I think the problem with many of us is that we look at health all wrong. We laugh at advice from the health world or shrug it off because we don’t see any real problem with how we’ve chosen to live our lives. But I think with a little shift in mindset, we could all be looking at health differently, and find that we care about it more…
Not a chore or punishment
For many of us, we look at any sort of better health pursuits as a chore or a punishment. That we aren’t allowed to eat sweets and takeaways. That we need to calorie count and ensure we are more active in order to burn more calories than we consume.
But thinking of it like this makes people resist it. It’s not that they don’t care about their health, it’s just that it feels like too much effort to “fix” it. That there’s just too much to think about or it’s too restrictive and so why bother when we’re not really that unhealthy anyway, right?
But it is not a chore or a punishment, not really. I’ll go into more detail as to why not later in this post…
Not something that makes you invincible to death or pain
On the other hand, some people get into better health pursuits because they want to cheat death. They want to be so strong and fit that they will live to be one hundred, never feel any pain, and keep running up mountains even with grey hair and wrinkled skin.
Again, health doesn’t work that way. Many very healthy people still get cancer or injure themselves. Our bodies aren’t perfect; they’re vulnerable to illness, breakage, and disease. Instead of fooling yourself into thinking there’s a level of healthiness that will make you immune to all that, it’s better to view health as a preventative measure that ensures you’re less susceptible to it, that’s all.
This is more realistic and doesn’t give any false promises of immortality and superpowers!
So that’s how we shouldn’t view our health, but how should we look at it? Here are some of my ideas…
It’s a habit
It’s not about seeing your health as something that you need to constantly think about and implement. Once it’s a habit, it’s just normal. It’s just routine.
That’s the goal.
If we can all think about making health a habit, health becomes natural. Instinctual. Easy and so mundane that we never have to think about it, we just do it.
How great would it be to just jump out of bed and naturally just stretch and meditate? To naturally reach for the fruit bowl? To naturally go for a run after work or do mini exercises at your desk?
That’s the dream. And it’s not some weird health guru’s lifestyle that I’m describing here, it could be your life if you aim to make your health not a chore or a big life change or even a goal, but instead a normal everyday routine habit.
How to build habits:
I’m no expert on habit-building, I’m still trying, but I know some things that help to build habits…
- *Make it easy: Have your yoga mat in sight, put a book by your bed instead of your phone, don’t buy any chocolate just buy fruit, or have an exercise bike up and out in the living room ready to ride while watching TV.
- Be held accountable: Have someone or something that keeps you in check; someone who is doing it with you or keeping track of what you’re doing to make sure you’re consistently doing it.
- *Be consistent: With your time, with your intention, with your activity; consistency is the key to forming a habit; things aren’t easy at first but with consistency, they become easy.
- Be organised: It will be easier to do what you’re doing if you have an idea of how to make it work, which means making a plan and then taking action, again and again, adjusting where necessary but never giving up.
*Check this out if you want some expert info on habits.
Think of your health as something that will free you. Something that gives you the freedom to do and be what you want. To run and race. To climb and lift. To move your body freely. To handle the stresses and tests of life.
People think that health is for those who wish to be slim or muscular or athletic. This is totally false. We should all view our health as a way of freeing ourselves. Free from a body that is tight and restrictive. Free from pains and tensions that are avoidable. Free from mental hindrances and stress.
To be healthy is not to be invincible, as I said before; being healthy is to be free.
It’s a mindset
Having a healthy mindset is what helps people be healthy without forcing it. It will be natural. If you have a health-based mindset, then you will make the right decisions in the way of better health (in every way) instinctively.
If your mindset is off when it comes to health, it won’t work. As in, you can’t have the mindset that you will get a boyfriend if you are healthier and fitter. You can’t have the mindset that health is trendy and so you’ll join in.
Having a real reason for wanting to be healthy will give you a healthy mindset that doesn’t shift or change. This is things like, “I will care about my health because I want my mind and body to be free and strong and resilient.” This is a much better motivator, I promise you, and it is a healthier outlook to have that should never change.
It’s for everyone
Don’t look at health as something that is purely for those who are unhealthy or those who are obsessed with health and nutrition and exercise etc. For those people, it is a lifestyle choice; a very important part of their lives. But health is for everyone. And not in that, “we all need to care about our health” which we should but that’s beside the point. I mean it’s for everyone because everyone can benefit from having their health be something that they care for naturally; something that will open their lives up in beautiful, new ways.
It is not my aim to have people become as passionate about mental wellness as me. And it is not my aim to make you all sign up to fitness classes or watch nutrition videos. As I said, those are lifestyle choices. However, I do wish that we could all just get into the mindset of seeing our health as a natural thing.
To naturally want to cook your own food, not because you have to, but because you want to.
To naturally want to move your body, not because you need to meet a goal or requirement, but because it just feels good and normal to do so.
How great is that?
It all starts in your mind and how you view this pursuit.
It’s Holistic Health
Holistic health is where you look at your pursuit of health from an eclectic approach. Where it’s not just one thing on its own; it’s the mixture of all aspects of our self and health.
So, it’s not just about diet and exercise. It’s about mental health, spiritual health, routines, experiences, perspectives, and more all coming together to make you a healthy, happy, well-rounded, strong individual.
Health isn’t about how physically fit you are. It’s about how well you deal with setbacks and failures. How you view yourself. Your relationship with your mind and emotions. Your ability to grow. Your ability to make connections and form lasting relationships. Your ability to make decisions, know what you want, and pursue things.
There are so many branches of health and how to better your health, so consider all of these and that is how you have a healthy life overall.
- Don’t listen to fad diets, trends, influencers, buzzwords, or any other nonsense that changes like the weather.
- See health as a path to freedom and overall wellness.
- Make health routine, habit, and a natural part of your life; that should be your only aim.
- Your mindset and beliefs are what is in the way of a free, happy, well-lived life.
If you need any help in bettering your mental health, or better coping with anxiety, depression, and stress, then my book “You’re As Mad As I Am” may be for you. Check it out here, and download a free sample to see what it’s all about.
If you want to hire me to write about mental health (or other), then don’t hesitate to get in touch!