There’s not a person alive that at some level doesn’t understand that if their body is not healthy then it’s virtually impossible for them to feel happy and enjoy their life. Lets face it, with today’s world being so fast paced and most people just getting by each day by the skin of their teeth, it’s no wonder that your health can easily suffer.
What Exactly Is Health?
This is a great question as many think of health as the absence of illness or injury, but really all that definition does is tell you what health isn’t.
My definition of health is a little different. I look at health as something that we naturally have when our body and mind is functioning from a place of balance and clarity. To me, your body knows what it needs to do to maintain good health and keep your natural energy levels high.
What gets in the way of this ‘natural’ efficiency is you. It’s the day-to-day choices you make and actions you take that interfere with your body’s natural regulatory processes.
The second part of health is mental well-being. When you mind is at peace and you are calm and relaxed most of the time, then this will give you the best quality of overall health and happiness. Obviously they are both connected and one can influence the other but it’s important to understand the parts they both play in overall heath and happiness.
Roadblocks To Health
Let’s look at some of the more obvious roadblocks to good health.
The biggest one that I have come across is stress. The World Health Organization has called stress “the health epidemic of the 21st century.” More to the point, ‘over-stress’ is what we are talking about here. A certain amount of stress is actually healthy for us as we need a certain amount of pressure to be productive.
Over time we can learn to handle more and more stress in our lives without it having a negative impact. It’s kind of like going to the gym and doing resistance training. As you increase the amount of resistance you work with over time your body adapts and you can handle more resistance with less effort.
The challenge with stress though is when you are consistently being subjected to higher levels of it than you are equipped to handle. This leads to over-stress, which makes you prone to physical and mental breakdown.
Then, of course there are the million and one ways that people try and cope with over-stress, which in themselves can lead to further physical and mental health challenges.
From excessive outbursts of anger to addictive behavior, overindulgence in alcohol to cigarette smoking, there are countless ways that people try to cope with stress that is doing more damage to their body than good.
Other roadblocks to health include social and environmental influences that contribute to physical or mental illness. Things like poor living or working conditions can cause health related issues. As can toxic peers, family members or co-workers.
How To Keep Your Health On Track
I’m going to share with you the top five things that have helped me to have phenomenal health, energy and happiness for over the past decade.
1. Make it A Priority
Now this may sound like common sense yet as a coach it never ceases to amaze me that while many of my clients say that health is important to them, their actions and behaviors tell a different story. By making health a priority I mean that it always comes first regardless of what you are doing.
That means that if you get a chance at an awesome job promotion but it means that you will be working longer hours, have substantially more pressure on you, and have less time to do the thing you love, then you wouldn’t do it.
It also means that you monitor what you eat, drink and do on a daily basis, so that you can maintain good physical and mental health… And that every decision you make and action you take is aligned to your number one core value in life of health.
2. Educate Yourself
If you want to be good at anything in life then you need to learn about it. With social media and the ease of access to health information that this has given us there’s a ton of great educational material available online (and offline) to anyone who wants to optimize their health and well being.
I have friends who have cured themselves from cancer naturally despite medical doctors telling them that they only help would come from the highly toxic poison called chemotherapy, which I wouldn’t give to a dead person, let alone a living human being. But, unless you know why you shouldn’t have it and what the alternatives are, then you at the mercy of whatever the medical system tells you to do.
Optimum health and energy levels are available to everyone and the more you educate yourself about what your body actually needs and in what quantities, the more fantastic you will feel. Too many people get stuck on ‘fast food’ diets and convenience eating and drinking, yet if you knew this was going to eventually lead you down a path of never ending illness would you knowingly keep doing it?
Don’t let your good health and peace of mind be left to fate because your ultimate physical destiny is created by what you think and do right now that affects your mind and body.
The five areas that are best to educate yourself about are:
3. Learn Healthy Ways To Cope With Over-Stress
This one is super important as the better you get at getting rid of over-stress, or not getting there in the first place, the happier and healthier you will be. These days lifestyle and quality of life seems to be of more importance to the average person than getting a pay raise of having a bigger house or better job.
The reality is that if your in a constant state of stress and your body and mind is always wound up, then you are an accident waiting to happen.
By learning ways to effectively manage over-stress in your life you will become a calmer and more balanced person. This is when you will enjoy the best quality of life you will ever know.
4. Everything in Moderation
This is an old one but a good one. Do everything in moderation. You don’t have to give up every vice you love, although you can if you want to. What’s more important is that you are in control of them 100% of the time.
This means that you can still give yourself the occasional ‘treat’ that might not be so healthy for you but in the scheme of things it has minimal impact because it’s not something you do all the time.
5. Get A Good Nights Sleep Every Night
At the end of the day sleep is one of the most powerful natural gifts that we have been given to detoxify your mind and body. Getting a good night’s sleep plays a vital role in keeping your physical, emotional and mental health in balance, as well as giving your body the necessary rest it needs to recharge any depleted energy reserves.
Live Long and Prosper
Here’s a bonus step that I encourage you to take if you really want to get the best out of your health and happiness. That is set a goal for how long you want to live. Very few people do this but if you think about it – it makes perfect sense.
We set goals for all sorts of things in our lives, why not how long we want to live? The beauty o doing this is that like any goal, in order to achieve it we have to make sure we are doing everything we can to stay on track for it.
Think about it for a moment. If you decide that you want to live to be 100 years old and in awesome health and state of mind the entire time, then what kind of habits and lifestyle would you need to have to make this happen?
It’s really just a process of reverse engineering what your healthy habits look like at the age of 100. They may look something like this:
- Eat well
- Be calm
- Stress free
- Moderate exercise
- Do what you love
- Have fun
- Good relationships
- Be creative
- Have hobbies you are passionate about
- Laugh a lot
- Be happy
- Be reasonably prosperous
- Have peace of mind
- Have faith
If you are into goal setting, then you will see the power in setting a goal around living a long and healthy life. If not, then it might seem a bit redundant. In any case, if you make your long-term health a destination you have in mind and focus on it daily, then it’s far more likely to happen.
Above all, don’t forget to laugh a lot, love a lot, and have as much fun as you can take because life’s too short for anything less.