I wonder if you can share your own insight. I have lately been going through panic attacks, anxiousness and not keeping well with health. So, I decided to do something about these things, for example, I would exercise more, changed my diet and even quit smoking and that has now been over a month. And guess what? I got worse! I have been hospitalized twice and have many bacterial infections in my body and stomach cramps. Life is now becoming joyless and losing meaning to me.
I want to ask about the truth insight you have found yourself. Does it matter how healthy we eat? How much exercise we do? How much we look after ourselves and our well being by constantly giving ourselves this positive self-talk (which I find very hard to do at times)? I even think of my grandfather who ate nothing but fat, greasy foods all his life, always in the sun until he would go so brown and I was pretty sure he was going to get cancer, he smoked like a chimney and he had numerous heart attacks in his life. Yet. . . he lived until he was 80 years old. Then there is my partner's grandfather, he never smoked, ate well, and was always active and never had any health problems and he died in his 60's!
Then this Stephen Sutton guy who had cancer and was so positive about his life and full of joy, that he achieved what he wanted to do. Yet. . .he dies young. Life confuses me. People tell each other different things and I don't know who to seek help and advice for any more. I wish I had some guidance or a guru to help me with such confusion and despair at times I go through. All I want to know is the truth. Sometimes my truth is − it doesn't matter, nothing matters and we are all here just like a pair of eyes inside this body and witnessing everything around us. . . then the horror comes when we identify with the body, the thoughts and the feelings and then we become the thought, the idea. Again, this even confuses me. . .life just seems so hard and I wonder if you can share some insights. I also do not know how to stop identifying with everything my mind encounters, my sensations in my body. My ego is so strong it overtakes me.
What is truth? :)
Well, I can see no absolute rules with regard to what leads to greater health, longer bodily life etc. There seem to be some general trends, but even the apparent trends or scientific research can change in its conclusions. What was a strong heath guideline one year can be disregarded and then advised against in another year. I can't make any real recommendations, other than to go with how you feel, how the intelligence of the body feels. Once you start living by "should do this, should not do that", then you can lose the connection with natural intelligence.
With that said, looking at research and studies etc. can be helpful. Use information of others as a supplement, see what resonates rather than just believing everything you hear or read.
Is there a chance that your shift in lifestyle was too sudden, perhaps a shock to the system? People have been known to experience great pain if suddenly withdrawing from a food or substance that is deemed unhealthy, perhaps your hospitalisation was an extreme version of this? I have no idea. I am just writing whatever comes. I have also read that intense exercise actually lowers immunity.
You mentioned your grandfather in the sun. Often we are told too much sun exposure can lead to cancer, but there are some who say the sun is vital for protection against cancer, and that the most carcinogenic effects come from the toxic sun-protection creams that people wear. I can not really advise you in any way, but often conventional wisdom can be false, and can also be falsified in order to sell more products, such as toxic sunblocks, in this instance.
Positive self talk can sometimes just mask negative self-talk. How about no self-talk? What about feeling the very existence that you are, rather than telling a story about your life or yourself?
Is dying young bad? Of course the world will say "yes, long life is always best". But who knows? No one really knows, we are all just guessing or struggling to make sense of the unknowable.
If you haven’t already, always look up natural remedies or alternatives for everything. For example, the antibacterial effects of lemon and ginger.
Be your own guru. There is always an alive intelligence within. What anyone else says can only ever guide, but what is useful will appear when you are open to it. Each body-mind expression varies, despite the same source. Go with how you feel. Let yourself feel however you feel. How does your body respond to seeing a cigarette? How does it respond to movement, or certain foods? How much exercise is enjoyable and feels good, rather than feeling strenuous and exhaustive? I remember I once read a quote from Henry Ford that said "exercise is bunk. If you are healthy, you don’t need it, and if you are unhealthy, you shouldn’t take it". I quite like this quote, but also realised that his job was to sell cars, which implies an absence of walking or exercise! Whatever feels true for you, is truth. Everything else is just words.
"I also do not know how to stop identifying with everything my mind encounters, my sensations in my body." - Stop saying "I". Give up "I" or "mine".
"My ego is so strong it overtakes me." - The "me" is the ego itself. Does this "me" actually exist?