“The doctor of the future will give no medicines, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the causes and prevention of disease.”
Health isn’t just about maintaining a clean diet and working out daily, although those are both very important components. There is so much more to living a healthy life style. In today’s world, often when you are sick, doctors will just prescribe you some sort of medication and call it good. But what about the under lying cause of your symptoms? Do they take the time to get to know you, how you live your life, and seek information that might help them learn how to prevent you from getting sick in the future? Sadly, that’s not how it works. That is why it is so important to check in with all areas of your life and make sure it is well balanced.
So, how do you do this? By checking in and reflecting on all of these areas consistently. You will start to see how much things can change each time you revisit these 14 components. It’s not the easiest thing to manage all areas of your life at once! Which is why it’s so common that stress takes a toll on us or we start experiencing symptoms but have no idea what the cause may be. I am going to walk you through the 14 components, that when all are in balance, will lead you to a happy, healthy life.
1. JOY - Are you feeling joyful from day to day? Is your mind in a positive state or do you find yourself feeling sad or often depressed? Define what brings much joy to your life and make time for those things. Do more of what makes you happy and spend lots of time reflecting on what you are thankful for. Having gratitude in our life can make us naturally happier everyday.
2. SPIRITUALITY - Do you feel like you have a beneficial spiritual practice? This doesn’t have to mean religion. It can be anything from developing a yoga routine or spending more time in nature or meditating. If it is religion, then great. Whatever it may be, a spiritual practice helps you develop inner peace and strength. It gives you a sense of your own worth and value and placing importance on hope and optimism. That's why it's important to take charge of your spirituality and start unlocking these life-altering benefits. Spirituality plays a vital role in improving mental health. If you are religious, be careful not to allow a religious institution to take charge of your own spirituality and compel you to believe and behave a certain way against your own sense of right and wrong. That can lead to being spiritually abused, which is another topic for another day. Follow your conscious, mind, and heart.
3. CREATIVITY - Finding a creative outlet is a great way to express yourself and your inner feelings. It helps you to acknowledge and celebrate your uniqueness and diversity. This can be anything from playing a musical instrument, painting, or expressing yourself through art, dance, cooking, writing, singing, etc. Literally anything you want! Just push yourself to find ways to be creative in a way that’s unique to you.
4. FINANCES - Finances can take a huge toll on our mental health and cause a lot of stress. It’s important to develop a solid plan for managing your finances. If you lay out a budget on how to spend your money then it will make it a lot less stressful. Also, make sure you know your worth. Don’t be bashful when it comes to this. If you feel like you deserve more then what you are making, then speak up! If you own your own business, don’t hesitate to be realistic with clients when setting your rates. Your time and hard work are valuable and you should get paid well for your services you are providing! Yes, life isn’t all about money and how much you are making. But there is nothing wrong with getting a fair, market wage y for what you love and what you are good at. Know your. worth.
5. CAREER - Do you wake up every morning stoked to go to work? Do you look forward to Monday and every day at your job, or are you living for the weekends? In my opinion, if you are not loving what you do, then it’s not worth doing. What you choose to do for a living should fill you with passion and make you thrive—a fter all most people spend the majority of their lives at work,so why should you be miserable for the majority of your life? It is possible to get paid for what you love to do! Does it happen over night? That’s a big hell no. It takes time, patience, persistence and hard work. But what you put into this world is what you get out of it and if you are committed to manifesting a career you love, that is exactly what you’ll ultimately get. I encourage you to think hard about this. It can be scary, but everyone deserves the chance to do what they love.
6. EDUCATION - It’s so important to exercise our brain as much as our body! When we keep our brain active, it keeps us sharp and also lessens cognitive decline as we age. Without educating ourselves, we aren’t allowing ourselves to be the best we can be and there is no progress or growth. This could be researching topics you are interested in, reading books, watching educational documentaries, taking classes, learning a new language, etc. This is something that I have to constantly remind myself because it can be easy to get caught up in the daily grind. But set a time each day or each week to learn something new! It will benefit you in so many ways.
7. HEALTH AND DIET - Of course our physical well being is a huge key to maintaining a happy, healthy life. If you can keep all of these areas of your life in harmony, then that will help manifest optimal health for your mind, body and soul. Your health as a whole has so many components. Start with taking control of your physical body & be more in tune with how you’re feeling. If you are experiencing any symptoms or feeling off in any way, it’s important to take care of yourself and look into it. Make your health a priority; you deserve to feel your best! A huge factor that will also help prevent disease and health issues down the road is diet. Plant-based diets have been linked to a number of health benefits, including reducing your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, obesity, diabetes, and cognitive decline. As a Vegan, I can personally attest to noticing a significant improvement in how I feel on a day to day basis compared to my previous diet.
8. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY - Exercise is also a key component to living your best life! It really is a natural mood lifter and can make you feel so much better if you’re feeling tired or in the slumps. It releases endorphins in your body which are natural mood boosters. Sometimes it’s hard to get to the gym because maybe you see it as a chore rather then something you love to do. If that’s you, I encourage you to find some kind of exercise that you enjoy! This will make it so much easier to stick with it. Whether it be yoga, barre, cycling, mountain biking, swimming, kick boxing, HIIT workouts, weight lifting, running, hiking, etc. Anything to get that body moving! Exercise helps to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety, and improves mobility, endurance and cardiovascular health. Without regular activity, your body slowly loses its strength, stamina and ability to function properly. Some other benefits that physical activity has to offer are: helps to lower your blood pressure, boosts your levels of good cholesterol, improves blood flow, keeps your weight under control, and prevents bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis. So, move that body! In time, you will be thanking yourself for it.
