Good health isn’t just about eating right. Being healthy is about a holistic approach to your whole life. For more information on what holistic health means, check out my article “What is Holistic Health?”
Here’s a list of all the other factors to consider when making positive changes for your health and wellbeing.
- Sunlight on bare skin.
- Connection to nature. (And less fake connection with technology).
- Positive relationships with others. (People – and animals too!)
- Fresh, clean and pure water.
- Natural movement. (Walking, stretching, swimming, and not sitting for long periods).
- A supportive inner world. (With a positive and optimistic mindset).
- Free from toxicity. (I.e. Pollution, fluoride, mercury. As well as freedom from negative people and toxic media messages).
- Deep restorative sleep for 7 or 8 hours a night.
- Barefoot walking. (Stimulates pressure points in the feet, whilst toning the muscles of the foot and ankle which in turn strengthens knees and hips).
- Tooth flossing. (Gets ride of plaque and bacteria build up from between teeth).
- Squat on the toilet! (Bringing your knees up and having your belly rest on your legs opens up your sphincter and empties your bowels more completely than an unnatural sitting position on the loo!)
- Occasional fasting. (Gives the digestive system a break, and allows the body the get into much needed repair mode – looking after existing cells instead of making new ones which won’t be as good quality as the ones before them).
Imagine you are eating the best diet for you. You’ve stumbled across a diet that nourishes your body and is easy to do. It leaves you feeling clean and healthy inside. But even though you are now eating well, you still live exactly the same lifestyle. You drive everywhere, not noticing anything as you hurry along the roads. You whizz around the supermarket, shoving packaged veggies into your basket. You go home and zone out in front of the TV. And all the while you haven’t spoken to any friends or family, you haven’t stopped to look at the world and haven’t taken a moment to be still and feel what your life is like right at that moment in time. In this scenario, eating well is only going to take you so far on the road to good health. For us to really get into some serious wellbeing, we need to do a little more.
I personally believe that some very strong forces in creating good health are awe and wonder, and gratitude. But they aren’t easily cultivated in the fast lane, and don’t happen when engaged in technology, be that TV, internet or reading on mobile phones.
If we carried on as normal, but stopped a few times in the day to cultivate some healthy habits – we might boost our wellbeing on all levels and our good health grows right along with it.
Before work, we might take a walk and get some sunlight on our skin, not only boosting our Vitamin D levels, but lifting our spirits too. We may just even look out of the window and simply take a moment to appreciate this wild and wonderful life – your one and only life.
On the way to work, in work, at lunch time or even at our own office, we may take a moment to connect to our breathing and then lift our arms above our heads and really, truly and completely feel every part of that wonderful, languid stretch.
We slow down enough, and quieten our inner world and listen out to words of harshness inside our minds. We kindly say “That’s enough,” and replace them with some words of self-belief instead. Our feeling of emotional wellbeing and inner security gets strengthened and we lift up our heads and stand tall.
When talking to friends and family, we might just add some sensitivity and compassion to our dialogues and halt any judgements and take a moment to feel gratitude that we have people in our lives. With some inner lightness cultivated inside, perhaps we find laughter comes a lot easier and it washes over you taking away some strains and stresses with it.
All of these tiny little moments of connection can happen on a terrible day, a sad day, a day of anger and unrest.
We need to allow ourselves to get fresh air, clean water, movement in our limbs.
Getting to good health, just like finding happiness, is a practice. We need to take time to cultivate health supporting habits that aren’t all about food.
But you know what? Food is a great way into all of these other pillars of health.
In the spring, as life blooms back into colour all around us, consider sowing a few seeds for your own good health. Get your hands in soil, sow some seeds and add some water and care, and watch as young plants shoot up into the world.
Gardening has amazing health boosting qualities to it because it does all of the above. It takes us away from technology, it takes us outdoors into all weathers where we slow down and connect with the elements. And at the end of that, you get given the freshest and most nutritious food you could possibly get your hands on! Sometimes the food grows in such abundance that we simply have to share it with others.
Yes, food can connect us to all that is health supporting. So eat your greens, be thankful and let those pillars of good health support you in your one wild and wonderful life!