Four Quadrant Living by Dina Coleman

Making Healthy Living Your New Way of Life

The 4 quadrants are psycho-spiritual, behavioural, communal and systematic. Learn to be mindful. Make minor tweaks to your life. Take charge of your health. Make little changes to your life.

Health is an experience. You can always improve your health. Improve the way you do Life. Work out what is going on in your Mind, Body, and Relationships & Environment.

The author was at high risk of cancer. Her sister contracted Stage 3 cancer. Because of all that, the author lived in fear of disease and dying. She left the corporate world and headed back to school. Life does impact your health. It is possible to change your life circumstances. Her sister recovered and is cancer free now. Some chronic diseases can be prevented. Learn to experience healthy living. Live radiantly.

Health is not just about exercising well and eating well. It is about relationships and the environment too. Genes can be turned on or off. Modern eating habits are not doing us any favours. Every individual has their optimal nutritional needs. Heart disease can be prevented. Your way of life matters a lot. Learn to calm your mind. Be mindful and focus on your breathing. Nourish your body and ensure adequate sleep. Remove the toxic relationships in your life. Have a strong support group when things are failing.

Mind and Health (Part 1)

This comprises of our thoughts, emotions, memories, perceptions etc. Stress can be good or bad. Too much stress is detrimental to your body. Reframe the way you look at something and change your attitude towards it. Meditate and breathe in and out. Positive thoughts can heal us. The placebo effect can work sometimes.

Creating Your Masterpiece. Do not envy others who know what they wanted when they were young. The key is to stop talking and do more. Pick up the paintbrush and start creating. If you can’t change anything about a lousy job, you can change your mind-set about it. Use the words ‘I choose’. Paint your picture.

Wish I Were Here. It is challenging to live in the present. Notice interesting facts about your body. Be mindful and experience everything in the moment. Mindfulness can be practised anywhere, at any time.

You’re Laughing Now? Make the most out of the situation. The feeling of control is crucial. The 5 ways to find humour are (1) Be objective; (2) Reframe the situation; (3) Let go of control; (4) Feel gratitude; (5) Lighten up. Try to see humour even in stressful situations.

Meditation with Hollywood. Meditation has been on my to-do list. Learn to focus on your breathing. Clear your mind and focus on one thing. Create space in your mind. It should come easily and calmly. It is helpful in disease prevention and health promotion.

Productive Unproductiveness. When you are too busy, sometimes it helps to take a well-deserved breather. Stress can lead to increased productivity, but only up to a certain point. When you are overworked, you need to know it yourself and learn to take a breather. Enter into your healthy function zone.

Free to be Me. Being authentic is the best. Follow your own path. Know your purpose. Live in the flow. Quiet your mind. Focus on the positive. Choose your friends wisely. Don’t be afraid of failure. Trust your inner guide. Declare yourself. Let go of your ego. ‘Always be a first rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else’.

Birthday Hat Dare. Laughter is free and fun and good for your health. There are many benefits to laughter. Wear your birthday hat and walk around. On your birthday, have courage and wear a hat wherever you go.

We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing. – Benjamin Franklin

Rise and fall. Breathing is important. When we are stressed, we tend to breathe in a shallow manner instead. Diaphragmatic breathing is the best. Put your hand on your stomach and breathe. You should see your stomach rising. Pay attention to your breath.

Losing my Mindfulness. When you are too busy, you tend to miss appointments. When you are too busy, you lose your concentration. Review your schedule for the coming day. Learn to be grateful. Set your intentions and learn to meditate. Review your schedule for the upcoming day.

What a Difference a Day Makes. 8 tips for yourself. Detach yourself and observe from a third party perspective. The difference is yourself. Don’t be defined by the situation. Focus on the joyful parts of your life. Learn to ask for help when you are down. Mourn the loss and move forward with optimism. Take a 4 quadrant perspective. Learn to remember what a difference a day makes.

The Mental in Illness. Believe that you are in good health. Do not just focus on your illness. Do not let your illness impact 4 quadrants of your life. Your mind can play a big part in the healing process.

If You Knew You Could Not Fail. Assume that you cannot fail. What would you do if you could not fail? Do you have a healthy mind?

