4 Steps to Greater Health & Happiness
July 25, 2019
Are you really healthy if you’re in great physical condition but other parts of your life are filled with pain or discomfort?
Sure, you might’ve passed those doctor-ordered medical tests with flying colors, and were deemed healthy. But if you’re feeling stressed out or are struggling with relationships and loneliness, although you might be healthy technically, the truth is you’re not completely well.
Well-being includes emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual health. To be your healthiest and happiest self, you must focus on the whole person. Use these four steps to start enjoying whole-person health.
Physical activity is essential for getting everything you can from life. If not already doing so, become more physically active even if it’s just walking a few minutes in the evening after dinner. Physical activity improves quality of life.
The minimum recommendation is 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity activity weekly. If you’re not a fan of the gym, don’t worry. You may accumulate these health-boosting minutes through various activities like swimming, walking, taking the stairs, etc. Just get moving!
Stress wreaks havoc on the mind and body. It’s associated with high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. It can cause mood swings, and increase risk of self-harm because of associated feelings of anxiety and depression. Stress is most dangerous when it becomes chronic, which happens when you’re under stress for a prolonged period of time without relief.
Here are some proven stress management techniques. Practice them early and often to prevent stress from getting out of control:
- Meditation, or a few minutes of slow, deep breathing
- Say “no” more often and create boundaries
- Celebrate and share life with your family and friends
- Take care of yourself, so there’s enough of you to go around
- Make time for exercise and eating healthy because you’re worth it!
- Live life! Enjoy a hobby, read a book, listen to music, travel, watch a movie
Boost Your Mental Health
We don’t give mental health the attention it deserves because of associated stigmas. We don’t want people to think we’re unhinged or unstable. Mental health affects every single area of our life! Without good mental health, how can we be our best personally, or excel at work and home?
Here are four proven ways to improve mental wellness:
- Engage in physical activity because it boosts mood for several hours
- Get 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night
- Make time for yourself by doing something YOU enjoy
- Make it a point to socialize with friends and family
Although you don’t have to eat perfectly all the time, what you eat affects your energy, mood, health, and how you feel about yourself. So aim for a whole foods diet that fuels your body with the highest quality vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber.
Avoid sugary beverages, and consider eliminating alcohol. Lastly, monitor your sugar intake. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 100 calories of added sugar daily for women, which is about 6 teaspoons (25 grams; 4 grams of sugar per teaspoon), and 150 calories a day for men (about 37 grams, or roughly 9 teaspoons). Also,
Remember, although you might be considered healthy technically because you passed certain medical tests, you’re not completely well if you’re suffering discomfort in mind, heart, or soul.
Your path to living life to the fullest includes the whole person.
So, be kind to yourself by practicing self-care, get out and move, make better food choices most of the time, manage stress, enjoy life by doing fun things, and celebrate friends and family.
Choose to live each day to the fullest!