What Do You Need To Do In Order To Be Healthy?
Updated: May 20
This in an interesting question I know, but the answer is not as apparent as you might think...
As an Iridologist and natural healthcare practitioner, this is a question that I have asked myself many times. The reason why, though, had nothing to do with my work! It was a personal question. What did I need to do in order to be healthy on a personal level? Now I'm not simply talking about how I could prevent myself from getting the sniffles when winter came around. No, rather I was asking the universal health question, in other words, what did I need to do in order to be mentally, emotionally and physically healthy?
The reason why I would ask myself this is because, no matter how much I read about the topic, no matter what crazy diet or exercise regime I got involved in, being holistically healthy was still an elusive feeling for me.
As an example, I decided one day that I was going to be as fit as possible. So I got into CrossFit, power lifting, 10 kilometre social runs on the weekend and rock climbing. The result was that I trained every day. And when I wasn't training I was thinking about training. I would do a CrossFit workout, take a breather, then run a 5K.
Not only was this incredibly bad for my nervous system, but I was also getting very little sleep at the time because I was still trying to be a functional human being despite such a stringent exercises routine.
I mean, I remember some nights where I would walk into the gym at 10:30 pm!
So not only was this not a physically healthy thing to be doing, it also wasn't mentally healthy. Only later on did I realize that I was using fitness as a crutch for emotional problems I was experiencing.
And that realization hit me hard! I was using something "healthy" to hide unhealthy problems I had and the result of this was that I turned a good habit into something bad for me.
Yes I was physically healthy, but I was not mentally or emotionally healthy.
What I realized:
After this all happened I realized that even though you may behave healthily it doesn't mean that you are a healthy person. In fact misuse of "healthy" habits could actually harm you more than anything. For example "healthy" dieting may be the excuse for emotional issues that later on manifest themselves in the form of anorexia and bulimia to initially be hidden under the guise of health.
Outside of my personal experience I have noted how, in my own private practice, certain patients do far better than others with similar or the same health issues.
This further peaked my curiosity in the question we are discussing.
So I turned to all the scientific literature I could get my hands on to help me find an answer.
The results found in the study of the placebo effect intrigued me because they assert that the brain or more specifically our outlook towards health has the most profound effect on our actual health, for better or for worse.
I added this to what I already knew about the topic from both my personal and professional experience, and then it hit me!
I found the one thing that I was missing when it came to my personal health and the one thing that the piles and piles of literature on the topic were missing.
The truth... is quite honestly simple, yet profound and hard won.
What I needed to be healthy and what you need to do to be healthy is this: Decide to be.
Yes, in order order to be healthy, you need to decide to be healthy. Now that might sound like a give, but really it's not.
How many people start gyming because they want to look a certain way versus how many people start gyming in order to be healthy?
How many people go on a diet so that they can fit into that dress versus how many people diet so that they can avoid heart disease?
How many people adopt productive daily habits so they can make more money and be viewed as more successful than their neighbors versus how many people adopt productive habits so that their mental health and mood will improve?
You see, often our motivation to do healthy things is not first and foremost our health. It's often something more superficial and the health aspect is a nice perk.
If I wanted to get fitter so I could be healthier, I wouldn't have gymed to the unhealthy extent I did.
You see, if you decide to be healthy, you won't form productive habits that impact your mental health. You won't adopt mental approaches to life that damage your emotional health. If you decide to be healthy, no one spectrum of health will impact another negatively.
Rather all your efforts to be healthier will work together and improve one another to the point of it becoming your lifestyle - a way of thinking and feeling. Deciding to be healthy will result in health permeating your life and everything you do.
So make the decision, decide to be healthy!
Once You've Made The Decision
What should you do after you have decided to be healthy? The simple answer, re-assess everything.
Start with your habits. Ask yourself: What habits do I have that are preventing me from being either physically, mentally or emotionally healthy?
These could range from smoking and alcohol-abuse to late night Instagram browsing as you try to fall asleep.
As you identify these habits, write them down and come up with a plan to change or replace them.
Don't simply eliminate a bad habit; replace it with a good one!
For example, instead of waking up, turning over and reaching for your phone, (there's a ton of literature that explains why this is a bad habit), get up and appreciate what a wonderful day it is outside. Using this time to prepare your mind for the day ahead will help you to be more productive and help alleviate stress.
Then once you've done that, make your bed! Making your bed in the morning is a fantastic little task that promotes mental health. This small task prepares your brain for the bigger tasks that lie ahead of you for the day. Not to mention that getting a small shot of dopamine (the body's reward hormone) is a nice perk to this habit.
You see, good habits are often small things that can make a major difference in our lives. So establish them!
Once you've done this you can start with the bigger things:
Form a healthy exercise routine.
Adopt a clean, nutritious, sustainable diet.
Build emotionally healthy relationships.
Improve your mental outlook on life.
Do all these things with the goal of being a healthy, happy person rather than the picture of one.
And if you already have most of these habits in your life, re-assess how healthy your approach to them is and if your motivation is still your health, or if something else has replaced that.
Through my natural health coaching, I have not only been able to help myself but I have also had the pleasure of helping others. So if you feel that this article speaks to you and you would like help in improving your life, please feel free to request a coaching session.
Regardless of what healthy habits you have now, or what healthy goals you have set for the future, please, choose to be healthy in them!
My wish for you is the same as always: To live your healthy, happy life.