How to Live a Healthy Life
Living a healthy life means making lifestyle choices that support one's physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being. Managing your health can be challenging at times; when one facet of wellness demands more attention than others, you may end up struggling to maintain a good balance. But to remain of sound body, mind, and spirit, it’s important to pay attention to all aspects of health: Your mental, emotional, and spiritual sides all play a role in your physical welfare, and vice versa.
A state of optimal well-being means more than just the absence of disease or disorder; it also means having the resources to cope with problems and circumstances beyond your control and to recover from difficult or troubling situations. Actively focusing on this intersection between health and behavior can help prevent or at least delay chronic illness, and steer people to make better decisions about their well-being.
What Is Health Psychology?
Health psychology, developed in the late 1970s, is its own domain of inquiry. A health psychologist, also called a medical psychologist, helps individuals explore the link between emotions and physical health. The health psychologist also helps physicians and medical professionals understand the emotional effects of a patient’s illness or disease.
These practitioners are engaged in such areas of health as chronic pain management, oncology, physical rehabilitation, addiction treatment, and eating disorders. Health psychologists can be found in clinics, hospitals, and public health agencies, as well as in private practice. Some also work in corporate settings to promote health and wellness among employees, and advise on workplace policies and decision-making.
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care is not about being selfish; everyone must care for and maintain their bodies and minds for optimal well-being. However, one person’s approach to self-care may not work for another. While some priorities are universal, such as eating a well-balanced diet, others are not, and each individual must custom-design a plan that fits their lifestyle and delivers benefits. For example, some people require less sleep, while others require more. And some people devote themselves to the practice of meditation, while others put in time at the gym.
A general list of self-care priorities includes:
- Eating a healthy diet.
- Getting the sleep the body requires.
- Exercising or engaging in some form of physical activity (a daily walk, pulling weeds in the garden, or high-intensity interval training).
- Visiting the doctor annually.
- Meditating or finding some other form of relaxation to reduce stress.
- Avoiding excessive use of tech devices.