If there were 5 things that I could suggest for everyone to do more of in order to boost their overall levels of health and well being, they would be:
Never stop working on yourself
We are always evolving and changing… we grow, we learn, we grow some more. Heck, most of us haven’t even dealt with a lot of the things we have experienced in our past, let alone try and navigate who we are today. And that’s why I think it’s so important to never stop understanding who you are. I think that everyone should go and see a psychologist at least once in their lives regardless of if you think you have a ‘problem’ or not. I believe in looking at past experiences and understanding how they affect our current behavior patterns, and I believe in the search for a deeper meaning to life and all that it encompasses. Trying to always be the best version of yourself, trying to look objectively at everything, trying to let go of ego, of jealousy, of anger or resentment. We’re not perfect by any means, and much of this is simply an ongoing daily process… but if we try every single day, I think it’s better than not trying at all.
Know your values
Do you know what you stand for as a human being? What you believe in, and what your true core values are?
Values are are your own personal judgement on what you feel are important in your life, your standards of behavior. When you understand your values, you can then build your life around those values and also gain insight into who you are and why you may or may not react in certain ways to certain life situations.
Understanding your own values will help you align with friends, life partners, employees and people in general, who share the same values are you do.
Some examples of personal values include authenticity, creativity, fairness, fun, honesty, love, popularity, responsibility, success, spiritual practice, wealth. Some examples of life values include career success & status, ongoing travel, work flexibility, family togetherness, monetary security, material possessions.
Your values will change over time, as your life changes, and it’s important to assess these values regularly to ensure you are living your life in alignment to what is truly important to you.
In a relationship? Try this exercise with your partner. There is nothing more rewarding than truly understanding each other. You may have values that are very different to each other, but the ability to understand and respect each other’s beliefs, helps you to both build a successful relationship.
Learn how to listen to your body’s needs
Whether it’s for the sake of a diet or exercise, or just having some ‘you’ time… listening to your body and really tuning in, will do you wonders 100% of the time.
It can be SO easy to forget to check in when we’re busy rushing around with life. But ignoring our body’s desires is the worst thing we could do to ourselves.
If you’re over worked and totally exhausted, you’ll eventually hit adrenal burn out and although it might seem like you JUST have keep going with your current routine, sometimes it might be crucial for you to have a week off; a week of no social engagements, no early morning exercise classes, no working past 5pm, and perhaps even a mini escape down the coast or overseas if you can. Getting out of your head, out of what is overwhelming you, and focusing on getting YOU back to YOU will be the best thing you can do for yourself.
When it comes to food, just because your bestie thrives off a paleo diet, it doesn’t mean you will. So once again, a simple ability to tune in and understand what foods work and what don’t, gives you the information you need to nourish your body YOUR way. If you find eating nuts affects your digestion, or perhaps cauliflower just doesn’t sit right with you, then don’t eat it. Find the healthy foods your body craves and loves, and it will reward you accordingly. Really perplexed about something or really not feeling 100%? Seek the advice and help of a qualified practitioner to help you through your journey.
Have a balanced state of mind
When it comes to being ‘well’ or being ‘healthy’, it’s very easy to get SO absorbed in the process that you forget to enjoy life. Strict dieting, being a fanatic about your appearance, worrying about your latest social media post, it can all be too much at times. So practice being balanced as often as you can. Don’t have a break down if you decide to have a few drinks on Friday night, and don’t feel like you’ve failed at life if you decide to have a sleep in, instead of attending your usual 6am Pilates class. Just take it all in your stride. Have the goal of always being kind to yourself, and doing the best for you and your body. With that, allow your mind to just relax, let go of the need to control every single thing that you do in a pursuit of perfectionism. Otherwise, you might just forget to enjoy the ride…
It’s so easy dwelling on the negative stuff: “I’m not skinny enough”, “I’m not tall enough”, “I think my boss hates me”, “I never get to go on holidays”…
Try to turn that negativity into something positive every day. I personally find that writing down at least five things every day which you are grateful for can really help shift your frame of mind. Of course, crappy things are going to happen some times, they happen to the best of us and its part of what makes life. But it’s when we forget the good stuff that we downward spiral. So my advice, is that each and every day, tell yourself what you are grateful for. This could be that you are grateful for your job, for your loving partner, for your fur baby who gives you unconditional love, for a beautiful blue sky, for a healthy body.
And if you want to take it one step further, for every bad situation that happens, say one thing that you are grateful for after it happens to dissipate any negative energy that might be floating around for too long. An example of this might be that you’re running late for a really important meeting and you get every single red light in sight. Instead of cursing your way through the traffic, be grateful that you even have the meeting in the first place, as well as the technology right at your fingertips to simply call, and advise of your tardiness with a heartfelt apology. Easy done. No stress required.