Body and Health (Part 2)

Bill was busy and stressed-out at work. He had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Diet and exercise are crucial and must not be over-looked. Use the 80/20 rule, which is eat healthily 80% of the time and indulge on 20% of the time. There are numerous benefits to exercise. Many adults are not exercising. Fun and exercise doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. Do not take anti-depressants as you might become reliant on it.

Living in the 80s. Eating healthy all the time is hard to achieve. Do not feel stressed over eating, otherwise, you will not enjoy it. Throw out your unhealthy food. Reduce your portion size. Wait till you are full first, before considering whether to eat more. Keep it simple. Eat more veggies. Eat mindfully. Dine out with care. Ask yourself why. Pinpoint and control your emotions and understand why you like to eat so much.

Find Your Gypsy. Think creative about your workouts. Adopt the following tips to aid your workouts. 1) Change your framework; 2) Think Creatively; 3) Make the gym fun; 4) Talk and walk; 5) Do it with someone; 6) Count your steps; 7) Crunch at work; 8) Keep moving. Exercise enhances your mood, lowers blood pressure, increases metabolism etc. There are many benefits to exercise.

From A’s to Zzzzzs. The fountain of youth is sleep. Life is so frantic that many people sacrifice sleep. It is not a ‘nice to have’. It is a ‘must have’. Lack of sleep puts you at great risk for infection etc. Sleep is the natural antidote during the day. There are many people who suffer from sleep apnoea. There are 10 ways to sleep better and you should follow them: Go dark and quiet; Stop the caffeine; Eat a bedtime snack; Relax and breathe; Write it out; Watch the liquids; Exercise early; Create bedroom bliss; Stop smoking; Don’t drink and sleep.

Keeping it real. Do not feed yourself fake food. Look at the ingredient list to see whether the product is real or fake. Even snack bars may contain soy protein etc. Look at the ingredient list when buying a product. Some of food have chemical additives and corn/soy. Less is more when it comes to ingredients. Ingredients that are difficult to pronounce are usually fake. Eat the right type of fat. For instance, eat avocados, nuts, seeds, almond butter, olive oil etc. A lot of processed food have GMO content. Some countries ban the use of artificial growth hormones. As consumers, we should demand healthier food choices. Avoid GMO products.

Au Natural. What you put on your skin is important too. Think about your personal care products. Avoid using products containing toxins. Try to avoid products containing parabens, fragrance, phthalates, SLS, propylene glycol etc. To reduce toxic exposure, one can support the right companies, read the ingredient list, use fewer products, know your resources, check the expiry etc.

Just Say Maybe. Take medication mindfully. Be observant as to the side effects that may be present. Do not abuse drug prescriptions. Be wary of drugs that alleviate symptoms but doesn’t go to underlying cause. Vioxx was pulled from the shelves. Do research before taking medication. Find out about side effects. Drug chemistry can react differently for different individuals. Explore natural ways to take care of your health. Your body is an amazing healer.

The Trendy Diet. Soy has been blacklisted recently. Are carbs good? Carbs have been a long term enemy. Fat is good? There was a point when the Atkins diet was popular. Recently, people have been fickle about soy products too. Wheat appears to be the latest enemy. Modern food products contain a lot of gluten. Some people are sensitive to gluten contained in food. Be wary of food sensitivities.

Follow yourself. You are your own advocate of your health. Learn to help yourself. Chemotherapy is not for everyone. There is no right solution for everyone. Learn to do what is right for you. Trust your body and listen to it. Listen to everyone and follow no one.

Diagnosis – Inadequate Eyelashes. Products used to lengthen eye lashes can cause further issues. Beauty is very subjective. Who created the view that long eyelashes are associated with beauty? Worry about aging. Can we cure ‘unattractiveness’? Should we even try to do something like that? We are all products of socialization.

Body Talk. Listen to your body and monitor your blood pressure etc. This is known as biofeedback etc. Observe your before and after readings. When you experience stress, observe how your body reacts to it. Wear a heart monitor etc to monitor how you are. Measure your pulse. Practise deep breathing so that you can enter a relaxed state. Find ways to cope with stress. Hear how your body talk.

