Health is a must
You’ve probably heard the phrase, ‘Without your health you have nothing.’ Well, basically, it is true. When you set out on the journey of self-discovery, it’s important to not take too many steps forward unprepared. As you find your feet and your confidence grows, you may experience periods where you realise you have bitten off more than you can chew. Success and progression can be addictive, and although you might not want to slow down too much and lose momentum, you will definitely lose it if your health starts to wane, whether you like it or not.
All the money and success in the world will not matter if you don’t have your health; this is why it has to be a consideration for your journey.
Health falls into two main categories: psychological and physiological. Although both intertwine somewhat, they can be separated further into subheadings. Under psychological health, you have mental and emotional health, and under physiological health, you have nutritional and physical health. These categories may be grouped and defined differently, but for the purpose of separation, I have broken them down in this manner. When referring to mental and emotional health, there are several things to consider, such as stress, state of mind, happiness, meaning, relationships, relaxation, recovery and balance, all of which are important to sustaining your journey forward. I could easily write an entire book just on each of the above subjects, but for now we will focus on immediate and practical application of awareness.
The main idea, in relation to psychological health, is to find a point of balance. Imagine a spectrum with the centre representing the perfect balance of mental and emotional health. This middle point is the sweet spot; it’s the point on the spectrum that represents homeostasis. It’s possible to maintain this particular point without too much effort, but as positive and negative events occur, the marker on your spectrum moves left and right of the sweet spot. Too much or too little of the psychological health-related aspects will move your mental health marker up and down. Too much stress with no recovery will have you on a downward slide, but stress followed by adequate recovery will keep you balanced. A happy working life can easily be sabotaged or poisoned by a horrible relationship at home, and if both are negative you can be certain that your balance will be on a downward trend. Even working and living reasonably well may not be enough without purpose and meaning in your life. Once you understand the different areas affecting your mental health and stability, you have the power to make improvements, and as you do, you will set a new baseline for your individual balance.
Physical health is directly related to mental health, but if you’re already exercising, eating well and living a healthy lifestyle, you don’t need to understand the finer details. Obesity is out of control in the modern era, and technology has made many of us lazier. We tend to think that just because we walk to work and ate an apple last week that we are doing okay, but the truth is, most of us have gone way off course. The odds are that if you let your physical and nutritional health go, it will adversely affect your mental health. Exercise and eating healthy food will lead to greater vitality, which has the knock-on effect of making you feel energised instead of lethargic.
As much as I would like to delve deeper into the subject of health, I will leave it for another book and another time. To put it simply, eat healthy food, exercise regularly, meditate, relax, make time for yourself, socialise, take breaks, reduce stress, drink water, spend time with your family, visit your doctor for check-ups, speak to a psychologist if necessary, do what you love, engage in hobbies and don’t take life too seriously.