WEEK ONE: An Overview To Your Freedom Experience
Use the tabs below to navigate through the different sections for week one.
Holistic Health – 8 Areas to Consider to Achieve Optimal Health for your Mind, Body and Spirit
Optimal health will differ for each of us, and after completing this program you will have a clear vision of what you need for your own personal optimal health. This course model came about from my work with adults in an attempt to understand the interconnection of the mind, body and spirit as vital elements in physical and mental health.
Your Freedom Experience is a framework for building a foundation of key areas to focus on when working toward being healthy and successful in life.
I have been a nurse for over 30 years and a mental health nurse practitioner for over 16 years. For many years I worked in the area of health education and health promotion both in the United States and Australia. My practice is an integration of everything I have learned in my personal life blended with my professional career. My goal is to help people feel great so that they can be successful in life.
This course is excellent for you to maximize your potential, obtain balance and health, and become the best version of yourself. Your Freedom Experience provides you with a framework for looking at your problems in life and teaches you how to approach them with your health and well-being as a priority. This structure and mindset is the key to maintaining balance in life.
Disclaimer: By logging in and registering for this course, you are in agreement that the information on this website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or psychiatric care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health issues or medical conditions without consulting your health care provider. Please consult a doctor or other qualified health care practitioner with any questions or concerns you might have regarding any health or medical conditions.
YourFreedomExperience.com provides links to other World Wide Web sites as an enhancement to the class material, but cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies of content published or the availability of these sites.
I agree that I do not hold Tamara Owen responsible for any of my health or medical issues or conditions. I take full responsibility for my own health and medical issues and agree to seek medical or naturopathic consultation for any medical conditions I may have. I do not hold Tamara Owen responsible for the content contained in the online class, Your Freedom Experience: 10 Steps to Becoming Your Best in Mind, Body and Spirit, as related to my own health or medical conditions.
A Model for a Healthy Life
Your Freedom Experience is a very useful and user-friendly model in that it breaks down the essence of daily life into do-able parts. You can focus specifically on each part and learn new skills to become more balanced in that area.
By working through Your Freedom Experience, it becomes possible to understand how to be healthy in all areas of life (at the same time!) and maintain an optimal level of health. It is both informative and functional as it offers you a simple way to remember and practice the complexities of what it takes to be healthy.
This model is a result of the work Tamara has done in her professional career as a registered nurse, health educator, high school and university instructor, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and holistic health and life coach specializing in communication and relationship skills.
Why is it called Your Freedom Experience you may wonder? When you are able to maintain balance and have the knowledge to truly be healthy in all areas of your life, you’re free. You’re free to experience life’s challenges and embrace new adventures as they come your way.
You’re free to let go of your worry and stress and truly embrace life.
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” ~ Maya Angelou
Next: Click the Course Overview tab above to learn more about the course.
An Overview of Your Freedom Experience
“You may as well be yourself because everyone else is taken.” ~ Tommy Smothers
Learning to know, like and trust yourself while attaining excellent health in mind, body and spirit is a developmental process. We do not just acquire it and then keep it forever. It is something that we need to work on continuously and requires maintaining a balance of several different interconnected aspects of life. These eight areas can be thought of as spokes of a wheel.
If some of these areas are not as well developed as others we get out of balance and can experience feelings of being overwhelmed, stressed, anxiety, depression, fatigue and all their accompanying symptoms. If the imbalance is not corrected, we will eventually experience disease or illness.
Your Freedom Experience incorporates these eight areas of the human experience: physical, mental, emotional, intellectual, environmental, financial, social, and spiritual.
