What does healthy mean to you? For many, they limit the term ‘health’ to their body, extending it perhaps to their mind as mental health campaigns become more prevalent. But living a healthy life shouldn’t end with your physical and mental wellbeing, but should extend to your actions and surroundings also.
To get you thinking about a few ways to begin living a healthier life (rather than just being healthy) I’ve put together 8 points to consider.
1. BE MORE ACTIVE
Being more active will not only help to keep you in good physical shape but has also been proven to improve your mental wellbeing and gives you the chance to be more social. When you exercise your body releases endorphins, which help to combat stress and make you feel happy. For some, exercise is also a form of meditation in motion, allowing them to zone out from the trials and tribulations of daily life and find some mental clarity.
2. EAT WELL
I realise that we have started with perhaps the two most obvious factors defining ‘health’ but despite the fact that we all know that we have to eat healthier, it is still one often overlooked. The saying ‘you are what you eat’ really does hold true and with junk-food marketing and the prevalence of fast food it’s too easy to let your diet slip in favour of convenience and addictive fats and sugars. The best way to approach a healthy diet is not as a restrictive exercise but as a voyage into new cuisines and culinary skills but centred around conventionally healthier ingredients such as vegetables.
3. TALK TO SOMEONE
In a digital world with self service at every turn it can be far too easy to just turn off when we don’t feel like talking to anyone. The truth is that we humans are complex, social, creatures and bottling up emotions and feelings can leave us internalising a lot of negative energy. Where you can, try to confide in friends and relatives, a problem shared is a problem halved and no one needs to suffer alone. Talking about our emotions can feel unnatural, but the more you do it, the easier it will become and weight will have been lifted off your chest.
4. BE GOOD TO OTHERS
The world is a much happier and healthier place when we are kind to others. The energy you put out into the world is often the energy you will receive back. Complimenting someone else or offering a simple act of kindness works both ways and will leave you feeling good about yourself as well as making someone else’s day.
5. GOAL SET
Setting goals for yourself, big and small, will help focus your mind and give you a sense of purpose. It can be all too easy to wake up on a Monday morning, blink, and it be Sunday. Goal setting can help to break time down into milestones, it will allow you to keep track of your accomplishments and feel as though you are making the most of your time on this planet.
6. TAKE CARE OF THE PLANET
Make sure to contribute not only to your personal health but to the health of our planet as a whole. Whether that be using a little less water or some AdBlue tanks, changing to more renewable energy sources or switching to a plant-based diet, we can all be doing something to contribute to better global health. Looking after your surroundings will have a positive knock on effect to your own physical wellbeing and will give you a sense of participation in the greater good as well.
Travelling isn’t for everyone, and that’s ok. But whether you travel and explore your local area or a bit further afield, travelling opens up your horizons to new traditions, cultures and experiences. Our ancient ancestors were nomads, travelling to find food and resources, we may be fortunate enough to not need to constantly migrate to survive but travelling is still an important part of our history and something I feel we could all benefit from.
8. GO DARK
Social media, the internet and the age of digital has taken over most of our lives. These tools come with so many positives but can also be detrimental to our overall health if not used with caution and managed with care. I know that I, personally, use a little too much social media in order to live a little vicariously through others, but this can lead to self-doubt and have a negative impact on our mental health when we are constantly comparing ourselves to people online. Switching off and going dark, even for a few hours a day gives us a little break. I try to do it at-least once a day and for longer periods as and when I feel I need the break.
Is there anything you’d want to add for living the healthiest life possible?