Are you always fatigued? Do you struggle with motivation or happiness? Do you know it’s essential to be living a better life but don’t know where to start?
We perform better when our thoughts, feelings, emotions, values, and goals are in balance with one another. The problem may run deeper than basic physical health–and the answer is making wellness a priority.
Defining health and wellness
Health is more than the absence of disease. It is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. Wellness is a combination of all of those things.
Wellness is the active process of being aware of your decisions and using those choices to live a more fulfilling life. Just like health, it’s more than the absence of disease. It’s a journey of progress and growth. Here are some simple ways to take stock of a few types of health and ways to see improvement in these categories.
Ways to improve social health
Social health is the ability to interact and communicate well with people and to have satisfying personal relationships.
Social health doesn’t mean that you’re active on social media. It means you have developed the necessary skills to have meaningful relationships with friends, family, and coworkers. You feel comfortable being who you are in all situations, value diversity, treat others with respect, and have created boundaries that encourage communication, trust, and conflict management.
If you feel this area needs more development or balance, then you’re not alone!
- Be engaged with other people in your community. Determine what you enjoy or are passionate about and find a meetup or club to join. Volunteer your time or talents to make a difference in someone else’s life.
- Accept invitations and make arrangements. An acquaintance will blossom into a deeper friendship with an offer to grab a cup of coffee. Head out to happy hour with your coworkers, or organize a trip to the movies. If social invitations aren’t rolling in, then extend an offer yourself.
- Balance your social and personal time. You should be having fun! Maintaining balance will keep things fresh and fun, and giving yourself personal time to recover is critical for your health.
Ways to improve mental health
Mental health is the capacity to learn and grow intellectually. New and exciting life experiences, as well as more formal educational means, can enhance your mental health.
Focusing on your mental health is great if you’re dealing with a lack of motivation or a case of the blahs. We feel best when we’re meeting our potential and pursuing our goals. You don’t have to enroll in a community college or classes at a local YMCA to get more bang for your intellectual buck.
- Pick a learning project. Have you ever wanted to learn how to knit? Or take on learning a new language? Maybe it’s something easier like developing a new skill in your business. Choose something you’re passionate about and craft a plan. How many hours a day or week are you willing to invest? Be intentional, and you’ll be productive in your goals.
- Fill your thoughts with positivity and gratitude. All the amazing things in our lives can be easy to overlook when a significant problem or issue comes our way. When things get tough, focus on being grateful for the things you do have. The adage, “Think happy thoughts” actually works. Your subconscious brain can’t decipher tonality or sarcasm, and by holding your thoughts to this higher, positive standard, you can recondition your brain to be more positive and grateful. Ditch the cynicism and let in more gratitude for a happier mental space.
- Calm the mind and reduce stress. Life is busy, hectic, and difficult even at the best of times. But a racing mind and anxious thoughts are damaging to your mental wellness and need to be contained. If you feel your mind racing thoughts at light speed, then try deep breathing exercises. If that doesn’t work then identify what is taking up so much energy and think about intentional steps you can take toward a healthy solution.
How to improve emotional health
Emotional health is the ability to control and express your emotions as well as empathize and understand others. Emotional health means that you feel a wide arrange of emotions, take ownership of them, and express them appropriately.
Many people mistakenly believe they’re doing well in this area, when they actually are not. If you find yourself avoiding conflicts or constantly bending over backward to take care of others, you may want to take a closer look at your emotional health.
- Schedule in some “me time.” If you’re feeling happy, lonely, sad, or angry, take the time to embrace that emotion. Explore those feelings in depth and try to identify what made you feel that way. Is it a reasonable reaction? Taking time to work through your emotional state by introspection will give you a new understanding of what’s causing you to feel this way.
- Write in a journal. Keep track of what happens in your life and how you feel about it. The process of jotting down your thoughts can bring a clarity you may not gain from a racing mind. You’ll also gain experience expressing your emotions in a safe, nonjudgmental place. The best part about this is you can re-read and examine your feelings in retrospect, helping you identify triggers.
- Indulge in prayer or meditation. Taking the time to focus, relax, and free your mind in a time of prayer or meditation will improve your spiritual & emotional wellness. This could be done within your community of faith, or alone. You can pray or meditate in nature, with music, or in complete silence. Building up your faith and inner peace in whichever way you prefer will bring harmony to your life and others around you.
How to improve physical health
Physical health is critical for well-being in any of the above areas, and the most apparent aspect of our overall health and wellness.
There are millions of articles about how to gain better physical health. We all want to look great and live longer, and it can be overwhelming to keep up with all the new fads… which spice will extend our lives this year, and what surprise herb should we avoid? Ignore the trends and focus on the reality of controlling your physical health.
- Sleep soundly. If you’re skimping on your sleep to squeeze a few more hours out of your day, then you’re making a big mistake. Lack of sleep can lead to irritability, loss of focus and a range of health problems. Try to set a regular sleep schedule so your body gets used to it, and limit caffeine or other stimulants late in the day. If you still have trouble sleeping you may want to speak with your doctor about it.
- Hydrate and maintain a balanced diet. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout each day. You know what foods are right for you–fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Explore the variety of options out there and find some that you love. Replace the bad foods you love (potato chips and chocolate cake) with other food that you love to eat. Avoid sugar and the bad fats, such as saturated and trans fatty acids. Finally, make sure you hydrate and limit alcohol intake.
- Exercise regularly. Yes, we all know exercise is beneficial for our body and mind, but it can be difficult to gain motivation to get moving. When getting started, try to focus more on how good it will make you feel and all the positive benefits rather than how difficult it is. By exercising you’ll feel better, improve your mood and energy levels, lose weight, and live a longer and happier life. If this is a struggle for you, start small with a few easy exercises even if it’s just 10 minutes a day at first. Once it becomes a habit, your future self will thank you!
Most people seek medical care for entirely preventable conditions, and it can make a big dent on your finances. According to the CDC, chronic diseases account for more than 75% of healthcare costs–and they are the most preventable type of illness. However, if you make long term lifestyle changes, you can put a potentially significant dent in healthcare costs–both in insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.
Improving your health and wellness in a broad way has numerous benefits for your life. It will lead to a better financial situation through savings in health care costs, improvements in your mood, energy levels, relationships and more. What are you waiting for?!
Join the upcoming 30 Day Health Challenge for California Beauty Professionals by entering your email here: https://danfwellness.lpages.co/30-day-health-challenge/