Scrolling through social media can give you the idea that living a healthy lifestyle is about spending hours of training at the gym and eating only salad leaves which is the biggest misconception people have about being healthy. Although good nutrition and workout routine can easily improve your health and wellbeing it does not mean that you need a gym membership or calorie restrictive diet plan. So if you thought that being healthy means constant compromising and self-sacrifice that’s not really what it’s about.
Living a healthy lifestyle means putting your health first above any other thing. Of course, I do realize that it’s not always easy, considering the frantic speed of modern life. But despite family obligations, work projects and goals and all the things you have to do on yesterday, your health should be always your number one priority. Because feeling well is the first step to living a balanced, happy and fulfilling life. While sleep deprivation, the consequences of malnutrition and acute anxiety makes reaching even the easiest goals extremely difficult. So instead of ignoring all the symptoms, your body sends you, make your own health your top priority and face your life’s challenges with confidence, positive energy, and peaceful mind.
It’s a high time to develop positive healthy habits and learn to make easy-to-manage healthy choices that will help you live a healthier, happier and more peaceful lifestyle. If you need some help, here is my list of 6 powerful ways to improve your life and wellbeing immediately.
1. Focus on Your Mental Health
1 Step to a Healthier You is to take care of your mental health.
We like to think of ‘mind’ and ‘body’ as two separate entities with no connection between them. But when it comes to health this way of thinking can lead to a misconception. For instance, many people still think that there is no link between poor mental health and physical disease which of course is untrue. Mental and physical health are fundamentally liked what can easily be noticed among people with clinical depression that experience not only emotional symptoms but also physical symptoms like chronic fatigue, headaches, back pain or even digestive issues. Another great example would be psoriasis – a long term inflammatory skin condition that can be and usually is triggered by stress and anxiety.
Considering the fact that mental health and physical health are closely linked you should value your mental and physical wellbeing equally. Because if you focus only on building a strong body completely ignoring your mental health you will not be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Do you know what the best part is? That mental health exercises can be quick, easy and fun. They’re like a gym for the mind. So if you thought that building strong mental health requires a massive amount of time, seeing a therapist or reading really hard books it’s actually not the case. You can strengthen your mental health, boost your mood and increase your concentration by doing quick and simple exercises. Here are my powerful ways to work on mental health:
• Breathing exercises
• Practicing being present (go on a walk or eat your favorite meal)
• Practice positive self-talk
• Celebrating your achievements (Embrace progress, not perfection)
• Watching inspirational Ted Talks, listening to motivational podcasts
• Practice gratitude (Never take things for granted)
• Engage with others
2. Quality Over Quantity
2 Step to a Healthier You is to focus on quality over quantity
If you remember life before social media you know how much importance was attached to the quality of relationships, life experiences, self-awareness and individual perception of reality. In recent years it all has changed drastically. Now, a lot of people seem to care more about having millions of followers and being “liked” on social media than living an authentic, meaningful and happy life. So instead of creating a healthy balance and aligning goals with their life’s purpose, they put a lot of effort into portraying a perfect life on social media that usually has nothing to do with reality.
Social media are great if you use them wisely and mindfully. It’s undeniable that social networking is a great opportunity to connect with like-minded people, build a strong community or spread awareness on an important social issue like global warming or plastic pollution. But if you create your social media persona that has nothing to do with a true representation of you it will affect negatively your mental and physical health in a short time.
I don’t’ know about you but I’m starting to get this feeling that we slowly becoming a false generation living with the currency of social media likes. Not to mention how much importance is now attached to material things as if surrounding yourself with newer and newer staff could make you happy. It can’t and it won’t. The sooner we all realize this the easier working on our core values become.
If you still wondering why I am talking about social networking in the context of “quality over quantity” it’s because in my personal opinion social media promotes mindless consumption and waste, at least the most followed profiles, which gives us the wrong impression regarding physical possessions. Indeed, I am convinced that in today’s world the worth of a person is more and more often defined by their possessions and social media followers. That’s truly insane. Let’s not follow into this trap and refocus on quality over quantity. Why? Because quality creates all sorts of subtle value in our lives. While quantity creates confusion, anxiety, and a chain of meaningless actions. If you want to focus on quality over quantity here are simple and powerful ways to do that:
• Focus on relationships that add value in your life
• Let go of what no longer serves you
• Focus on your core values
• Minimize distractions
• Embrace the Less is More attitude
• Be an ethical consumer
• Learn about mindful consumerism
3. Make It Simple
3 Step to Healthier You is to create convenience and simplicity over your goals
Many people think that a healthy lifestyle requires great sacrifices and constant compromises which discourage them from starting to improve their life.