Each of these areas is equally as important as the others and when we get these eight areas of life in balance, we feel better in every way. If we do not take care of the problem or issue in the area that it originates from, it will eventually show up in our physical body as some sort of ailment. This is what finally gets our attention that something is wrong. Generally, the problem doesn’t lie in the physical body, it originates in another area but expresses itself with physical pain. For example, I once had a client come to me with terrible insomnia. She was on antidepressants and sleeping medications, and yet she still couldn’t seem to fall asleep at night. We worked through the Your Freedom Experience model, and discovered that the root of her insomnia lay in the fact that her current relationship just wasn’t working for her anymore. Once she realized this and started making positive changes in her life, her insomnia went away. Instead of accepting your physical ailments for what they are, you have to start by asking yourself why this physical pain is showing up.
When we think about being healthy, striving for optimal health is the best goal. Optimal health means to live life fully with positive energy, free of troubling symptoms, and with a vibrant outlook.
The association and balance of these eight areas influences all relationships, including those in work, career, family and other key areas in our lives. Since we live with ourselves 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, our relationship with ourselves is the most important one to develop and strengthen. It is essential for our mental health that we learn to like, trust and accept ourselves. Changing the things that are not working in our lives is imperative for optimal health.
Even a very subtle shift in the way we think, feel or do things can change our life experience. The degree to which we are in balance affects the way in which we react to life in general, including stressful events, life changes, transitions, illness, death, grief, etc.
In addition, being as healthy as possible before choosing a life partner will increase the likelihood of having a successful and satisfying relationship that can go the distance and survive the ups and downs of life.
Next: Click the Exercise One tab at the top of the page to get started with the first exercise.
Personal Assessments: An Exercise in taking stock.
In this exercise there will be a short introduction to each core aspect of health from which you can then determine your responses. After you complete Your Freedom Experience, you will take a post assessment and see how much your responses change with all that you have learned.
The idea of this exercise is to get you thinking about what you are doing well and where you would like to be doing better. Your answers are for your own assessment, and will not be viewed by anyone else.
Honest introspection will be a great first step as you begin Week One of Your Freedom Experience.
Please click the sections below to get started with your first exercise.
Physical Health: Taking Care of Your Body
Physical health has to do with anything concerning the function of your physical body, including what you put in it, what comes out of it and how it operates. This includes:
Mental health manifests through the body
People who are well balanced feel better physically.
When we feel good physically, our outlook on life will improve significantly.
Many people spend a great deal of time and money attempting to get and keep their body in good physical shape. They also spend a great deal of energy thinking and worrying about how they look and feel.
It is important to practice good self-care; however, being obsessive in this area can be detrimental to your mental health.
Sexuality is a complex area of physical health with influences from the other seven areas of this model and it can be improved upon in all sections of this course.
Having a medical disease or physical disability/challenge does not mean you cannot be healthy. Learning how to take good care of yourself with any condition can still mean you are healthy.
Having too much (gluttony) or too little of anything (deprivation) is not healthy. Learning what your body needs and how to take care of yourself is important.
Balance and moderation are the keys to achieving optimal physical health.
Disclaimer: Any physical activity can result in injury or affect a medical condition. Prior to participating in any physical activity, you should first consult and obtain advice from your doctor or other qualified health professional. Please agree that I do not know your personal health or physical condition, or if you are pregnant, and that your use or reliance upon anything obtained, mentioned, and/or linked to or from this website is your sole responsibility and that you assume all risk in doing so, even if such risk may not be readily apparent from this website.
Mental Health: Attitude is Everything
In regards to your mental health, it is essential to examine and challenge your attitude and outlook on life. Because your mind influences every cell of your body and emotional system, your worldview and perception of life affects the state of your health. The premise of mind and body health stems from knowing that nothing holds more power over the body than the mind. It is therefore essential to understand how you view life, other people and yourself. Being 100% honest with yourself and learning how to state what is true and real for you will help you move towards good mental health.
In essence, mental health is two-fold:
What do you think of yourself and what are the messages you say to yourself
What kinds of thoughts do you have toward others and how do you talk about or talk to others?
