I took health for granted and only noticed when I lost it...
These are the five essential areas of health that helped me balancing my physical and mental health. These elements of health are responsible for my success in reversing type 2 diabetes and in the process discovered that many other areas of my health improved dramatically.
The MIND - and our emotions - play a fundamental role in everything we think, decide and subsequently do. This includes making choices that benefit us rather than hindering us in all aspects of life. Health is no exception. Accepting our current health situation and fundamentally re-programming our minds to adopt new healthier habits and setting realistic health goals is the very beginning of achieving a balanced lifestyle.
We are responsible for what we EAT every single day. The phrase 'You are what you eat' couldn't be more true. The majority of us lack enough knowledge about food to make healthier choices. Learning the basics of food and nutrition, nourishment and nutrition density is essential to manage our energy levels, mood, and our ability to respond to daily life activities. Humans have also survived and thrived in nature because we have been able to adapt our metabolism to abundance and scarcity of food. We can simulate this in our modern life where food for many is readily available and in large quantities.
Our bodies are designed to MOVE and without it, our muscles atrophy and don't develop. Moving our muscles and stressing our bodies to improve mobility, strength and flexibility are key aspects to improve physical and mental health. Exercise and movement is also essential as a mechanism to burn calories and to encourage weight loss and fat burning which are natural byproducts of regaining health and achieving a balanced lifestyle. And the good thing is that you don't have to kill yourself at the gym to see positive results.
Improving the quality and quantity of our SLEEP is perhaps the most underrated aspect and it is so simple yet many of us seem to be getting wrong. For many not sleeping enough hours means increasing their risk to a number of health issues including diabetes, heart disease, mental health and so on. When I was younger I believed that I could burn the candle at both ends, work long hours, sleep very little and still felt good enough to carry on. But the thing is, when lack of sleep becomes a habit we don't know anything better. I discovered and learned that while we sleep the body repairs cells, regulate our hormones and balance chemicals so we can relax, recover and get ready to live another day and wake up full of energy. But when you don't know what full of energy means and if you haven't experienced then you think your lack of sleep is normal. Well, I was terribly wrong. Sleep has been one of the key contributors to recover my health, reserve diabetes and knowing what it means to be full of energy everyday.
This is perhaps an unexpected area for many, including myself. As we need to nurture the physical body and mind we also need to learn how to RELAX. For some this could be nurturing the soul/spirit. Intuitively there are activities that naturally relax us, and these are very individual choices. For me, meditation is the primary method I discovered to relax and deal with the stresses of life, to be more resilient, to be less reactive, to regain focus, and to repair the body and mind chemically. Another one is walking in nature, forest bathing, grounding myself in nature. For others, could be doing gardening, reading a fiction book or a novel, watching TV. The key is to be mindful, to become self aware of what activities actually makes us relax and unwind.