In the healthcare world, we believe there are several areas you should be focusing on to help keep you healthy. These are relaxation, sleep, what you eat, and being active. These areas all have some overlap – the more effective you are with one, the easier it is to make progress with improving the others. I’d like to share some ideas with you over the next few weeks of things you can work on related to these areas to help yourself feel a little better.
What defines ‘healthy’?
The Oxford Dictionary defines healthy as ‘in a good physical or mental condition’, a very broad definition, and where the ‘or’ should definitely be replaced with ‘and’.
Media platforms have also skewed our perception of health, portraying it as a narrow term which means having a slim figure and consuming ‘good’ foods. This means a lot of people have been left with a poor understanding of both nutrition and exercise, and not only is this lifestyle unsustainable, but mental health is also completely ignored in this perception.
We should be aware that our perception of ‘healthy’ is different for every one of us. And as you read this series of blog posts, you may be able to identify the areas you are managing well with, and possibly some things you could spend more time on to really help yourself feel better.
What stops us from being healthy?
One of the most common reason is stress.
Stress is now the most common reason why people see their GP, and experiencing stress can have a lot of negative effects on the body and mind. Symptoms related to stress include: low energy, headaches, upset stomach, muscle aches and pains, and insomnia. These symptoms can often cause changes in the body that can result in other health conditions developing such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, IBS, depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure.
Therefore, it can be easy to get yourself into a vicious cycle: the more stressed you are, the harder you find it to sleep. The more tired you become, less you exercise you have the energy to do and the more you reach for high-sugar and high-caffeine foods through the day. This then makes relaxation and sleep even more difficult. I’m sure you can see how this cycle may, over time result in health conditions developing.
So, how can you reduce stress? I will be posting a series of mini blogs on ways to address this over the next few weeks – stay tuned!