Fad-Free Eating. Follow the following 12 tips: 1) Eat real food; 2) Follow the rainbow; 3) Eat organic food; 4) Buy local; 5) skip the bad fats; 6) Play detective; 7) Start the day right; 8) Carry snacks; 9) Go unconventional; 10) Know your fish; 11) Eat for yourself; 12) Follow the 80/20 rule. Drink loads of water. Skip the soda. Please try fad-free eating.

Pink Ribbons and Red Hearts. Do not rely on genetics or statistics solely. We are a data-driven society. Don’t take numbers at face value. Research and you will find out that there are other factors that affect health as well. Dig further into the data.

Relationships and Health (Part 3)

This is about your personal connections with others. Put energy into managing relationships. People with a strong social network live longer. Learn to identify your emotional triggers. Manage your social network. Do not feel low about yourself. Love and intimacy are very powerful factors indeed.

Exiting Stage Left. The quality of relationships you have affect your life. You need caring and supportive friends. Friends who are manipulative are not good for your health. You have the power to choose your relationships. How do you feel after meeting that person? Be genuine in your approach to others. Observe your self-esteem levels. Be mindful of the time you spend with others. Thank your friends who have supported you. For those who have not, please exit stage left.

Trigger Happy. Identify your triggers. A trigger is something that caused you to overreact. Do not be completely reactive. Understand what your abandonment issues are. Now, I have a significant relationship with my parents. What is your trigger? Is it feeling abandoned? Deprived? Vulnerable? There are many other forms of triggers. What can you do about your triggers? Understand what emotion you are feeling and what is causing you to feel that way. Awareness is the first step.

Vitamin T. If you are touch deprived, you could be affecting your health. It helps to calm the skin and warm the heart. The lack of touch can lead to decreased emotional health. Touch helps to relieve stress. Touch can stimulate body mechanisms. Where can you get more Vitamin T in your life?

Me, You and ‘I’. I refer to ‘iPhone’ in this case. However, do not be overly attached to your phone. Do not let it take over your life. Do you text non-stop in the presence of your friends? Are you addicted to social media? Too much clutter can affect your serenity in life. Here are 7 ideas you can consider: 1) reduce email; 2) delete, not forward; 3) help yourself; 4) be present; 5) play the game; 6) disconnect; 7) ask why. One needs to set boundaries with technology.

Find Your People. Who understands your passion for what you do? Who are those who can relate to you completely? You can always be authentic around them. Spend time with those who can relate to you. How can you make an effort to spend more time with those who matter?

Crazy Runner Girl. BOMF encourages people to pick up running. Running reminds people of how similar people actually are. There is no separation between race, gender etc. When you care for your community, you can connect with others on a human level. Helping others give you health benefits too. Volunteering gives you a sense of purpose. How can you make the community a better place?

Four-Legged Therapy. Who gives you unconditional love? You can always volunteer at a dog shelter. Pets can bring you immense joy. There are positive physiological responses that come with it. Pet lovers are apparently less stressed than non-pet lovers. There are health benefits associated with loving pets. Give your pet a hug.

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. – Mahatma Gandhi

Do you know? Sometimes, it is good to talk about deeper topics. Record how your family members answer such questions. Get to know your friends and family on a deeper level. Create special bonds with them.

‘I think I’m in love’. That feeling of being in love is amazing. You want to spend a lot of time with your soul mate. How do you keep that spark for love alive? By doing the following 5 things: 1) Make time; 2) Touch more; 3) Greet with a wag; 4) Get to know; 5) Have fun. Be present and love each other.

There is no there. Bad news sells and dominates the news industry. There is no there, it is only here. Global tragedies affect us. Global stock markets were affected by the Japanese Earthquakes. When others are suffering, we feel it. Seek out meaning and be happy. Live the best life you can. Create the life that you want. Be happy and live healthily.

Freaky Friday. Try to understand things from another person’s perspective. Write your feelings in a diary and understand how other people make you feel. Talk to it. Use the first person pronoun, ‘I’. See things from their point of view. Do the 3-2-1 exercise. Is there someone in your life who is a source of sadness and anger? Maybe you can try to look at the relationship from their perspective.

