A healthy lifestyle goes beyond the physical measures of regular exercise and nutrition. Just as important, a healthy lifestyle has to do with a feeling of mental and emotional wellbeing.
In this section, explore the role of spirituality in stress relief and overall mental health. Being connected to your inner spirit and the lives of those around you can enhance your quality of life and help you cope with stressors. To read more on this, go to Spirituality and Stress Relief.
In the section Healthy Environment, find out why an environment that makes positive choices easy, natural, and enjoyable is part of the secret to lifelong good health. There are also a number of tips to get you started on cultivating a positive and healthy world around you.
Many of us know by now that the mind plays an essential part in creating a healthy lifestyle. Being self-aware and having healthy thoughts can improve your psychological and emotional state. For tips on leading a self-aware life, see Healthy Thoughts.
For many, spirituality takes the form of religious observance, prayer, meditation or a belief in a higher power. For others, it can be found in art, nature or music. Spirituality is different for everyone.
The effect of spirituality on health is an area of active research right now. Being connected to your inner spirit and the lives of those around you can enhance your quality of life and help you cope with stressors. Spirituality has many benefits for stress relief and overall mental health. It can help you:
To achieve a healthy lifestyle, modern medicine tends to put the emphasis solely on physical measures. While factors like regular exercise, proper nutrition and not smoking play an important role in health, Deepak Chopra, an expert in the field of mind-body healing, takes the notion of health beyond the realm of just the physical. He states that an individual’s outer environment (what and who you surround yourself with) is also a key component in achieving optimal health.
If it’s a struggle for you to make healthy choices because you are constantly worried about what you’re eating or the gym sessions you’ve missed, you are actually sending negative signals to your body’s cells. On the other hand, if you live in an environment where the mind feels free to choose the right thing instead of being compelled by habit and inertia to choose the wrong thing – this is the correct set up for a healthy lifestyle.
Deepak Chopra maintains that an environment that makes positive choices easy, natural, and enjoyable is part of the secret to lifelong good health. He calls this creating a matrix for a positive lifestyle. The goal is to practice what is good for you while making everything as effortless as possible, until all the right choices become second nature.
Some tips to cultivate a healthy environment are:
There is an ever-increasing amount of research that talks about the connection between the mind and a person’s overall health, taking into account the influence of the subjective world of our thoughts, feelings and dreams.
Since the control switch for our thought processes is in the brain, creating the best inner environment for your brain becomes an essential part of having a healthy lifestyle. Deepak Chopra, an expert in the field of mind-body healing, believes that the answer lies in cultivating self-awareness.
According to Deepak Chopra, self-awareness is about constantly asking yourself, "what am I doing to myself?" Posing questions that compel you to reflect on your behaviour and to look at the bigger picture are all a part of practicing self-awareness.
Eckhart Tolle, one of the most widely recognised spiritual teachers of our time, also emphasises the importance of awareness in his teachings. He maintains that individuals must bring awareness into whatever arises in the present moment in order to evolve and live a conscious life. According to him, whenever you get drawn back into the mind and into the future, you’ll notice it because usually you don’t feel so good anymore. You become upset, discontented, irritated and depressed. It means you lost the present moment and you lost awareness of yourself as consciousness.
Here are some tips on a self-aware approach to life: