As you begin to take actions toward healthier living – and more intentional living – you slow down. You pay attention to what you consume, what makes you tick and what sets you back. You realize your body wasn’t created to just survive, and that you have to be kind to it if you want to thrive.
You may not want to slow down, but we have, and it’s been eye opening.
To be clear, living healthier and taking care of yourself should not become self-idolatry or a selfish act. But it’s a first step to being able to love others as yourself – in a way that serves both.
Why is it important to live healthier now?
Reasons to choose intentional, healthier living
1 So you can recognize your purpose and navigate life more easily
This sounds selfish, but if you feel like you can’t catch your breath or a break, then how can you focus on being and doing what you were made for?
Mental health has become more recognized as the driver of our physical health. And I can attest, that since working to let go of the subtle negativities I focused on for years, I’ve seen great improvements.
I’m worrying less, self-sabotaging less and second-guessing myself less. My energy has increased. My digestion has improved. My body seems more resilient.
Benefits of mindset work
See, your mindset can either help with, or hinder you from, being your best self. As you intentionally work to improve your mindset and mental health, you may:
- reduce daily tensions and frustrations at home, with family and at work.
- minimize seasonal affective disorder (SAD), holiday stress or travel stress.
- stop trying to control things you can’t control and flow more peacefully with life (and people).
- become physically healthier, with less stress, anxiety and depression.
- experience more peace, joy, energy, love or clarity.
Ways to retrain your mindset
You can find thousands of ways to adjust your thought patterns, but here are a few to get you started.
- daily meditation
- prayer and faith
- yoga (helps slow and connect your mind to body)
- read books about changing your mindset, attitude or thought patterns
- read books or join support groups for anxiety or worry
- explore programs, such as Dynamic Neural Retraining System, that help you retrain your limbic system
2 So you can live a more active, fulfilling life, serving your true purpose
Consider these statistics.
Meanwhile, research experts, medical professionals and many personal testimonials prove that nutrition, sleep and mental health seriously impact your physical health.
Don’t over strive to do MORE. Instead, aim to do more things with intention.
- Choose healthier foods.
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep daily.
- Hydrate with clean water instead of sugary drinks.
- Walk instead of drive.
- Play with your kids instead of just watch them.
- Embrace inconvenience so you can serve others.
Besides moving more slowly, you’re likely going to be moving against the grain if you choose healthier living – for now. But you can help prevent yourself from becoming one of the statistics above, and instead better serve your purpose in life.
3 To become more financially set
Especially since the quarantine, our world and personal economies are at stake. Taking care of yourself is more key than you might think to your personal financial health.
Better health allows you to:
- miss less paid work due to sickness.
- miss less paid work due to doctors’ appointments.
- save money spent on appointments and medications.
- save money spent on emotional eating and impulse buying.
- save money on overpriced, over-packaged and over-processed foods.
- have clarity to make better financial decisions.
4 To improve our sustainability
Particularly through COVID, we’ve seen the importance of being more community-based and respectful of our resources. Similarly, as you begin to make healthier, more intentional choices, you might:
- buy less plastic.
- buy fewer packaged goods.
- use healthier stainless steel or cast iron cookware.
- grow your own.
- use rain barrels.
- take shorter showers or other practices that help preserve our natural resources.
Perhaps the most compelling reason to get healthier…
5 To leave a positive legacy behind
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that each year approximately 1 million people die from suicide, which represents a global mortality rate of 16 people per 100,000 or one death every 40 seconds. It is predicted that by 2020 the rate of death will increase to one every 20 seconds (https://www.befrienders.org).
Globally, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds (https://www.who.int).
Whether you have kids or not, children are learning from you – how to eat healthy (or not); why sleep is vital to their health (or not), how boundaries and structure can make them better citizens/parts of the whole (or not) and why understanding cultural differences matters to equality (or not).
You are their example, their leader and their inspiration. Show kids how making healthier choices helps create a happier, more peaceful and purposeful life. Encourage them to be their best and make a difference. Set them up not just to survive, but to thrive.
- 1 “Global Cancer Facts & Figures,” American Cancer Society, https://www.cancer.org/research/cancer-facts-statistics/global.html.
- 2 “Diabetes facts & figures,” last updated December 2, 2020, International Diabetes Foundation, https://www.idf.org/aboutdiabetes/what-is-diabetes/facts-figures.html.
- 3 “COVID-19 situation update worldwide,” Epidemiological update as of June 9, 2020, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control,https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/geographical-distribution-2019-ncov-cases.
- 4 Madeleine Carlisle, “2019-2020 Flu Season on Track to Be Especially Severe, New CDC Data Suggests,” Time, January 4, 2020, https://time.com/5758953/flu-season-2019-2020/.
- 5 Charles W. Schmidt, “Pollen Overload: Seasonal Allergies in a Changing Climate,” Environmental Health Perspectives courtesy of National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, April 1, 2020, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4829390/.
- 6 “ADHD Numbers: Facts, Statistics, and You,” October 11, 2017, The A.D.D. Resource Center, Inc. reprinted with permission from Healthline Media, https://www.addrc.org/adhd-numbers-facts-statistics-and-you/.