New Year’s revolution: A shift in how we think about health

There is something appealing about a fresh start.  No matter what has occurred the preceding day or over the past year, finding within ourselves the courage to begin again contributes to the promise of success.

That’s one reason for so many New Year resolutions.  New plan + new resolve = victory! 

Unfortunately, experts agree that most resolutions don’t stand a chance.  Some reports peg the failure rate of individuals achieving their goals at 78%.

Did you make any this year?  Healthier living is on many peoples’ minds.  The list might include losing weight, eating better, exercising, or stop smoking.

A new national study released by the United Health Foundation concludes that in the last decade, the annual improvement in America’s health has declined 69%.

The report, the 22nd edition of America’s Health Rankings: A Call to Action for Individuals and Their Communities, includes these stats:

*Over 17% of Americans smoke

*Over 27% of U.S. citizens are obese

*Almost 9% of Americans are diabetic

The numbers are much higher for some states.

And more money isn’t the answer. Health care expenditures in the United States are roughly 17 percent of the annual gross domestic product already.  That’s more than any other nation on the planet.  

Maybe a change in tactics is required.  Think revolution instead of resolution.

While concrete solutions to our country’s health care woes seem years away, there is a revolution going on right now that changes the whole methodology to health.  It’s a spiritual approach.

90% of U.S. medical schools now address the connection between spirituality and health to some extent through courses or content.  According to Crossroads…Newsletter of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke University, over 90% of responding deans report that patients emphasize spirituality in their coping and health care.

Another survey found that a majority of U.S. doctors think that spirituality plays a significant role in influencing a patient’s health.  

And with the use of prayer by individuals for health concerns increasing over the past decade, there is a growing body of evidence that a dynamic shift is underway in how patients and health professionals view the avenues toward health.  

What’s exciting about this “fresh” approach to well-being is its availability to anyone, its 24/7 access, and cost is inconsequential.  In addition, a spiritual approach to health benefits the whole person, mind and body. 

So here’s to New Year revolutions.  May your life be healthy and prosperous.