By Sarah Kimball
We all know that it’s important to take care of ourselves. After all, we want to live long, happy, and healthy lives. But what is the secret to a healthy life?
Social media influencers, doctors, and our 104-year-old grandmothers all claim to have the their own health secrets. Not to mention, the media constantly bombards us with messages about how we need to eat this and drink that, take this pill and that drug, exercise at this time and in that way, all in the name of health. The problem is that these messages are contradictory and confusing to say the least. They leave us wondering what the true secret is to living a healthy life.
I’m not here to tell you about another health “secret,” but I will tell you this; health isn’t one-size-fits-all.
Healthy people are all different shapes and sizes. They practice different activities and eat different foods. Health is highly individual and your own health is best understood by yourself (it’s your body after all!).
You can remove yourself from those trendy health fads and start putting your health in your own hands by asking yourself these questions:
What makes you feel good?
Start thinking of the activities you do to make yourself feel good. Do you sit down with a cup of tea and a book to feel relaxed? Do you do yoga to celebrate how your body moves? Do you spend time with friends and family for good conversation and laughs? Do you have a favorite hobby that you do for fun? Health is all about mental, physical, and social well being. It’s a holistic understanding of what makes you feel best.
What makes you happy?
What makes your heart leap for joy? What are you passionate about? Are you living the life you’ve always dreamed of living? There is scientific evidence that a happy life paves the way for a healthy life, so if you’re not working to seek out your own happiness, you’re not working to achieve a life of optimal health. Begin to focus your time and energy on what gives you meaning and purpose, and be sure to remove any negativity in your life that is keeping you from your full potential.
What does being healthy mean to you?
How would you complete the sentence, “When I’m at my optimal health I can _____.”? How do you act, what do you do, and how do you feel when you are at your optimal health? Have you ever felt that way before? I know that when I’m at my optimal health, I go to work feeling awake and refreshed, I move and dance with ease, and I feel relaxed and confident as I go throughout my everyday life.
It’s important to think of health as a physical, social, and mental well being. Society often tells us that health is related to the way we look. We are told that to be healthy we need to have rock hard abs, lean legs, and muscular arms. We are also told that people in smaller bodies are healthier than people in larger bodies. In reality, we cannot determine someone’s health from his or her appearance since healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes. It’s up to us to think about how we feel healthiest and put our health into our own hands.
BJ Palmer, the developer of chiropractic said, “There is power within -- a fountain head of unlimited resource -- and he who controls it controls circumstances instead of it controlling him.” Let’s all take control of the beautiful and wonderful power within our bodies. Let’s nurture ourselves in holistic ways that are good for the mind, body, and soul. Let’s trust in our bodies to tell us about our individual health instead of relying on beauty standards and fad diets to so. Overall, let’s remember that health isn’t one-size-fits-all.