Much like a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, you are only as strong as your weakest characteristic. And this is built on five pillars. If one of those pillars is out of alignment, a trickle-down effect can be felt through your entire body.
The next thing you know, you won’t be in a complete state of health and happiness. And at the end of the day, that is the monumental goal.
All that being said, here is a look at these pillars with more details about each one. If you currently feel depressed, anxious, frustrated, or anything other than happy, then chances are, you can benefit from this information.
But only YOU can determine which pillar is off. Once you do though, you can make the necessary adjustments and get yourself back to optimal function. That right there is REALLY what life is all about. All the shiny cars and fancy watches in the world can’t give you true happiness. It has to come from within. Remember that. OK, here we go!
1. Regular Bouts of Exercise
It should come to no surprise to you that exercise is vitally important for overall health. And for this pillar to be on point, you must execute balance. This means do a blend of weight training, cardio and flexibility work.
That way you will build strength, aerobic capacity and mobility, and your body will be in balance. Although you can do just one of these facets of fitness, you won’t fully get the effect of it as a pillar because one other area will be off.
Always remember that you are striving for balance. The pillars together can do that, but you also have to look at them from a micro level too. Follow a weekly regimen that includes weight lifting, cardio and flexibility training and you’ll be golden.
2. Healthy Diet
In order for anything else to fall into place, your diet has to be predominately clean. As a rule of thumb, deploy the 80/20 rule. This means, eat healthy 80 percent of the time. And of course, anything above this will be a bonus.
Much like exercise, think in terms of balance here. If you eat all carbs and no protein or fat, you’re going to have problems. In fact, if you choose to eliminate or severely reduce one of these macro-nutrients, you will eventually run into trouble.
The body was designed to use protein, carbs and fat for definitive reasons. Unless you have a specific condition that disallows this, do not deprive your body of this natural mechanism.
Also, consider not eating late at night. Or, for simplicity sake, don’t eat after dark. This is when your body wants to go to sleep and your organs want to rest. If you eat and drink merrily after 7 pm specifically, you are increasing your risk for diseases.
Try to start your last meal by 6 and finish by 7. And to help your cause even more, eat inside a 12-hour or less window of time. So this would be between 7 am and 7 pm. That’s not asking too much when it comes to your overall well-being.
To put this into layman’s terms, ecotherapy is when you go outside to get fresh air or exercise and your mood gets elevated. A lot of research has been done on how beneficial this is for overall happiness.
If you are not connecting to Mother Nature, then you are doing yourself a disservice and you need to start ASAP! It can be as simple as going for a 30-minute walk or hike in the mountains, 3 days a week.
4. Human Connection
Here is an element that has slowly and sadly gone by the wayside over the years. Before the advent of technology, people used to actually write letters to each other, call each other on a rotary phone and look each other in the eye when they went out to dinner.
Nowadays, everything is based on texts, emails, social media messages and forget about looking someone in the eye at a restaurant dinner. Everyone is slouched in their chairs with their heads down and faces buried in their smart phones.
If you are one of the many guilty parties here, this could very-well be the reason why you are not in harmony. But, you can easily change that by looking people in the eye, shaking peoples hands, giving more hugs, kissing your significant other and telling them you love them, and doing it every single day!
This is called human connection. We need hugs, we need human contact, we need to give and receive love, and we need to feel like we matter. Reciprocate this to all the people who are close to you and watch what happens!
Last but not least, you have sleep. Perhaps this is the most overlooked, yet important aspect of human life. It is during sleep that your body goes into recovery mode. Key hormones are being released, your brain gets to relax and cells regenerate.
If you chintz on sleep and try to schlep your way through the day on coffee and energy drinks, you are like a dog chasing its tail. Eventually, this will catch up to you and your body will force you to shut down.
You are better served getting a good 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night and not relying on any aids to get you through the day. A strategically placed power nap here or there is totally fine. But when you alter your body’s circadian rhythms and natural mechanisms, that’s when things get out of whack.
Bringing It All Home
A lot of what was mentioned should be common sense to you. But we often don’t put things together in a holistic fashion. If you look inside and are honest with yourself, where do you stand with these pillars?
If you are lacking in one or more areas, then you can now easily change things up and get to where you want to go. And before you know it, you will be the healthiest and happiest you’ve ever been.
And with that, I bid you adieu & wish you all the best!
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P.P.S. Hit reply and let us know if there is any health and well-being topic you want us to cover off in the coming weeks.