Health is a physical, emotional, social, economic, and spiritual state of being. If you ignore one aspect too much, it will affect your overall health. Ask any doctor, and they will tell you that this is true; modern medicine recognises the holistic nature of health, and works towards it.
So what can you do, aside from getting clear about your health, working with your doctor, and being in charge? You can focus on aligning your mind, body and spirit to the best you can.
Here’s a question – How do you start your day?
Your morning routine has more impact on your health than you can imagine. If you start off with a cup of coffee, that you swallow down while checking your email, and getting your kids out the door, that’s really not ideal. You are doing more damage to your health than you can imagine – caffeine on an empty stomach causes a number of digestive problems; looking at email ups your stress levels immediately, so you are starting off in the fight mode; rushing through things while yelling at the little people just pushes that stress higher.
Not everyone can start with an hour of meditation and exercise, and it’s not really the only option, though it is a great one!
Even if you wake up 15 minutes earlier than you normally do, and spend those extra minutes sitting quietly, setting your intentions for the day, you will see a marked difference in how your day goes. Brendon Burchard, a bestselling author and one of the world’s top motivational coaches, suggests you start your day with three questions:
- What am I excited about today?
- What am I grateful for today?
- What am I committed to making happen today?
You don’t need to journal or write these down if you cannot, though it would be great if you make a note on your phone or diary about them, so that you can check in through the day. Even if you keep them in mind, it makes your day seem more intentional and focused.
As we’ve said before, make time for happiness and stillness every day. Remember that even five minutes of deep breathing makes you a more productive, more healthy person.
Take a look at what you eat, and try eliminating the obviously unhealthy choices. For example, Dr Muffi starts his day with a bowl of muesli with fruit. It is a simple breakfast that he can grab on the run, but it’s healthy enough to keep him going through his very demanding schedule. See a nutritionist if you need to, and make your diet as healthy as possible on a daily basis, with pockets allowed for treats occasionally.
Notice how connected your mind, body and spirit truly are. Don’t just take our word for it! Keep a diary and see how you function on a calm day, versus on a stressful day. What are the food choices you make when you’re running from one big presentation to the next? Can you listen to your favourite song even for three minutes in between things? Or sit in the bathroom and deep breathe for two minutes just to realign your mind? Instead of that burger, why not order in an idli, or khichdi, or salad? How does that help?
Remember that the same principle applies here, too – if you take responsibility for keeping your mind-body-spirit aligned, you will feel better on a daily basis.