When we are unhealthy, many times our symptoms manifest themselves in our physical body in the form of weight gain, headaches, back pain, muscle aches, joint pain, exhaustion, fatigue and disease. Sometimes our symptoms manifest in our mind, with excessive worry, anxiety, stress, negative thoughts/attitudes, low self-esteem, complaining and perfectionism. While other symptoms manifest in our spirit resulting in a lack of joy, peace and calm, feelings of discontent and restlessness, as well as uncertainty and unforgiveness. It wasn’t until my own health went awry, that I had to examine what being healthy really meant.
What I discovered was my mental and spiritual health were not exclusive of my physical health and in order to be truly healthy all three had to work in harmony. Living healthy in mind, body and spirit is what Healthy Living How To is all about.
10 Things You Can Do Today
to live healthy in mind, body & spirit in an unhealthy world
1. Read the Bible
God has provided us with an “owner’s manual” that tells us how to operate the human body. That manual is the Bible, a book that contains instructions for proper maintenance. Although it isn’t a medical text, it is God’s Word, and in its pages He reveals many basic principles for good physical, mental, and spiritual health. God is the Great Physician, He knows everything about us and He’s provided the necessary keys for good health. The choice to obey His Word and reap the resulting benefits is ours to make. (source:www.gotquestions.org)
“85% of Americans say they are Christian. 16% say that they read the Bible every day, 21% say they read it weekly, 12% say they read the Bible monthly, 10% say less than monthly and 41% say that they rarely or never read the Bible.” (source:www.centerforbibleengagement.org)
Prayer has a profound influence on health. People who pray daily have been found to have lower stress hormones which results in aging well, living longer and being able to handle adversity better. People that believe in God and pray consistently are happier and have a better quality of life. God gave us the gift of prayer so that not only could we talk to him, but so we could heal our bodies and better cope with the stresses of daily life. Through our prayer we can learn patience, forgiveness, hope, love and true happiness. (source: David Maillie)
“For this reason, those who have witnessed its phenomenal results encourage prayer and spirituality as important aspects of the healing process.” ~Cracking the Metabolic Code
3. Be Thankful
Gratitude is the forgotten factor in happiness research. Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress. People with a strong disposition toward gratitude have the capacity to be empathetic and to take the perspective of others. They are rated as more generous and more helpful. Grateful individuals place less importance on material goods, are less likely to judge their own and others success in terms of possessions accumulated and are less envious of others. (source: University of California Davis Research on Gratitude and Thankfulness)
“Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish positive experiences, have better health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” ~Harvard Medical School
We are imperfect beings. Everyone makes mistakes, says things they don’t mean and does things to hurt others. People who are hurting, hurt others. When we harbor unforgiveness against others or our own self, we become unhealthy in mind, body and spirit. Unforgiveness is a stumbling block to healing and living healthy, it leads to bitterness and resentment. To forgive is to let it go. It is not a feeling but a decision, a choice. Unforgiveness is driven by selfishness.
“Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.” ~Author Unknown
5. Think and Say Things on Purpose
We must realize and understand the power carried by our thoughts and words. They’re so powerful that they can bring either blessings or curses into our lives, depending on their nature. Our thoughts and words are like the rudder of a ship—they may seem small, but they affect the very direction of our lives. A negative mind produces negative words and, consequently, a negative life. We must choose life generating thoughts. When we do, positive, powerful, life-giving words will naturally follow. (source:www.joycemeyer.org)
“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right.” Henry Ford
7-9 hours of sleep is essential for your brain and your body. Sleep is involved in rejuvenating every cell in your body. Sleep deprivation is hazardous to good health and puts you at risk for Type 2 Diabetes, Depression, Anxiety, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and Obesity. If you want to have glowing skin, high energy, a good mood and stable weight you need sleep.
“When the people slept only five and half hours, they consumed an average 221 more calories in high-carbohydrate snacks than when they got eight and half hours of sleep.” ~American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
7. Eat Real Food
The most powerful medicine you take isn’t found in your medicine cabinet but in your kitchen. Food has the power to heal, it also has the power to harm. Conventional nutrition advice is steeped deep in food politics, agribusiness and now the pharmaceutical industry. Mounds of peer-reviewed research contradicts the decades old advice that carbohydrates are healthy and fats are dangerous, however, the USDA food pyramid lives on. A healthy body thrives real food; meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, full-fat dairy, red wine and dark chocolate and avoid grains, vegetable oils, sugar, and processed foods!
“Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” ~Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.)
Want to combat depression? Exercise. Want to lower your blood pressure? Exercise. Want to prevent bone loss? Exercise. And on and on the list goes. Exercise has been proven over and over to be a necessary part of robust health. Most experts will agree that consistent light to moderate exercise can help alleviate mental and emotional health as well as have a positive impact on your physical health.
“Physical exercise acts like a natural wonder drug for the brain.” ~Dr. Daniel G. Amen
9. Serve Others
The easiest way to take your mind off your problems is to serve others. When you serve others it brings perspective and appreciation to your world. It doesn’t require much to serve others, it can be as simple as smile to volunteering your time for a cause. We are all given gifts by which we are called to serve others with.
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
In every situation and circumstance we are called to surrender. Identify what you have control over (thoughts, attitudes, words, actions, reactions) and what you don’t. Determine what you can change and what you can’t. Start working on what you can change. The rest you let go. Surrendering is not giving up, but quite the opposite.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” ~Reinhold Niebuhr