Do you value your health?
Do you value your health?
Before we answer the question posed in the title above, let us make sure that we fully understand what is being asked of us.
the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something (noun) and to consider (someone or something) to be important or beneficial; have a high opinion of (verb). Oxford Languages and Google – English | Oxford Languages (oup.com)
according to WHO, a state of complete physical, mental and social well- being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
So, if we rephrase the question in the title: do you have a high opinion of your mental, physical and social well-being? Do you hold your mental, physical and social being in high regard? Do you give your mental, physical and social well-being the love and attention it deserves? Do you live in a way that nurtures all aspects of yourself to prevent mental and physical illness and social burnout?
The problem is that if you are waiting until you are sick to invest in your health, it will probably be too late to create ultimate health. We all want a long life, and we all want it to be a healthy one.
The knee-jerk response
When first asked the question, ‘do you value your health?’, I am sure the knee-jerk reaction is “yes, of course!”. Why, then, do we so often make excuses?
Consider the questions below:
Do you believe us when we tell you that your mental health and physical health are related?
What are you doing to look after your physical health?
Are you doing anything to nurture your mental health?
May we ask, would you put a cost on your health?
May we ask, could you put a price tag on your happiness?
Are you happy with where your life is at?
Are you happy with where your life is heading?
How often do you check-in with yourself?
If you could do something to be happier, would you?
If you could do something to be healthier, would you?
It may be exceedingly difficult to put a price tag on yourself, on your health, happiness, and life. In fact, we may even say these things are priceless.
If our health and happiness is such an important commodity, why do we too often say things like ‘I can’t afford to eat healthy food.’ ‘I cannot afford to have a trainer. I do not have time to work out or go for my annual checks. I cannot afford to work with someone who can help me figure out how to really take care of my health for the long-term. I do not have time to cook from scratch. I don’t have time to check in with myself.’ At the end of the day, it comes down to our priorities and where we CHOOSE to spend our time, energy and money. If we not choosing to spend these precious commodities (time, energy and money) on our most precious commodity (our health), at least to some degree, then we do not truly value our health.
The many faces of health
According to these definitions, health means more than just how you feel physically. Your physical body and health is essential, but it still only comprises one piece of the health puzzle. Your physical health refers to being fit and free from illness. This requires regular exercise, quality sleep and good nutrition- what your feed your body is, after all, what you feed your mind.
Another major part of health and wellness is emotional wellness, which has a direct impact on your physical health and wellness.
Our body and mind are connected and interrelated. What affects one, affects the other. This means that our actions determine our thoughts and feelings, and our thoughts and feelings determine our actions. This also means that we can use our body as a tool to counsel our thoughts and feelings. By performing specific bodily movements, we can trigger certain hormones and chemicals to restore harmony and balance- both psychologically and physiologically.
Think of it this way: When you’ve experienced an emotional trauma but not dealt with it appropriately, it can start to creep into other areas of your life that do have an impact on your physical health. You may have persistent headaches or gastrointestinal issues. When one refers to feeling stressed, not only do they feel it emotionally or mentally- but they feel the tension in their jaw, neck, shoulders or abdominal. That’s why expressing your emotions and learning to manage them appropriately is a huge component of overall health, wellness and happiness.
Your psychological well-being means acquiring appropriate coping mechanisms, problem-solving skills and decision-making skills so to avoid psychological distress. It is also having the ability to acknowledge your emotions and deal with them in an appropriate manner-by putting what you are feeling into words and being in control of them.
We are also not a person without other people and meaningful relationships. We need to feel belonging to reach our full potential. Humans are social beings. To be our best selves, to thrive- we need other humans. Meeting people, getting along with people, maintaining, and retaining healthy relations- these are the things that make us feel a part of something, fulfil us, fuel us and our self-image. Close friends and family bonds who provide unconditional love, support and care make us who we are. It is imperative that these relationships have healthy boundaries. The most important relationship to cultivate in your life is the one you have with yourself, but knowing you have people you can depend on goes a long way in helping you to cope with the everyday circumstances of your life.
Another two important aspects to consider are our spiritual and occupational wellness as both these narrate our emotional and mental health. To nurture one’s spirituality, one needs to spend time following the spiritual, religious or belief system of their choice. It is being mindful of one’s spiritual values and morals and nurturing these by living them out in your day-to-day life. It means reading, praying, reflecting and/or meditating. Outside of sleep, we spend most of our time at work. We need to feel fulfilled in our jobs and careers. We should have obtainable and achievable goals to work towards. Feeling appreciated and valued is the driver that gets us up and to work with a smile on our faces. Many people feel as if they are trapped in occupations or professions they don’t feel are rewarding or that they are valued, and that is a drain on you emotionally and physically. You can’t be happy and healthy when you dread going where you spend a majority of your waking hours during your work week.
When you have all these aspects of you and of your life balanced, then you will be truly healthy and you will thrive.
Health and Wellness is an active process of choosing to live a healthy and balanced life. Wellness is not simply being free from disease and ‘healthy’, it is accepting that we all need growth and to take part in our own evolution by making healthy choices and responsible decisions.
Not sure where to start? Something holding you back? Connectable Life has specialized counsellors and coaches in each of these areas.
Live your life to the fullest!
We want you to see the value in your (mental, physical, and social) health. For us to live our life to the fullest, we need our health. It is the most valuable thing that we have: without it, we cannot do all the things we need and want to live a full and happy life. We were not put on this earth to merely exist; we are here to LIVE, to THRIVE. We each have a purpose, a beautiful one at that.
Much like we take care of materialistic items that hold value to us (we wash our cars and take them for services; we paint our houses and fix our leaking toilets and we upgrade our cell phones when given the opportunity: the examples here can go on), we need to place the same level of care on ourselves.
Let us not wait until we lose a part of ourselves, our abilities, and our health for us to realise the importance of it. Let us look after ourselves and see our health as a priority. Let’s seek prevention and wellness rather than treatment and illness. It’s time to value yourself and invest in your health. When I talk about investing, I am not just talking about money but also maintenance, time, effort and energy. We invest so much in our financial future, but without investing in our health- what sort of future are we guaranteed?
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