeking help because “it’s not broken yet,” or if you’re having a health issue that small changes won’t address, it’s time to get yourself back on track. Look honestly at why you’re resisting getting professional help and just toughing it out. Your wellbeing, happiness, and overall health are worth the effort.