The truth is that living a healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. Because overthinking and overcomplicating things creates stress, mental tension, and exhaustion which is a contradiction of a healthy lifestyle. So instead of wasting your time and energy on unnecessary non-critical decisions focus on your priorities. Create convenience and simplicity over your goals and actions for a healthier lifestyle and start achieving them.
• Make easy-to-manage healthy choices
• Adopt a non-diet approach and stick to healthy food options
• Create a workout routine that fits you the best
• Listen to your body on a process
• Stop overthinking and take the action
• Set SMART goals and Celebrate your every achievement
4. Nourish Your Body
4 Step to Healthier You is to nourish your body from the outside and inside
Have you ever seen people who literally kill themselves at the gym and then immediately after they hit the nearest drive-thru to reward themselves with their favorite fast food? I bet you have. It is common to feel extremely hungry after exercising but unhealthy, highly processed and high in sugar foods will only destroy results someone has achieved a while ago. Not to mention that eating junk food drastically increases the risk of many serious diseases like depression, diabetes or even cancer. So, no matter how much you like fast and processed foods you have to completely avoid it. It may seem difficult at first, but it’s actually easier than you think. All you have to do is to avoid temptations and train your brain to hate junk food. The easiest way to do that is to start reading labels. Once you’ve read all the ingredients of highly processed foods you won’t crave it again. Trust me. It’s what I did, and it worked.
So if you want to improve your physical health focus on both nutrition and exercise. This approach to physical health will give you immediate and long-term health benefits. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you need an expensive diet plan or gym membership. Start slow form making healthier food choices and dedicating some time for your favorite physical activity. Nourish your body from the outside and the inside in a fun and pleasing way. Don’t overcomplicate things because it will only discourage you. If you like walking try to go for a walk more frequently and if you like desserts just stick to healthier options. Do what makes you happy.
• Develop healthy eating habits – My article about about Mindful Eating – click here
• Remember about proper hydration
• Adopt a healthy and positive workout routine
5. Get Quality Rest
5 Step to a Healthier You is to get quality rest
Quality rest plays an essential role in your overall health and wellbeing. What we often aren’t really aware of is the fact that sleep is important for brain functioning, emotional wellbeing, proper digestion, strong immune system and even personal safety. Just think about it, how many times you sacrificed your sleep to accomplish more during the day? And how this sleep deprivation affected your mental and physical performance? I would bet not very well…
The truth is that sacrificing your sleep is extremely counterproductive because it affects negatively your ability to critical and logical thinking, makes your extremely anxious, stressed, unmotivated, apathetic and uncreative. By contrast, getting quality rest improves memory, boost creativity, increases productivity, facilitates the decision-making process and protects your mental health.
But getting quality rest is not the only way to rest and recharge your batteries. Here are other powerful and equally important ways to do that:
• Create healthy sleep habits
• Manage your stress – it will help you to avoid burnout
• Heal your emotional pain (we are all recovering from something, let yourself heal)
• Cultivate the sweetness of doing nothing (enjoy yourself)
• Enjoy your guilty pleasures (but make them healthier)
6 Step to a Healthier You is to detoxify yourself
We live in a world full of toxins and unfortunately, it’s impossible to avoid them completely but by making some small changes in your daily life you can reduce their negative impact on your mental and physical health. Of course, our body has a natural detoxification system but it may need some assistance and here are some great ways to do it:
• Go “BPA-Free” – BPA (bisphenol-A) is a synthecic estrogen found in many plastics, canned goods, medical devices or even kid’s toys. This toxic chemical is particularly dangerous because it not only messes with body hormones but it can raise blood pressure, cause insulin resistance, inflammatory bowel or even cause cancer. That’s why you should avoid BPA potential exposure.
• Always read labels on both food products and cosmetic products
• Use non-toxic, natural cosmetics
• Avoid processed foods
• Keep Harmful Chemicals Out of the House (avoid toxic clean products)
• Ditch the Air Fresheners
• Purify your body with water
• Incorporate probiotics into your diet
• Eat more organic
and take care of your mental and physical health