Progressive Life & Health!

If you have begun to learn about HumanaNatura and our simple but complete system of four natural health techniques, you may be wondering about our special emphasis on seeking new health throughout our lives. The idea is different from the self-help advice we often receive, in both principle and practice. The difference comes in part because of our focus on health-centered life itself and in part due to our advocacy of a naturally open-ended and seeking approach to life and health, instead of one that is principally goal-focused and thus predetermined.

Usually, when either friends or professionals encourage us to improve our health and quality of life, we are advised to set and pursue specific goals, with a clear end in mind. We are told to turn our general desire for better life into concrete and measurable steps – whether to drop ten kilograms, stop smoking, exercise for a set time, or check stress attacks before they become unmanageable.

Growth over goals

Goal-setting in this way is of course important to modern self-mastery and has been show in research to lead to objectively higher states of health, well-being, and quality of life. This is especially true when our goals are 1) set in manageable short-term steps, and 2) placed in the context of a considered and compelling personal mission. But goals and missions alone are not enough.

Why? Because any attainable goal or cause, while perhaps useful to our health and life at a particular time, is always capable of being improved or built upon over time. This is true for individuals, for organizations and communities, and for us collectively as a species. None of us, as individuals and members of the human race, is a set or definable range of future possibilities. We all can and naturally will be improved up, just as we represent an improvement over species and cultures that came before ours.

To embrace this natural potential for growth in all living things is to mirror nature more deeply and broadly, and to become alive in a powerful new way that is at once ancient and eternal and fresh and ever new. It is to live naturally, if in a transformed way through advance human science and understanding.

Progressive health & life

That’s the principled part of HumanaNatura’s special advocacy of new or progressive health and life. In practical terms, our emphasis on new health means an ongoing commitment to growth and progress in our lives, throughout our lives, and in and throughout the groups we participate in, regardless of their size.

In this open-ended and seeking way that can underlie, elevate, and naturalize our goal setting, we create the potential for far more powerful and adaptive growth and progress in our lives and communities (and the transcendence of goal-focused life itself, as useful as goals may be to progressive life at any point in time). Waking up each day to our possibilities to new health, we expressly model our lives and groups on nature and natural evolution, especially its ceaseless forward movement toward ever new health and life.

In the HumanaNatura health technique that we call Natural Living, we use a seven-step process of self-assessment, creative visioning, and practical goal setting aimed at progressive health and life. We use a similar process for enhancing collective life and health in our Natural Communities technique. But both goal-employing HumanaNatura health techniques are intentionally cast as open-ended and set in our larger ethos of progressive health-centered life. In the most practical and important terms possible – our realized health and quality of life potential – the difference between our approach and traditional goal-focused health systems could not be more profound.

Imagine new health

Whatever your state of health and life today – whether you are sedentary and unwell or are brimming with well-being and vitality – new health and life are possible. inevitably, there is a least healthy and vital aspect of our life or shared life that can be replaced, and a most compelling new step we can take to create greater life and health. Often, there are many of each.

Imagine the possibilities of rising to the challenge and opportunity of new health each day, setting short-term goals and achieving new states of life and functioning, and then using this new state of natural life to move ahead to new health, again and again. The net effect is profound and increasing transformation, health-centered change that can far outstrip and alter even our most ambitious quality of life goals today.

We see this approach and astonishing progress in evolving nature and in evolving human science, leading to naturally intelligent  life on earth and now profound new human understanding in time. And this is how progressive life can work in our lives and communities too. We can commit to a progressive life of ever new health, intelligently seeking and seizing the possibilities unfolding before us as we grow, and creating open-ended natural life for ourselves and others.

Learn more

Learn more about HumanaNatura and our health-centered life philosophy and techniques at About HumanaNatura. When you are ready, begin our Personal Health Program and Community Health Program, in the spirit of setting and achieving health-seeking goals but always in the spirit of learning and advancing on our present goals toward new and better ones waiting beyond them.

Wishing you new health,

Mark Lundegren

Mark Lundegren is the founder of HumanaNatura.

Photo courtesy of Orange Tulips

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Lean & Low Cost Natural Meals

We often associate turkey with holidays, but the truth is that it’s a great, lean and low-cost daily protein. This delicious salad meal begins with a bed of arugula and adds julienne-cut cucumber and mango, a scattering of blueberries and cherry tomatoes, and wedges cut from cooked ground turkey patties…all garnished with parsley, paprika, coriander, and red and black pepper.

Learn how to make delicious salad meals like this via the Meals tab above or our popular article Perfect Salad Meals. And explore our science-based guidelines for healthy natural nutrition through the Natural Eating section of HumanaNatura’s comprehensive Personal Health Program.

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Don’t be SAD About Shorter Days

If you live in the northern hemisphere, especially in the upper latitudes, and are somehow just not feeling your best these days, you may be SAD…suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD afflicts millions of people at about this time each year. It is driven primarily by the shorter days and our reduced exposure to hormone-regulating, and serotonin and Vitamin D-generating, sunlight. Symptoms of SAD range from lethargy to irritability and from social withdrawal to sugar-cravings.

Like other forms of depression, SAD has a natural regressive quality, in that reduced feelings of personal well-being from reduced sunlight tend to make us less active and socially-oriented, circularly and negatively keeping us from exercise, the outdoors, and others – three of our most important natural sources of positive emotions and vibrant life. SAD can disrupt our diet as well, as we seek sugary foods to boost our mood in place of dwindling serotonin levels, leading to more volatile emotions and stress-elevating weight-gain.

