Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Health is a very important aspect of everybody’s life. There are many different ways that people define health. According to the World Health Organization, health is defined as, “”a state of physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”” (Reed, 2012).

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The journal also states that, “Historically, rural residents identify health as the ability to work, rather than the absence of prescriptions, pain, or disease” (Reed, 2012). Through the years, the definition will continue to grow and change in how it describes health. While there are many different categories of health, the three most important are displayed in the Health Triangle; social health, mental health, and physical health. All of these types of health go hand-in-hand and are directly correlated with each other. Each of these categories of health will be explored and explained in the following paragraphs.

Social Health

The first part of the triangle is social health. Social wellness refers to the relationships we have and how we interact with others. Our relationships can offer support during difficult times. Social wellness involves building healthy, nurturing and supportive relationships as well as fostering a genuine connection with those around you. Social wellness is important, because the positive effects of developing and maintaining healthy relationships are endless. People who are socially well enjoy huge health benefits and might even live longer. The health risks of isolation are comparable with smoking, high blood pressure and obesity. The heart and blood pressure of people who have positive relationships respond better to stress. A strong social network is associated with a healthier endocrine system and healthier cardiovascular functioning. A healthy social life can enhance the immune system’s ability to fight off infectious diseases.

First strategy for improving social health is to make connections. Since social interactions have been found to enhance well-being, it’s helpful to work on making meaningful connections with your friends, family, romantic partners or others in your life. You could also make new connections by joining an exercise group or taking a cooking class. Second strategy is to build a healthy relationships. Once you have made connections, you will need to nurture those relationships over time. Strong bonds are an essential component of total well-being.

Even though building bonds takes work, a social support network has considerable benefits. These positive relationships are what helps make the good times better and the tough times easier. Third strategy is to get active together. After developing relationships, you can make the most of them by getting active together. For example, you and your friends could go for a walk as a group or make a healthy meal to eat. By becoming more active, you will improve both your physical and mental health.

Mental Health

The second part of the triangle is mental health. Mental health is a person’s condition regarding psychological and emotional well-being. Many people aren’t aware of the consequences of not taking care of yourself and how it is able to affect our lives like how we act, feel, and think. Keeping a happy, positive, and stable mental health is a goal everyone should have. There are many steps that can be taken to help keep this in a day-to-day routine. Everyone is always busy, always in certain situations, and almost always stressed. It can be difficult to take a couple of minutes or a day to just relax because there are always responsibilities to be taken care of. There are so many different things that people can do to keep improve their mental health. For example, reading a book, writing in a journal, and spending time with people you enjoy having around. It’s easier said than done. Personally, I will be explaining the main three effective approaches I do to improve my own mental health on a daily basis.

The first main approach I try to do maybe once a week is self-care. As for me, it’s hard to allow myself to be the priority because I always have things to do, and deadlines to meet. I’ve always felt like 24 hours is not enough for everything that needs to be done, but that’s how I realized that it isn’t always the best to be rushing to get everything done. Sometimes people just need a day off. A day to pamper yourself by doing something you enjoy and find relaxing. Many things that can be done is taking a long warm bath, getting your nails done, getting a massage, and putting a deep conditioner in your hair. Another technique that can be tried is meditation. Meditation is a way of relaxing without worrying about daily tasks. “The relaxation you get from self-pampering can trigger the Relaxation Response, which can prevent chronic stress from damaging your health, so in a sense, self-care is good for you inside and out.” (Scott, “”How Proper Self Care Can Reduce Your Stress Levels””) Take care of your personal needs, it’s just as important as every other task needed to be done.

“Just because you are struggling doesn’t mean you are failing.” Sometimes our own mentality can be our worst enemy. A stressful situation to one person can just be a small problem to someone else. It’s the way you view the problem that causes stress. Stress is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. To improve your mental health, it is very important to be able to manage stress. A lot of times we get carried away with many little problems, tasks, and daily obligations causing us to be stressed out. A way to manage stress is by looking again at what you are stressing about. It could be a possibility that it isn’t as bad as it seems or maybe it is simply something that no matter how much you stress about it can’t be controlled or changed. It’s helpful to look at the problem with a more positive and different perspective. Another way of managing stress is by exercising. “Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.” “(“”Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress””, 2018)This helps reduce your stress, so if you don’t want to think about the problem at the moment then go for a run, and it’ll help you in different ways.

The last step to improving your mental health is by being grateful. Start listing the things you are grateful for at the end of the day. “Being grateful for what you have helps you stay optimistic about your future and boosts your mental health.” (“”Ten tips to stay mentally and emotionally healthy””) You can focus more on what you have then what you want. Some days might be harder than others but everyday can be a blessing and staying on a positive mindset will always help your mental health. Try to input these steps into your daily routine to improve your mental health.

Physical Health

The third and final part of the Health Triangle is physical health. Physical health’s definition is very similar to that of health’s definition, “Being free from illness or injury” (Bridgewater Community Healthcare, 2018). Physical health plays a huge role in both mental and social health because if one is not physically active and keeping themselves healthy, it can negatively affect mental and social health and on the other end of the equation, if someone is not mentally and socially healthy, it can negatively impact physical wellness.

There are many different ways that a person can stay physically healthy, but physical health is not just impacted by exercising, it involves much more than that. It includes exercising, eating healthy foods, getting enough rest, protecting your skin, limiting smoking and drinking, and keeping oneself medically healthy.

It is recommended by professionals that a person on average should exercise 30-60 minutes for about five times a week. Also, people should be eating a healthy diet that corresponds with how often and when they exercise. You should be eating a balanced diet with an assortment of different types of food including; fruits, vegetables, protein, carbs, etc. It is especially important that people eat breakfast because a lot of people in general skip breakfast because they feel they do not need to eat it or they feel that they do not have enough time. The problem is that breakfast is an important meal because it gives all living things energy to be able to start the day. Also, having more energy in the morning allows a person to have a better day in general because they are starting strong and with a lot of energy and can get through the day efficiently and energized.

Professionals also say that humans should be getting about seven to nine hours of sleep each night and relaxing throughout the day is also very crucial in keeping yourself healthy and happy. It has also been proven that you should not eat right before you go to bed because it is doing more harm than good, “according to a famous dietician, you must eat your last big meal of the day at least 2 to 3 hours before going to bed” (Reddick, 2018). Reddick also talks about how caffeine and alcohol negatively impact your sleep and will prevent you from having a peaceful night’s sleep. In addition, eating a lot of food late at night right before you go to bed can keep you full until the morning where you will not eat breakfast, which leads to overeating or eating unhealthy snacks throughout the rest of the day (Reddick, 2018).

When you are keeping yourself medically healthy, that involves going to regular check-ups at the doctor and going to the hospital if you have a medical issue. Also keeping a list of all the medications that you are taking is important in order to keep track of what you need to take and a schedule of when you need to take them.

Finally, drinking should be limited to a healthy amount and span of time of consumption. “Men should have no more than 2 drinks a day. Women should have no more than 1 drink a day” (familydoctor.org, 2019). People also need to know what their limits are in order to safely consume alcohol.

There are so many more aspects of physical health that are important to consider when trying to stay physically healthy. These topics covered just brush the surface of everything one can do when trying to maintain their physical wellbeing.

Conclusion

In conclusion, living a healthy lifestyle will only benefit you now and in the long run. The three main components of the Health triangle are social, mental, and physical health. The health triangle is a good example of how to start improving your health. Taking care of your personal needs should always be a priority and by incorporating these tips into your daily life it can reduce health problems. It’ll not only change your overall health but also the way of living your life.

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