Health goes above and beyond the fridge and the gym. To have a healthy lifestyle, you first have to have a healthy state of mind. Yes, exercise is important, but having healthy relationships, self-esteem, and a work-life balance will benefit you past any workout routine.
1. Patience: Developing patience takes dedication and persistence. You have to actively fight against your natural instincts to fly-off at the handle and stop yourself to consider your thoughts and actions. Being patient comes in many forms. It can look like you spouse taking longer than expected, or your children disobeying you for the thousandth time. Your first reaction is anger, and to explode with yelling or snarky remarks. Patience would tell you to put others first and consider how you treat others. No, your kids shouldn’t disobey you, but yelling at them won’t drive home the lesson you want them to learn. Take a few breaths to cool down and talk to them with patience.
2. Self-Control: It’s hard to stop impulses. We want that extra piece of cake, we want that new shirt at the store, and we want everyone's attention. Self-control is about recognizing the differences between needs and wants. Even though that shirt at the store is nice, controlling how you spend your money is a wiser decision. You may want the shirt, but you need to put money in your retirement fund. Set limits for yourself so that you can have wants and rewards every now and then, but the goal is to have mastery over them, so they don’t control you.
3. Unplug All the Way: Our culture is highly connected to everything. There’s nothing wrong with emails, social media, and Netflix, but it can become a strain on you, mentally. If you are constantly receiving work phone calls and notifications, then you never are truly “off.” You have to set aside time for you to recharge your mind, and to connect with the people who are around you. Have a conversation without a phone near you. Do an adventure and don’t post about it. Experience things rather than live behind a lense. Create memories instead of virtual likes. It’ll reduce your stress levels and give you deeper relationships.
4. Ask More Questions: Constantly stay curious. Children love to ask questions because they are figuring out the world around them. At some point, adults lose that sense of mystery and wonder, and they stop asking questions. Ask your neighbors what they do for a living, ask yourself what you want your goals to be for the year, and ask yourself why you believe what you believe. When you ask a question, you initiate something new, and odds are--you’ll get an answer. You’ll be solid in your belief system and know why you think the way you do, which will give you confidence. Plus, you’ll start new friendships and maybe learn something new.
5. Spend Time with Loved Ones: Time is the most valuable thing that we have. Don’t waste it on things that won’t matter in the end. Spend it caring for the ones that you love and develop strong relationships with people. Work is important, but it’ll always be there. Life changes and shifts, which means you should make your relationships a priority.
6. Set A New Goal Each Month: Taking small steps each month will help you reach a big goal by the end of the year. If you want to write a book, then set the goal of writing 15 pages a month. At the end of the year, you’ll have 180 pages. If you want to lose weight, then set goals to lose 6-8lbs in a month. If you want to learn how to dance, then practice at it a little every day for a month. By setting realistic goals, you’ll be able to stick with it, and become an expert in no time.
Health is about working on you, and who you are as a person. Having a healthy mental state will give you the tools to make better decisions through life. It’ll take time to develop, but you’ll be a happier, healthier, and wiser version of you. You’ll enrich the lives of those around you, and hopefully inspire others to pursue a healthy lifestyle, too.
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