I will forever be grateful for the genius George Orwell and his timeless quote which states: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”. This reminds me and leads to the topic which I have been coming across lately, which is prioritizing health in the today’s world. More specifically, forgetting health as a priority in the pursuit of money, recognition, and success.
The lists of most meaningful things in life most commonly include health, family and wealth. As almost intuitively, these three are considered to make a major part of happiness. In my environment, most would agree that having and maintaining good health holds a top place on their priority list. However, it is the irony of what is said and what is done which inspired me to write this article.
Despite reassuring of the importance of stable health, the behaviors and lifestyles which are commonly led these days are proving something completely different. With the rise of “healthy trends” such as juicing, fit teas, detox teas, veganism and many others, it may appear that there is a big emphasis on wellbeing in the modern world. Additionally, there is a rise in the trend of muscular bodies and going to the gym. All of this may leave you wondering – how it is so that health is neglected these days?
During the busy times of pursuing our goals, proving competencies, climbing to the top or simply working to make ends meet, health as a priority drops significantly, if not, gets totally lost. Some of these neglections are manifested through long hours in front of the computer, sitting all day, overdosage of caffeine to compensate energy, lack of sleep or skipping meals and then binging on fast food due to lack of time to cook or prepare adequate meals. This list could have many more examples given, as these are only some ways of manifesting this neglection.
This leads me to the most important question – why is this done? Isn’t it strange that so many of us risk our health for money and success? It is indeed strange to risk something that cannot be retrieved for something that can. This is certainly a strange equation, but yet, it seems like it is a very common one.
There are three steps which I acknowledge as important, which can serve as a solution in approaching this issue and making sure that you don’t slip on the same slope, because it may be a costly one.
1. Mindfulness and Self-Awareness
Easier said than done, I know. These are two great words with even greater meaning, and they do require practice. However, this means that anyone can develop them. Being mindful and aware of moments and times when you are degrading your health for something less significant is the only way to actually stop doing it. That is why this is first on the list. Once you are aware of the action, you are already halfway to healing and making a beneficial change in your life.
2. Write a priority list in bold letters and put it in a visible place
If you have done this with goal setting, you will know why I am stressing this as important. We are human beings, this means that we get caught up in life and all the things which happen on the daily basis. This means that we tend to forget things or get carried away with life. This is why it is so important to have our own “guideline”, goal lists, priority lists (whatever you want to call them) in a visible spot. I guarantee that this makes an impact. If you have a look at your list every day for a constant of three months, these words will tap into your subconscious, hence making you more aware of the most significant values in your life.
3. Implement this awareness on the spot
Has your posture changed due to a lot of sitting? Perhaps you are drinking that whole bottle of wine because your project is not going very smooth? Are you losing a lot of weight recently due to a lack of time to eat? While you are at that very moment (ex. about to binge eat/drink or do something else destructive to your wellbeing), try to win yourself. You will win yourself by being aware of what you are doing, remembering your values, and according to those, implementing change. The action you take at that moment, to change a certain behavior, will leave you feeling like a winner. You will be a powerful warrior, pleased with your own success because you were able to acknowledge and take control of yourself and your life.
With these steps, we could proudly say that: “Health comes first and health stays first”. Let’s not pay the price of a transient spotlight and material items with priceless and irreplaceable health. Indeed, it is not a good bargain.