In our culture, people usually divide themselves into parts. They have a body, but they also have a mind, a soul, a brain (different than a mind), and so on. While that can be useful sometimes,
it’s also beneficial to understand that these are all connected.
Your whole body operates as one giant machine. If you’re stressed, your body heals more
slowly. Falling in love and being with that person makes your body produce more helpful
hormones and chemicals. Even a broken arm can make you depressed and frustrated.
So when you think about improving your health, you really need to think about your whole body
- from head to toe. It’s all important to your ultimate goal of being healthy each day. But such
wellness doesn’t just happen. You have to work at it.
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Changes Quickly Add Up
Everyone wants to be healthier, but many make the mistake of trying to change too much at onetime. If you lived an unhealthy lifestyle for years, do you really think you can suddenly hit the gym, eat right, avoid bad coping strategies, and avoid stress all in the same day? Trying this leads to failure, which can ruin your motivation and keep you locked in an unhealthy life.
Instead, start by making a few small changes. If the changes are small, they’re easier to accomplish and stick with.
These can include:
●Taking walks around your building on a lunch break.
●Bring healthy snacks to work.
●Drink plenty of water.
●Use an app to keep track of what you actually eat each day.
●Wake up a little earlier to enjoy some quiet “me” time.
The Mind-Body Connection
Again, your mind and body can be treated separately, but they are very interconnected. Changes to one will affect the other. That means you need to be careful. Getting sick can make it harder to handle stress, and getting stressed can make it harder to handle a cold.
But you can also take advantage of this connection. For example, if you are having trouble with stress or mental health, taking care of your body by staying hydrated and getting regular exercise will help. You should also avoid alcohol, tobacco, and any recreational drugs. You might have fun for a few hours, but the damage it does to your body and mind is not worth it.
Promoting Your Own Health
It’s often much easier to tell people what to do than follow your own advice. That’s definitely true for your whole-body health. What you need to work on is how to promote wellness for yourself.
One technique to use here is called a lifestyle/behavioral approach. You take a look at your life and identify the people, activities, and reasons why you might do things that are unhealthy. In other words, list the things in your life that sabotage your whole-body health. That could be an old friend who needs to drink to have fun, a toxic relationship at work, or “needing” to snack on chips and candy bars during the day.
Once you know what’s causing problems, you can then take steps to either limit or eliminate
them from your life. You can still hang out with your buddy, but try to find non-drinking things to do. Find solutions to that toxic relationship. Try healthier snacks and stop buying the bad ones in the first place. Again, make sure you’re making smaller changes so you can be successful with
Whole-Body Health Is Possible
If you’re used to chips and couches, you might think a whole-body healthy lifestyle is out of
reach. Don’t think that. Start small, realize that your body and mind are interconnected, and
promote your own health. Soon enough, you’ll be doing something healthy each day.
Author: Jennifer McGregor