While some instances of SAD require medical intervention, many of us can release its seasonal hold on us and break its regressive cycle of disaffection through simple natural health actions. Key SAD mitigating actions include: 1) regular exposure to midday winter sun on our face, arms, and legs (taking care never to burn our skin), 2) daily outdoor exercise, ideally that simultaneously provides midday sun exposure, and 3) daily social activities, again preferably ones that offer time outdoors and added sun exposure.

You can learn more about SAD at Seasonal Affective Disorder and review HumanaNatura’s popular article Revisiting The Sun for guidance and information on beneficial daily sun exposure, now and throughout the year.

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Caribbean flair

Hot and cool salad meal with spicy sautéed shrimp, onion, and mango, along with mixed greens and veggies…garnished pistachios, parsley, paprika, coriander, and red and black pepper. A little island vacation in the middle of the day…

Learn how to make delicious salad meals like this via the Meals tab above or our popular article Perfect Salad Meals. Or explore our science-based guidelines for healthy natural nutrition through the Natural Eating section of HumanaNatura’s comprehensive Personal Health Program.

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Ten happiest jobs

Recent news reports on the ten most and least happy professions in America, courtesy of the University of Chicago’s General Social Survey, caught many people by surprise but really shouldn’t have. After all, each of the happiest jobs identified align well with established research findings on the key drivers of human happiness. As ably summarized by Richard Layard, these natural happiness drivers include things that are community, family, and health friendly; ensure adequate financial security; provide sufficient meaningfulness and work quality; promote social currency and personal freedom; and encourage compassionate, trusting, and thankful personal attitudes.

What should be equally unsurprising, but often is still a shock and strongly counter-intuitive for many of us, is that the least happy occupations identified emphasize income, technical focus, and/or positions of diffuse accountability within large organizations, and thus generally align poorly with the above happiness drivers. But since we live in a time where our natural sources of health and happiness are still poorly understood, and where incentives for wise status-seeking life are generally absent, we routinely pursue these unhappy occupations and make other objectively poor personal choices, in and out of work.

You can click  to learn more about the most and least happy jobs in America, but here is a quick listing of the top and bottom ranked occupations in the University of Chicago survey:

Ten Most Happy Jobs

  1. Clergy
  2. Firefighters
  3. Physical therapists
  4. Authors
  5. Special Ed teachers
  6. Teachers
  7. Artists
  8. Psychologists
  9. Financial services sales
  10. Operating engineers

Ten Least Happy Jobs

  1. Information Technology Director
  2. Sales and Marketing Director
  3. Product Manager
  4. Senior Web Developer
  5. Technical Specialist
  6. Electronics Technician
  7. Law Clerk
  8. Technical Support Analyst
  9. CNC Machinist
  10. Marketing Manager

If you would like to begin to explore the science of achieving lasting and healthy happiness in your life and work, a great place to start is with Mark Lundegren’s popular article, Balancing Health & Happiness, which was published recently by HumanaNatura.

Photo courtesy of Happiness.

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Power of e-coaching

It’s not the first study to suggest that electronic health coaching works, but new research coordinated by Johns Hopkins University adds to an important and growing body of evidence suggesting that electronic health messages and online  health promotion programs can greatly improve individual health and quality of life outcomes…on par with in-person interactions, but at a fraction of the cost.

In the new research, the performance of high-touch, electronic-touch, and no-touch weight-loss programs were compared across more than 400 obese men and women over a two-year period. The researchers found that the high-touch and electronic-touch programs were about equally effective at reducing weight over the period, with the no-touch approach (intended as a control group) trailing significantly behind. The new research is consistent with similar findings in other health areas – see for example Smoking Textation – underscoring the power of e-coaching for greater health.

The new study and related research point to the power of electronic media and online tools to positively alter our health orientation and behavior generally, and even to counter widespread modern messaging that encourages health-reducing attitudes and choices. We therefore encourage you to infuse your personal electronic environment with positive and health-affirming messages, perhaps beginning by receiving regular health-promoting ideas and inspiration from HumanaNatura by subscribing to NaturaLife.

You can learn more about the new research at Remote Weight Loss Works and sign up to receive HumanaNatura’s electronic health newsletter at Join Us. You can also access and explore all of HumanaNatura’s member-supported online health programs and tools for free at HumanaNatura, Personal Health Program, and Community Health Program.

Photo courtesy of Mouse.

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December must-do’s

Are you clear on your must-do’s for December? In the HumanaNatura natural health system, regular personal planning and ongoing plan implementation are encouraged via our third natural health technique, Natural Living. A must-do is any action that needs to be taken or completed to fulfill our “Natural Life Plan” goals – goals that should always be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-Specified).

Creating and implementing a Natural Life Plan with HumanaNatura involves seven repeating steps, which progressively move us to new and ever richer conceptions of our health and lives, throughout our lives. You can learn more about personal planning in this special, liberating, and scientifically-based way, via the Plans tab above.

With a new month here,  right now is a great time to consider or your re-consider your personal plans – spanning every aspect of your life and health – and how you might best spend your time this month.

You can learn more about the importance of progressive personal planning via the Natural Living section of our comprehensive Personal Health Program and access our easy-to-use planning worksheets at Natural Living Worksheets.

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Start of new cycle

Starting off a new cycle of NaturaLife posts with a good hearty meal…featuring cubed curry beef, arugula, grape tomatoes, diced cucumber and orange, and dried cranberries…garnished with slivered almonds, parsley, paprika, coriander, and black pepper…

Learn about our guidelines for healthy natural nutrition and how to make delicious salad meals via our popular article Perfect Salad Meals or through the Natural Eating section of HumanaNatura’s comprehensive Personal Health Program.

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