3 Ways to Develop a Healthy Lifestyle

Usually, people who decide to be healthier make this decision because they have either experienced a health problem and want to recover, or they have witnessed somebody close to them suffer due to poor health.

Ironically, those who do enjoy good health take it for granted until they lose it. However, with health-related issues on the rise due to a variety of social, economic, and environmental factors, the best thing you can do to improve the quality of your life is to make a decision to follow a healthy lifestyle.

One mistake often made when people decide to improve their health is to have too narrow a focus. They interpret good health as merely taking better care of their physical bodies. However, good health is actually about pursuing a healthy lifestyle, so it also includes improving relationships and managing stress. After all, if you’re lonely or stressed, it’s going to impact your physical health, too.

Let’s take a closer look at these three aspects of creating a healthy lifestyle:

1. Enhancing Physical Health

If you want to improve your health, you have to learn how to eat healthy, how to stay hydrated, how to exercise regularly, and how to get enough sleep. Naturally, you should also avoid those things that compromise health, like living in a highly polluted city or indulging in drugs and alcohol.

If you own a business, you should incorporate your progressive ideas about health and wellness into your business. If you want your employees to perform their duties well so that your business will prosper, you should keep them as healthy as possible.

A few ways you can do this without preaching is to create a healthy environment. Here are some ideas: use an air purifier in the office, provide office water dispensers, make arrangements with a local gym to offer discounted exercise classes, and provide healthy food options in a cafeteria or vending machines.

2. Improving Relationships

Improving relationships with others develops emotional resiliency and impacts health. As social creatures our well-being is often tied with how well we get along with others. Essentially, you need to improve your relationship with yourself, with other people, and with your community.

Personality Conflicts

Most difficulties people have with getting on with others boils down to differences in personality. Your personality type can affect relationships. Here are three common examples:

  1. If you’re a high achiever, you might be particularly hard on yourself, even forcing yourself to go to work when you’re sick with a cold or flu because your work ethic won’t let you take a few days to recover your health.
  2. If you’re well-educated and have a high IQ, you find it difficult to talk to people who don’t have a similar background. Small talk irritates you because you’re excited about big ideas. You’re thrilled about the latest you’ve read and want to share them with others, only to discover to your dismay that everything you say goes over their heads.
  3. If you’re introverted, you enjoy spending time by yourself and find other people’s boisterous behavior difficult to cope with. Since many introverted people are also bookish, they find other people remarkably ill-informed and find it difficult to talk about mundane things like sports, careers, cars, fashion, and TV shows.

The Health Benefits of a Social Connection

Connecting with others has been shown to increase happiness, improve health, and even increase longevity. According to an article by Gareth Cook in Scientific American, Why We Are Wired to Connect: “Across many studies of mammals, from the smallest rodents all the way to us humans, the data suggests that we are profoundly shaped by our social environment and that we suffer greatly when our social bonds are threatened or severed.  When this happens in childhood it can lead to long-term health and educational problems.”

3. Reducing Stress

Researchers suspect that there is a link between chronic stress and illness because stress negatively impacts the immune system. One way to reduce stress is doing something you love like painting, reading, or working in the garden. Another way is to do something soothing like yoga, meditation, or going for a walk in nature.

In conclusion, while upgrading diet, exercise, and rest will improve physical health, a healthy lifestyle also includes relationships, and developing a stress-reduction routine.

Nate Ritter lives in Austin, Texas (U.S.), popularized the #hashtag and creates web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

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