Forgiveness contributed a lot to my spiritual wellness. It’s a habit I’m still developing, actively forgiving myself and others for things that hurt. It doesn’t mean that I’m not working on improving myself, but there’s no need to bog myself down and burden myself with negativity. Practicing forgiveness means to me working through what happened and then letting it go and moving on.
Often when we refer to wellness, we assume that we are talking about physical wellbeing. But one can be physically very healthy but still be unwell, emotionally or mentally. What are the steps we can take to cultivate optimal wellness in all areas of our life; to develop Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing?
As a part of our series about “How We Can Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Patricia Bohl.
When Patricia turned 40 it was as if a switch got flipped as she realized: “Girl, you need to eat more healthy food!”. Up to then she was able to compensate a lot with having an active lifestyle. But once she hit forty the time has come that she couldn’t deny the fact of poor diet and gravity. That’s why she decided to create Eat More Healthy Food where she’s exploring all things that empower herself and others to eat healthy and sustainable.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I grew up in a very rural area in Germany, close to the alps next to the border to Switzerland and France. It’s a beautiful area with a huge lake, lush hills and lots of agriculture. I enjoyed the typical rural, working class upbringing. Living in the middle of nowhere that meant lots of liberty and roaming around in forests and fields with my older sister. My mum raised us with home cooked meals, but still, being in Germany that meant a lot of meat and potatoes.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
Probably all of us have been there wishing they were radiant, full of energy and having a beautiful, healthy body. But especially as we get older, our habits and lifestyle are catching up with us. I always tried to eat healthy and at one point just got really frustrated with all the contradictory, overwhelming information out there. I was tired of googling healthy recipes only to already fail in the supermarkets as I couldn’t get even half of the ingredients needed for the recipes. I was overwhelmed by all the marketing promises and misinformation the food industry is spreading. So I thought there has to be an easier way and started to dive into my blog Eat More Healthy Food! Since then I got certified as a nutritionist, hosted an online summit and I feel so much more confident in what it really means and most of all, how to eat healthy! I’m excited being able to help others too on their path!
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?
I’m just really excited that I can touch so many people’s life and help them to better their lives! It’s extremely rewarding to improve people’s life with empowering them to eat more healthy food.
My personal eat healthy story started with yoga and fitness though. A personal trainer gave me my first basic meal plan and then it slowly started to sink in, that I can manage a lot of my physical and mental performance and also mood and energy levels through nutrition. He took away the fear of carbs and fat and taught me that exercise is only 20% of the game, 80% is food!
Yoga gave me the awareness. Through yoga I learned to listen to my body, mind and soul. Yoga gave me the ability to hear and understand myself.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
Not really a book but in general learning everything about somatization, the enteric nervous system, epigenetics, and the microbiome is very inspiring! It’s very empowering to know how it’s all connected and how much influence we have on our wellness by shaping our environment. Learning of how it’s all connected makes me realize that I knew all of this all along if I only would have listened to my “gut”/ intuition, my body and my soul!
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?
Tony Robbins: People overestimate how much they can achieve in one year but they underestimate how much they can achieve in three years
This was a true eye opener to me! It shows the power of small baby steps that can lead to big changes. And it also is an example of the world we live in, full of instant gratification, fast paced… it doesn’t have to be this way. Slowing down pays off and enjoying the journey winning one micro goal after the other!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
I’m also a yoga teacher and with diving deeper into the psychological aspects of healing I’ll be able to truly offer a holistic approach to wellness, tackling the mind, body and soul!
I’m also discovering the joy of hydroponic gardening and can’t stop talking about it. I’m using an amazing done-for-you kit that provides me with enough veggies for a small family! I love being connected in this way with the produce that I’m eating. It’s a very profound experience to harvest home-grown veggies at their peak ripeness, using only as much as I need for the meal, knowing that it has the maximum nutrient levels and on top tasting really good! It also feels amazing to contribute this way to reducing my carbon footprint and packaging and food waste! This solution is really for everybody, no garden or gardening skills required. It helps people to re-connect with nature and it’s scientifically proven that you eat what you grow. So it contributes to eating healthier as you will eat the veggies you grow!
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. In this interview series we’d like to discuss cultivating wellness habits in four areas of our lives: Mental wellness, Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, & Spiritual wellness. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or experience, can you share with our readers three good habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
I’m not a mental health expert but especially during pandemic the following behaviors/ habits had a big impact on my mental health:
- Slowing down! We know that our brain has a fight/ flight and freeze response in stressful situations. When the pandemic started several of my business plans fell apart and I immediately wanted to fix this situation and started to frantically get active. I kept myself busy with projects desperately trying to kick off something new. Projects that lead to nothing and were wasted time and energy in the end. I follow a hypnotherapist on IG (@kartika.online) and she speaks about this a lot. Her great advice was to slow down and fully take the time to process and bring awareness into the situation. So whenever I catch myself in frantic action as a response to some sort of crisis, I remember Kartika and slow down. Going on extended walks is super helpful as I process a lot of deep thoughts and emotions during these walks. It’s also a healthy outlet for my flight response.
- Practicing gratitude: for a long time I had this in my evening routine simply because others were hyping it as a “must have habit”. It took me some time to grasp the power of counting your blessings. But after a few months I started to realize how powerful it is as suddenly I was acting out of abundance. Things became easier because I was much more aware of all the great things I am building on in my life.