Are you a person who is positive, negative, optimistic, pessimistic, realistic, nihilistic or some combination of these? Another way of determining this is to ask the following questions:
“What colored glasses am I looking through?”
“When things do not go the way I want, do I perceive the glass to be half-empty or half-full?”
“If I could change how I look at the person or situation, how would this change my feelings or the outcome?”
“Am I being judgmental or critical?”
“In what way(s) am I judging this situation?”
We create our experience of the world and fortunately, we all have the ability to change our ways of thinking to allow us to have much more freedom and choice.
Empathy and curiosity can help to shift away from judgment and perfection to discovery and inquiry.
Learning to use language that is positive will help you to be happier and more successful, which makes life much more fun.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is: “Attitude is Everything!”
Emotional Health: Understanding Feelings
Emotional health is two-fold: understanding one’s own feelings and those of another person. This area is a big challenge for many people and can cause endless suffering when emotions are not understood and managed appropriately.
There are many emotions, however it can be easier to think of them as fitting into one of the five primary emotions:
3) Mad (Anger)
4) Scared (Fear)
5) Sexual Arousal
Each of these emotions has a corresponding physical body reaction. Emotions can be equated to the weather; they tell you what is going on and prepare you for what you need to do.
All feelings are just energy being manifested in the body and should not be interpreted as good or bad.
Emotions occur because they are giving you information that is vital to your healthy survival.
They are to meant to be felt and interpreted in the moment, moved through you and not stuffed away.
Many people stuff away feelings because they do not understand them accurately, are not comfortable expressing them or do not feel safe expressing them.
If you learn how to read your body, you can understand a lot more about what is going on for you. Understanding and owning your own emotions, releasing and expressing them appropriately and allowing others to have their emotions without you “taking them on” or feeling responsible for causing them is what constitutes mastery in the area of emotional health.
Intellectual Health: Use It Or Lose It!
Our intellectual abilities are what characterize us as human beings, separate and apart from other animals. Humans are meant to think. Your brain is meant to work and people are happier when they put it to good use. The mind needs to be stretched and stimulated on a daily basis to keep it sharp. During your working years, your career can be a great way to enhance intellectual stimulation.
Everyone needs an avocation or hobby to heighten our level of intellect.
Visit historical sites.
Read books or debate issues.
Play games such as chess, cards or trivial pursuit. Cross-word puzzles, scrabble and other word games are mind activating.
Join a book club.
Develop a hobby.
Travel (elder-hostel is an interesting way to travel as we get older).
Learn public speaking with Toastmasters.
Listen to informative radio such as NPR.
The bottom line is, “use it or lose it!”
Environmental Health: Serenity In Your Surroundings
How we live is important for our mental and emotional health. Having surroundings that calm and nurture us can enhance or raise the vibrations of our own energy, as well as the energy of the world. Learning what is needed to create and maintain a home life and work environment that supports and nurtures us is essential to our mental and emotional health.
Finding ways to be outside connecting with nature more often will help us to feel better:
Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate our mood, rises when we are outside.
Exposure to nature reduces pain and illness and speeds recovery time.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, outdoor air is 75% less polluted than indoor air so getting out frequently and exercising outdoors is most beneficial.
Fresh air is also rich in negative ions which have been linked to an improved sense of well-being, heightened awareness and alertness, decreased anxiety and a lower resting heart rate.
Protecting our environment takes an individual and collective effort and starts locally and spreads statewide, nationally and globally. The state of our environment affects the energetics of our planet. If we all, individually and collectively, participate in making our own environment more ecological and serene, our world would benefit immensely.
Financial Health: Prosperity is a State Of Mind
We all have a personal relationship with money whether we are aware of it or not. Much of our values about money come from our upbringing and to understand these, it’s helpful to think about the kinds of comments that were made about money in your home, school, church or other places in society.
How did your upbringing play a role in your attitudes towards financial matters?
Was there a feeling of having enough or not enough?
What were the little sayings your parents said about money when you were growing up?