9. HOME COOKING - Home cooking may not seem like a big deal at first, but in my opinion, it goes hand in hand with nutrition! If you think about it, when you go out to eat you really don’t know what is being put into your food. Is it being cooked with healthy oil, and how much oil? Any added sugars or processed junk? It’s really hard to control and maintain a healthy, whole food life style if you are eating out all the time (once in a while is just fine, you can’t hold yourself back from all the fun). But if you start to cook at home regularly, you have total control over what you are putting into your body, plus it helps you to create a great relationship with food! Maybe it’s intimidating at first, but the more you do it, the easier and more fun it becomes. Have fun with it; try new recipes and experiment with new foods! Whatever you need to do to get in the kitchen! I hear a lot of people say they don’t have the time, in which case meal prepping may be a good way to do it. Prep your food for the week on any given day that works for you, that way its all ready to go and you aren’t tempted to eat out!
10. ENVIRONMENT AT HOME - Is your home cluttered and disorganized? Or do you live in a clean & neat home environment? This can make a huge difference! When your home is organized it helps relieve stress and fosters a sense of calmness. Your residence should be a place you look forward to coming home to. Other than the fact that I am a neat freak, I also love to use aromatherapy in my house to reduce stress and boost my mood. Plants are also a great way to brighten up your home. Do whatever you need to do to create a cozy, heart-warming environment!
11. RELATIONSHIPS - Relationships are a huge factor to our happiness! Everybody craves human connection—and if you don’t have that you can become lonely and isolated. It’s so important to attend to your relationships and treat them with care. When I say relationships, I mean all of them! With your friends, family, co-workers, and significant others. Surround yourself with people who are uplifting and support you no matter what. Moreover, your tribe should encourage you to succeed, challenge you when appropriate, and nudge you to go outside your comfort zone. There are times in your life when you realize certain relationships aren’t serving you the right way, and it’s your job to ask yourself, is this the type of person I want to have in my life? You are the people you surround yourself with, so who will you choose to spend your time with? The same goes for toxic relationships; there is no room for those who tear you down. Toxic relationships can create a vicious cycle of health problems. The most important relationship of all is the one with yourself. Love yourself and know how much of a bad ass you are!
12. SERVICE - When we make a place in life to voluntarily serve others, it boosts our sense of well being and gratitude. I don’t mean being a door mat for someone or some institution, but choosing an avenue of service you feel passionate about that makes the world a better place. That could be almost anything such as, tutoring, mentoring youth, becoming a big sister or brother, volunteering for a nonprofit, participating in a charity fundraiser or donating, joining your local service or Rotary Club (service clubs often have branches for high school and college), going on a service trip overseas, or joining the Peace Corps. Service to others improves one’s self-esteem and sense of overall wellbeing. It can actually activate your brain to release contentment neurotransmitters.
13. SOCIAL LIFE - Whether you’re an introvert like me and like to keep to yourself most of the time, or you are an extrovert and love being around people almost all the time, having a social life is an important aspect to our health. Being around people who uplift you and support you is essential for growth and personal development. When you find those people that push you to be your best self, make sure to nurture those relationships because those are the people you want to have around in your life. Human connection can offer so much value to our lives—everyone has the need to connect and feel loved no matter our cultural heritage or race. We are all human. This can be a challenge for people like me who are more comfortable being by themselves or really value their time alone. Sometimes I get caught up in this and need to realize that having a social life is so beneficial. Connecting with others boosts our moods and makes us feel valued and heard. So, if you are an introvert like me, try to make it a habit of having at least one to two social outings a week and start from there.
14. SLEEP - I don’t think sleep gets as much attention as it should! A bad night of sleep can lead to a viscous cycle of poor choices the next day. It can make us lazy and not ready to take on the day at full force, it prevents us from exercising and being active, leads to poor dietary choices, slows us down and prevents us from getting stuff done. And that can lead to unnecessary stress! Find the right amount of sleep that works for you, usually anywhere from eight to ten hours for adults. If you are having trouble sleeping at night, try these methods to help you:
a. Give yourself an hour before bed with out any electronics. This helps the brain and body wind down. Electronic devices like our phones and TV’s stimulate the brain and cause us to feel more awake at night.
b. Use essential oils or aromatherapy to calm and relax yourself before bed. I love using lavender at night because it can help relieve stress and anxiety. Often people can’t sleep at night because their mind starts going off on a million different things and anticipating the next day. Lavender can help calm the mind and settle these thoughts.
c. Be aware of the amount of caffeine you drink throughout the day. This can also influence our sleep. Stick to drinking coffee in the morning, and try not to have any caffeine after 1:00 or 2:00.
d. Be active and move your body! Exercising daily also helps us get a better night’s rest because it reduces stress and tires us out. We need to burn off all the energy we have, especially if you spend all day at a desk!
I hope you found these tips useful. Now you can start incorporating this activity into your health routine. Before you give it a go, define what each category means to you. What would your ideal situation be for each one? Whatever your results are, don’t get down on yourself. Use this as an opportunity to set goals and manifest your life the way you want to live it!