- Rest and sleep: We live in an extremely fast paced world and are always online, so our senses are constantly bombarded with input. Prioritizing downtime, rest and sleep had an incredible effect on my mental health. Yes, it’s essential to give your body some rest. I also found that it mentally helps me a lot to get enough sleep in.
Do you have a specific type of meditation practice or Yoga practice that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about it.
I have a lot on my plate these days and have difficulties to do my self-practice outside of the yoga classes I teach. So I feel drawn to do daily beach walks, as I’m blessed with living in the Dominican Republic. It’s a walking meditation for me. I don’t take any electronic device with me. The sound of the ocean is soothing and I guess the repetitive movement helps my amygdala to calm down and snap out of flight response. I let my thoughts flow and process a lot during these walks!
Thank you for that. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum physical wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
- Physical wellness starts with eating healthy! You are what you eat! So feed yourself with nutrient dense instead of energy dense foods. Don’t know where to start? Eating one bite of a green veggie per day is an amazing start. Go from there until you are able to fill half of your plate for lunch and dinner with veggies!
- Move your body and start small. Maybe today it’s enough to simply put on your walking shoes and step outside the door. Maybe tomorrow you actually manage to leave the building! When you’re ready to graduate to the next goal, walk for 5 min.! Enjoy every step you take and go from there!
- Groom your body! Basic hygiene is a must and I have to admit that I struggled for a very long time to floss regularly. Taking good care of your skin, teeth, hair, hands and feed etc. contributes to wellness tremendously as you want to feel good in your body. So maintain it and treat it nicely!
Do you have any particular thoughts about healthy eating? We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?
In my opinion it’s analysis paralysis and the confusing marketing techniques of the food industry! This was at least how I felt when I embarked on tackling that “eating healthy beast”. In the end I simplified the process. Instead of constricting myself and eat less of the sugar, processed stuff etc I came up with the rule to eat more of the good stuff! I made an effort to eat more veggies, to eat more home cooked meals instead of processed convenient solutions out of a box. Instead of googling endlessly for healthy recipes only to end up standing frustrated in the supermarket because I can’t get half of the ingredients, I researched cooking techniques and flavor families! Suddenly it was a fun challenge because it was about eating more of something instead of avoiding something. The ultimate breakthrough came when I started to grow my own food with a done for you hydroponic indoor garden. This gave me access to an endless supply of healthy produce and a lot of joy and feeling accomplished by harvesting my own food!
Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum emotional wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
- Connection: I am an introvert and love being alone. But humans are not meant to be alone for an extended period of time. I make a conscious effort and developed a habit of staying connected with friends and family. This gives me a sense of belonging and it’s nice to share life with others. It’s nice to give support and being supported in some sort of community. It’s about the little things in life, even if it’s only chatting about what the other one had for lunch. We are lost without connection!
- Don’t cancel your emotions. I don’t think that “good vibes only” is healthy. Being human means living all emotions. Suppressing them will cause you psychological and physical harm. I use whatever comes up as an opportunity to dig deeper and learn more about myself.
- Same as for mental wellness, slowing down helped me a lot. It goes along with living all emotions. By slowing down, I do not brush over or rush over things and rather give myself the time live through the good and the bad things. This helps me to be more in the moment, live life to the fullest and also, in case of difficult situations not building up trauma.
Do you have any particular thoughts about the power of smiling to improve emotional wellness? We’d love to hear it.
In my experience it’s good to make an effort having a positive and kind outlook on life. If smiling brings you into that mood — why not.
Finally, can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
- Taking responsibility for my life was very powerful to me. It came with a new mindset that life happens for and through me and not to me. This helped me a lot to grasp that concept of abundance. With taking the responsibility for my life I also discovered a new side of the belief, a sense of knowing and trust in my source. So this is a habit/ belief that I’m cultivating as sometimes I still fall back into victim mentality.
- A daily practice of yoga is also a must for me for spiritual wellness. I release a lot of trauma and tension during yoga and train remaining aware, mindful and present during difficult or uncomfortable situations. Through yoga I feel grounded.
- Forgiveness contributed a lot to my spiritual wellness. It’s a habit I’m still developing, actively forgiving myself and others for things that hurt. It doesn’t mean that I’m not working on improving myself, but there’s no need to bog myself down and burden myself with negativity. Practicing forgiveness means to me working through what happened and then letting it go and moving on.
Do you have any particular thoughts about how being “in nature” can help us to cultivate spiritual wellness?
Personally, being in nature makes me feel connected with source. In nature I feel that I’m part of something beautiful and bigger and that everything is connected. I’m not separated.
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I think everyone should learn about hydroponics and use it as a tool to grow their own food. Hydroponics makes gardening easy and sustainable and there are so many kits and tools out there around it. By growing our own food you are connected to source. It is scientifically proven that you grow what you eat so it contributes to your health as we all should eat more vegetables.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂
I’m in the fortunate position to have access to some amazing, inspiring professionals in their field, be it nutrition, yoga, marketing or mental health. So if I’d have the chance, I’d rather love to hang out with some favorite bands of mine, Pearl Jam, Incubus and Metallica and just go surfing with them or something… I’m so grateful for their music that accompanied me through many phases of my life!
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.