What about the other sides of health?
My job mostly deals with physical health and structure. Every day I spend time with people who are trying to move better and without pain, move faster, or be able to move more resistance. However, over the years I have found that this is only one component of wellness, and I wanted to take the time not only to acknowledge the other sides of this whole thing we call “being” but take a look at ways that you can help yourself achieve a higher level of potential in your day to day living.
I want you to think of the whole thing as a square structure. In one corner there is your physical health, which incorporates all of the things in the physical realm you can control. Your strength, nutrition and sleep fall under this category. These are the things I talk about all of the time. But what about the other three corners? These corners are your mental health, your emotional health and your spiritual health. Let’s break these down and see if you are really paying attention to them like you should be. So many people walk through their daily lives not even thinking about what is going on inside them and what fuels their desire to perform in other areas of their life. Try to increase awareness and focus on these things that may have been long neglected can really help to enhance your overall being. I’m of the opinion that everything is linked, and what we think really determines what we do and how we act, towards ourselves, and each other.
Life has energy, and your thoughts do as well. How we think determines a large part of how we act and react to things around us every minute of every day. Therefore mental health can be a large part of your overall being, and one that many people struggle with on a daily basis. Think about it – how many people do you know with a “defined” mental illness? I put defined in quotations only because it is my belief that people who are simply outside of the norms get put into a box and labelled as different because they think in a different way. I’m by no means saying that there are not real diseases, but sometimes we as a society need to not be so quick to rush into labelling someone as mentally ill, especially our children and young adults who are just developing into their ways of thinking. Our mental health is a huge part of how we approach every day and the people that we interact with. It can control the decisions that you make and steps either forward or backwards in your existence. Learning also falls under this envelope. I try to learn something every day – do you? Even if it is just reading an actual newspaper about world events or a magazine article about gardening, this goes a long way into keeping our brain active and working well. Keeping your brain fresh can help you be more physically able to react and deal with everyday situations.
How do you deal with emotions? Do you bottle them up and then vent all over somebody who doesn’t deserve it? Do you expose them to anyone who will listen only to find that they stop listening after a while? Learning to control and manage the emotions that we deal with daily is another component – your emotional health. Sometimes we all need a good venting session, or to just sit and be sad, but we also need to open ourselves up to truly being happy and joyful about the things in our life we are grateful for. Tony Robbins calls this the “hour of power” where you take time first thing in the morning to think about and acknowledge all of the things that you are blessed with in your life. Often when I’m walking my dogs in the morning I’ll just go through the list and realize how lucky I am to have a great family, a beautiful place to live, and a job that I love to go to in the mornings, even at 5am. If you have a hard time with this, friends and family are good ways to express how you are feeling (hopefully) without judgement and let you explore how you are feeling. Some people need direct counselling help for this type of thing, but it is still important just like the other two for overall well being and healthy living. When you’re angry – be angry. But make sure that it doesn’t detract from your overall health by causing you to have stress and be mentally unstable.
Which brings us to the final cornerstone of this equation – spiritual health. Whatever higher power you believe in really doesn’t matter to me, and if you don’t believe in one then that’s fine too. What you should have though is a set of principles and beliefs that you follow that fulfills you as a person. In a nutshell, I think that one can be spiritual in many ways, even if it is something as simple as being good to others. Giving to others can be a big part of this, and if you don’t have something like that in your life I encourage you to create it. I’m a believer that what we put out there is what we get back, which is one reason I do what I do every day.
So there we have it. Body, mind, heart and spirit all form the cornerstones of a healthy being that is able to go through life in a fulfilling way, conquer their goals and attain a higher state of being. What steps can you take today in order to shore up some of these cornerstones? Even a small step can make a difference and I encourage you to start right away. Feel free to comment and let me know what you have done today to help yourself.