You know the saying; a healthy mind can only exist in a healthy body right?
But what does a healthy body and mind feel like?
According to the World Health Organisation, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, are the leading cause of death in the world.
The risk factors include obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, blood glucose, unhealthy diet and alcohol consumption and even though these risks can be mitigated by following a healthy and balanced lifestyle so many of us just don’t do it.
This is a very real fact but is it enough to jolt you back to good health?
We want to, but we just can’t seem to connect “leading causes of death” to our everyday comings and goings.
Maybe until we have personal experiences with these diseases this fact is simply too big for our psyche to grapple with – we feel disconnected and intimidated!
If you don’t understand what healthy feels like you will forever be chasing something you have never experienced. And it is our experiences that are the basis for our beliefs.
It is difficult to aspire to and practice the universal benefits of healthy living when you don’t have belief around it. Give yourself a chance to anchor this belief into your reality by experiencing what healthy actually feels like for you!
What does healthy feel like to you?
I aspire to a healthy lifestyle by practicing the "healthy feeling". By viewing my health in this way makes it so much easier to actually be healthy!
For me health means
- I feel confident, happy and empowered
- I have all the energy in the world
- I feel tight and fit
- I feel like my skin is glowing
- I feel mentally focussed and clear
When was the last time you FELT healthy?
The benefits of a healthy lifestyle that encompasses a balanced approach to food and exercise is easy to achieve when you break it down into something a little smaller (like the feelings above listed above). For me it is far easier to practice being healthy when I experience the rewards on a daily basis (I know my future self will thank me also).
I don’t stress over the small stuff and rarely experience any guilt when I do something or act in a way that is not in line with my goals or vision. If I can get 80% right, the other 20% doesn’t matter. I am not a professional athlete or fitness model and it’s unlikely that you are either. So get the 80% right, and stop sweating the small stuff.
A few habits that I practice and I don’t even think about anymore include :
- I start the day well – a fresly made bed and a good breakfast. I exercise 3-4 times a week and enjoy every second of it.
- I always cook and prepare my own food.
- I always eat breakfast. Always!
- I drink loads of water.
- I sleep 7-8 hours a day.
- I manage my stress by understanding my triggers and practicing coping mechanisms.
- I practice self-care
What are habits and how can you get started?
Habits are routines or behaviours practiced regularly enough so that they become automatic - behavioural patterns we repeat most often are literally etched into our neural pathways.
In order to develop a positive habit today I would encourage you to focus on repeating one that you are reasonably confident you can achieve (this will help you build your confidence). In order to start, write down 5 habits you are committed to developing and ask yourself how confident you are, from a scale of 0(low) – 10(high) you can succeed. Focus on the one with the highest score and come back to the rest when you have noticed that less work is required because of your success with the first.
I look after myself and I am not just talking about pampering, shopping or holidays. I practice kindness to the parts of me that want to eat the whole tub of ice cream, the part of that doesn’t want to train, and parts of the get disappointed, frustrated and bored easily. I don’t punish myself and I celebrate, cherish and share all the nice things that happen. I let go of the bad and I view any failure or setbacks as nothing more than the consequences of that one iteration.
Success breeds success so take baby steps and remember that the only way you can eat an elephant is one bite at a time.