Being financially responsible is essential for good mental and physical health. This includes:
Paying bills on time.
Collecting unpaid debts.
Planning for your financial needs, including basic living costs, social needs, vacations, retirement, etc.
Having enough money not only to pay your bills, but to live the life you would like to live is very important for your health. Money issues tend to cause people a lot of stress.
Pay attention to the flow of money in your life. Do you have a feeling of impoverishment, prosperity or somewhere in between? Developing a healthy attitude toward money and financial matters can alter the way you view and live your life. We can feel well off with or without a lot of money; it’s all in your attitude. Developing an attitude of prosperity and getting your finances under control can help create financial gratification and a feeling of well-being.
Social Health: Support is Essential
Humans are naturally social beings, but our modern day standard of living has isolated us in many ways:
We live in homes which separate us from our neighbors and many of us work at home alone without the social support and camaraderie of other colleagues.
Despite the technological advantages, our children are growing up less socially adept.
Social skills and connections with others are primal to our survival.
To be balanced socially, it is essential that you are okay being alone. Finding opportunities to develop a deeper connection with yourself will help you in other relationships.
In order to become intimate:
We need to be comfortable in relationships with a partner or very close friend.
Have friends of the same and opposite gender.
Spend time with family and community groups.
To be able to just be yourself, accepting who you are and being comfortable with yourself in these social situations is the key. In order to build community you need to take the time to chat and socialize with others. Create opportunities to get together with the people you care about.
The general idea is to build relationships and create opportunities to have a well-rounded social life.
Spiritual Health: Connection With Something Bigger
Spirituality is a concept which has immense implications and is very commonly misunderstood. For the purposes of understanding spiritual health here, spirit is defined as an essence that is not tangible and yet is omnipresent.
Spirituality is about:
Humility and other such qualities that indicate caring for our own and others
It can also be about establishing a connection with something greater than yourself or mankind, which is often equated with words such as:
Spirit Guides and more
Spirituality is different than religion although at the heart of all religions exists spirituality. It is about connecting with that center of peace, calm and sense of deep knowing within (intuition) amidst the busyness of the world around us. We do not have to be religious to be spiritual and many people find their spirituality in nature or in a connection with others through service.
Other expressions of spirituality include, but are not limited to:
Prayer, meditation and reading inspirational or sacred literature
Stepping back from the busyness of the world
Being present with yourself and others
Listening to your inner voice (intuition)
Surrendering to the guiding force of life will help you in your spiritual journey
Genuine happiness consists of practicing the spiritual qualities – for out of our concern for others we actually benefit ourselves. Each of us must assess and practice our own spiritual pathway.
No matter how you choose to define and practice spirituality for yourself, know that it is primal to coping with what happens in life and is essential to your overall health.
Spirituality is like a powerful glue that helps keep your life together.
Next: Click the Exercise Two tab at the top of the page to get started with the second exercise.
Your Time: Where Does It All Go?
Click here to download your own Time Chart
Exercise Two: What Do You Need To Work On?
Mark Bezos: A life lesson from a volunteer firefighter
Volunteer firefighter Mark Bezos tells a story of an act of heroism that didn’t go quite as expected — but that taught him a big lesson: Don’t wait to be a hero.
Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do, and how we can do it better
Tony Robbins discusses the “invisible forces” that motivate everyone’s actions — and high-fives Al Gore in the front row. (Contains a swear word.)
Ron Gutman: The hidden power of smiling
Ron Gutman reviews a raft of studies about smiling, and reveals some surprising results. Did you know your smile can be a predictor of how long you’ll live — and that a simple smile has a measurable effect on your overall well-being? Prepare to flex a few facial muscles as you learn more about this evolutionarily contagious behavior.
Course Overview Meditation-Choosing Health
Developed and written by Tamara Owen, PMHNP - HealingLife Skills PC/ Your Freedom Experience, Portland, OR