Have you noticed how physical fitness is all over the media these days?
Well there’s a good reason for all that fuss! We all know that when we keep our body healthy, we’ll prevent a bunch of serious health conditions and preserve our well-being for longer. However, there are other aspects of health that are equally important and are not usually taken into account yet they are critical to include if you want to have DEEP and LASTING change. I’m here to tell you that when you train your body, be sure to remember to also train your mind, your spirit, your emotions, and your social skills and needs in order to stay healthier and live better.
To help you understand what I am talking about, I’ve put together the My 5 Ingredients of Holistic Fitness that I’ve learned are key to achieving the body, energy and life of your dreams:
- #EmotionalFitness: This involves learning to handle and process things that happen to us in life, ways to manage stress and how to become more aware and attentive to thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in order to feel better and be healthier.
- #PhysicalFitness: This means moving and using the body the way Nature intended and incorporating all components such as good balance, optimal recovery and rest, mobility, flexibility and strength as well as eating a whole-food, natural and nutritious diet that is personalized for you and your unique needs.
- #SpiritualFitness: This encourages discovering a sense of meaning, purpose, and connection with something larger than yourself and developing your creativity and self-expression of your unique passions and gifts.
- #SocialFitness: This involves creating positive, meaningful and intimate relationships and feeling supported, safe and a sense of belonging in the world.
- #MentalFitness: This includes stimulating creative and mental activities, continual learning, having a growth-mindset and developing knowledge and other skills for a lifetime.
All these are equally important ingredients and the goal is a nice balance of all five. We all know people who have one or maybe two of the five ingredients but to me, that’s a limited life and one that’s not firing on all cylinders! I mean, when you think about it, can you really get the most out of life with a fit or flexible body without a healthy, growth-minded and flexible mind?
And #MentalFitness is just as important. An unchallenged mind will soften and turn into mush! If you don’t workout your brain, it will weaken as the body does when you stop taking care of it.
Here are some things you can do to help your Mental Fitness so your brain stays healthy and active:
- READ FOR FUN! It may be hard to do with your busy life, but try to find time during the morning, night, or weekend to sit down and read something. Reading, especially something you enjoy, can improve your intellect by stretching your mind to think about things you normally don’t think about!
- DEBATE WITH A FRIEND. Focusing attention on opinions that are different than your beliefs can improve intellectual wellness. Naturally, we tend to only focus on opinions, beliefs, and facts that hold true only to our viewpoints. When we expose the mind to opposing ideas, we grasp new information! Cool, huh?
- IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS! Learning new things like playing an instrument, a language, a new workout routine, can be vital in helping our brain stay active and young.
- DO PUZZLES. Crosswords and Sudoku are activities that have proved to increase intellectual wellness. Working through puzzles or finding words in patterns uses a great amount of brain power.
#SocialFitness is also key. It involves creating positive, meaningful, and intimate relationships and feeling supported, safe, and developing a sense of belonging to the world. This is a big one in today’s “over-busy”, social media obsessed culture. We need real, face to face human connection and actual contact in order to thrive and meet our tribal needs for community and connection – in fact, it’s a big reason why I opened my club! 😉
Last, I’ve found that when you finally lose the #EmotionalWeight, you can then lose the physical – and it stays off. Have you experienced this? You probably have! If you’re training your body without training your mind, you’re missing out on 1/2 the equation!
If you need to workout your emotions, you can:
- Focus on ONE thing at a time. Multitasking is worn as a badge of honor but multitasking too much is not healthy. Better practice being present.
- Exercise your body. Like medicine in the treatment of mental illness, exercise can increase levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain.
- Incorporate a daily #MindfulnessBreak. Just a short daily mindfulness meditation practice can produce improvements in attention, energy, and stress.
- Set boundaries and stick to them. Remember that it’s okay to say no sometimes. Set limits within your professional and personal life so that you’re not overwhelming yourself with things you don’t wanna do.
- Ask for help. You are not superhuman, it’s OK to have a support system that will be there for you when you are unable to handle it all.
Research has shown that the first hour of rising is a KEY time in the 24 hour cycle that sets the tone for the rest of our day. In fact, apparently all high-achievers are aware of this and almost all of them have a personal routine that includes taking care of their emotions.
Take advantage of this #MagicHour and use this time each morning to set ourselves up for a day that’s by our design – so we “do the day”, rather than feel like the “day does us”! This will result in lower stress levels and help us feel productive, creative, calm and in control – and as a result, the physical weight will come off easier!
So please be sure to think of your health and fitness as your WHOLE LIFE, and your mind, body and spirit by doing something that trains your MIND and not just your body. You will be amazed at the results!
CHANGE IS ABOUT ACTION. Knowing what you want isn’t enough. We must ACT. So start today!