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Finding better health

Finding better health

"I'll sleep when I'm dead"
   Some random overworked, tired person. 

We here in western society have this odd tendency to want to see the mind and the body as two separate things operating independently. So we go on about our lives not really paying attention to that link until the connection breaks down, then we scramble for answers. What went wrong? How can I fix it? Our bodies and our minds may be separate things but they do share a deep connection. The health of one affects the other much more deeply than we’d often think. Ignoring that link can be to our detriment. Top performers understand that to reach a higher level of performance a healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. When we fail to take care of the mind the physical effects it has on the body are very real and the reverse is also true. So how do we reconnect? How do we find better ways to be more alert to the problem and maintain a healthier balance. After all, it is much easier to maintain a steady balance than waiting until we breakdown in crisis. 

Pay attention stay alert,

What is the first thing people search for in their personal lives? If you said happiness you are correct. We all want to be happier people but what are we doing to achieve that goal? Happiness doesn’t just walk up and knock on your door because you wish for it. Sadly too many people ignore their mental health hoping somehow things will simply resolve themselves. Thankfully attitudes are starting to change around self-care and mental health. The old stigma of self-care being viewed as weak or even self-indulgent is beginning to dissolve. We now know that our mental health is every bit as important as our physical health, one can not function without the other. Once we make that connection we can begin to make positive change. So what are your mind and body trying to tell you?

Finding ways to manage stress.

How much stress are you carrying right now? How are you managing it if at all?  We know that stress causes illness in both the body and the mind so when it goes unmanaged that’s when problems occur, the longer it goes unmanaged the more serious the problems tend to be. Pay attention to your stress. Listen to what your mind and body are telling you so you know what is a healthy amount of stress and what is too much. Letting stress linger and build is unhealthy so if you are carrying too much stress you need to find ways to manage it. There are as many ways to manage stress as there are people giving advice on managing stress. For me strenuous exercises like running or swimming work best but there are also times when exercise is completely the wrong approach so I may choose yoga or meditation. These things may or may not work for you. You may find a walk in the woods, playing a musical instrument or being creative works best for you. Whatever it is I can pretty much guarantee it isn’t trading sleep for coffee so you can put in extra hours behind the desk.

Mind-body connection

Tending to mental health often is at odds with the way we expect our mind and body to function. We now know sitting is the new smoking and not moving can cause health problems. We also have conclusive proof that an unhealthy diet of highly processed junk foods is not only unhealthy for our bodies but affects our moods and mental performance. Yet we still binge on caffeinated beverages or load up on sugary snacks to try and boost our energy then repeat the process for five days out of every weak. These things are fine for a machine but we are not machines and our bodies were not meant to be motionless. Make no mistake about it our physical health has a direct effect on our mental health. What we put in our bodies affects the performance of every part of us including our mind. Many people scoff at the idea about but adopting a healthier diet and exercise. It’s too hard, I don’t have the time, etc, etc. but here’s my challenge. If you think that it’s too difficult then try this. Just look into what a healthier lifestyle would look like. You do not have to make any decisions or any changes just look. Do a little research on how detrimental the effects of stress, not enough rest and the typical western diet are for us. There is an abundance of information available on these topics, podcasts, blogs, videos just explore a few. Knowledge is power and my guess is as you begin to explore your attitude will change and you will begin to adopt healthier habits. 

If you find a podcast blog or video you like on the topic you like please leave a comment we’d love to hear from you.