Dying Healthy. You can still be healthy with cancer. It’s your choice. Put good food into your body and move around. Do not let the disease take control of your life. Work with the disease instead of against it. Some cultures fear death. Learn to accept death as a part of life by talking more about it. Information is power. Don’t let the illness take control of your life. If one quadrant is down, focus on the other three. Watch what you say. Pick your own label and befriend death and disease.

Environment (Part 4)

This represents both the natural and constructed environment. The environment is not separate from us. There are many potential toxins in our body. We ingest them all the time. Toxins are linked to poor health effects. Learn to use recycled materials etc. The environment will have an impact on your health.

Green Exercise for the Sole and Soul. Green exercise is exercise that is done in nature. Some outdoor exercise is beneficial. Unplug and listen to the sound of nature. Listen to the sights and sounds around you. Take a lesson from how others. How will you nourish your soul?

Shoeless Sanctuary. Make your home a healthy sanctuary. 1) Leave shoes at the door; 2) Clean green; 3) Limit the leaching; 4) Remodel with care; 5) Set bugs free; 6) get an air cleaner; 7) Garden organically; 8) Be quiet.

Free Space, Free Mind. Do some spring cleaning once in a while. Create space in your physical environment. Free up space for a non-cluttered mind. Be honest about the kitchen. Get rid of unnecessary materials in the bathroom. Sort and file materials in the office. Consider cancelling subscription of magazines you don’t read. Discard old gifts which you don’t need. Sell your old items on Craigslist etc. Recycle old materials. Consider donating your old items.

Don’t Judge a Weed. Weeds are the enemy? You need to expend a lot of effort to kill a weed. Approach them with an open mind. Weeds are beneficial for your health. They are also a good source of protein etc. Learn to work with nature. Dandelions are packed with good vitamins and minerals.

Shrinking Your Waistline. Use less resources so as to protect the environment. 1) Forgo plastic; 2) Carry your own bag; 3) Double up the paper; 4) Don’t toss the napkins; 5) Let the fingers do the typing; 6) Don’t flush the meds; 7) Recycle right; 8) Save water. There are many changes you can do to reduce the impact on our environment.

Frying the Birds. Life is not good for seagulls when they munch on leftover food left behind by humans. It is also best not to touch wildlife. The laws seldom protect animals sufficiently. Be mindful of wildlife. Expand from our compassionate circle to include all living creatures. Nature and us are in balance. We should not disrupt it.

Vinegar and Soda, Please. Toxins released from cleaning products can affect you. Be mindful of the products used on your skin. Cleaning products can affect the skin. Avoid ingredients like petroleum distillates, phosphates, triclosan, ammonia and others. Use vinegar and baking soda for cleaning. Get back to basics when choosing cleaning products.

No More Litter Bugs. People litter for different reasons. It start fires, reduce property values, causes car accidents etc. Learn to develop the habit of picking up litter wherever you go. Make it fun. Educate others. Volunteer. What are the steps you can take to keep your environment clean?

Stop the (Holiday) Madness. There is too much waste during the holiday period. Limit the holiday cards. Go potted. Try homemade gifts. Give less. Create traditions. Be creative with gift wrap. Forgo the ribbons. Save energy. Enjoy getting into the holiday spirit. Health is a significant part of pleasure too.

Sleep Deprivation Unit. Hospitals isn’t a very pleasant place to visit. We can make the environment more cozy and make it more attractive for people to visit. You can make small changes to your environment. Play the tunes. Feel the love. Bring the outdoors in. Set the mood. Nourish your body.

Eating for the Planet. Understand what the various ways for eating well are. 1) Go Local; 2) Buy organic; 3) Eat it all; 4) Load up on plants; 5) Skip the process; 6) Support green businesses; 7) Grow your own; 8) Compost; 9) Be thankful.

My Love Affair with a Mountain. I have always enjoyed nature hikes etc. It is a must have. Mount Diablo is one of my loves. Marvel at the beauty of Mother Nature. Nature gives us so much. It provides clean and beautiful air. It connects and reunites us all.

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