Introduction: How to Holistically Improve Your Happiness, Health and Wellbeing
Many people actively seek wellness in their lives. There is no single package which will bring everybody what they are looking for. This is because illness and unhappiness come from different roots in everybody. As a result it is important for each person to use their own strategy. Wanting to make a change is the first and most important step; without this, nothing will follow. If you have the drive you can achieve whatever you wish. Wellness and true happiness go hand-in-hand and can take years to cultivate and maintain. Don't give up!
By using a true holistic approach you are more likely to be successful and you will find that small changes go a long way. A good starting point is to look at mind, body and soul with a targeted approach for each of these. In life these are interconnected and you will find that if you nurture one then you will boost all three. For true balanced happiness and wellness you need to cultivate all of them individually.
Step 1: Body
The three main areas to look at under body are diet, exercise and sleep.
- Diet. Everybody knows that a healthy diet is key to a healthy body but poor diet can also contribute to depression and poor mental health. It is important to pay attention to how you feel after you eat different foods and work out which make you feel well and which don't. Eating at least five different fruit and vegetables a day is very important. Recently some scientists have suggested seven might be better but the important thing is to eat as many as you can and mak sure you enjoy them. If it becomes an ordeal for you it might put you off altogether. You should minimise saturated fat, meat, refined sugars, processed foods, preserved meats and alcohol. This will reduce your risks of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. There is growing evidence that green tea has anti-cancer properties. It is best if brewed for 10 minutes to maximise the transfer of antioxidants. If it is too bitter for your taste you could add a drop of honey. Sencha has the highest antioxidant content of all green teas. It is important to drink plenty of clear fluids generally; your urine should be a clear light colour.
- Exercise. It can be difficult for people to maintain regular exercise regimes. Tiredness and being too busy often lead to good intentions falling by the wayside. The key is to integrate exercise into your everyday activity. For example, you could walk, cycle or run to work or to the shops. It might seem like too much to take on to start with but you can always try it and see how it goes, rather than trying to commit to too much at the beginning. It is helpful to try and spot other advantages to your new regime to encourage you. For example, walking to work means you can save on petrol, parking fees, miss the jams and pick up some coffee and apples on the way. Exercise and diet are key to reducing obesity which will make you healthier and happier.
Swimming is an excellent form of exercise because it has high cardiovascular impact but low impact on the joints. Unfortunately some people develop ear infections as a result, known as swimmer's ear. This is a result of the action of water, bacteria and chemicals such as chlorine, soap and perfumes on the delicate skin lining the ear canals. Inflammation and infection may occur. If you wear a good pair of molded swimming ear plugs it can prevent the condition. I invented ZenPlugs Molded Ear Plugs as a solution to the problems people were having with ear plugs. They are molded to the ears so are very comfortable and their customised seal makes a great seal against sound and water.
- Sleep. Research on sleep has featured prominently in the news recently. The NHS recommend 6 - 9 hours per night but a report by The Sleep Council shows that 40% of people aren't getting this much. Lack of sleep has been associated with obesity, cancer, anxiety and depression. Like many of the other factors on this page, if you don't sleep well then improving the other areas of your life might help. Exercising, good diet, meditation and intellectual stimulation can all aid good sleep. Tips for a good night's sleep include avoiding back-lit screens for a couple of hours before bed and using a herbal sleep aid such as valerian. Keeping to a regular bedtime and creating a bedtime routine also help. Have a cup of chamomile tea in the bath whilst reading a relaxing book. This will program your brain when to go to sleep.
ZenPlugs Molded Ear Plugs are also ideal for use whilst sleeping. They don't protrude from your ears so stay comfortable even when you are lying on your side. The powerful antibacterial effect from Steritouch uses silver to kill all the bacteria known to cause ear infections. If noise at night is a probelem for you and you are losing sleep it will definitely be worth you while investing in a decent pair of ear plugs for sleeping.
Step 2: Soul
For many people religion will boost this part of their lives but there are other ways you can feed your soul. Meditation is a useful tool to help you relate well to yourself and give you a feeling of purpose and place in the universe. Exercise and good diet work synergistically with meditation to create a sense of wholeness, wellness and happiness which will nurture your inner being.
In summary, the pursuit of wellness and healthy living go hand-in-hand and are a long-term commitment. Taking a holistic approach helps to give you an action plan. By focusing on mind, body and soul you can give yourself direction and you will find that anything you do for one will have a knock-on effect on the others. Key areas to consider are exercise, diet, sleep and balancing your inner being with religion or meditation. Make sure you have fun and enjoy yourself!
Step 3: Mind
Mind can be broken down into intellectual and emotional parts.
- Intellectual. It is important that you have regular intellectual stimulation to remain happy. What form this will take is different for everybody. Some people need to be learning new things and feeling challenged whereas others would be better off applying their knowledge. Reading regularly can be enough for many people to feel fulfilled in this area. A stimulating chat with a friend can also boost you intellectually and emotionally. Perhaps this is why so many of the longest-living groups on the planet are based on strong social foundations. If you don't have an intellectually satisfying job you will need to seek this fulfillment in your spare time. As you read this article it is worth thinking about which of these areas are already covered by your current work and home life and which areas need looking at.
- Emotional. Emotional wellbeing is probably one of the harder ones to address. If a person is overly emotional and this is causing problems then balancing the other areas of their life may help to balance the emotions. Regular meditation can be useful to weed out buried emotions which are causing unhappiness in everyday life. Good counselling can also do this. These practices can remove the barriers and allow the feelings to come out. This can be painful but is therapeutic in the long run. The individual has to want to work through it and persevere even when it is upsetting. Make sure you have fun and enjoy yourself. Any of the activities here can be fun but spend time doing things you enjoy, just for the sake of doing them. Try to avoid, or at least minimise anything which is bad for your mind, body or soul.