When you hear the word health, what comes to mind? Eating healthy? Being impervious to sickness? Exercise? Living a long life? Let me just say there is so much more to health than just our physical body.
I went years think that health meant those things I listed above, I had no idea that there was so much more to it that I didn’t quite understand. There in physical health for sure but then you have mental health, environmental health, spiritual health, emotional health and social health. There are classifications for each type in textbooks I’m sure, but I want to talk about each of these types of health in a personal setting. I will share my views and understanding of each category in ways that it relates to me. Take what you can from this, I just hope that it broadens your mind in realizing there is so much more to our health and well being than just remembering to eat our fruits and vegetables.
Mental Health is truly important for all aspects of life. Lets just say without mental health you become incapable and even paralyzed from living a life that is full. Mental health allows us to feel good inside and out. We are able to process information and retain it as well. Mental health is how we think, feel and act. You don’t have to have a mental illness to research more about your mental health. Try reading a book about emotions, you will find that they are a very healthy and natural aspect to your life. I just purchased a book called “10% Happier” by Dan Harris. I am looking forward to starting it, I don’t feel unhappy or that I am on a verge of a panic attack (like the author had to deal with on live TV) but I am always looking for ways to improve myself and my life!
Environmental Health can be a touchy subject. You have people that argue about global warming and climate change. There is more to Environmental Health than just the weather, it can include air quality, food safety, noise pollution, safe drinking water, lots of aspects regarding chemicals and even disaster preparedness. I live in a remote town in Nevada. People ask how remote and my answer is the nearest wal-mart is over 180 miles away. I live in a high desert town and we have had 13 inches of snow fall in one day and drifts that were even bigger. I have to be prepared for no electricity with weather under 0 degrees. My husband and I always have some firewood handy just in case. Today is a great example, I woke up to 38 degrees and this last week has been in the 80’s. How crazy is that fluctuation? Food safety is a massive importance in my life, I don’t want a bunch of chemicals and words I can’t even pronounce to be apart of my food. I try to get as much organic and natural foods as possible. I have noticed that the flavor or organic meats don’t need a lot of extra flavor because they are so much more flavorful than the processed meats. Organic apples are the best, they are not coated in pesticides and wax, you bit right into and it tastes incredibly flavorful and juicy. Try it out and see what you think.
Spiritual Health is a must for me. I am a Christian and I have found that God has helped my life in numerous ways. I know many people that have grow up in a Christian home and in turn they decided to follow their families belief system. That was me until I reached twenty, at that point I wanted to believe something because I did and not because I grew up a certain way. I took time to figure out what I believed in and why I believed in it. I believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit because I have had instances in my life that were touched and changed forever. One days that have been hard in the past I have read the Bible and found a fresh hope. I find peace in God. I know that Jesus always covers and protects me. I know that little gut feeling in the pit of my stomach or the tiny voice in my head that warns me is the Holy Spirit, when I hear or feel that I listen closely because it has taken care of me more than once. I want to make a disclaimer here, religion and my belief are very different things. I feel that religion can be seen as a negative, controlling, step by step processes, judgmental towards others and even prone to implement scare tactics to get you to do what they want. My belief is personal and it has helped me throughout the years. I am not here to argue stances but share what I can, which is my personal experiences.
Emotional Health is captured in this quote, we control our destiny. Are you going to strive for success or are you going to let everyday just happen to you? I am going to make the best of every moment I have breathe in my lungs. I will choose to be aware of how I feel and harness those emotions to launch me into my calling. Well how can you apply that if you are mad? What about if you have emotions other that motivated and excited about life? When I am mad I go running, it gets me out of my head and causes me to use my frustration to become more fit. That is a healthy alternative to staying home and thinking about all the things that make me feel mad. That will just spiral you into a depressed state. It is so easy to label emotions as bad ad good but I challenge you to think differently, what if all emotions are equal? The hard and sad times in my life have caused the most growth and learning. I grew in happy moments as well but there was a noticeable increase with the hard days. Everything that you feel has the power to damage you or change you. You get to decide what to do because you are powerful.
Social Health is key to building healthy relationships and having meaningful interactions with others. It is tempting to go through life as a lone wolf at times but we were created to have fellowship with others. We as humans are social creatures by nature. It might be hard to start a conversation with a stranger, it can be difficult to slowly let people get to know the real you and it is hard to get out of your own bubble in your house watching TV. I can promise you that it is crucial that you have social interactions with others. Like anything in life it takes time to learn to do things well but perfect practice make for success. What does “perfect practice” mean? Perfect practice is where every single step is done with precision and accuracy then practicing those steps over and over until it becomes ingrained in your brain to the point that it becomes natural. (These are the words my husband lives by. Craig Barber) He applied it to his career and now to our daily life.
Physical Health was my first step in discovery the multiple aspects of health. I became a healthy version of myself with working out, biking, running and sports. It wasn’t easy but it was worth it. The first time I went on a run my weight was hitting over 200 lbs. I ran just under 10 feet and had to stop due to exhaustion. That isn’t stop me, the next day I was out running again, I made it about ten feet again, but I walked the rest of the 2 mile trail. It took six months to be able to run 8 miles. I did my regular 2 mile run 5 days a week in under 20 minutes. That became my base. I am still so proud of how far I’ve come. You can do any activity that you apply your will power and dreams to. If I went from running 10 feet, you can feel good at any start. My outlook on life changed when I was physically healthy and capable of so much more than I had dreamed for myself. Physical Health became such a joy in my life that I made it a priority. You will know what is important to you and your life because you will find yourself making time for it.
Stay healthy by reading encouraging and resourceful books, talk to someone you trust, research things to build on your weaknesses and never ever quit. There is no doubt in my mind that we are more capable of accomplishing things beyond our dreams that we are aware of.
I will add an additional post in the future that contains all the most helpful and encouraging resources that I have come across to date.