How to take care of your health

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Kevin Mangelschots

Our well-being is the single most important thing in life. No amount of money, or fame can ever replace that.

As a result, it’s no wonder that we want to learn how to take care of ourselves. Both physically, and mentally.

Let’s find out how to take care of your health.

How to take care of your health: A multifaceted approach

Image describing how mind, body, spirit, and soul all influence each other.

Taking care of your well-being is easier said than done. Health is multifaceted. This means that a lot of different factors contribute to our physical, and mental state.

Getting your life in order is no small task. Often times, we don’t really know what’s going wrong with our health, let alone how to start fixing it for that matter.

Before we can mend a problem, we must first analyze the situation thoroughly in order to find out what’s going wrong.

Because how can we repair something when we don’t even realize if, or where, it’s broken?

In my opinion, these are all aspects of health and wellness:

Fit dark skinned woman cutting healthy vegetables and fruits.

  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Spirituality
  • Healthy diet

If one or more of those areas of well-being are not in balance, then it will spread to the other health facets as well. The more characteristics that are deficit or negatively affected, the more unhealthy and miserable we will be.

This is why I advocate for people to put their lives in order. All these features should be matched. Or we should at least aspire them to be. These are some healthy lifestyle examples and tips to improve your life that can help you to get your life back on track.

Aspects of health and wellness

Healthy lifestyle written on a green background with healthy foods beside it.

The most important thing to make sure the aspects of health and wellness are in order is to take responsibility for your own actions. Both the good ones, but also the bad ones. You can’t take care of your body if you don’t take ownership of your decisions.

  • Physical health

    The first area of wellness is our physical health.

    We know that exercising is one of the best ways to maintain, or regain our physical health.

    BOTH resistance training like weightlifting or doing body weighted exercises AND cardiovascular training like walking, jogging, and swimming contribute greatly to our physical wellbeing.

    Exercising in general has multiple health benefits like injury prevention, improved mental health due to the dopamine that’s being released when we exercise which makes us feel better, and losing fat. Working out can even cure, or at least improve your depression.

    Cardiovascular exercising is vital for a multitude of health reasons.

    Image of people running a marathon on a sunny day.

    Firstly, it helps our mental health due to clearing/distracting the mind, which in turn reduces stress. Especially when the physical exercises are performed in nature.

    It is good for the health of your organs like your heart and lungs. But it also reduces the chance of other physical health issues such as diabetes and hypertension. In short, everyone should work out!

    Research has shown that resistance training like weightlifting for example has a variety of health benefits.

    It makes your muscles, tendons, and bones stronger, making injuries less likely to happen. It also allows you to lift heavy objects during your everyday life without hurting your back in the process. In short, it aids our physical and mental state.

    The quote: “A healthy mind in a healthy body” is appropriate here. And I couldn’t agree more.

    To me, physical health and mental health are interconnected, as health is multifaceted.

  • Mental health

    Picture showing the words mental health and a green leaf on a white background.

    So how do you take care of your mental health? Well, we must first realize that a lot of dimensions of health contribute to our mental state as a whole.

    Human beings need meaningful interactions with friends and family members to feel fulfilled. Fun fact: Both introverts and extroverts have a need for social interaction, they just differ in how much social stimulation they want, among many other differences.

    These relationships give us a sense of belonging to people, and to the world itself, if you will. If we don’t get our required amount of socializing, then our mood and mental health will start to deteriorate.

    Being socially deprived brings along tension. And if this keeps going for a prolonged period of time, your mind might dwell off to dark places, thus leading to a deterioration in mental health.

    This can cause depression or have a negative impact on your overall health. If you are, or happen to get depressed in the future, then do not despair. It is treatable, and even fixable!

    Image of a note lying on a wooden table saying, “positive mind, positive vibes, positive life”.

    Try to reduce mental strain and anxiety to a minimum by doing relaxing activities like gardening, exercising, and even by practicing mindfulness. Basically everything that calms, eases, or distract the mind.

    Remember that we all need to blow off some steam from time to time. We’re only humans, and not machines, after all.

    Voluntarily challenging and facing the things that cause you anxiety and uneasy sensations is the key to reducing those negative feelings.

    That’s because you get braver as you challenge those feelings, and not because those sensations will magically disappear, contrary to popular belief.

    You will start to notice that you are capable of controlling your fears. As a result, you’ll start feeling more in control of your life. This will reduce anxiety and stress.

    You can attempt to avoid negative feelings for a while, but eventually you will have to face them, or they will become and remain an obstacle in your entire life.

    Even avoiding negative feelings and things that give you anxiety won’t make you feel good about it in the moment. It’s likely that it’ll even stress you out because you know that you are avoiding the very things you need to challenge and fix in order to overcome them!

  • Spirituality

    Image of a fit woman holding a yoga pose at the beach.

    Take note that spirituality is not necessarily related to religion. Although religion can be a part of a person’s spirituality.

    Spirituality is basically what makes you, well, you. Your own individual identity, or personality let’s say. Spirituality in this context is not the same as faith.

    It is one of the most important facets to develop in life. It includes your own value system, beliefs, in addition to your principles.

    These values start developing from the moment you are self-conscious as a child, till the moment you cease to exist.

