First, let’s define the words health and also well-being as these two words will be the foundation upon which we further explore steps to increase wellness in both areas –
Health: The dictionary defines heath as, The state of being free from illness or injury and also a person’s mental or physical condition.
In the World Health Organization constitution, they describe health even further –
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.
Well-being: The dictionary defines well-being as, The state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.
While many people believe that both health and wellbeing are things that ‘happen’ to you, either a state of health or disease or a state of wellbeing or a lack of wellbeing. However, this is rarely true. Both health and wellbeing are constantly shifting states. We are always moving towards or away from health and wellbeing through situations and things we encounter, lifestyle choices, our emotions and mindsets. The good news is that we can each participate in actively moving towards more health and wellbeing through the day to day choices we make as well as the habits we practice.
Here are 15 powerful ways that you can take control of your health and wellbeing through positive action!
15 Ways To Increase Your Health & Well-being:
- Get a team together – Having an integrative approach to health and wellness care is key! Having different types of doctors, specialists, wellness and mental health practitioners on your team offers more of a 360-degree view of your health and wellbeing!
- Regular check-ups and check-ins – Make sure that you are scheduling regular check-ups as well as more frequent check-ins with all of the doctors and other practitioners on your team. This helps you to prevent illness or other health and wellbeing issues versus only treat the problems when they pop up.
- Stress reduction & stress management – Stress has been linked to all illness and disease, including obesity. Chronic stress has been proven to have a negative impact on the immune system and all of the hormone producing glands! Even if you are not aware of stress, it is present in your life. Even driving in traffic, dealing with life transitions or day to day workloads at home and within your job leads to stress! Every person needs to have a stress reduction and stress management plan in place! If you do not have tools to work on this, you can sign up for our stress course or work with one of our life coaches who specialize in stress management.
- Practice good sleep hygiene – Good sleep habits are critical for optimal health and wellbeing! Unhealthy sleep patterns cause stress, decreased hormone production and many other negative results. It is important to get enough sleep but also to sleep in total darkness and avoid sleeping with TV or music playing. Try disconnecting from all media 90 minutes prior to going to sleep.
- Proper nutrition – Proper nutrition is key to providing the body with the correct nutrients it needs to function optimally. The body needs a healthy balance of healthy fats, protein, low-glycemic carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables! It is also critical to make sure that you are eating foods that are not processed or treated with harmful chemicals. Try to source organic foods as well as ones that are made of whole food ingredients.
- Consistent exercise – Move your body every day! Regular exercise keeps the body strong and healthy, helps you avoid injury, decreases stress and supports proper weight and healthy cardiovascular system. Find forms of exercise that bring you joy.
- Staying properly hydrated – Most Americans suffer from chronic low levels of dehydration which has a significant negative impact on all of the body’s organs and systems. A great way to ensure that you drink enough water is to carry a large glass water bottle around with you so that you can track your water intake. Make sure you are drinking clean, filtered water that is not carbonated.
- Processing and releasing negative emotions – Have you ever heard the saying ‘holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die’? Well, this saying also applies to holding onto or suppressing any negative emotions such as fear, anger, sadness, guilt and even shame. Your body keeps score and when emotions aren’t appropriately processed and released it can make you sick!
- Working on your mindset – More and more research points to a direct connection between mindset, wellbeing and health. Part of a good preventative care practice you can do is to pay attention to your thought patterns and mindsets throughout the day. Identify what you would like them to be instead… for example, more confident, more inclusive, more kind (to yourself and others) or simply more positive. Working with a good therapist or life coach can help you take control back in your mindset and thought life to increase health, success and also your enjoyment of life.
- Caring for yourself and your spirit – Having a regular spiritual practice as well as a self-care practice dramatically increases your capacity to not only deal with life’s stress as it arises it also leads to deeper fulfillment, wellbeing and inner peace.
- Having fun – As adults we often forget to make time to have fun. We fill our lives with chores, tasks, responsibilities and often sacrifice our own enjoyment. The goal is to strike a balance between all of those elements and make consistent time for fun. When was the last time you participated in a hobby or scheduled a little activity or adventure for no other purpose then to enjoy yourself?
- Aligning your life with your highest values aka living a purpose filled life – There is a saying, ‘A house divided cannot stand’. This is a great way to understand what happens when we live our life, make choices and take actions that are not aligned with our highest values. For example, your highest value might be your family but the actions you take in the area of your career prevent you from spending much quality time with your family. That conflict causes enormous amounts of stress, even on an unconscious level. Working to root out dis-alignments from your life and make more aligned choices moving forward will pay huge dividends in your health and wellbeing over time!
- Being intentional – Wellness does not happen by accident. It takes INTENTIONAL and consistent actions. Make a choice to be more intentional when it comes to your health and wellbeing. Then practice that choice EVERY day through positive actions.
- Making a healthy lifestyle YOUR lifestyle – Try to avoid the pitfall of looking at your health and wellbeing as yet another chore that must get done. Look at it instead as an opportunity to develop a healthy lifestyle, one that works best for YOUR life and needs.
- Supplements to support health – Working with a natural healthcare practitioner such as a Doctor of Natural Medicine, DO, ND, Functional Medicine Doctor and even a health coach can help you identify specific supplements that will support your health and wellbeing. Each person has different needs based on age, medical history, lifestyle, medical conditions, symptoms and nutritional habits. Getting proper guidance in this area is key to ensuring that you can properly support your wellness utilizing supplements.