The latest articles to help you maintain mental, physical and spiritual wellness.

5 Important Steps on the Path to Sound Health and Wellness

5 Important Steps on the Path to Sound Health and Wellness

Today, so many of us are looking for ways that we can lead more active, positive, and healthy lives. In the Western world, the sedentary lifestyle and diet of nothing but processed foods are really taking their toll on our health. Obesity rates have never been higher and we are dealing with skyrocketing levels of preventable diseases that could have been avoided through proper lifestyle changes. In addition to the problems we are facing health-wise, as a result of our diet and lifestyle, our fast-paced environment is hectic and incredibly stressful.

Just as many people are dealing with the negative ramifications of excessive levels of stress as are dealing with weight issues. Turn on the news and all you see is violence, death, and seemingly, endless cries that the end of the world is nigh. We are pulled in way too many directions – we have jobs, friends, family obligations, and there just does not seem to be enough time for all of this, let alone worrying about being on the path to health and wellness.

It is important to step back and think for a second. Most of us do not want to die soon and we also do not want to suffer from long, drawn out, preventable deaths as a result of poor choices we make. We will never get off the proverbial treadmill until we make the choice to do so. What follows are five steps that will put you on the road to bountiful health and wellbeing.

Let Go of the Negativity

Negativity is rampant today. We all know that “Debbie Downer” who never sees the positive in any situation. Sometimes, when we look in the mirror, we find that we are Debbie. Negativity tends to breed more negativity and this can start a viscous cycle.

One of the most important things we need to remind ourselves is that we have a choice in what takes up space in our minds. While we cannot avoid all negativity, or stop negative thoughts from entering our heads, we can work against them.

When you have a negative thought, just accept it for what it is. Do not pass a value judgment on what you are feel. Just feel it and let it go. If you start to thing negatively, find any element of the current situation that could be considered positive and focus on that. If you are constantly surrounded by negative people, you might need to find a more positive group to socialize with as their negativity will rub off on you and those around you.

Get Rid of Stress

Stress is part and parcel to modern life. There is no way to avoid all aspects of stress, but it is freeing and important to let go of any stresses that you have within your power to let go. Too many of us try to self medicate and deal with stress through unhealthy activities like drug use, alcohol dependency, and other risky behaviors. Problem is, these behaviors actually tend to increase levels of stress.

Finding healthy outlets is incredibly important. Activities such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga, general exercise, and positive visualization are great ways to get rid of stress in a healthy, positive, and productive manner.

Eat Right

We are what we eat. That old adage really does ring true. What we consume is where we get the nutrients and energy to support our daily functioning. Diets high in fat, salt, and other nasties, will only make you feel worse. It is vitally important that we are eating to promote health and wellness, not out of habit. Most of what we eat would be unidentifiable to our ancestors and there really should be more of an uproar over this.

Whole foods diets that are rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and lean protein give your body the optimal fuel. When you give your body quality fuel, all your physical and mental processes run better. This means that you have more energy and overall, fell better than you would eating nothing but processed food.

Be Active

You don’t have to join a gym to get active. Simply taking a walk a few times a week with a friend or loved one is a great way to get some activity in your life. Many people are looking towards activities like yoga and pilates, as they provide the benefits of physical activity, as well as some noted psychological benefits.

It really does not matter what you do as long as you do something. Our bodies are use are use it or lose it type of system and that means that we need regular activity so that we can maintain proper functioning.

Get Enough Sleep

Our bodies do a lot of regeneration and repair when we sleep. So many of us regularly fail to get an adequate amount of sleep and this can have profoundly negative consequences in our lives. Lacking sleep leaves us feeling sluggish and fatigued. It can often make us feel cloudy and groggy all the time. We do not have the focus or the energy that we need to really perform at our best. Sleep is when the body and brain recover from the stress and rigors of daily life. Failure to give your body the appropriate amount of sleep will lead to compounding problems.

Some of the above-described tips might seem like common sense, and, in many ways, they are. It does need to be noted that we often ignore or even lack common sense when it requires us to make changes or look too closely at how we live our lives. Sure, it can be painful and uncomfortable, but it is also vitally important. We only have one body and we only have one life, it just makes sense to do the best by ourselves as we possibly can.

By following the advice described above, your ability to live a healthy and happy life will have significantly increased. Negative thinking does not get us anywhere, learning how to let it go is incredibly freeing. Once we are no longer mired in the negative, you can see just how exhausting it really is. Finding healthy outlets for stress is vital in today’s world. Stress cannot be avoided and there are many unhealthy and unproductive ways that we try to alleviate stress that only act to exacerbate it. Eating right, staying active, and ensuring that you get enough sleep will also help you make the most out of all your self-improvement efforts.

Frances Masters

Frances Masters is a BACP accredited psychotherapist with over 30,000 client hours of experience. Follow her @fusioncoachuk, or visit The Integrated Coaching Academy for details about up coming training.