    Those principles will be influenced by the people you hold dear, and who are meaningful to you. This is by the way why it’s critical to have good role models early on in life! 

    Image of the words “core values” written on a small blackboard.

    But, other people can’t do all the work for you. You will have to develop and integrate the values you find significant on your own.

    Having a goal is the most indispensable thing in existence. Without a goal in life, nothing really matters.

    The advantage of not having a goal is that nothing matters (nihilism). The disadvantage of not having a goal, and it’s a big one, is that you are suffering meaninglessly. Seeing as nothing matters from that point of view.

    That’s why I recommend people to search for, and to set goals. It has to be something that’s important for you.

    It can be something as trivial as cleaning your room every day, so there’s less chaos and more structure in your life. But it can go much further, more complicated, like getting a degree for a job you would like to practice. Or getting your family life in order, for instance.

    Remember to think your ends through well! As, the goal has to be influential and of value to you. This way, you’ll get to create the best you, and live your life to the fullest!

  • Healthy diet

    A plate of healthy food.

    The last of the areas of health and wellness is eating a healthy diet.

    There’s an ancient quote that says: “You are what you eat.” And there’s a lot of truth and wisdom to be found in this sentence.

    It ranges from eating solid foods and drinking liquids, to drugs we put into our bodies. As we all know, drugs, which includes alcohol and especially alcohol by the way, are addictive in addition to destructive.

    In the short term, those drugs might not show their immediate detrimental effects except making you addicted, which we often don’t realize until it’s too late.

    But in the long term, they WILL be detrimental to your overall health. Your physical health, mental health, social and work life will be negatively impacted over time.

    In the food and drinks department, it’s quite simple. Try to eat organic foods and drinking liquids which are naturally occurring in nature. Preferably meat free from hormones and vegetables that are not sprayed with pesticides.

    This means unprocessed foods, and water instead of soda.

    Oh, and no smoking either! However, society as a whole has already made huge strides regarding smoking, and the negative health effects are generally well known and documented.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Why is your health important?

 
Your health is the most essential thing in life since it’s something that we can’t always get back if permanently damaged, and because it’s required for whatever we want to do in life.
 
Remaining healthy permits us to chase our goals and dreams, and keeps us free from chronic diseases such as heart issues, cancer, and even depression.
 
That’s why we should make it a point to exercise in addition to eating clean foods. It’ll give us more energy to do the things we enjoy, and it makes us feel better and live longer as well.
 

Why is health more important than wants?

Illustration showing the differences between pleasures, wants, and needs.
 
Health is more important than wants because it’s needed to be capable of chasing our wants, and since the human desires are basically never ending. No matter how much we have, it’s likely that we still end up feeling unfulfilled, longing for even more.
 
But health is wealth. And being unhealthy will make us feel miserable, partly because we’re unable to chase after our desires.
 

Why is physical health important?

Someone performing a barbell deadlift in a gym.
 
Physical health is critical to pursue your dreams, and because being physically active is a large part of being, and remaining fit as a human.
 
Our bodies are designed to move around. As such, it’s to each person’s advantage to exercise instead of being sedentary.
 
It’ll help to keep your body in shape, improves your mental state, reduces the risk of attracting diseases, manages your weight, and strengthens your bones and muscles, just to name a few benefits.
 

Why is mental health important?

Illustration of a brain with arms and legs lifting weights while smiling, indicating that working out makes the brain feel, and work better.
 
Mental health is indispensable because a large part of being human is how we perceive, and experience events. We want to feel fulfilled, loved, and supported.
 
It affects the way we feel, think, and consequently, behave. It shapes how we deal with tension and hurdles that will inevitably pop up during our everyday lives.
 
When our mental state deteriorates, we end up feeling horrible, sad, angry, and possibly even depressed in extreme instances. Perhaps we end up feeling so bad that we’re unable to get out of bed, and being incapable of striving towards the goals we set out to attain.
 
It’s critical in childhood, and will remain so until we fade away.
 

What are the benefits of mental health awareness?

The quote, “stand up against stigma, no health without mental health” written on a white background.
 
Making mental health openly discussable has many benefits because it raises awareness to the importance of our mental state.
 
It helps to promote those who are suffering to seek informal and professional help by consulting friends and therapists. It also reduces stigma and misconceptions regarding the subject.
 

Conclusion

Our personal wellbeing is indispensable. You’ve only got one body, and it has to last you a lifetime. Money can always be made, but health can’t always be fixed or regained. That’s why all aspects of health should be in sequence.

A lot of our behavior is guided towards doing things we enjoy and makes us feel good. Changing small things about our diet, for instance can help us to feel better at a surprisingly rapid pace.

The most significant takeaway should be that one can learn how to take good care of your health as long as all areas of well-being are in order.

Call to action

“Take action” written with white chalk on a blackboard.

Try to improve all areas of health little by little as a consequence of setting small, realistic goals that you can easily achieve.

For instance, you can start with walking a few minutes each week to improve your physical health, and skipping an unhealthy meal once per week to improve your diet.

Start by making small, incremental changes to your lifestyle. We don’t want to get overwhelmed and demotivated by trying to do too many things at once.